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Dom Barrow's JWC diary: Ready for Italy

04 June 2012

  • England Under 20 lock Dom Barrow takes us inside the camp
  • The boys are all raring to get started – Barrow
England forward Dom Barrow

Photo: Tania Richards

Today's the day we open up our IRB Junior World Championship account and I for one cannot wait to get the ball rolling.

It's felt like an eternity since my last game in Leeds Carnegie's disappointing premature exit in the RFU Championship play offs and it's been great to have another challenge to focus on.

If we qualify for the semi finals it would be fair to say we'll have done it the hard way, sharing our pool with Italy, Ireland and South Africa.

Having already faced Italy and Ireland in this year's Six Nations we are aware of the threat they pose, and we are under no illusions how tough South Africa will be on home soil. But at the moment our focus is on Italy and we'll concentrate on the other Pool games at the right time.

There is no 'easy' pool in this competition, our Home Nations friends Scotland face Australia, France and Argentina, while Wales have the reigning champions New Zealand and Fiji and Samoa in what I'm sure will be fairly bruising encounters. The pools are made even more competitive by the fact that only first place qualifies through to the semi finals along with the best placed runner up from across the three pools.

The England Under 20 squad huddle up

Photo: Tania Richards

The boys are all raring to get started though and it's hard not to be excited because of the amount of experience within the squad.

The likes of Ben Nutley, Dave Sisi, Billy Vunipola, Ben Spencer, Tom Heathcote, Will Addison, Ryan Mills, Jamie Elliott and Marland Yarde have all made great impacts in the Aviva Premiership this season.

Players such as Jack Clifford, Dan Robson and Sam Hill had great Six Nations tournaments and everyone's looking sharp in training.

The boys have adjusted to life in camp well. It is a tight knit group and we're all enjoying each others company. If Jamie Elliott ever decides rugby isn't for him he should definitely become a professional table football player and the table tennis is furiously played whenever there is any free time.

On a final note, I'd like to thank my room mate Dave Sisi for letting me borrow his iPad to write this blog. It would seem hitting slow, unresponsive laptops isn't always the answer!

You can watch us play Italy tomorrow on Sky Sports HD 2 from 3.30pm and you can also follow me on twitter @dominicbarrow.

Cheers, Dom