TAUNTON RFC is well represented in the England men's squad selected to compete in next month's World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Argentina.

The tournament runs from June 4 to 22, and both Richard Capstick and Alfie Petch have made it into head coach Steve Bates' 28-strong squad.

Heathfield Community School pupil Capstick and Petch, who grew up in Cornwall, both played for the Titans before graduating up to Exeter Chiefs.

Also in the squad is Manu Vunipola, cousin of England stars Billy and Mako, and son of Elisi, who has played and coached at Burnham-on-Sea and Morganians in Somerset.

England are one of 12 teams taking part in the competition, hosted by Rosario and Santa Fe, with the 2018 runners-up drawn to face Ireland (June 4), Italy (June 8) and Australia (June 12) in Pool B.

The knockout stages take place on June 17, with finals day on Saturday, June 22.

The tournament is a proven pathway to the top, with a total of 653 players worldwide – 44 from England – having graduated from the U20 Championship to play Test rugby since the inaugural competition in 2008.

Head coach Bates said: “Choosing 28 players from the 45 we have capped this season has been incredibly tough, so it’s a pretty good achievement for these players to be selected for the tournament and they should be incredibly proud of their inclusion.

“The U20 Championship gives them a chance to pit themselves against the best players in the world at their own age group in an international competition before heading into senior rugby, so is an important stage in their development.

“For a lot of these players it will be a unique experience to go to Argentina and play in a tournament of this stature and I know they will be relishing the challenge.

"They are very lucky to be representing England and will be looking to do their country proud and continue our successful history in the competition.

“We were slightly disappointed with our consistency during the Six Nations and we know we have a lot of work to do, but we have a very good and experienced group of players and if we can keep them fit then we feel we are going to be very competitive in Argentina.”

England squad for World Rugby U20 Championship:

Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby); Alfie Barbeary (Wasps); Josh Basham (Newcastle Falcons); Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs); Alex Coles (Northampton Saints); Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby); Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints); Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks); Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks); Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie); Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers); Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors); Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby); Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons); Joel Kpoku (Saracens); Samson Ma'asi (Northampton Saints); Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs); Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors); Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs); Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks); Arron Reed (Sale Sharks); Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby); Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints); Marcus Smith (Harlequins); Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs); Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs); Manu Vunipola (Saracens); Tom Willis (Wasps)