England U20 Men to face Ireland
Mark Mapletoft’s England U20 Men’s team will return to the Recreation Ground in Bath next March to face Ireland in their penultimate 2024 U20 Six Nations battle, with tickets available now.
With the venue also selected to host England’s Round 2 meeting with Wales (Friday 9 February 2024, 19:15 kick-off), the pathway squad arrive back to home comforts on Avonside next March for an encounter with Richie Murphy’s Ireland. It will be the first time since 2010 that England have utilised one home venue for an U20 Six Nations campaign.
England open their campaign with a trip to Italy (2 February, 19:15 GMT kick-off) before the match with Wales, completing their 2024 Six Nations offering with ties against Scotland (23 February, 19:15 GMT kick-off), Ireland (8 March, 19:15 GMT kick-off) and France (15 March, 20:00 GMT kick-off).
The fixture against the reigning U20 Six Nations champions and World Rugby U20 Championship finalists takes place on Friday 8 March 2024 at the Recreation Ground, kicking-off at 19:15 GMT and will be broadcast live on BBC.
Ireland emerged 36-24 victors at Musgrave Park, Cork in the 2023 competition en route to consecutive Grand Slams, Tobias Elliot (2) and Joe Jenkins dotting down for England in the final round match-up in March.
The most recent face-off between the sides saw them play out an entertaining 34-all draw in the World Championship pool stages in June, with the two most decorated unions in U20 Six Nations history (nine-time winners to Ireland’s five) now renewing their rivalry at The Rec.
Alongside U20 Men’s assistant coach Andy Titterrell, Mapletoft selected his 32-member 2023/24 Elite Playing Squad this October after a fourth-place finish in the recent World Rugby U20 Championships in South Africa.
With representatives from all 10 Premiership Rugby academies and 12 previously-capped players involved, the age-grade will look to further refine their craft with friendly matches against Bath Rugby (6 February, 14:00 kick-off) and Oxford University (13 February, 17:00 kick-off) to prepare for the Six Nations.
In what will be his second major tournament in charge, the head coach commented further on his selection and taking that 2024 cohort onto the continental stage for the first time.
Mapletoft said: “In the weeks following our squad announcement, the selected group have gained experience in National Leagues, BUCS Super Rugby, the Premiership Rugby Cup and the Premiership.
“The group will now have the chance to play in Bath twice next year, it’s an historic venue and we welcomed an 11,000-strong crowd to The Rec earlier this year against France – we anticipate more fantastic support in 2024.
“We have the opportunity now to make it our home over the course of the tournament and turn it into a real fortress, although we are acutely aware of the danger Richie’s [Murphy] side poses.
“Ireland have proved their credentials in recent years with back-to-back Grand Slam-wins, they are a team of the highest calibre at this level and we are prepared to take on that challenge.”
ENGLAND U20 MEN'S SIX NATIONS FIXTURES
2 February - Italy v England - 19:15 – Venue TBC
9 February - England v Wales - 19:15 – The Recreation Ground
23 February - Scotland v England - 19:15 – Venue TBC
8 March - England v Ireland - 19:15 – The Recreation Ground
15 March - France v England - 20:00 – Venue TBC
ENGLAND U20 MEN 2023/24 ELITE PLAYING SQUAD
Ollie Allan (Leicester Tigers)
Joe Bailey (Exeter Chiefs) *
Josh Bellamy (Harlequins)
Jack Bennett (Bath Rugby)
Harry Browne (Harlequins) *
Tom Burrow (Sale Sharks)
Finn Carnduff (Leicester Tigers) *
Zach Carr (Harlequins) *
Toby Cousins (Northampton Saints) *
Afolabi Fasogbon (Gloucester Rugby) *
Will Glister (Northampton Saints)
James Halliwell (Bristol Bears) *
Kane James (Exeter Chiefs)
Ioan Jones (Gloucester Rugby)
Sean Kerr (Harlequins)
Reuben Logan (Northampton Saints)
Archie McParland (Northampton Saints)
Nathan Michelow (Saracens) *
Cameron Miell (Leicester Tigers)
Charlie Myall (Leicester Tigers)
Jacob Oliver (Newcastle Falcons)
Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks) *
Henry Pollock (Northampton Saints)
Ben Redshaw (Newcastle Falcons)
Lucas Schmid (Harlequins)
Malelili Satala-Navlivou (Leicester Tigers)
Billy Sela (Bath Rugby)
Olamide Sodeke (Saracens)
Rory Taylor (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Waghorn (Harlequins) *
Alex Wills (Sale Sharks) *
Craig Wright (Northampton Saints) *
*denotes a player previously capped at England U20 Men’s level