Clifford to lead Rosebuds

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 14:08
Dave-sisi-england-u20630 Ruan-botha-baby-boks630

Harlequins No.8 Jack Clifford will lead England Under-20 in their first Junior world Championship clash with France at the Stade Henri Desgrange on Wednesday.

He will be joined in the loose trio by Bath's David Sisi and debutant Matt Hankin from Saracens.

Twenty-one members of the match day squad have previous U20 experience with Hankin and Tom Smallbone from London Irish the two uncapped players.

Sam Hill, Henry Slade, Luke Cowan-Dickie from Exeter Chiefs, Wasps' Alec Hepburn, Nathan Moris, Dominic Barrow, Sisi and Clifford have previous JWC experience, having played in the 2012 tournament in South Africa.

Head coach Nick Walshe said: "It's a massive challenge playing against France, particularly in France, but it's a challenge that we're relishing.  

"We obviously played them in the Six Nations and put in a good performance, but this is a different game - we won't be complacent, we'll be treating them with the respect they deserve.

"The lads have trained well for the first couple of days  - they're looking good, but to be honest they just want to get out there and play."

England Under-20: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Harry Sloane, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ben Howard, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Jack Clifford (captain), 7 Matt Hankin, 6 David Sisi, 5 Dominic Barrow, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.  
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 18 Tom Smallbone, 19 Tom Price, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Alex Day, 22 Henry Purdy, 23 Jack Nowell.

Date: Wednesday, 5 June
Venue: Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon
Kick-off: 19.45 (17.45 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), Christophe Dutreuilh (France)