By Olyy
#66431
Congrats to Asher and Alex!

ENGLAND U20 MEN'S TEAM TO FACE ITALY
15 Ben Redshaw (Newcastle Falcons)
14 Toby Cousins (Northampton Saints) *
13 Ben Waghorn (Harlequins) *
12 Sean Kerr (Harlequins)
11 Alex Wills (Sale Sharks) *
10 Rory Taylor (Gloucester Rugby)
9 Archie McParland (Northampton Saints)
1 Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks) *
2 Craig Wright (Northampton Saints) *
3 Billy Sela (Bath Rugby)
4 Olamide Sodeke (Saracens)
5 Junior Kpoku (Racing 92)
6 Finn Carnduff (c) (Leicester Tigers) *
7 Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints)
8 Zach Carr (Harlequins) *

Replacements
16 Jacob Oliver (Newcastle Falcons)
17 Scott Kirk (Bath Rugby)
18 James Halliwell (Bristol Bears) *
19 Joe Bailey (Exeter Chiefs) *
20 Nathan Michelow (Saracens) *
21 Ben Douglas (Newcastle Falcons)
22 Josh Bellamy (Harlequins)
23 Ollie Spencer (Newcastle)

*denotes a player previously capped at U20 level

https://www.englandrugby.com/news/artic ... tions-2024
RinTin liked this
By RinTin
#66435
So Asher back at loosehead again despite Axe insisting he is a tighthead. I can feel a real club vs country row coming up.
By dinogyro
#66437
I don't know enough about it, so will this help Asher (more versatile) or hinder (role confusion)?
By RinTin
#66439
dinogyro wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2024 2:28 pm
I don't know enough about it, so will this help Asher (more versatile) or hinder (role confusion)?
Borthwick reportedly met with Axe back end of last year and says he saw Asher as a loosehead. Axe reportedly said we see him as a tighthead. That's the only position Axe has played him in. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/ ... mp-england

Imo it slightly hinders. Before 2 props were introduced on the bench it would have been a huge positive, but now teams are allowed 2 specialist props in each position - not as much need to cover both. Also maybe slows his development in 1 position if he is being switched between the 2.
By Olyy
#66440
I remember hearing a few pro props saying how specialising on one side or the other does require different strengths that you naturally build through scrummaging exclusively on that side

I think at Asher's age it won't matter too much as he's so crazily young - hopefully, as mentioned above, it doesn't turn into a tug of war between the RFU wanting him at 1 and him/us wanting him at 3

Can't get my head around the RFU wanting him at 1 tbh, unless it's specifically just for this u20s campaign that they do, as they don't rate the other options at 1 but have options at 3 (no idea if that's the case, I don't know much of anything about the other prop options) - tighthead is such a problem position in England, why would they want to move one of the brightest prospects away from it?
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#66446
How can you say tight head is a problem in England? Why, this very weekend, we are starting the Titan that is Will Fecking Stewart, and England management only expects to have to wheel out Dan Cole for another 5 years.
User avatar
By Lord Elpus
#66489
Italy U20 11 - 36 England U20

Highlights (Pollock at 7 looks a prospect)

By Bucks1861
#66522
And again

England U20s (vs Wales, Friday)
15. Ioan Jones (Gloucester Rugby)
14. Toby Cousins (Northampton Saints)
13. Ben Redshaw (Newcastle Falcons)
12. Ollie Spencer (Newcastle Falcons)
11. Alex Wills (Sale Sharks)
10. Rory Taylor (Gloucester Rugby)
9. Archie McParland (Northampton Saints)*
1. Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks)
2. Craig Wright (Northampton Saints)
3. Billy Sela (Bath Rugby)
4. Olamide Sodeke (Saracens)
5. Junior Kpoku (Racing 92)
6. Finn Carnduff (capt – Leicester Tigers)
7. Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints)
8. Nathan Michelow (Saracens)

Replacements:
16. Jacob Oliver (Newcastle Falcons)
17. Scott Kirk (Bath Rugby)
18. James Halliwell (Bristol Bears)
19. Joe Bailey (Exeter Chiefs)
20. Kane James (Exeter Chiefs)*
21. Ben Douglas (Newcastle Falcons)
22. Josh Bellamy (Harlequins)
23. George Makepeace-Cubitt (Rams RFC) *

* denotes new cap at U20s level
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By Halifaxshark
#66523
Please can anyone explain why Henry Arundell and Jack Willis cannot play for the senior side because they play club rugby in France, but the number 5, Junior Kpoku can play for the 20s but plays club rugby in France?
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By SSR
#66524
Just noticed that Wills Austin ( Sale Sharks ) is named in the Welsh U20 squad.
Good for him and good luck.
According to our Offy, Wills is a Hooker.
I really do not know enough about our younger players.
Just a query, if he gets a full cap, will we have to lose him to a Welsh side ?
By RinTin
#66525
Halifaxshark wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 6:28 pm
Please can anyone explain why Henry Arundell and Jack Willis cannot play for the senior side because they play club rugby in France, but the number 5, Junior Kpoku can play for the 20s but plays club rugby in France?
He's not signed a senior contract anywhere, only academy. Hasn't even played for Racing. U 20's is viewed differently anyway because it doesn't even tie a player to that nation. In theory this could draw him back to England when it comes time to signing a senior contract.

