England U20s take on South Africa in the semi-finals of the World Rugby U20 Championship tomorrow, with Tom Parton, Rory Brand and academy graduate Josh Basham all named in Steve Bates’ match day squad (kick-off 6pm BST).
Parton, who is set to play in his second junior World Cup semi-final in as many years, starts at full-back, while Basham gets the nod in the back-row. Scrum-half Brand is amongst the replacements as England look to make it through the final for the fifth consecutive year.
“We’re into the knockout stages of the competition now, so we need to raise the tempo of our game and be more accurate as well as play at a more intense pace,” said England U20s head coach Bates.
“At this stage of the competition the stakes are high and we need to be able to play under that type of pressure while also being able to raise our game.
“We’ve been able to rotate the squad quite nicely throughout the tournament, we’ve got two Premiership players coming back into the side who didn’t play in our final pool game so they will be fresh and will add a great deal to the team.
“My message to the players on Tuesday will be a simple one, these opportunities don’t come around too often, we are in the semi-final of a wonderful competition, playing southern hemisphere opposition and I want them to show their class. The key thing is not to be overawed by the occasion, but to go out there and attack them.”
15. Tom Parton (London Irish)
14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)
12. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
11. Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
9. Ben White (Leicester Tigers)
1. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)
2. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
8. Josh Basham (London Irish)
16. Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)
17. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
18. Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
19. Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby)
20. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
21. Rory Brand (London Irish)
22. James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
23. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
England U20 fixtures and results:
England 39-18 Argentina
England 43-5 Italy
England 35-10 Scotland
England v South Africa, Narbonne, 6pm BST, live on ITV 4
Finals day - Beziers, 17 June