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England U20s call on Walker and Owen

Jack Walker and Will Owen have beend called up by England U20s ahead of their Six Nations game against Scotland on Friday at Netherdale.

Leeds Carnegie hooker Walker comes into the side for Harry Thacker, who has returned to Leicester, and the 17-year-old is set to become the second youngest U20s player behind Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie.

The only other change sees Tigers flanker Owen come in for Exeter’s Joel Conlon while Leicester prop Harry Rudkin and Exeter scrum-half Stuart Townsend come onto the replacements bench.

After the 21-15 defeat against France in their opening game, Head Coach Nick Walshe says that he’s looking for a reaction from his players.

He said: “It was frustrating against France because we know that we could have caused them a few more problems, but it just wasn’t to be in that game. We’ve got faith in the back-line to deliver this week and hopefully the forwards can create a platform and we can go out there and perform like I know we can.”

“Jack’s a really talented player. It was a shame to lose Harry but he’s gone back to Leicester which is great for him, and it gives us a chance to give Jack a game which is something we had planned to do later in the tournament anyway. But Jack is a very good player and I’m sure he’ll stand up to the Scottish challenge.”

England U20s: Nathan Earle (Saracens); Zach Kibirige (Newcastle), Nick Tompkins (Saracens), Tom Stephenson (Northampton), Henry Purdy (Leicester); Billy Burns (Gloucester), Callum Braley (Bristol, Capt.); Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton), Jack Walker (Leeds), Paul Hill (Leeds); Maro Itoje (Saracens), Charlie Ewels (Bath); Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Will Owen (Leicester), James Chisholm (Harlequins).

Replacements: Tom Woolstencroft (Bath), Alex Lundberg (London Wasps), Harry Rudkin (Leicester), Tom Ellis (Bath), Joel Conlon (Exeter), Stuart Townsend (Exeter), Sam Olver (Northampton), Howard Packman (Northampton).

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