The squads for the five visiting nations have been named and there are sons and brothers of current and former internationals aplenty as the cream of the young professional rugby talent across Europe assembles for a unique tournament in the Welsh capital.
Lucas Brooke – son of former New Zealand back row legend Zinzan Brooke
Dan Lancaster – son of former England head coach Stuart Lancaster
Joshua Brennan – son of former Leinster, Toulouse and Ireland back row man Trevor Brennan
Theo Ntamack – brother of France No 10 Romain and son of ex-France and Toulouse star Emile Ntamack
Nathan Doak – son of former Ulster scrum half and Ireland and Georgia backs coach Neil Doak
Alessandro Garbisi – brother of current Italy outside half Paolo Garbisi
Murray Redpath – brother of Bath and Scotland centre Cameron and son of ex-Scotland skipper Bryan Redpath
Christian Townsend – son of former Scotland and Lions outside half Gregor Townsend, current Scottish coach and Lions backs coach
The Championship, which will be played in five rounds with three consecutive games on each day at the Arms Park from 19 June to 13 July, has taken the summer place of this year’s postponed World Rugby Junior Championship.
Teams will be permitted to use matchday squads of 26 players and organisers are hoping there will be no disruptions to this season’s 14th edition of the tournament. The 2020 event was suspended with three games left to play due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cancelled in August with no winner announced.
Ireland completed a Triple Crown in 2020 and were the last winners in 2019, when they completed the Grand Slam.
SIX NATIONS U20 CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS
2020 Tournament suspended; 2019 Ireland; 2018 France; 2017 England; 2016 Wales; 2015 England;
2014 France; 2013 England; 2012 England; 2011 England; 2010 Ireland; 2009 France; 2008 England
Head Coach Richie Murphy has named a 34-man that includes six players who were involved in last year’s campaign, when they clinched the Triple Crown with wins over Scotland (38-26), Wales (36-22) and England (39-21).
Munster back rower Alex Kendellen will captain a side that kicks-off its campaign against Scotland on on Saturday, 19 June. Alex Soroka and Tim Corkery, who both recently made their senior Leinster debuts, are among the players featuring for a second season
The others are Ulster duo Conor McKee and Ben Moxham, Connacht’s Cathal Forde and Ben Murphy of Leinster.
“We’ve been working hard for a number of weeks and it’s an exciting time for these young players, who have the honour of representing the wider group in Cardiff,” said Murphy.
“It has been a challenging year but the players have come in, worked hard and bonded well, and I’ve been impressed by their work-rate, commitment and application. Now our focus turns to performance and Saturday’s opening game against Scotland.
Ireland U20 Squad
George Saunderson (Ulster), Jack Boyle (Leinster), Temi Asewunmi Lasisi (Leinster), Mark Donnelly (Munster), Eoin de Buitléar (Connacht), Lee Barron (Leinster), Ronan Loughnane (Leinster), Sam Illo (Leinster), Darragh Murray (Connacht), Harry Sheridan (Ulster), Mark Morrisey (Leinster), Alex Soroka (Leinster), Oisin McCormack (Connacht), Alex Kendellen (Munster, captain), Reuben Crothers (Ulster), Donnacha Byrne (Connacht), Jack Kelleher (Munster), Daniel Okeke (Munster), Liam Bishop (Nottingham University)
Conor McKee (Ulster), Nathan Doak (Ulster), Ben Murphy (Leinster), Tim Corkery (Leinster), James Humphreys (Ulster), Cathal Forde (Connacht), Ben Carson (Ulster), Shane Jennings (Connacht), Ben Moxham (Ulster), Conor Rankin (Ulster), Chay Mullins (Bristol Bears), Josh O’Connor (Leinster), Jamie Osborne (Leinster), Chris Cosgrave (Leinster), Jude Postlethwaite (Ulster)
England have named a 32-man squad that also contains six players returning for a second tournament. Among them is Gloucester flanker Jack Clement, who was called-up by Eddie Jones for the senior squad at the end of 2020.
Leicester Tigers scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet has featured in the Premiership and Challenge Cup this season.
