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Rugby News

Starting role for Tigers trio in Argentina

All three Leicester Tigers players at the World Under-20s Championship start third-round games in national colours on Wednesday.

Tighthead prop Joe Heyes starts for England as they face unbeaten Australia while Sam Costelow is in the No12 shirt as he makes his first start of the Championship for Wales and Tigers team-mate Tommy Reffell continues in the back row as they face Fiji.

England lost their opening match of the Championship against Ireland and, despite victory in their second game against Italy, they cannot advance through to the top four of the tournament.

Head coach Steve Bates makes seven changes to the side that defeated Italy with James Kenny, who won his first cap as a replacement in that match, due to start in the front row alongside Heyes who started against Ireland and came off the bench in round two.

Bates said: “This is a big fixture for us and the players know we need to raise the level and pace of our game against a good Australia side.

“It’s not often these players get the opportunity to face the likes of Australia or New Zealand and they are very excited about that.

“The players feel like they haven’t played their best rugby yet in this competition and the challenge is to play with a bit more continuity in the game.”

Kick-off against Australia is at 7.30pm UK time and there is live coverage on World Rugby platforms.

England Under-20s (v Australia): 15 Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby), 14 Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), 13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)(c), 12 Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), 11 Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), 10 Manu Vunipola (Saracens), 9 Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs); 1 James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs), 2 Will Capon (Bristol Bears), 3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 5 Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), 8 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), 17 Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby), 18 Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs), 19 Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), 20 Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), 21 Tom Willis (Wasps), 22 Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), 23 Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), 24 Luke James (Sale Sharks), 25 Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)

Wales head coach Gareth Williams makes five changes for the encounter with Fiji in Santa Fe with Sam Costelow given his chance at centre after making his Championship debut as a replacement fly-half against France last time out.

Dragons centre Aneurin Owen has been forced to withdraw from the tournament after suffering concussion in the opening minutes of the first game against Argentina.

“We have taken lessons from our defeat to France, but just as important has been the refreshing mindset the players have displayed since Saturday and we’re all now looking forward to Fiji,” said Williams.

Fiji have lost to Argentina and France in the opening two rounds while Wales won their opener against the hosts before to defending champions France on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 5.00pm UK time.

Wales Under-20s (v Fiji): 15 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), 14 Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), 13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), 12 Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), 11 Deon Smith (Dragons), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons); 1 Tom Devine (Dragons), 2 Dewi Lake (Ospreys)(c), 3 Nick English (Bristol Bears), 4 Morgan Jones (Scarlets), 5 Jac Price (Scarlets), 6 Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), 7 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), 8 Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets)
Replacements: Will Griffiths (Dragons), Garin Lloyd (Ospreys), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), RKemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues). Ed Scragg (Dragons), Lennon Greggains (Dragons), Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), Rio Dyer (Dragons)