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Stephenson: All of the Saints lads are looking forward to Friday night

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Stephenson, who set up two tries in the Saints Under-18s' Premiership Rugby Academies League win over Newcastle on Saturday evening, will be joined by Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Danny Herriott, Alex Day, Will Hooley and Tom Collins in Rob Hunter's squad for the clash with Italy.

It is an important game for England, who need a win over Italy to take the chase for the Six Nations title into the final week of the tournament. But Stephenson also acknowledges that the evening will also be a big event for the Saints players.

"I think all the Saints players involved with the Under-20s are maybe looking at this game more than others just because it's at Franklins Gardens," the 18-year-old commented. "Obviously every game is a big game but this one will be great to run out for your country of Franklin's Gardens and in front of Saints fans.

"I know selection comes first; you've got to get picked and then if I do get picked - fingers crossed I do - I'll be pretty excited to play here. I think it will be a great experience and hopefully a great day.

"When we're in the Under-20s squad the Saints lads are pretty tight. We all love it, and in the National Anthem we try to get together. It's an emotional experience, playing for your country with the people you train with every day and there's no better feeling.

"I love playing for England at any age group level. Every time I play for them it's pretty emotional so against France I loved it. I got 15 minutes or so, when you come on you've just got to do what you do at the Saints and try your hardest."

Although Italy come to the East Midlands still seeking their first win in the 2013 Six Nations Stephenson says that the Azzurri should never be underestimated.

"I think people look at the Italians as maybe the easier match but I don't think that this year and the last couple of years it's been like that," he added. "Every game they've played so far have been close so I think we can't let our guard down.

"It would obviously a big game to beat the Italians. All of us also want selection for the game against Wales as well so it's all about putting your mark down against the Italians and then hopefully it'll be the Six Nations decider against Wales."

Tickets for England Under-20 v Italy are now on general sale, priced at £12 for adults and £7 for juniors and concessions. Book online by CLICKING HERE and following the straightforward instructions!

The evening also includes a beer festival featuring 10 guest ales in the Rodber Suite, and fancy dress competitions.

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