Head coach Alan Dickens has already seen his squad in action in behind closed doors games with Scotland and Wales. They kick-off against the reigning U20 world champions France.
“In a challenging season the lads have been excellent and I’ve been pleased we managed to get some game time along the way,” said Dickens.
“Obviously only 32 have been fortunate enough to make the squad. Others have missed out due to injury, but it has certainly been a wider squad effort going all the way back to November last year when we played our first North v South match at St George’s Park.
“We’ve had a couple of camps in the last six weeks which helped bring the group together. The preparation has been good and the commitment from the players has been fantastic.
“We have a few coming back for a second year at U20s, but the rest weren’t fortunate to play at U18 level last year due to COVID.”
England U20 Squad
Harvey Beaton (Saracens), Phil Brantingham (Newcastle Falcons), Lucas Brooke (London Irish), Arthur Clark (Gloucester), Jack Clement (Gloucester), Luke Green (London Irish), Alex Groves (Bristol Bears), Tarek Haffar (London Irish), Lewis Holsey (Worcester Warriors), Ethan Hunt (Gloucester), Emeka Ilione (Leicester Tigers), Nahum Merigan (Bath), Ewan Richards (Bath), Sam Riley (Harlequins), Ollie Stonham (Saracens), Harry Taylor (Gloucester), Freddie Thomas (Gloucester), Archie Vanes (Leicester Tigers)
Charlie Atkinson (Wasps), Seb Atkinson (Worcester Warriors), Deago Bailey (Bristol Bears), Orlando Bailey (Bath), Jack Bates (Bristol Bears), Louis Hillman-Cooper (Gloucester), Dan Lancaster (Leeds Tykes), Tom Litchfield (Northampton Saints), Tommy Mathews (Northampton Saints), Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks), Arthur Relton (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), Fin Smith (Worcester Warriors), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers)
Scotland head coach Sean Lineen has named a 32-man squad which will be captained by Glasgow warriors second row Alex Samuel.
Scotland’s opening fixture sees them face Ireland on 19 June, followed by games against England on 25 June, Italy on 1 July, France on 7 July and Wales on 13 July.
“Over the last few months we have been preparing well for this tournament with a number of camps and sessions focusing on player development both on and off the pitch,” explained Lineen.
“Last month we had two training games against our English counterparts, which were positive. They were useful exercises in game management and seeing how different combinations of players worked together.
“This squad have worked tirelessly over the last few months and there were some tough selection calls. We know that this group of players are set to play an exciting brand of rugby.”
Scotland U20 Squad
Jamie Drummond (Ayrshire Bulls), Patrick Harrison (Edinburgh Rugby), Duncan Hood (Heriot’s Blues), Tom Banatvala (Durham University), Michael Jones (Boroughmuir Bears), Corey Bowker (Leeds Beckett University), George Breese (Stirling Wolves), Olly Frostick (Ealing Trailfinders), Cole Lamberton (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Samuel (Glasgow Warriors, captain), Max Williamson (Glasgow Warriors), Euan Ferrie (Glasgow Hawks), Harri Morris (Southern Knights), Rhys Tait (Southern Knights), Ollie Leatherbarrow (Exeter University), Rory Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Muncaster (Edinburgh Rugby), Archie Smeaton (Cambridge University)
Ethan McVicker (Melrose), Murray Redpath (Newcastle University), Cameron Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Euan Cunningham (Glasgow Warriors), Christian Townsend (Ayrshire Bulls), Thomas Glendinning (Glasgow Hawks), Scott King (Edinburgh Rugby), Michael Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Elliot Gourlay (Sale Sharks), Finlay Callaghan (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Scott (GHA), Ollie Melville (Glasgow Warriors), Harry Paterson (Edinburgh Rugby), Ross McKnight (Stirling County)
France will arrive in Wales with two players who featured in the 2019 World Rugby Junior Championship winning side, Matthias Haddad and Paul Mallez.
Coached by former France internationals Sébastien Bruno and Fabrice Estebanez, as well as former France defence coach Jean-Marc Bederede, Frabnce have won the last two world titles at U20 level, but haven’t triumphed in the Six Nations since 2018.
