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Gregor earns World Cup starting berth

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Leicester Tigers second row Gregor Gillanders has been named in the England starting XV for the opening match of the IRB Under-19 World Championship.

Gillanders will wear the No.5 shirt when England face Samoa in their first group game at Shaw's Bridge in Belfast on Thursday evening as coach Nigel Redman keeps faith with the starting line-up that beat France 29-5 two weeks ago.

The squad includes six survivors from last year's tournament, when England finished in a best-ever third place after beating France in a play-off.

"We did particularly well against France and we've decided to go with the same starting side against Samoa," said Redman."We've got a tough series of pool games against three southern-hemisphere sides and it's important we get off to a strong start."

The 11 remaining players in the squad will be on the bench and seven can be used as replacements during the game.

The four teams with the best group-stage records go into the semi-finals, so bonus points - for scoring four tries or finishing within seven points in the event of a defeat - will be important.

England's remaining games are against Argentina on April 9 and New Zealand four days later before the knock-out stages.

England U-19 v Samoa

15 Alex Goode (Saracens)
14 David Smith (Northampton Saints)
13 Tom Bedford (Exeter Chiefs)
12 Alex Tait (Newcastle Falcons)
11 Noah Cato (Saracens)
10 Adam Greendale (Leeds Tykes & Hymers College)
9 Joe Simpson (London Wasps)

1 Nathan Catt  (Bath Rugby)
2 Joe Williams (Gloucester Rugby)
3 Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
4 Scott Hobson (Cornish Pirates)
5 Gregor Gillanders (Leicester Tigers)
6 Matthew Cox (Worcester Warriors)
7 Andy Saull (Saracens)
8 Hugo Ellis (London Wasps, captain)                       


Jack Steadman (Bristol Rugby)
Scott Freer (Leeds Tykes)
Billy Moss (Bath Rugby)
Ben Thomas (Saracens)
Danny Pointon (Northampton Saints)
Gareth Griffiths (Bristol Rugby)
Richard Bolt (Exeter Chiefs)
Greg King (Worcester Warriors & Hartpury College)
Garth Dew (Sale Sharks)
Miles Benjamin (Worcester Warriors)
Jon Fisher (London Irish & Wellington College)