England Under-20s head coach Alan Dickens has called on his players to learn from the experience and continue their development after naming his 32-man squad for the Under-20s Six Nations.
The squad includes eight players already capped at U20s level, with Alfie Barbeary, Richard Capstick, Rusiate Tuima, Sam Maunder, Manu Vunipola, Ollie Sleightholme, Connor Doherty and Josh Hodge all returning for a second year.
Of the 32 players, only three have not played for England, with Sam Crean (Saracens), Noah Heward (Worcester Warriors) and Gabriel Hamer-Webb (Bath Rugby) yet to represent their country at age-grade level.
The squad will also compete in this summer’s World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy with both experiences serving as key milestones in the development of the young players selected.
“I want to see the players arrive in camp on Sunday with a desire to learn, improve and take in a high level of detail,” Dickens said.
Squad announcement | England men U20s 🌹
Head coach Alan Dickens has named his 32 player squad for the U20 Six Nations Championship.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) January 3, 2020
“We have less than a month to bond as a squad before our first Six Nations fixture so getting them to gel will be a key challenge for the players as well as management team.
“I also want players to enjoy themselves. Being selected for England at any level is a proud moment in their careers and they should remember that. Hopefully, this is the next step in their ultimate dream of playing for the senior side.
“Some of this group will have experienced the Six Nations last year and know how special a competition it is, with fixtures against some of England’s great rivals.”
England open their Under-20s Six Nations campaign against France in Grenoble on Saturday 1 February, before visiting Scotland.
Home games with Ireland and Wales follow before a final-day trip to face Italy.