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U20 player progression pleases Hunter

27 May 2011

  • Rob Hunter speaks ahead of Junior World Championship
  • It’s good to see that the players do progress – Hunter
England U20 Head Coach Rob Hunter with U20 captain Alex Gray

Photo: Getty Images

England U20 kick off their Italian Junior World Championship campaign against Ireland on June 10, and Head Coach Rob Hunter is full of praise for his young protagonists as they hope to better last year’s fourth place finish.

Hunter, alongside assistant Diccon Edwards, oversaw England’s triumphant 2011 U20 6 Nations Grand Slam win and speaks of his pride at seeing members of the squad – including the likes of Alex Gray, Owen Farrell and Henry Thomas – representing their clubs first team on a regular basis.

“It’s great to see these players coming through and getting Aviva Premiership, A-League and Championship experience,” he said. “Not only do we, from an England point of view, benefit, but it’s good to see that the players do progress.”

Hunter added: “Club rugby is their bread and butter – they’re often places that the players have been all their lives and have supported since they could throw a ball, so it’s fantastic to see them get an opportunity to wear their club’s shirt.”

JWC represents a huge challenge – Hunter

Members of the England U20 squad celebrate their win against Ireland in the 6 Nations

Photo: Getty Images

“The Junior World Championships is a great tournament and it represents a huge challenge for us. We’ll be looking to do better than we did last year, when we came fourth – but it’s not going to be easy.

“New Zealand are the only team to have ever won the competition, but we will be taking it one game at a time. It’s important that we keep focussed on our performance and produce the form and results like we had during the 6 Nation.

“It’s Ireland up first, so everything will be geared up towards that game and we’ll take it from there.”