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12 March 2014, 12:41pm

Ellis and Woolstencroft retain places

Bath Rugby Academy's forward pair Tom Ellis and Tom Woolstencroft have both retained their places in the England Under 20s squad to face Italy on Friday evening.

Nick Walshe and Ian Peel have made five changes to their side after last Friday's emphatic 67-7 victory over Wales, with only a win will giving them a chance of retaining the Championship, while Ireland will also need to defeat France.

Full back Aaron Morris, wing Nathan Earle, fly half Sam Olver, lock Jonny Hill and No. 8 James Chisholm all come into the side and will be captained by Saracens' Maro Itoje who moves into the back row from lock.

Scrum-half Callum Braley comes back onto the bench after recovering from injury, and Walshe says that his side will be under no illusions come kick-off time.

He said: "We enjoyed the win against Wales but focus is very much on the task in hand and preparing to play a well-drilled Italy side. There's no doubt that they have improved over the past couple of seasons and we know that we'll be in for a tough match."

England U20s starting XV to play Italy

15 Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues)
14 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints)
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12 Harry Sloan (Harlequins)
11 Nathan Earle (Saracens)
10 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints)
9 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University)
1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints)
2 Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers)
3 Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
4 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby)
5 Jonny Hill (Gloucester Rugby)
6 Maro Itoje (Saracens, captain)
7 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs)
8 James Chisholm (Harlequins)

Replacements:

16 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby)
17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps)
18 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie)
19 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby)
20 Hayden Thompson Stringer (Saracens)
21 Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby)
22 Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
23 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers)

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