Kenny handed first England U20s start
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs prop James Kenny will make his first-ever start for England Under-20s when they tackle Australia in their final pool fixture of the World Rugby U20 Championship today (KO 7.30PM, live on World Rugby platforms).
Kenny is one of seven changes head coach Steve Bates has made to his side that defeated Italy in their second pool fixture. He starts at loosehead with prop Joe Heyes returning to the front-row.
Other changes see Joel Kpoku named at lock, Ted Hill returns at flanker, while in the back division fly-half Manu Vunipola, centre Cameron Redpath and wing Ollie Sleightholme all start.
That means that Kenny's Exeter team-mates Richard Capstick, Rus Tuima and Sam Maunder keep their places in the starting line-up, while Alfie Petch is named amongst the replacements.
England lost their opening match of the Championship to Ireland, and despite victory over Italy cannot advance through to the top four of the tournament.
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.
“We always enjoy matches against southern hemisphere opposition, 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 for them is to play with a bit more continuity in the game. We trained very well yesterday with that in mind and I’m hoping to see an exciting performance from us on Wednesday.”
England U20s v Australia
15. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, capt)
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)
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)
England U20 fixtures and results
4 June: England U20s 26-42 Ireland U20s
8 June: England U20s 24-23 Italy U20s
12 June: England U20s v Australia U20s (KO 7.30pm BST), live on World Rugby platforms.
Knockout stages on Monday, 17 June and finals day on Saturday, 22 June, live on ITV.