Alex Coles and Fraser Dingwall are named in England under-20 squad for Six Nations campaign
Alex Coles and Fraser Dingwall have been named in the England under-20s elite player squad for the 2018/19 season.
The former Cambridge Rugby Club mini and youth players are part of a 32-man squad will compete in the 2019 Six Nations as well as the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Argentina, led by Steve Bates and Jim Mallinder.
Dingwall, who plays for Northampton Saints, was part of the England under-20s squad last season, but Coles, who only finished at the Perse School last summer, is one of 18 newcomers to the squad. He is also on the books at Franklin’s Gardens.
“Selecting the 32-player squad was a very difficult task which reflects the quality of the group,” said Bates.
“We have several players with Premiership experience and that speaks volumes of how good they are. The expectation for us now is to raise the standard and quality of performance from last season’s group and for the players to continue to develop in this environment.
“We used close to 40 players in last year’s Six Nations, there will always be injuries and those outside of the 32 will still be required so my message to them is to stay fit, stay interested and to continue playing well.
“One of the big things about under-20s rugby is that we want the players to drive the game and environment we create. These are the best players at their age and we want them to perform like it on and off the pitch.
“The wider group will meet on Sunday and during the week we need to set some parameters around how we want to play, for the players to continue to get to know each other on and off the pitch so it becomes instinctive when they play, as well as to develop our set piece and defensive organisation.”
England open their Six Nations campaign against Ireland at the Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday, February 1, kick off 7.15pm.
The squad will meet at Bisham Abbey on Sunday (January 6) for a week-long training camp.