Bassett, Nutley and Ransom on bench to face Baby Boks
BEDFORD Blues winger Josh Bassett has been named on the bench fr England U20s IRB Junior World Championship final Pool B clash today against hosts South Africa.
The former Barton and Harlington school pupil is joined on the bench by ex-Luton Rugby youngster Ben Nutley (Northampton Sainst) and dual-registered team-mate Ben Ransom (Saracens).
They have made six changes to the side that beat Ireland 20-15 on Tuesday for the game that kicks off at The Cape Town Stadium at 5.45pm (BST), and is being shown live on Sky Sports HD.
Chris Walker is recalled to the starting line-up and again captains the side, while Sam Hill, Dan Robson, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Sam Twomey and Billy Vunipola also come into the starting fifteen.
A win will guarantee England a spot in the semi-finals, but defeat would not necessarily rule out a last four place.
Head Coach Rob Hunter says that the squad is looking forward to what promises to be an entertaining match, saying: “We’re very excited about the game.
“When the pools were announced we knew that this one was going to be a fantastic match-up.
“Playing the Baby Boks in their own back yard will be a memorable experience and I’m sure that there will be a great atmosphere.
“As a squad we’re feeling pretty fresh, we had a tough game against Ireland and we’ve made a few changes from that starting team but we’re very focused on the task in hand and can’t wait to get out there.”
He added: “Of course we’re going for the win, it’s the best way to ensure we make it out of the group, we don’t want to leave it to math. Last year’s game against South Africa was incredibly physical, it was one of the games of the tournament, and we’re expecting exactly the same.”
England U20: 1 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), 2 Koree Britton (Gloucester Rugby), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), 4 Sam Twomey (Harlequins), 5 Dominic Barrow (Leeds Carnegie), 6 Billy Vunipola (London Wasps), 7 Chris Walker (C, Leeds Carnegie), 8 Jack Clifford (Harlequins), 9 Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby), 10 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), 11 Charlie Walker (Harlequins), 12 Ryan Mills (Gloucester Rugby), 13 Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), 14 Marland Yarde (London Irish), 15 Tommy Bell (London Wasps). Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris (London Wasps), 17 Alec Hepburn (London Wasps), 18 Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks), 19 George Merrick (Harlequins), 20 Ben Nutley (Northampton), 21 Ben Spencer (Saracens), 22 Josh Bassett (Bedford Blues), 23 Ben Ransom (Saracens).