Preview – England U20 Faces Tough Test Against Italy U20 At Stadio Comunale Di Monigo


Italy and England have named their teams for the Six Nations U20 match this Friday night at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo at 21:15 (SA Time). The teams go into the match on the back of encouraging warm-up displays, with both counting wins against France as part of their preparations.

England Head coach Mark Mapletoft said: “It’s great to be back in a game week with the boys, the team are incredibly excited for Friday’s test against a very challenging Italian side.

“I’d like to congratulate Finn on his captaincy, it’s imperative we have players that can lead by their actions on the pitch and we’re lucky to have such a tight-knit group of players to represent us.

“Over the past week, we’ve challenged the team to push themselves in a highly competitive environment as well as seeking to emulate our core principles of speed, attachment and space.

“Andy, the coaches and I have welcomed the intensity that the boys have channelled their rugby through in Bisham recently, and that excites us ahead of a tournament we want to start strongly in this week.”

Carnduff is accompanied by six other capped U20 players in the matchday XV, with further experience coming from the bench in the form of forwards James Halliwell (Bristol Bears), Joe Bailey (Exeter Chiefs) and Nathan Michelow (Saracens).

Sale Sharks prop forward Asher Opoku-Fordjour and scrum-half Archie McParland of Northampton Saints, both U20 Elite Player Squad members, arrive into the U20 national fold with 19 senior club appearances to their names across domestic and European competition this term.

Italy’s U20 Men picked up two wins in last year’s edition of the tournament, however it was England who came out on top in last year's encounter, defeating the Azzurri 32-25 at Kingsholm.


Italy U20: 15 Mirko Belloni (Verona Rugby) 14 Marco Scalabrin (Rugby Vicenza) 13 Federico Zanandrea (Mogliano Veneto Rugby) 12 Nicola Bozzo (Perpignan) 11 Lorenzo Elettri (Rugby Rovigo Delta) 10 Martino Pucciarello (CUS Milano Rugby) 9 Lorenzo Casilio (c) (Rugby Vicenza) 1 Federico Pisani (Verona Rugby) 2 Nicholas Gasperini (Rugby Viadana 1970) 3 Marcos Gallorini (Mogliano Veneto Rugby) 4 Tommaso Redondi (Verona Rugby) 5 Giacomo Milano (UR Capitolina) 6 Piero Gritti (ASM Clérmont Auvergne) 7 Luca Bellucci (Rugby Roma Olimpic) 8 Jacopo Botturi (c) (Petrarca Rugby) Replacements 16 Valerio Siciliano (CA Briviste Corrèze) 17 Sergio Pelliccioli (Rugby Lyons) 18 Davide Ascari (Rugby Colorno 1975) 19 Samuele Mirenzi (VII Rugby Torino) 20 Cesare Zucconi (Cavalieri U.R. Prati Sesto) 21 Mattia Jimenez (Rugby Petrarca) 22 Francesco Imberti (CUS Torino) 23 Patrick De Villiers (Rugby Noceto FC)

England U20: 15 Ben Redshaw (Newcastle Falcons) 14 Toby Cousins (Northampton Saints) 13 Ben Waghorn (Harlequins) 12 Sean Kerr (Harlequins) 11 Alex Wills (Sale Sharks) 10 Rory Taylor (Gloucester Rugby) 9 Archie McParland (Northampton Saints) 1 Asher Opoku- Fordjour (Sale Sharks) 2 Craig Wright (Northampton Saints) 3 Billy Sela (Bath Rugby) 4 Olamide Sodeke (Saracens) 5 Junior Kpoku (Racing 92) 6 Finn Carnduff (c) (Leicester Tigers) 7 Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints) 8 Zach Carr (Harlequins) Replacements 16 Jacob Oliver (Newcastle Falcons) 17 Scott Kirk (Bath Rugby) 18 James Halliwell (Bristol Bears) 19 Joe Bailey (Exeter Chiefs) 20 Nathan Michelow (Saracens) 21 Ben Douglas (Newcastle Falcons) 22 Josh Bellamy (Harlequins) 23 Ollie Spencer (Newcastle)