England complete U21 squad
June 10, 2003

The England management today (Tues 10th) announced the final England U21 squad to play in this year's IRB U21 World Cup, in association with Visa, kicking off this Friday (13th) at three venues around the Thames Valley.

England play Australia in their opening Pool match at the Iffley Road ground, Oxford, on Friday, kick-off 7pm followed by Japan at Newbury next Tuesday (17th), 7-30pm kick-off, and France at Henley on Saturday, June 21st , 2pm kick-off.

Although the England squad has been hit by injury the management team of former England internationals and Bath teammates Jonathan Callard and Nigel Redman are confident the squad can do better than the sixth place finish in last year's inaugural World Cup out in South Africa.

Callard says: "Potentially they've all got the opportunity to move up to the senior squad. You need your characters and they've got to play for each other and they do. We've left no stone unturned and this will be a great opportunity for all of them."

A big bonus for the management is the availability of two of the most exciting wingers in the Zurich Premiership, Gloucester's Marcel Garvey and NEC Harlequins' Ugo Monye.

"Marcel is an amazing talent, he smashed the England fitness records this season and that's no mean feat for any 20-year-old," comments Callard. "I'm looking forward to him playing on the international stage along with Ugo Monye."

Garvey has electrified the Gloucester crowd over the past nine months during his first full season of Zurich Premiership rugby and is a player who can turn a game in an instant.

He says: "This will be a good experience and a chance for me to improve mentally and physically. Every game is a hard game and a real test."

Also displaying his talents in the Premiership last season was Monye who demonstrated his pace and remarkable skills at Twickenham last Saturday when he scored one of the winning tries for the England Sevens side in the final of the Emirates Airline London Sevens against Fiji.

"The challenge is to be the first England side to win a World Cup," he says. "We've been together as a squad through the U21 Six Nations and there's a good spirit here.

"We have a good balance of pace, strength and experience in the squad and, as there are only five games in a World Cup, every performance must be our best physically and mentally.

"We can't even look to Japan for an easy game because they'll be up for it."

England face a tough start against the second seeds Australia but at least they have the comfort of playing on their own home turf.

All week long the 11 visiting teams have been arriving at their hotels from all over the world and settling down, while for England it's been a relatively stress free build-up to the big kick-off.

Team manager Peter Drewett says: "Australia will be a real test of where we stand as we have a great deal of respect for them and what they've achieved.

"Everything is now in place for us and we can't wait to get started.

"It will be excellent for us playing at home and can only be good for us and let's hope there's lots of support for England."

The Iffley Road ground can accommodate 3,000 spectators and tickets for England's match against Australia on Friday are available on the day.

ENGLAND U21 SQUAD: J. Bailey (Bristol Shoguns), H. Barrett (NEC Harlequins ), C. Bell (NEC Harlequins), A. Croall (Saracens ), S. Davey (Bath), B. Davis (Gloucester), C. Day (Sharks), M. Garvey (Gloucester), J. Hart (London Wasps ), R. Hawkins (Bath ), J. Hobson (Exeter Chiefs), P. Hodgson (Bristol Shoguns), M. Holford (Leicester Tigers), M. Lund (Sharks), U. Moyne (NEC Harlequins), G. Parling (Newcastle Falcons), R. Peacey (Saracens), J. Pendlebury (Bath), C. Rowland (Bristol Shoguns), B. Skirving (Saracens), M. Stevens (Bath), C. Stuart-Smith (Gloucester), T. Taylor (Leicester Tigers), E. Thrower (London Irish), A. Winnan (Saracens), B. Woods (Newcastle Falcons).

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