A TRIO of Gloucester young guns have been named in the England Under-20s squad for the Junior World Championship.
Billy Burns, Jonny Hill and Ross Moriarty are all named in the 28-man party aiming to defend England’s crown in Auckland.
Coaches Nick Walshe and Ian Peel have named seven players, including Moriarty, who were part of last year’s triumphant squad.
England have continued their fine form following their crowning moment in France but only managed a second-place finish in the Six Nations.
But Walshe is pleased with the progress of his charges and is confident they will be firing on all cylinders in The Land of The Long White Cloud.
He said: “We’re pleased with the balance and experience in this squad, and we are confident that they will perform well in each of our five matches.
“While England U20 are the holders of the trophy, this group hasn’t won anything – we enjoyed a successful Six Nations, and while it was disappointing not to win it, as a group we came on hugely. The key is to keep building on that momentum.”
England kick-off their campaign against Italy on June 2, before taking on Australia and Argentina.
Captain Callum Braley added: “It’s massively exciting to be heading down to New Zealand to defend our title. Rugby is obviously huge over there and there will be some pressure on us, but we will use that as a positive and look to perform as best we can.”
England Under-20s squad:
Forwards: Biyi Alo (Saracens), James Chisholm (Harlequins), Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Jonny Hill (Gloucester Rugby), Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Gus Jones (London Wasps), Alex Lundberg (London Wasps), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby), Harry Rudkin (Leicester Tigers), Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers) , Jack Walker (Leeds Carnegie), Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby)
Backs: Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby, captain), Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Nathan Earle (Saracens), Tom Fowlie (London Irish), Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues), Sam Olver (Northampton Saints), Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers), Howard Packman (Northampton Saints), Harry Sloan (Harlequins), Tom Stephenson (Northampton Saints), Henry Taylor (Loughborough University), Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
2014 JWC tournament schedule
England U20 v Italy
England U20 v Australia
England U20 v Argentina