- All change for Leicestershire and Staffordshire
- Warwickshire home to Oxfordshire in pool opener
Leicestershire and Staffordshire will both field much-changed sides when they begin their National Under 20 Championship Shield campaigns on Sunday, November 17.
Leicestershire have just four survivors from the side that reached last season’s quarter-finals in their squad for the long trip to Carlisle to play Cumbria in their opening Pool One match.
Staffordshire have only six members of last season’s squad still eligible for their opening match in the same pool against Durham at West Hartlepool.
Leicestershire edged out Cumbria in a atrocious weather conditions at Coalville in a pool match last season and are hoping for better weather for the opener.
Michael Holford, the Nottingham and former Leicester Tigers and London Wasps prop, is again head coach and he has been joined by Tom Lemon, a former senior Leicestershire county player who now coaches at Leicester Grammar School, as backs coach.
Liam Pohe, father of Leicester Tigers centre Javiah, has also joined the county Under 20s coaching team this season.
Staffordshire again have Eric Field and Craig Wilson as coaches of their Under 20 side but their team selection for the trip to Durham has been complicated by the involvement of a number of their most senior clubs in RFU Cup and Staffordshire Cup competitions on Saturday.
Staffordshire will host Leicestershire in their second pool match at Lichfield, a game that has been brought forward to Wednesday, December 18 from December 22.
Both Midlands counties will then be at home in their final pool match on January 19 with Staffordshire hosting Cumbria at Longton and Coalville staging Leicestershire’s match against Durham.
Warwickshire are also in National Under 20 Championship Shield action on November 17 against Oxfordshire at Old Leamingtonians RFC.
Warwickshire then travel to Iffley Road to face Oxford University on January 12 and host Somerset in their final Pool Two match at Broadstreet on January 19.
Warwickshire have around half of last season’s squad available again and have drawn heavily from the Broadstreet, Nuneaton and Barkers’ Butts clubs.