I see no issue with Jack and Henry being excluded, but this is a debate for another topic I would imagine.
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User avatar
By poyntonshark
#66530
U20 hasn't tied anyone to Wales since 2016, as far as I can tell U20 has never tied a player to England. Playing for the Senior XV a side and Next Senior XV a side (plus some more complicated derivations with regards to 7's) ties a player to a national side. Lists of Union nominated Next NAtional side can be found here if you are interested
User avatar
By SSR
#66532
Thanks for the info.
I was asking about if he got a full cap whilst still at Sale ( not U20 ).
Not sure if Wales expect full internationals to move back to Wales to pursue their
career.
User avatar
By poyntonshark
#66533
Ah.

I don't think Wales currently selects for full internationals from those not playing in Wales. Isn't that why WGJ moved back?
User avatar
By Yareet
#66534
poyntonshark wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 6:54 am
Ah.

I don't think Wales currently selects for full internationals from those not playing in Wales. Isn't that why WGJ moved back?
Wales’ captain would like a word :mrgreen:

They do select from outside Wales but I believe that once that player’s contract renewal comes up they have a decision to make.

If they have fewer than 25 caps and are offered a competitive contract by a region, they need to move to Wales to keep playing Test rugby.
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By RinTin
#66536
Henry Thomas is a good example as he was playing abroad without being capped previously. He could therefore be picked. Guys like Josh Adams, Ross Moriarty, Jonah Holmes, Thomas Young were all capped while playing outside Wales, but then needed to move back at contract end if they wished to continue internationally.

I think there may have been a loophole which was closed, something to do with not changing the terms of the contract when it was renewed or something like that (Tompkins for example pre hitting 25 caps last year).

Expect to see Tshiunza, Daff and Reffell playing in Wales in the next few seasons.
Last edited by RinTin on Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Olyy
#66537
Yeah, the loophole was something along the lines of Exeter repeatedly extending Tom Francis' existing contract so he was never out of contract/in a position to receive an offer from a Welsh club
RinTin liked this
By Olyy
#66550
Also on BBC iPlayer

Wills has a try and almost scored a second, but the bounce being a few inches out meant it turned to an assist instead

Scrum completely dominant
User avatar
By Lord Elpus
#66553
England should have scored twice as many. Wills butchered what should have been the 4th try and England didn't get full value from their scrum dominance - yet again the backs lacked fluidity.

Enjoy Asher :-
By dinogyro
#66555
Quote of the night from the ref talking to the captains after a bit of a scuffle "Boys, I'm not angry with you, just disappointed".

She seemed to think that Wales were 'in' the scrum so mainly gave free kicks instead of penalties. Asher's oppo in the scrum did pull him down a couple of times, but whenever the ref was their side, England won it.
User avatar
By Major Bloodnok
#66574
dinogyro wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:48 am
Quote of the night from the ref talking to the captains after a bit of a scuffle "Boys, I'm not angry with you, just disappointed".

She seemed to think that Wales were 'in' the scrum so mainly gave free kicks instead of penalties. Asher's oppo in the scrum did pull him down a couple of times, but whenever the ref was their side, England won it.
Their tighthead lost his bind on Asher several times early on but wasn't penalised for it.
By DavenportSharky
#66576
I think she refereed very sensibly. If she had penalised the Welsh props by the book the whole match would have been a non contest with prop yellows. If you are in trouble at the lineout you just lose possession. If you are in trouble in the scrum you concede penalties and eventually yellow cards.
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By dinogyro
#66596
Yes, I totally agree, my comment was meant as commentary rather than criticism of the ref.
By Bucks1861
#66683
v Scotland. Congratulations to our two boys.


England Under-20s side to face Scotland

15 Ioan Jones (Gloucester Rugby)
14 Toby Cousins (Northampton Saints)
13 Ben Redshaw (Newcastle Falcons)
12 Sean Kerr (Harlequins)
11 Alex Wills (Sale Sharks)
10 Josh Bellamy (Harlequins)
9 Archie McParland (Northampton Saints)

1 Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks)
2 Craig Wright (Northampton Saints)
3 Billy Sela (Bath Rugby)
4 Joe Bailey (Exeter Chiefs)
5 Finn Carnduff (c) (Leicester Tigers)
6 Nathan Michelow (Saracens)
7 Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints)
8 Zach Carr (Harlequins)

Replacements:
16 Jacob Oliver (Newcastle Falcons)
17 Scott Kirk (Bath Rugby)
18 Afolabi Fasogbon (Gloucester Rugby)
19 Harry Browne (Harlequins)
20 Kane James (Exeter Chiefs)
21 Ben Douglas (Newcastle Falcons)
22 Rory Taylor (Gloucester Rugby)
23 Ben Waghorn (Harlequins)
Olyy liked this
By Olyy
#66685
Patreece Bell starting for Ireland u20s vs Wales
Will Austin on the bench for Wales
User avatar
By Lord Elpus
#66703
Scotland U20 17 : 30 England U20 (bp)

Asher was lord of the scrum forcing at least 3 scrum pens against the Scots 3 who must have been coached by David Sole given how quickly he folded in half.

England's pack lost force after Asher was subbed after about 65 mins. Wills made a few errors but doesn't get much of an opportunity. England need to find a better 9.
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