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Henry Pollock, Toby Cousins, Craig Wright.
Henry Pollock, Toby Cousins, Craig Wright.

Three young Saints in England U20 squad to face Fiji

Three Northampton Saints players have been included in England U20 Men’s squad for their second 2024 World Rugby U20 Championship matchday against Fiji.

Toby Cousins comes into the starting line-up for Thursday’s match at Athlone Stadium (kick-off 3.30pm UK time) to earn his seventh cap at U20 level, while hooker Craig Wright and flanker Henry Pollock, who both started the opening round 41-20 victory over Argentina, are rotated to be amongst the replacements.

First starts are awarded to Cam Miell (Leicester Tigers), Kane James (Exeter Chiefs), Arthur Green (Bath Rugby), Ben Coen (Exeter Chiefs) and Angus Hall (Saracens), with Green and Hall also set to earn their maiden competitive caps this Thursday. 

Head coach Mark Mapletoft and assistant coach Andy Titterrell can call upon experienced energisers from the bench with a cumulative 58 U20 caps.

England’s only two previous U20 meetings with Fiji came 15 years apart, with the most recent encounter arriving in 2023 when current U20 Elite Player Squad member Nathan Michelow crossed for one of eight tries in a 53-7 triumph. The first encounter back in 2008 saw Alex Goode contribute 16 points to a 41-17 win when current head coach Mark Mapletoft was also in charge. 

England continue their U20 Championship journey with their final Pool C fixture against tournament hosts South Africa next Tuesday (9 July) at Athlone Stadium (kick-off: 6pm UK time). 

Mapletoft said: “Argentina was an incredibly demanding opening fixture to start the tournament with, and the team met those tasks and answered the questions posed to them. We believe it’s right to balance the game time throughout the squad, particularly with the quick turnaround between matchdays. 

“It’s a testament to the hard work on and off the pitch that we came through Saturday with a full squad to choose from ahead of Thursday’s Test. Our staff all share a lot of excitement to see these players grab their chance and capitalise on the momentum created from Matchday 1.  

“There were many game-changing outputs from players across the matchday squad last time out, and with our consistency in preparation, I have every confidence that will translate into a largely new group that are eager to stake their claim.”

England’s clash with Fiji is available to view live on RugbyPass TV.


15 Ioan Jones (Gloucester Rugby, Minchinhampton RFC, 5 caps) 
14 Toby Cousins (Northampton Saints, Bugbrooke RFC, 6 caps) 
13 Ben Waghorn (Harlequins, Chipstead Rugby Club, 7 caps) 
12 Oli Spencer (Newcastle Falcons, Epping Rams Rugby, 6 caps) 
11 Angus Hall (Saracens, Sevenoaks Rugby Club, uncapped) 
10 Benjamin Coen (Exeter Chiefs, Teignmouth RFC, 1 cap) 
9 Ollie Allan (Leicester Tigers, Hungerford RFC, 1 cap) 

1 Cameron Miell (Leicester Tigers, Paul Roos, 1 cap) 
2 James Isaacs (Saracens, Hemel Hempstead Camelot RFC, 4 caps) 
3 James Halliwell (Bristol Bears, Thornbury RFC, 10 caps) 
4 Harvey Cuckson (Bath Rugby, Mold RFC, 2 caps) 
5 Olamide Sodeke (Saracens, Blackheath Rugby Club, 5 caps) 
6 Finn Carnduff (Leicester Tigers, Market Harborough RFC, 16 caps) - captain
7 Kane James (Exeter Chiefs, St Peters RFC, 5 caps) 
8 Arthur Green (Bath Rugby, Frome RFC, uncapped) 

16 Craig Wright (Northampton Saints, Braintree Rugby Club, 6 caps) 
17 Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks, Broadstreet RFC, 15 caps) 
18 Afolabi Fasogbon (Gloucester Rugby, Bishop Wand School, 12 caps) 
19 Junior Kpoku (Racing 92, Saracens Amateurs, 5 caps) 
20 Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints, Buckingham Rugby Club, 6 caps) 
21 Lucas Friday (Harlequins, Bromley RFC, 1 cap) 
22 Josh Bellamy (Harlequins, Rosslyn Park, 5 caps) 
23 Alex Wills (Sale Sharks, Droitwich Rugby Club, 8 caps) 

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

  • Matchday 1 (29 June) - England 41-20 Argentina – Athlone Stadium 
  • Matchday 2 (4 July) - England vs. Fiji – Athlone Stadium - (15:30 BST kick-off) 
  • Matchday 3 (9 July) - South Africa vs. England – Athlone Stadium - (18:00 BST kick-off) 

Knockout matches 

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