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Pollock and Wright take on South Africa with England U20s

Forward pair Henry Pollock and Craig Wright will take on South Africa on Tuesday (9 July, kick-off: 6pm BST), as the Northampton Saints duo are named in England’s line up to face the tournament hosts in their third and final pool match of the 2024 World Rugby U20 Championship. 

Back row Pollock and hooker Wright will both earn their eighth caps at this level when England take on the Baby Boks at Athlone Stadium, with the pair making up two of 11 changes made by Mark Mapletoft to the side that defeated Fiji 48-11 last time out. 

England are currently top of Pool C with 10 points after triumphs over Argentina (41-20) and Fiji, and will be seeking victory over South Africa to guarantee a place in the semi-finals. It has been England who have won eight of the previous 12 meetings with the Baby Boks in the Championship, with Tuesday’s fixture the first pool stage meeting in 11 years.

Head coach Mapletoft said: “Whilst still needing to refine parts of our game, the team have built momentum excellently coming into Matchday 3 with two results we’re proud of. 

“I’ve been incredibly impressed with the resolve and mental attitude of our team, they have rewarded our trust in selection throughout both games. Relentlessness in our processes has been a key pillar of our tournament so far.  

“Playing South Africa on home turf is no easy feat, and we’re under no illusions of the magnitude of what awaits us. The boys know what is at stake, and they will enjoy that, but focus remains firmly on the task at hand when showtime rolls around on Tuesday night.”

ENGLAND UNDER-20s SIDE TO FACE SOUTH AFRICA

15 Ben Redshaw (Newcastle Falcons, West Park Leeds RFC, 6 caps)  
14 Jack Bracken (Saracens, Barnet Elizabethans RFC, 1 cap)  
13 Ben Waghorn (Harlequins, Chipstead Rugby Club, 8 caps) 
12 Sean Kerr (Harlequins, Sutton and Epsom Rugby Club, 5 caps)  
11 Alex Wills (Sale Sharks, Droitwich Rugby Club, 9 caps)  
10 Benjamin Coen (Exeter Chiefs, Teignmouth RFC, 2 caps)  
9 Ollie Allan (Leicester Tigers, Hungerford RFC, 2 caps)  

1 Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks, Broadstreet RFC, 16 caps)  
2 Craig Wright (Northampton Saints, Braintree Rugby Club, 7 caps)  
3 Billy Sela (Bath Rugby, Royal Wootton Bassett RFC, 6 caps)  
4 Joe Bailey (Exeter Chiefs, Newton Abbot RFC, 6 caps)  
5 Junior Kpoku (Racing 92, Saracens Amateurs, 6 caps)  
6 Finn Carnduff (c) (Leicester Tigers, Market Harborough RFC, 17 caps)  
7 Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints, Buckingham Rugby Club, 7 caps)  
8 Nathan Michelow (Saracens, Brentwood Rugby, 11 caps)  

Replacements:
16 James Isaacs (Saracens, Hemel Hempstead Camelot RFC, 4 caps)  
17 James Halliwell (Bristol Bears, Thornbury RFC, 10 caps) 
18 Afolabi Fasogbon (Gloucester Rugby, Bishop Wand School, 13 caps)  
19 Olamide Sodeke (Saracens, Blackheath Rugby Club, 6 caps)  
20 Kane James (Exeter Chiefs, St Peters RFC, 6 caps)  
21 Lucas Friday (Harlequins, Bromley RFC, 2 caps)   
22 Angus Hall (Saracens, Sevenoaks Rugby Club, 1 cap) 
23 Ioan Jones (Gloucester Rugby, Minchinhampton RFC, 6 caps)  

England U20 Men’s 2024 World Rugby U20 Championship fixtures and results 

Pool Rounds:

  • Matchday 1 (29 June) - England 41-20 Argentina – Athlone Stadium 
  • Matchday 2 (4 July) - England 48-11 Fiji – Athlone Stadium
  • Matchday 3 (9 July) - South Africa vs. England – Athlone Stadium - (kick-off: 6pm BST)  

Knockout matches:

  • Matchday 4 (Sunday 14 July)  
  • Matchday 5 (final and ranking matches, Friday 19 July)  
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