Afolabi Fasogbon and Chandler Cunningham-South have been selected in Mark Mapletoft’s England under-20s squad to travel to South Africa for the 2023 World Rugby Under-20 Championship.

The Senior Academy Exiles have amassed 15 under-20 appearances between them to date, both being involved in the recent uncapped tour to Georgia in preparation for the summer competition.

Forwards Fasogbon and Cunningham-South will travel to South Africa as part of the 30-player squad captained by Leicester Tigers’ Lewis Chessum.

The tournament, hosted in the Cape Town region, returns for the first time in four years, running from 24 June to 14 July, and featuring the top 12 under-20 rugby nations.

All players have previously been a part of the England Rugby pathways programme, with nine yet to make their debut, as the squad begin preparations at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park on 17th June.

Academy graduate Josh Basham represented England at the previous World Championships in 2019, with Basham, Rory Brand, Ben Loader, Tom Parton and then Leicester Tiger Ben White involved in 2018.

Played over five match days, England is in Pool B where they will face Ireland, Fiji and Australia.


England match schedule

England men’s under-20 v Ireland under-20 – Saturday, 24 June – KO 12:30pm BST

England men’s under-20 v Fiji under-20 – Thursday, 29 June – KO 6:00pm BST

England men’s under-20  v Australia under-20 – Tuesday, 4 July – KO 1:00pm BST


A full playing schedule is available on the World Rugby website, and tickets to the tournament are available here.

England men’s under-20 is part of the England Rugby pathways programme, a vital development tool for future international rugby; of the 48 men’s players capped for England last year, 42 of them played England under-20.

England men’s under-20 Head Coach, Mark Mapletoft, said: “Congratulations to all players selected.

“The World Rugby U20 Championship is the peak of the age-grade calendar year and for many this will be the highlight of their rugby journeys so far.

“The players have learned a lot as a team and about themselves this year, including during our Six Nations campaign and on our recent tour of Georgia, and we’ll be better as a group for it.

“This is the first time since 2019 that the World Rugby U20 Championship has been played, so we’re very excited to take this squad to South Africa and test ourselves against the world’s best teams.

“Our squad reflects the diversity and strength of English rugby with every Premiership club represented, and we trust each player to play with pride every time they pull on an England shirt.”


England men’s World Rugby U20 Championship squad


Afolabi Fasogbon (London Irish)

Archie McArthur (Gloucester)

Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks)

Chandler Cunningham-South (London Irish)

Craig Wright (Northampton Saints)*

Ethan Clarke (Harlequins)*

Finn Carnduff (Leicester Tigers)

Finn Theobald-Thomas (Gloucester)

Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs)

Harry Browne (Harlequins)

Harvey Cuckson (Bath Rugby)*

James Halliwell (Bristol Bears)*

Lewis Chessum (Leicester Tigers)

Nathan Jibulu (Harlequins)

Nathan Michelow (Saracens)*

Tristan Woodman (Sale Sharks)

Zach Carr (Harlequins)*



Alex Wills (Sale Sharks)*

Cassius Cleaves (Harlequins)

Charlie Bracken (Saracens)

Connor Slevin (Harlequins)*

Jacob Cusick (Leicester Tigers)

Joe Jenkins (Bristol Bears)

Joseph Woodward (Leicester Tigers)

Louie Johnson (Newcastle Falcons)

Nye Thomas (Sale Sharks)

Rekeiti Ma'asi-White (Sale Sharks)

Sam Harris (Bath Rugby)

Tobias Elliott (Saracens)

Toby Thame (Northampton Saints)*


*Uncapped England under-20 (note: matches during the recent tour of Georgia were friendlies and therefore not capped)

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