Will Owen to start for England in World Under-20 Championship opener against Japan

England's Joe Marchant (left) and Will Owen in action against France during the 2015 RBS Six Nations

England's Joe Marchant (left) and Will Owen in action against France during the 2015 RBS Six Nations U20 match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Former Diss Rugby Club junior Will Owen has been named in England's starting line-up for today's World Under-20 Championship opener against Japan.

The 20-year-old, who spent 11 years at Diss before joining Leicester Tigers, helped England win the U20 Six Nations in March and has been capped at U20 level seven times.

The flanker starts at openside against Japan at Stadio San Michele in Calvisano, Italy. Kick-off is at 5.30pm UK time and the match is being broadcast live on BT Sport.

Owen was born in Ipswich and attended Framlingham College in Suffolk but represented Norfolk at U14 and U15 level and Eastern Counties at U15 and U16.

England continue their defence of the World U20 title at the same venue against Wales on Saturday (7.30pm UK time).

England U20s head coach Jon Callard said: 'Everyone has settled in really well since arriving on Thursday. Training has been spot on - good intensity, great accuracy and plenty of enthusiasm. The squad are keen to get our processes right and they are looking forward to the first match.

'The players are aware of their roles and responsibilities and are excited about the challenge ahead. We want them not to have any nerves, to play with plenty of freedom, and to enjoy the opportunity to express themselves.

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'It is tough to have Japan first because they are a relatively unknown quality. We need to be clinical, focus on ourselves and our systems and make full use of possession.'

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