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- Home games at Exeter, Bedford and Northampton
England U20s men have had their fixtures for the 2019 Six Nations Championship confirmed with home fixtures in Exeter, Bedford and Northampton.
The side will begin their campaign against Ireland at the Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday 1 February (KO 19.15 GMT).
England then take on France on Saturday 9 February at Sandy Park (KO 12.05 GMT), home of Exeter Chiefs, live on Sky Sports.
The U20s next head to the ZipWorld Stadium, Colwyn Bay to face Wales on Friday 22 February (KO 19.05 GMT), live on S4C, before a second home fixture of the tournament with the side playing Italy on Friday 8 March at Bedford Blues’ Goldington Road (19.45 GMT), live on Sky Sports.
Their final fixture of the Six Nations will be against Scotland on Friday 15 March at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens (19.45 GMT), live on Sky Sports.
England U20s, who last won the tournament in 2017, finished runners-up to France in this year’s tournament.
The England U20s programme will be led by pathway performance coaches Steve Bates and Jim Mallinder, with Mark Hopley, James Scaysbrook as well as Richard Whiffin joining the management team as part of the latest coach development programme agreement with Premiership Rugby.
“This is a really important tournament for the players’ development," said Bates."They are exposed to a highly-competitive tournament on the international stage, where the intensity of the games and the scrutiny they’re under is different to anything they would have experienced before.
“It also gives them the opportunity to prepare, interact and play with players they don’t know very well and build a cohesive team very quickly. As potential senior internationals it is something they will have to get used to and this tournament is a great introduction to that.
“We also want to continue to develop our game from the World Rugby U20 Championship in June, the final was a fantastic occasion and we played a lot of open, attacking rugby during the tournament."
Bates added: “Something we learned from the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship in France was the impact of the crowd. It was a fantastic final and an amazing occasion with 18,000 people watching which really raises the level of performance. I’m hoping we get that level of support at Sandy Park from an Exeter following that is renowned for turning out and supporting their club and I hope they will also get behind these young players.
“It’s also beneficial to take these games around the country and Bedford is another place we’re looking forward to playing at.
“To take on Scotland at Franklin’s Gardens in our final fixture will also be a special occasion and it’s nice to end the tournament on home soil in front of our own supporters. That support means so much to the players, it’s a great place to go and watch rugby and I hope as many people as possible come along to cheer the lads on.”
England U20 fixtures:
Ireland v England
Friday 1 February, KO 19.15 GMT
Irish Independent Park, Cork
England v France
Saturday 9 February, KO 12.05 GMT – live on Sky Sports
Sandy Park, Exeter. For tickets, please visit: englandrugby.com/tickets
Wales v England
Friday, 22 February, KO 19.05 GMT – live on S4C
ZipWorld Stadium, Colwyn Bay.
England v Italy
Friday, 8 March, KO 19.45 – live on Sky Sports
Goldington Road, Bedford. For tickets, please visit: englandrugby.com/tickets
England v Scotland
Friday, 15 March, KO 19.45 – live on Sky Sports
Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. For tickets, please visit: englandrugby.com/tickets