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Groves set for England U20 debut against Wales

Academy lock, Alex Groves has been named among the replacements for England U20's clash with Wales in round four of the U20 Six Nations Championship.

Head coach Alan Dickens has made four changes to his starting XV for the match at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester (KO 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Action and Mix).

Groves arrived at Bristol Bears in January 2020 from St John’s College in South Africa on a two-year agreement with the integrated Academy.

England U20 won their opening two fixtures of the Championship, before losing to Ireland in round three.

Alan Dickens said: “We were frustrated with the defeat to Ireland in round three, but it’s a learning experience for the players and that is a focus for us. We have to learn the lessons and respond against Wales, who will no doubt also be tough opponents.

“For me, Kingsholm was one of the best places to come and play and we’re looking forward to being back on home soil in front of knowledgeable fans who will no doubt be vociferous in their support, which makes a huge difference to the players.

“We have several players involved in the Premiership this weekend and that is great experience for them, but in turn gives others in our squad an opportunity to show how good they are.

“We've named Connor as captain this week as we want to grow the leadership group which we know will be useful heading into the World Rugby U20 Championship in July.

“He is well respected in the group, experienced at this level and one of those players who will lead by example.       

“My message to the squad will be to enjoy the experience, learn the lessons from Ireland and put a performance in that they are proud of and that reflects how hard they have worked this week.”