Exeter Chiefs duo two of 12 changes for England U20s side to face Fiji U20s

Exeter Chiefs duo Ben Coen and Kane James have been handed their first starts at the 2024 World Rugby U20 Championship as England 20s take on Fiji on Thursday in their second game of the tournament.

The Pool C clash sees England take on Apisai Sailada’s men at Athlone Stadium. England opened their account out in South Africa with a 41-20 victory over Argentina, where debutant Jack Bracken became the second England U20 Men’s player to secure a hat-trick in the tournament after Jonny May in 2010.

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Fly-half Coen, who like former Exeter great Joe Simmonds came through the ranks at Teignmouth RFC, and flanker James are two of 12 changes to the starting XV from round one with captain Finn Carnduff, Leicester Tigers clubmate Ollie Allan and Newcastle Falcons’ Oli Spencer the only other players to retain their places.

First starts are awarded to Cam Miell (Leicester Tigers) Arthur Green (Bath Rugby) and Angus Hall (Saracens), with Green and Hall also set to earn their maiden competitive caps this Thursday.

England U20s head coach Mark Mapletoft said: “Argentina was an incredibly demanding opening fixture to start the tournament with, and the team met those tasks and answered the questions posed to them. We believe it’s right to balance the game time throughout the squad, particularly with the quick turnaround between matchdays.

“It’s a testament to the hard work on and off the pitch that we came through Saturday with a full squad to choose from ahead of Thursday’s Test. Our staff all share a lot of excitement to see these players grab their chance and capitalise on the momentum created from Matchday 1.

“There were many game-changing outputs from players across the matchday squad last time out, and with our consistency in preparation, I have every confidence that will translate into a largely new group that are eager to stake their claim.”

England U20s v Fiji U20s kicks off at 3.30pm UK time and can be watched live on RugbyPassTV for free.

England U20 Men’s team to face Fiji (includes current club, community club and U20 caps)

15 Ioan Jones (Gloucester Rugby, Minchinhampton RFC, 5 caps), 14 Toby Cousins (Northampton Saints, Bugbrooke RFC, 6 caps), 13 Ben Waghorn (Harlequins, Chipstead Rugby Club, 7 caps), 12 Oli Spencer (Newcastle Falcons, Epping Rams Rugby, 6 caps), 11 Angus Hall (Saracens, Sevenoaks Rugby Club, uncapped), 10 Benjamin Coen ( Exeter Chiefs, Teignmouth RFC, 1 cap), 9 Ollie Allan (Leicester Tigers, Hungerford RFC, 1 cap), 1 Cameron Miell (Leicester Tigers, Paul Roos, 1 cap), 2 James Isaacs (Saracens, Hemel Hempstead Camelot RFC, 4 caps), 3 James Halliwell (Bristol Bears, Thornbury RFC, 10 caps), 4 Harvey Cuckson (Bath Rugby, Mold RFC, 2 caps), 5 Olamide Sodeke (Saracens, Blackheath Rugby Club, 5 caps), 6 Finn Carnduff (c) (Leicester Tigers, Market Harborough RFC, 16 caps), 7 Kane James (Exeter Chiefs, St Peters RFC, 5 caps), 8 Arthur Green (Bath Rugby, Frome RFC, uncapped),

Replacements: 16 Craig Wright (Northampton Saints, Braintree Rugby Club, 6 caps), 17 Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks, Broadstreet RFC, 15 caps), 18 Afolabi Fasogbon (Gloucester Rugby, Bishop Wand School, 12 caps), 19 Junior Kpoku (Racing 92, Saracens Amateurs, 5 caps), 20 Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints, Buckingham Rugby Club, 6 caps), 21 Lucas Friday (Harlequins, Bromley RFC, 1 cap), 22 Josh Bellamy (Harlequins, Rosslyn Park, 5 caps), 23 Alex Wills (Sale Sharks, Droitwich Rugby Club, 8 caps)