Former Suffolk-based pupils named in England rugby union Under-20 squad for World Cup
- Credit: Archant
Former St Joseph’s College pupil Lewis Ludlam and Ipswich-born ex-Framlingham School pupil Will Owen have been named in the England squad for the Under-20 World Cup which is to be held in Italy, next month.
Northampton Saints’ Ludlam and Leicester Tigers’ Owen feature in Jon Callard’s 27-man squad as England, winners for the past two years, look to defend their crown.
The Red Rose play Japan and Wales at Stadio San Michele Calvisano on June 2 and 6 respectively, before finishing the group stages with a game against France on June 10 at Stadio Luigi Zaddanella.
Callard said: “We have a good balance of experience, with players returning from last year and the new group coming in. Charlie Ewels will captain the side after doing a fantastic job during the Six Nations.
“For the entire squad it is a huge honour to represent their country in a world championship. Some of the players are only a year behind those who have come through and been capped at senior level this year.
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“The likes of George Ford, Jack Nowell and Owen Farrell have all made the immediate step-up in recent years and they are now an inspiration for this group.
“Crucial to the development of players is the partnership with the professional clubs and their respective academies and that is a vital link across all our programmes.”
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He added: “We had a good Six Nations but we didn’t hit our full potential or perform as well as we would have liked,” he added.
“We had some tough games, and to come through them and win was a credit to the players.
“I am confident now with the right preparation, and players coming back from injury, that we will get the mix we need and another 25-30 per cent out of our performances, certainly with ball in hand and in attack.
“Of course, we have got a very tough pool to get through. In the Six Nations, we were undone by a very good Welsh team who managed the conditions better than we did.
“Against France, we played well – particularly in the second half – and we’ll need to do that again if we are to beat them this time around.
“Japan will be well organised and drilled. They will bring huge energy and passion and will be loyal and committed. It is certainly going to be an exciting campaign.”