England have announced their U20 side that will take on Italy in the opening round of the U20 Six Nations. One man returning to the fold is high-flying winger Gabriel Ibitoye, who will be looking to replicate his performances at last year’s U20 World Championships.
It will be Ibitoye’s second stint in the England U20 jersey, since making his debut in the Six Nations last year. The young Harlequins wing featured in three of England’s five fixtures – France, Wales and Italy, before finishing the U20 World Championships in Georgia as England’s top try scorer (five) and a Player of the World Championships nomination.
Gabriel Ibitoye Impressed with England’s U20 Debutants
England will field another youthful side, with the premise of starting the campaign with a win. A youthful side Ibitoye, who starts on the wing, only has high hopes for.
“The younger boys are performing well. I couldn’t ask for much more of them.
“They don’t look out of place at all. We’re really building a good squad here – everyone’s got the same goal of performing well” said Ibitoye, speaking exclusively to LWOR.
“There’s a lot of energy in this group – the boys are really buzzing and excited as young players.”
Italy stand in the way of England registering their first win of the 2018 tournament and with the strength on show in the white jersey, it’s difficult to see Italy pulling off a shock win.
“We Want to Win Everything”
Ibitoye and co are grand slam defending champions, but with a whole new coaching set-up and squad to work with, it’s a case of starting again.
“Our first goal is to really come together as a team. We’ll be focusing on Italy and the games to come after that.
“No one wants to lose so we want to win everything. That said, we’ve got to look at the first opposition and how we’re going to beat them.
“We want to win. No one in the team likes losing.”
Ibitoye Suitably Placed at Quins
The young Harlequins man made his senior club appearance back in November and has already scored his first try for the club.
His successful period with the seniors led to the announcement of Ibitoye extending his stay at the South West London club; a club he feels suitably placed to aid in his career.
“I want to perform well for this team and play in the style that helps us move forward as a team and help us achieve.
“Being at Quins has been really good for my development. I’m playing with some top class players and [they’re] really helping me as well.
“They set aside time with me as a player and to grow the team from the bottom up.
“I have a lot of conversations post-training about pictures we’re seeing. What they would do in those situations – talking me through it.”
You can follow England’s journey throughout the Six Nations right here on Last Word on Rugby.
England travel to Italy, France host Ireland and Wales take on Scotland in the first round the championship on Friday night.
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