Saints CEO Darbon expects 'memorable' match as Gardens hosts England Under-20s again

Franklin's Gardens will be the setting for England Under-20s' fixture against Ireland in February (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Franklin's Gardens will be the setting for England Under-20s' fixture against Ireland in February (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Saints CEO Mark Darbon is looking forward to another 'memorable occasion' at Franklin's Gardens after it was announced England Under-20s would be returning to Northampton next year.

The Red Rose youngsters will take on their Ireland counterparts in an U20 Six Nations Championship encounter on Friday, February 21 (kick-off 7.45pm).

The Gardens often hosts England Under-20s fixtures, with the most recent coming last March, when Scotland were the visitors.

Saints have had plenty of representation in the Under-20s side in recent times, with the likes of Alex Coles, Fraser Dingwall and Ollie Sleightholme all involved.

And Darbon said: "After the success of last year's fixture, in which more than 5,000 supporters saw England defeat Scotland, we are once again proud to be hosting the future stars of the game.

"We all know about the fierce rivalry between the two nations and followers of Under-20s rugby will know that Ireland are the Grand Slam champions, beating England in both the Six Nations and World Rugby U20 Championship last season so I'm sure England will be looking to set the record straight.

"Those that attended last year were treated to eight tries and an exciting contest and we look forward to making this a memorable occasion under the lights here at Franklin's Gardens."

England men U20s fixtures

Saturday, February, 1, 2020: France v England, 8pm GMT, Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Friday, February 7, 2020: Scotland v England, 7.30pm GMT, Myreside, Edinburgh

Friday, February 21, 2020: England v Ireland, 7.45pm GMT, Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton (tickets: englandrugby.com/tickets)

Friday, March 6, 2020: England v Wales, 7.45pm GMT, Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester

Sunday, March 15, 2020: Italy v England, 5.30pm GMT, Payanini Rugby Center, Verona