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England's rising stars studded with cream of Westcountry talent

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

Exeter Chiefs and England Under-20 back Henry Slade will line up alongside some familiar faces at Brickfields tonight

Exeter Chiefs and England Under-20 back Henry Slade will line up alongside some familiar faces at Brickfields tonight

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Plymouth Albion are expecting a bumper crowd at Brickfields tonight (5.45pm) when they play host to England's opening RBS Under-20 Six Nations Championship match against Scotland.

More than 2,000 tickets have been sold in advance, with the main grandstand a sell-out.

Ground tickets will be available on the gate, but Albion are appealing for rugby fans to arrive early to avoid queues.

The England Under-20 starting line-up includes Plymouth-born prospects Henry Slade and Jack Arnott. The Exeter Chiefs pair both play for Albion on dual-registration terms.

Joel Conlon, another Chiefs youngster, is also included in the England XV, as is former Ivybridge Community College pupil Sam Hill, who plays for Cornish Pirates and Exeter on a dual-registration basis.

Dual-registered Exeter and Albion prop Luke Cowan-Dickie will also be in the home side this evening.

England head coach Rob Hunter said: "It's great to have some local boys playing at Plymouth. I'm sure they can't wait to get out there.

"We know Scotland are well coached, well organised and highly motivated. It'll be a tough game."

England are the current Under-20 Six Nations holders.

Glasgow Warriors and Currie lock Jonny Gray will captain the Scotland side. Head coach Sean Lineen said: "Jonny is an outstanding young man, who brings a lot of energy to this team. He leads by example and he is well respected by both the players and the coaches."

Lineen added: "It has been a really exciting process, working with a group of young players who are willing to learn and who want to do something special this year.

"We've had four camps and every single player has worked hard, so we're going down there to give an outstanding performance.

"We're really looking forward to Friday, so we can see what we can do and hopefully surprise people. England are always a very good team, and they will be a good measure of where we are."

Jonny May and Matt Mullan come into the England Saxons starting line-up for tonight's clash with Scotland A at Newcastle Falcons (8pm).

May (Gloucester) takes over from Christian Wade (Wasps) on the right wing and Worcester Warriors' prop Mullan replaces Nick Wood (Gloucester) at loose head.

Head coach Jon Callard has kept changes to a minimum to build on the momentum established in last week's 14-10 win over Ireland Wolfhounds in Galway.

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