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Five Tigers in England Under-20s squad

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Five Leicester Tigers players have been included in the England Under-20s squad for the new season.

The 32-man group will be targeting a fourth Under-20 Six Nations title in a row in the new year before heading to New Zealand to defend their IRB Junior World Championship trophy next June.

Tigers front-rowers Harry Thacker and Harry Rudkin are included alongside flanker Will Owen, who played for England under-18s this summer.

Henry Purdy, a member of the Under-20s squad that won the World Juniors title this summer, and George Catchpole are the Tigers backs named in the squad for the new season.

Purdy, who has played a part in the Tigers pre-season programme this summer, is among 11 players in the group who have been capped previously at Under-20s level.

England coach Nick Walshe said: “We’re excited to work with the players in our squad. We have a good blend of guys with experience and new talent coming in from the Under-18s set-up.

“There is always huge competition at this age grade and a lot of players getting first-team rugby at their clubs. It’s tough to narrow that down to a group of 32 and we expect players to continue to push for inclusion.

“Competition for places will be high, but that’s just what you want. We had a successful season last season and the aim is to perform even better.”

Since the formation of the Under-20s side in 2007 – replacing the under-21 age-group – England have won 47 of their 60 matches, winning Six Nations titles in 2008, ’11, ’12 and ’13 as well as being runners-up in the Junior World Championship on three occasions before lifting the crown this summer.

England Under-20 Elite Player Squad 2013/14

James Chisholm (Harlequins)
Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie)
Jonny Hill (Gloucester Rugby)
Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
Gus Jones (London Wasps)
Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester Rugby)
Alex Lundberg (London Wasps)
Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby)
Cameron Neild (Sale Sharks)
Will Owen (Leicester Tigers)
Harry Rudkin (Leicester Tigers)
Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers)

Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby)
Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Jordan Burns (Harlequins)
George Catchpole (Leicester Tigers)
Nathan Earle (Saracens)
Louis Grimoldby (Harlequins)
Zach Kibirige (Newcastle Falcons)
Sam Olver (Northampton Saints)
Howard Packman (Northampton Saints)
Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers)
Harry Sloan (Harlequins)
Tom Stephenson (Northampton Saints)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)