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Rugby News

Finals day team news at World Under-20s

Leicester Tigers have four players in England's matchday squad for the Final of the World Rugby Under-20s Championship against France on Sunday.

Ben White, Tom Hardwick and Jordan Olowofela all start in the backline, with clubmate Joe Heyes named among the replacements.

Tighthead prop Heyes exchanges places with Ehren Painter of Northampton Saints in the only change to the semi-final starting line-up.

England have scored 22 tries in the tournament and ended the pool stages as top seeds courtesy of bonus-point victories over Argentina, Italy and Scotland before defeating the Junior Springboks in the last four, where White, Hardwick and Olowofela were among the scorers.

Head coach Steve Bates said: “We know we are going to have to play well to beat France. In these one-off games it’s about starting well, full of intent, as well as keeping your composure and finishing strongly.

“We’ve played France in the same stadium during the Six Nations and it was a great atmosphere and the players are relishing the opportunity to play there again cheered on by a proud and vocal group of England supporters.”

Tigers are also represented in the England party by academy lead coach Anthony Allen and coach Richard Blaze, though second-rower Sam Lewis is ruled out of the Final by suspension.

England are in the Final for a sixth successive year and are chasing a fourth following previous successes in 2013, ’14 and ’16.

Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell, who has played very minute of the tournament so far as Wales captain, is named among the replacements for their final game against Italy with centre Ioan Nicholas taking over as captain.

Tigers prop Sam Grahamslaw is also among the replacements as Scotland face Georgia.

Scotland versus Georgia is a 1.30pm kick-off on Sunday, streamed live on worldrugby’s website, with Wales against Italy at 4.00pm. The Wales game will be shown live across S4C’s terrestrial and digital channels.

The Final between England and France is at 6.00pm and is shown live on ITV4. All timings are British Summer Time.

England U20: 15 Tom Parton (London Irish), 14 Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), 13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), 12 Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), 11.Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers), 10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins), 9 Ben White (Leicester Tigers); 1 Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby), 2 Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby), 3 Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints), 4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 5 James Scott (Worcester Warriors), 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 7 Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)(c), 8 Josh Basham (London Irish)
Replacements: 16 Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors), 17 Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby), 18 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 19 Tom Willis (Wasps), 20 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), 21 Rory Brand (London Irish), 22 James Grayson (Northampton Saints), 23 Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)

Scotland U20: 15 Paddy Dewhirst (Ayr), 14 Logan Trotter (Stirling County), 13 Cameron Hutchison (Currie Chieftains), 12 Stafford McDowall (Ayr)(c), 11 Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Hawks), 10 Callum McLelland (Edinburgh), 9 Charlie Chapman (Gloucester); 1 Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir), 2 Robbie Smith (Ayr), 3 Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies), 4 Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians), 5 Marshall Sykes (St Joseph’s College), 6 Guy Graham (Newcastle Falcons), 7 Rory Darge (Melrose), 8 Devante Onojaife (Northampton Saints) 
Replacements:  16 Finlay Scott (Jed-Forest), 17 Sam Grahamslaw (Leicester Tigers), 18 Murphy Walker (Strathallan School), 19 Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), 20 James Miller (Watsonians), 21 Charlie Gowling (Stade Francais), 22 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks), 23 Fraser Strachan (Northampton Saints)

Wales U20: 15 Joe Goodchild (Dragons), 14 Corey Baldwin (Scarlets), 13 Ioan Nicholas (c) (Scarlets), 12 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), 11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9 Harri Morgan (Ospreys); 1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), 2 Dewi Lake (Ospreys), 3 Chris Coleman (Dragons), 4 Rhys Davies (Bath Rugby), 5 Max Williams (Dragons), 6 Lennon Greggains (Dragons), 7 Dan Davis (Scarlets), 8 Taine Basham (Dragons)
Replacements: 16 Iestyn Harris (Cardiff Blues), 17 Rhys Davies (Scarlets), 18 Rhys Henry (Ospreys), 19 Jack Pope (Bridgend), 20 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), 21 Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues), 22 Ben Thomas (Cardiff Blues), 23 Dewi Cross (Ospreys)