FIN Smith will start at fly-half for England under-20s on Friday night as they face South Africa under-20s in their Six Nations Summer Series opener in Verona, Italy.

Worcester's Finn Theobald-Thomas and Tobi Wilson are also in the squad, being named as replacements.

The tournament is being held over the next two weeks in place of the Under 20 World Cup and sees England in a group with the Baby Boks, France and Ireland.

Warriors' star Smith had been rumoured to have been a shock call-up to Scotland's squad for their tour of Argentina.

The 20-year-old has a Scottish grandfather but interest from Gregor Townsend was cooled after talks with Warriors' director of rugby Steve Diamond revealed Smith was still too young for international rugby.

But his selection for England U20 is no surprise given his impressive season leading Worcester from number 10 and now he will look to do the same in guiding Alan Dickens' side to the Summer Series title.

"The team is excited to play against South Africa although they are a little bit of an unknown as they haven’t played any games this year at an international level," said England Under-20s Head Coach Dickens.

"The opportunities for this group to learn and develop over this series are immense and I’m as excited about the players having meaningful game time as I am the final result."

It is not just the Summer Series event getting underway this weekend, as the first batch of international test matches kick-off.

New Worcester signings Hame Faiva and Renato Giammarioli are both in the Italian starting team to face Portugal in Lisbon.

Evesham Journal: Worcester Warriors' new signing, Renato Giammarioli (number 7) starts for Italy this weekend against Portugal.Worcester Warriors' new signing, Renato Giammarioli (number 7) starts for Italy this weekend against Portugal.

The duo were signed at the back end of the 2021/22 campaign but are yet to arrive at Sixways, but will once the Italian side are done with their summer tests.

The Azzurri also have matches against Romania and Georgia as they look to build on their Six Nations victory over Wales with a perfect record of three wins from three against the tier two nations.