Former North Midlands Under-18s lock Huw Taylor will start for England in tomorrow’s World Rugby Under 20 Championship semi-final against South Africa at Manchester City Academy Stadium (7.45pm).
The Worcester Warriors player will be joined by his club mate and fellow lock Andrew Kitchener, another former North Midkands age group player, who has been named as a replacement.
Haag’s side head into the last four of the competition as the top seed with Ireland and Argentina contesting the other semi-final.
“Everyone is very excited in the camp, we set out our goals at the start of the tournament and we are achieving those goals,” said Engkand head coach Martin Haag.
“The challenge for us now is to keep improving and we are excited about the opportunity to play South Africa in a home semi-final. The players have been absolutely superb and we need to make sure we come out the other side with a victory.”
Harry Mallinder will captain England on Monday in place of Jack Walker who has been medically replaced after sustaining a concussion during England’s game against Australia.
The hooker will remain in camp while going through the graduated return to play protocol. Charlie Piper (Harlequins) now joins the squad in his place.
“It’s with great disappointment that Jack will not feature in the semi-final,” said Haag.
“Jack has been an exemplary leader, bringing the team together and motivating the players to be the best that they can be, both on and off the pitch. That’s something he should be very proud of.”
“We have great confidence in Charlie (Piper) who now joins the squad. Charlie narrowly missed out on taking part in the Six Nations due to injury but was involved in the pre-tournament training camp in Newcastle. He will benefit from getting an opportunity to gain experience from playing at this level.”
Haag is expecting a “physical” and “direct” approach from South Africa and has urged his side to raise to that challenge.
“In attack we need to be sharp, clinical and take the opportunities that come our way. We are anticipating a big battle as you would expect in a semi-final.
“We need to execute better, we need to set our own identity and play to a level that we aspire to.”
England Under 20s squad to play South Africa:
15 Max Malins (Saracens)
14 Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins)
13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
12 Johnny Williams (London Irish)
11 Matt Gallagher (Saracens)
10 Harry Mallinder – Captain (Northampton Saints)
9 Max Green (Yorkshire Carnegie)
1 Lewis Boyce (Yorkshire Carnegie)
2 Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors)
3 Billy Walker (Saracens)
4 Stan South (Harlequins)
5 Huw Taylor (Worcester Warriors)
6 George Nott (Sale Sharks)
7 Will Evans (Leicester Tigers)
8 Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons)
16 Charlie Piper (Harlequins)
17 Tom West (Wasps)
18 Will Stuart (Wasps)
19 Andrew Kitchener (Worcester Warriors)
20 Jack Willis (Wasps)
21 Harry Randall (Gloucester Rugby)
22 Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie)
23 Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)