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Home > Blogs > Rupert Bates - A weekly blog from the world of rugby
Your NewsRupert Bates - A weekly blog from the world of rugby

Wednesday 16th June 2010
England Under 20s v Australia - RFU press release

England Under20s face Australia tomorrow, Thursday June 17, in the semi-final of the IRB Junior World Championships in Argentina.

Having won both semi-finals in the previous two tournaments in Wales and then Japan, England know what it takes to make the final but will be wary of a very impressive Australian side.

Full back Tom Homer (London Irish), the leading points scorer of all time in the IRB Junior World Championships, with 115 points, proved he is human after all by missing a couple of kicks against France but is not concerned:

"I get on the pitch and try and do the best I can. The two kicks I missed against France, weren't an issue, though I may have been focusing too much on other parts of my game. Fortunately Freddie was knocking them over pretty well that day."

"Australia will be very tough opponents, I've never played against them before so looking at them in our analysis has been key for me. We've obviously been looking very hard at whatever it will take to beat them."

Off the pitch the England U20s side work hard at getting their recuperation and preparation right and away from the gruelling schedule, Homer himself particularly enjoys following the basketball stars of the NBA:

"I'm a huge fan of the NBA, I'm a Boston Celtics supporter, unfortunately last night we lost to the LA Lakers, so it's all down to the last game tomorrow. Coming back tomorrow having won to sit down and watch the Celtics win would be great. I play basketball with my brothers at home where we have a hoop, it's a nice way to relax. It's my passion away from rugby."

Centre Tom Casson of Harlequins, also reflected on the positive attitude surrounding England's training base in Rosario:

"The mood in the camp is great. We noticed from the start that it's a very friendly positive squad. We've all got a lot of friends here and that gives us a lot of confidence which is really important going into a big game."

Casson, like every member of the England squad and management team is wary of the threat posed by the junior Wallabies and has a large amount of respect for them as a team:

"Australia is a huge hurdle for us, we've come through a lot of tough games and this one will be another massive one for us. Looking at them they clearly have a lot of strength and depth in their side so they'll be difficult to overcome. It should be a really good challenge for us."

The game will be a huge personal challenge for me, I'm delighted to have been picked. It looks like it's got to be a really tough game but that's what we're here for."

The game, which sees England return to the Stadio Coloso del Parque, home of Newell's Old Boys FC, kicks off at 2.10pm local time. That makes it a 6.10pm start back in the UK, where it will be shown live on Sky Sports 2.

England U20

15. Tom Homer (London Irish)
14. Christian Wade (London Wasps)
13. Andrew Forsyth (Leicester Tigers)
12. Tom Casson (Harlequins)
11. Sam Smith (Harlequins)
10. Rory Clegg (Harlequins)
9. Charlie Davies (Stade Francais)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins)
2. Jamie George (Saracens)
3. Shaun Knight (Gloucester)
4. Calum Green (Leicester Tigers)
5. Charlie Matthews (Harlequins)
6. Jamie Gibson (London Irish)
7. Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie, captain)
8. Jackson Wray (Saracens)

Replacements
16. Arthur Ellis (London Wasps)
17. Lee Imiolek (Sale Sharks)
18. George Kruis (Saracens)
19. Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons)
20. Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers)
21. Freddie Burns (Gloucester)
22. Jonny May (Gloucester)

Posted by: , on June 16th 2010 on 03:46pm0 Comments
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