England will be hoping to go one better than their senior side when they take on South Africa in the second semifinal of the Junior World Championship at Cardiff Arms Park.
Rugby 365 reports that Phil Vickery’s side lost out to the Springboks despite defying all odds to reach last year’s World Cup final in Paris.
So, buoyed by their outstanding pool victory over Australia at Rodney Parade on Saturday, Hugo Ellis and co are keen to make it four successive victories in the competition and to book a place in Sunday’s final in Swansea.
Ellis said, “It was an awesome performance against Australia. All the players put their bodies on the line and as a defensive display, it was out of this world.
“We put them under pressure and came up with some big plays – firstly when Luke Eves intercepted for the first try and secondly when we forced the second half charge down.
“The thing that stood out the most was the way which we stepped up the intensity, especially around the ruck where we knew their scrum half was a threat. Now, we have to do it all again against South Africa.”
South Africa coach Eric Sauls is expecting another physically demanding encounter. He said, “We expect it will be a very close contest. It will be tough. They are very physical, especially from the line-outs. They’ve got big strong backline players, good wings and full back, so it will be very tough.
“The contest will basically be determined by two packs of big forwards. If you get quality possession you can start building momentum and get guys running angles but as soon as you struggle with first quality ball, it will be a long day for you.”
Kick Off at Cardiff Arms Park at 21.10
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Touch judges: Hugh Watkins (Wales), David Bodilly (Wales)
Assessor: Tappe Henning (IRB)
Television match official: Derek Bevan (Wales)
England: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Luke Eves, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Hugo Ellis (captain)7 Calum Clark, 6 Matthew Cox, 5 Gregor Gillanders, 4 Ben Thomas, 3 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Scott Freer, 17 Billy Moss, 18 Scott Hobson, 19 Jon Fisher, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Rob Miller, 22 Mark Odejobi
South Africa: 15 Wilton Pietersen, 14 Cecil Afrika, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Francois Houghaard, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze (captain), 7 Thiliphaut Marole, 6 Johan van Deventer, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Frederick Kirsten, 2 Henri Bantjes, 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 PJ van Vuuren, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Sobelo Nhlapo, 19 Nick Köster, 20 Dewaldt Duvenhage, 21 Josias Ebersohn, 22 Stephan Dippenaar.
For streaming Audio from the IRB listen here from 21:00 GMTTweet