George Ford of Leicester

England U20 Head Coach Rob Hunter has opted for an experienced midfield axis of George Ford at fly half and Owen Farrell and Elliott Daly at 12 and 13, respectively, for Saturday’s crunch IRB Junior World Championship Pool C clash against South Africa in Padova, kick off 7.10pm (UK time). The game will be shown live on Sky Sports 4.

England have made nine changes from the starting XV that played Scotland with Ben Ransom (Saracens), Andy Short (Worcester Warriors), Chris Cook (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Mikey Haywood (Northampton Saints), Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), Charlie Matthews (Harlequins) and captain Alex Gray (Newcastle Falcons) all returning to the starting line up.

Speaking ahead of the match, Hunter said: “We’re happy with what we need to improve on after the Scotland game, the lads have been working hard to get into the right frame of mind to face South Africa.

“We’ve seen that the pressure of getting out of your Pool is immense and the Springboks game will be a huge test for us. They’re a physical side, so we’ll have to make sure we front up and play a disciplined game against them.”

England U20 starting XV v South Africa

15) Ben Ransom (Saracens)
14) Andy Short (Worcester Warriors)
13) Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
12) Owen Farrell (Saracens)
11) Marland Yarde (London Irish)
10) George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
9) Chris Cook (Bath Rugby)
1) Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
2) Mikey Haywood (Northampton Saints)
3) Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks)
4) Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
5) Charlie Matthews (Harlequins)
6) Sam Jones (London Wasps)
7) Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors)
8) Alex Gray (c) (Newcastle Falcons)

Replacements:

16) Koree Britton (Gloucester Rugby)
17) Ryan Bower (Leicester Tigers)
18) Sam Twomey (Harlequins)
19) Matt Everard (Leicester Tigers)
20) Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)
21) Guy Armitage (London Irish)
22) Christian Wade (London Wasps)

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