Four Leicester Tigers players will start the World Rugby Under-20 Championship semi-final for England against South Africa tomorrow (Tuesday), while Welsh and Scottish representatives also have starting roles in their fixtures.
England go into the semi-final as top seeds after three bonus-point victories against Argentina, Italy and Scotland in their pool. Hosts France take on New Zealand in Wednesday’s other semi-final in Perpignan.
Head coach Bates said: “At this stage of the competition the stakes are high and we need to be able to play under that type of pressure while also being able to raise our game.
“We’ve been able to rotate the squad quite nicely throughout the tournament and my message to the players on Tuesday will be a simple one, these opportunities don’t come around too often, we are in the semi-final of a wonderful competition, playing southern-hemisphere opposition and I want them to show their class. The key thing is not to be overawed by the occasion, but to go out there and attack them.”
Kick-off in the England match is at 6.00pm UK time on Tuesday and there is live coverage on ITV4.
Tigers forward Sam Lewis is suspended following a red card earlier in the tournament, though club colleague Tommy Reffell is captain of a Wales squad preparing to face Argentina on Tuesday. Their match will be shown live on S4C.
Leicester’s Sam Grahamslaw starts at loosehead prop Scotland who play Ireland.
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 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5 James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
6 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7 Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
8 Josh Basham (London Irish)
16 Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)
17 Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
18 Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
19 Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby)
20 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
21 Rory Brand (London Irish)
22 James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
23 Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
Wales Under-20s: 15 Dewi Cross (Ospreys), 14 Corey Baldwin (Scarlets), 13 Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets), 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), 11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9 Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues); 1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), 2 Iestyn Harris (Cardiff Blues), 3 Chris Coleman (Dragons), 4 Rhys Davies (Bath Rugby), 5 Max Williams (Dragons), 6 Tommy Reffell (c) (Leicester Tigers), 7 Dan Davis (Scarlets), 8 Ben Fry (Dragons)
Replacements: 16 Rhys Davies (Scarlets), 17 Dewi Lake (Ospreys), 18 Will Davies-King (Cardiff Blues), 19 Lewis Ellis-Jones (Scarlets), 20 Taine Basham (Dragons), 21 Harri Morgan (Ospreys), 22 Ben Thomas (Cardiff Blues), 23 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues)
Scotland Under-20s: 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 Sam Grahamslaw (Leicester Tigers), 2 Robbie Smith (Ayr), 3 Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies), 4 Jamie Hodgson (Watsonians), 5 Marshall Sykes (St Joseph’s College), 6 Martin Hughes (Heriot’s), 7 Rory Darge (Melrose), 8 Devante Onojaife (Northampton Saints)
Replacements: 16 Finlay Scott (Jed-Forest), 17 Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir), 18 Murphy Walker (Strathallan School), 19 Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s), 20 Guy Graham (Newcastle Falcons), 21 Charlie Gowling (Stade Francais), 22 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks), 23 Fraser Strachan (Northampton Saints)