Three Northampton Saints starlets will start for England Under-20s as the Red Rose takes on Italy in the opening match of the 2018 Six Nations.
James Grayson will wear the No.10 jersey for Steve Bates’ side, while Fraser Dingwall lines up outside him in the centres, and loosehead prop Toby Trinder is named in the front row.
England – who won the Grand Slam last season – face Italy at Stadio Enzo Bearzot on Friday, with the clash kicking off at 6pm.
For both Dingwall and Trinder, this will be a debut cap at Under-20s level, while Grayson was involved in the squad that reached the final of the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Georgia last year.
“It’s been really difficult to select a XV because we have some very talented young players and several of them have performed very well over the first half of the season,” said head coach Bates.
“Choosing the 32-man elite player squad was difficult enough, so narrowing that down has been even tougher. We’ve tried to take into consideration the way they have performed in our two camps, which has been first class, as well as the games they’ve played up until Christmas.
“We’ll play high-intensity, high-tempo rugby against Italy and I expect us to be robust and direct. We’ve also talked about being reactive throughout the tournament and I think we have a side that is very versatile.
“Excitement is building among the squad, this is the first match of the tournament and we’re determined to make our own history.
“The pathway is there to promote players through the programme and the new caps will be excited about following in the footsteps of some very special players. They recognise how big an opportunity this is for them.”
England Under-20s side to face Italy:
15 Tom Parton
14 Gabriel Ibitoye
13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)*
12 Will Butler
11 Ben Loader*
10 James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
9 Ben White*
1 Toby Trinder (Northampton Saints)*
2 Henry Walker
3 Marcus Street
4 Dino Lamb
5 James Scott*
6 Sam Moore*
7 Ben Earl
8 Tom Willis*
16 Gabriel Oghre *
17 Alex Seville
18 Joe Morris
19 Sam Lewis*
20 Josh Basham*
21 Rory Brand
22 Tom Hardwick*
23 Jordan Olowofela*
*denotes uncapped player
Tickets are still available for Saints' Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Harlequins on Friday 2 February from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by visiting bit.ly/SAI-QUI-AWC or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000.