Match Preview


Henry Pollock
With 73 points between them Round 1, we should be in for a treat when England host Wales in a highly-anticipated 2024 U20 Six Nations match-up.

The two rivals meet at Bath’s Recreation Ground, just on the English side of the border, and with a 14,500 crowd expected it should make for a raucous atmosphere.

Both teams made strong starts to their campaigns, with Wales scoring two tries in the final 10 minutes to beat Scotland 37-29.

Wales led 20-17 at the break in Colwyn Bay but Scotland looked set to claim the spoils when Freddie Douglas crossed for his second try.

That was until Walker Price completed a double of his own to put Wales back in front before Rhodri Lewis sealed the victory with four minutes to play.

Meanwhile, it was the Henry Pollock show in Treviso as the flanker scored a hat-trick in England’s 36-11 win away to Italy.

The flanker scored twice in a first half which also featured a Finn Carnduff try as the visitors went in 22-6 in front at the break.

Pollock set up Josh Bellamy to seal England’s bonus point and though Valerio Siciliano responded for Italy, the Northampton Saints prospect completed the scoring by sealing his treble late on.

England won their last match-up 37-21, while Wales are seeking their first win this fixture since 2020.


BBC iPlayer will be showing the match across the UK, while S4C will have additionall coverage in Wales. The match kicks-off at 7.15pm.


England have made four changes, with injuries taking their toll against Italy.

Saracens’ Nathan Michelow earned 30 minutes as a replacement against Italy last Friday and now replaces Zach Carr for his seventh cap in the only alteration to the starting pack. 

Ben Redshaw moves further infield to partner Newcastle Falcons clubmate Ollie Spencer in the centres, replacing injured Harlequins midfielders Sean Kerr and Ben Waghorn. Ioan Jones assumes the 15 shirt for his first U20 start.

Archie McParland of Northampton Saints is set for his first U20 bow at the Rec after his late withdrawal from the matchday squad in Treviso. Exeter Chiefs back-row Kane James and Rams RFC’s George Makepeace-Cubitt could also earn their first U20 caps from the replacement bench. 

Wales have made three changes to the starting line-up – all in the pack – plus two positional switches for the encounter in Bath.

Freddie Chapman replaces Jordan Morris at loosehead prop while RGC’s tighthead prop Patrick Nelson will make his debut on the other side of the scrum. Leicester Tigers’ Harry Beddall is elevated from the bench to get the nod at openside flanker.

Lucas de la Rua moves from openside to blindside flanker to allow Beddall his starting berth while Osian Thomas moves from the back row to second row to pack down alongside Jonny Green.


England Rugby pathway scrum coach Nathan Catt said: “Our U20 Men had a really productive week at Bisham Abbey and that’s been reflected in our output in meetings, skills sessions and on-field training. We have a positive mindset going into Friday,” he stated. 

“Matches against Wales are always special occasions with each side fighting for bragging rights, we expect high intensity from a Welsh team that will feel confident after last week’s result. 

“Of course, it’s fantastic to be returning back to Bath where I spent my career as a player and a coach, I’m sure our home support will be eager to cheer us on to another positive result as we look to build momentum into this tournament.” 

Wales head coach Richard Whiffin said: “These are the times you live for – 14,500 at the Rec, a great stadium, England v Wales, the boys will get a lot out of the experience, and these are the things we want our younger players to experience,” said Whiffin.

“The boys that played against Scotland did a great job. We saw this as an opportunity to bring some new guys in for the England game – they have an opportunity to match the muscle in set piece and also provide a bit of difference around the field.”

England U20: 15. Ioan Jones, 14. Toby Cousins, 13. Ben Redshaw, 12. Ollie Spencer, 11. Alex Wills, 10. Rory Taylor, 9. Archie McParland, 1. Asher Opoku-Fordjour, 2. Craig Wright, 3. Billy Sela, 4. Olamide Sodeke, 5. Junior Kpoku, 6. Finn Carnduff, 7. Henry Pollock, 8. Nathan Michelow

Replacements: 16. Jacob Oliver, 17. Scott Kirk, 18. James Halliwell, 19. Joe Bailey, 20. Kane James, 21. Ben Douglas, 22. Josh Bellamy, 23. George Makepeace-Cubitt

Wales U20: 15. Huw Anderson, 14. Harry Rees-Weldon, 13. Louie Hennessey, 12. Harri Ackermann, 11. Walker Price, 10. Harri Wilde, 9. Ieuan Davies, 1. Freddie Chapman, 2. Harry Thomas, 3. Patrick Nelson, 4. Jonny Green, 5. Osian Thomas, 6. Lucas de la Rua, 7. Harry Beddall, 8. Morgan Morse

Replacements: 16. Ewan Wood, 17. Jordan Morris, 18. Sam Scott, 19. Nick Thomas, 20. Owen Conquer, 21. Rhodri Lewis, 22. Harri Ford, 23. Macs Page