Saints lock Coles can't wait to start for England at the Gardens

Saints lock Alex Coles
Saints lock Alex Coles

Saints lock Alex Coles can't wait to wear the England jersey at Franklin’s Gardens tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

The 19-year-old starts for England Under-20s against Scotland Under-20s in familiar surroundings, having first been picked up by Northampton at just 13 years old.

Coles has been involved in all four of England’s Six Nations matches so far this campaign, with the side recording two wins and two losses.

And he is now hoping to finish off the championship in style in front of a raucous Gardens crowd.

“Obviously there’s a lot of history between England and Scotland as a fixture with the Calcutta Cup, and absolutely that rivalry translates to Under-20s level,” Coles said.

“It will be a very physical and intense match I’m sure, and we really want to finish the Six Nations on a high to put ourselves in a good place heading into the Junior World Cup this summer.

“Being a Northampton boy, it’s really exciting for me to be able to play in front of people that have been around the area you have been playing for a long time.

“I’ve had a few chances to do it for Saints so far, but to do it for my country will be a huge honour for me and something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

“People throw a lot of clichés out there, but in this case they are all correct!

"To wear the badge is something you don’t get to do very often, and you’ve worked hard for it your whole life, so it does just fill you with pride.”

England Under-20s team to face Scotland Under-20s

15. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)

14. Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish)

13. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors)

12. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)

11. Arron Reed (Sale Sharks)

10. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)

9. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)

1. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)

2. Samson Ma'asi (Saints)

3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)

4. Alex Coles (Saints)

5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)

6. Tom Willis (Wasps)

7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)

8. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)

Replacements:

16. Alfie Barbeary (Wasps)

17. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)

18. Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)

19. Jon Kpoku (Saracens)

20. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)

21. Gus Warr (Sale Sharks)

22. Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks)

23. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)