England Under 20 24 France Under 20 11
ENGLAND Under 20 have won the 2015 Under 20 Six Nations with a two-try 24-11 win against France at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.
In front of over 12,600 fans Joe Marchant and George Perkins scored the decisive tries while Rory Jennings added 14 crucial points with the boot.
Head Coach Jon Callard said: “I’m extremely proud of all of the players and the management. It was a challenging game – France were extremely well drilled – but the players fronted up in the second half and ultimately deserved that win. We didn’t get going in the first 40 but we kept in the game and kicked on well. It’s great to win and to lift the trophy and it’s just reward for their efforts.
“We’re half way through our season with the junior world cup coming up in June, and we’re looking forward to heading out to Italy to defend the trophy. We have a talented group of players and a huge amount of credit must go to the clubs and the academies who put a lot of work into their guys.”
After an early long-range Aaron Morris penalty went wide, Jennings and France’s Thomas Ramos exchanged kicks for 6-6 after 30 minutes.
France were applying pressure and saw a try disallowed for a knock-on in the build-up, but they did get their first score on 32 minutes when No. 8 Fabien Sanconnie barged over.
Two quick-fire Jennings penalties put England 12-11 ahead early in the second period and they kicked on to take the game beyond France.
First Stuart Townsend charged down his own box kick which Marchant gathered superbly before pirouetting on the try line to score.
And minutes later England made the game safe. A break from Jack Walker eventually fell to Sam Skinner who showed excellent presence of mind to offload to Perkins who dotted down.
Captain Charlie Ewels said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to lift the trophy. Last year we missed out on it and that hurt, so to come here and put in a second half performance like that was really pleasing.
“We knew that it would be a challenge and huge respect to France who were very good from minute one to 80. We had to address a few things at the break but thankfully we did and came through to get the win.”
Man of the match James Chisholm added: “I’m so proud of all of the guys. It’s an awesome feeling to win this – we made it hard for ourselves, losing against Wales in that opening game, but we regrouped and came back really well. For me, as a local guy, to come here in front of an amazing crowd and to get the win is pretty special and will definitely live long in the memory.”
England Under 20 starting XV against France
15 Aaron Morris (Saracens)
1 Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins)
16 Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs)
England U20 Six Nations fixtures
Wales U20 21-15 England U20
England U20 61-0 Italy U20
Ireland U20 14-19 England U20
England U20 26-11 Scotland U20
England U20 24-11 France U20