Their squad is full of experience with prop Daniel Bibi Biziwu hving featured regularly for Clermont Auvergne this season. Back row men Haddad, of La Rochelle, and Jean-Baptiste Lachaise, of Bordeaux-Begles, have also had Top 14 expereince.
In the backline, scrum-halves Nolann Le Garrec and Théo Idjellidaine, as well as fly-halves Louis Foursans Bourdette and Thibault Debaes, have also been involved regularly at senior level.
France U20 Squad
Leo Barré (Stade Français Paris), Maxime Baudonne (Racing 92), Daniel Bibi-Biziwu (Clermont Auvergne), Louis Bielle-Biarrey (Grenoble), Pierre Bochaton (Bressane), Teo Bordenave (Pau), Benjamin Boudou (Clermont Auvergne), Joshua Brennan (Toulouse), Thibault Debaes (Pau), Nelson Epee (Toulouse), Akato Fakatika (Perpignan), Louis Foursans-Bourdette (Montpellier), Emilien Gailleton (Agen), Matteo Garcia (Bordeaux-Bègles), Matthias Haddad (La Rochelle), Theo Idjellidaine (Toulouse), Baptiste Jauneau (Biarritz Olympique), Henzo Kiteau (Clermont Auvergne), Jean-Baptiste Lachaise (Bordeaux Bègles), Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 92), Paul Mallez (Toulouse), Victor Montgaillard (Perpignan), Thomas Moukoro (Racing 92), Theo Ntamack (Toulouse), Alfred Parisien (Lyon), Thomas Ployet (La Rochelle), Edgar Retiere (Toulouse), Enzo Reybier (Oyonnax), Romain Riguet (Toulouse), Connor Sa (Bordeaux Bègles), Ugo Seguela (Colomiers), Alex Tchaptchet (Lyon), Killian Tixeront (Clermont Auvergne), Adrien Warion (Toulon), Eliott Yemsi (Toulon)
Italy’s 32-strong squad kicks-off against Wales and has warmed-up with two close defeats against a France Development XV.
Bassa Bresciana back row man Luca Andreani will captain the side, which also features at scrum-half Alessandro Garbisi, younger brother of current Italian No 10 Paolo Garbisi.
“The two Test matches against France in January and May confirmed the potential in every area, including those situations which did not go well,” admitted head coach Massimo Brunello.
“We have a squad at our disposal that we have built on a well-defined path since the camps of last summer. It was hard to select 32 players because there are so many fit players in the wider squad who we have seen during this period.
“We we will keep working to be in the best possible position for the opening game against Wales on 19 June.”
Italy U20 Squad
Manfredi Albanese (Calvisano), Luca Andreani (Bassa Bresciana, captain), Riccardo Andreoli (Carpi), Andrea Angelone (Fiamme Oro), Matteo Baldelli (Cavalieri Union Prato), Valerio Bizzotto (Bassano), Fabrizio Boschetti (Viadana), Michele Brighetti (National Academy), Lorenzo Cannone (Petrarca), Giovanni Cenedese (Villorba), Andrea Cuoghi (Modena), Tommaso Di Bartolomeo (Petrarca), Filippo Drago (Mogliano), Giacomo Ferrari (Capitolina), Mattia Ferrarin (Petrarca), Arturo Fusari (Fiamme Oro), Alessandro Garbisi (Mogliano), Riccardo Genovese (Calvisano), Simone Gesi (Colorno), Muhamed Hasa (Petrarca), Leonardo Marin (Mogliano), Giulio Marucchini (Lazio), Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Rugby), Ion Neculai (Cavalieri Union Prato), Lorenzo Pani (Cavalieri Union Prato), Nicola Piantella (Vicenza), Luca Rizzoli (Capitolina), Fabio Schiabel (San Donà), Mirco Spagnolo (Camposampiero), Nicolò Teneggi (Valorugby Emilia), Flavio Pio Vaccari (Capitolina), Ross Michael Vintcent (National Academy)