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Joel Conlon starts for England under-20s

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

By Nick Warren

JoelConlon

Joel Conlon

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Exeter Chiefs flanker Joel Conlon starts for England under-20s in their opening Six Nations match against France.

However, Sandy Park academy colleague Stu Townsend will not feature in Friday's match at the Stade Leo Lagrange in Draguignan (7.55pm).

Conlon is one of only seven players in the 23-man have to have played for the under-20s before, having been part of the squad at last summer's successful IRB Junior World Championship.

Coaches Nick Walshe and Ian Peel will be hoping for a fourth successive title, but head coach Walshe says that performance is key.

He said: “Playing France in France is about as tough as you can get in the Six Nations. We played them twice last season and performed well on both occasions. Will that have a bearing on Friday night? We’d like to think so, but we need to execute our basics well and the rest will take care of itself.”

England under-20s: Earle (Saracens); Kibirige (Newcastle), Tompkins (Saracens), Stephenson (Northampton), Purdy (Leicester); Burns (Gloucester), Braley (Bristol); Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton), Thacker (Leicester), Hill (Leeds), Itoje (Saracens), Ewels (Bath), Moriarty (Gloucester), Conlon (Exeter Chiefs), Chisholm (Harlequins). Reps: Woolstencroft (Bath), Lundberg (Wasps), Jamieson, Ellis (both Bath), Owen (Leicester), Taylor (Loughborough University), Olver, Packman (both Northampton)

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