World U20s 2015: England make four changes for Wales
Jon Callard brings in Howard Packman and Kieran Treadwell as he opts for experience against rivals in must-win game
Jon Callard has made four changes for England’s match against Wales in Calvisano on Saturday.
After a 59-7 win over Japan on day one earlier this week, a win against their neighbours would put the Red Rose in a perfect position to reach the World Rugby U20 Championship semi-finals as one of the top four seeds.
We have a full squad to pick from, everyone is fit and raring to go, so we need to manage and rotate players in what is a long and demanding campaign.
The only change in the back line sees pacy Northampton Saints winger Howard Packman come in on the left wing in place of Wasps’ Tom Howe.
The three changes up front see Harlequins loosehead prop Sebastian Adeniran-Olule preferred to Bristol’s Ellis Genge, who drops to the bench, while Harlequins lock Kieran Treadwell is preferred to Newcastle Falcons’ Will Witty, who also drops to the bench.
Exeter Chiefs’ versatile forward Sam Skinner, who came off the bench to score England’s eighth try against Japan, starts at number eight in place of James Chisholm.
On the bench, Yorkshire Carnegie forward Josh Bainbridge comes in to take Skinner’s place and could make his first appearance since England’s 21-12 defeat to Wales in the RBS Six Nations in Colwyn Bay at the start of February.
“Howard Packman and Kieran Treadwell add further experience to the side and were stalwarts of the Six Nations,” Callard said.
“We have a full squad to pick from, everyone is fit and raring to go, so we need to manage and rotate players in what is a long and demanding campaign.
“We are fortunate to have an excellent management team – the medical staff and our strength and conditioning Coach Neil Taylor have done an excellent job getting the players into top physical condition and enabling them to acclimatise and cope with the heat.
“We had a fantastic training session yesterday and are looking forward to turning the hard work into a positive performance tomorrow.”
Wales’ hopes of having a good tournament rests on defeating the defending champions after they lost 19-10 to France on day one before they take on Japan on day three next Wednesday, while England face a tough test against France.
And Callard knows that Wales’ win over the Red Rose earlier this year will give them confidence of repeating the result when the they meet on Saturday night, which could derail their title defence.
“A team always hurts after a defeat,” Callard added.
“In this competition every game matters because of the format, but for us it is about staying composed and keeping to our processes.
“Wales played very well that day [in the Six Nations]. We weren’t on our game and they forced a lot of errors.
“We learned a huge amount from that experience and have since progressed from strength to strength.
“Wales, however, will also have developed throughout the Six Nations so we know that tomorrow will be a tough fixture.”
England U20: Aaron Morris (Saracens); George Perkins (Saracens), Nick Tompkins (Saracens), Max Clark (Bath Rugby), Howard Packman (Northampton Saints); Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby), Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs); Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins), Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie), Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie), Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, captain), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Will Owen (Leicester Tigers), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs).
Replacements: Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs), Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby), Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks), Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons), Josh Bainbridge (Yorkshire Carnegie); James Mitchell (Sale Sharks), Lloyd Evans (Gloucester), Piers O’Conor (Wasps).
Wales U20: Dafydd Howells (Ospreys); Lloyd Lewis (Newport Gwent Dragons), Garyn Smith (Cardiff Blues), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Joshua Adams (Scarlets); Jarrod Evans (Blues), Tomos Williams (Blues); Luke Garrett (Dragons), Liam Belcher (Blues), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Rory Thornton (Ospreys, captain), Tom Phillips (Scarlets), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Harrison Keddie (Dragons).
Replacements: Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Keagan Bale (Dragons), Joe Jones (Blues), Jon Fox (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Barney Nightingale (Dragons).