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Last year’s finalists, England & Wales, start JWC 2014 with a bang

The opening day of the IRB Junior World Championship was certainly spectacular, with England and South Africa both reaching their half centuries and the hosts, New Zealand, and Wales falling just shy.

England put in a sterling performance to beat Italy, whom they had already played this season in the U20 6 Nations, by 63-3.

Saracens and former Oaklands College winger Nathan Earle scored a pacy and opportunistic hat-trick, while James Chisholm and Gus Jones both weighed in with a brace each, and George Catchpole and Billy Burns added a late score each of their own.

Their Pool A rivals played out a far closer game, with Australia running out as 36-17 victors over Argentina.

Over in Group B Wales were also flying out of the traps, beating Fiji with an impressive 48-19 scoreline as they carried on the form that saw them reach play England in last year’s final.

It will al get much harder for the Welsh from now though as they play Ireland and then France in their next two games. Those two were also in action, with France running out as narrow winners over the U20 6 Nations champions, winning 19-13 to leaving Ireland the only side in the competition for win a losing bonus point.

Pool C looks likely to be decided by a battle royale between South Africa and New Zealand on Friday and both firmed that suspicion with dominant opening day displays. South Africa rather dented the hopes of Home Nations fans by giving Scotland a tough ride as they strolled to a 61-5 victory, while the Baby Blacks were their usual selves, winning comfortably 48-12 against Samoa.

Certainly the Baby Blacks and the South Africans will be among the favourites but England are in with a strong shout of retaining their title, particularly after that strong performance yesterday.

Some clear patterns emerged Sam Olver, the former Oundle School fly half, was clearly under instruction to stand flat and distribute and had an excellent game doing so. It suggest that as the games get tougher England will be looking to play with the ball first, kick second – a promising sign in terms of development and future England senior sides.

The only real negative for England was the early injury to the Bath and former Millfield School second for Tom Ellis, thankfully with the likes of Maro Itoje and Charlie Ewels it is a position of some considerable strength and depth for England – just imagine what might happen when this lot start challenging the talented generation of second rows above them.

Next up for England are Australia at 06.35 on Friday morning (UK time), at the same time there will be the first all Home Nations fixture of the competition as Wales take on Ireland in what could be a defining Pool B fixture.

Scotland face what will surely be their easiest fixture of the campaign as they play Samoa at 02.35 on Friday ahead of their final Pool game against New Zealand on Tuesday.

Group A Results & Fixtures:

Argentina 17-36 Australia

England 63-3 Italy

Friday, 04.35 Argentina v Italy

Friday, 06.35, England v Australia

Tuesday 10th June, 02.35, Australia v Italy

Tuesday 10th  June, 06.35 England v Argentina

Group A Standings

Group A

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

England

1

0

0

5

Australia

1

0

0

5

Argentina

0

0

1

0

Italy

0

0

1

0

Group B Results & Fixtures:

Wales 48-19 Fiji

France 19-13 Ireland

Friday, 02.35, France v Fiji

Friday, 06.35, Wales v Ireland

Tuesday 10th June, 02.35, Ireland v Fiji

Tuesday 10th June, 04.35 Wales v France

Group B Standings

Group B

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

Wales

1

0

0

5

France

1

0

0

4

Ireland

0

0

1

1

Fiji

0

0

1

0

Group C Results & Fixtures:

South Africa 61-5 Scotland

New Zealand 48-12 Samoa

Friday, 02.35, Scotland v Samoa

Friday, 08.35, New Zealand v South Africa

Tuesday 10th June, 06.35, Samoa v South Africa

Tuesday 10th June, 08.35, New Zealand v Scotland

Group C

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

South Africa

1

0

0

5

New Zealand

1

0

0

5

Samoa

0

0

1

0

Scotland

0

0

1

0

England XV v Italy:

15 Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues)
14 George Catchpole (Leicester Tigers)
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12 Harry Sloan (Harlequins)
11 Nathan Earle (Saracens)
10 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints)
9 Callum Braley (Bristol, captain); 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints)
2 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath)
3 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens)
5 Tom Ellis (Bath)
6 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester)
7 Gus Jones (London Wasps)
8 James Chisholm (Harlequins).

Replacements: 16 Jack Walker (Leeds Carnegie) 17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps) 18 Biyi Alo (Saracens) 19 Charlie Ewels (Bath)
20 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs) 21 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University)
22 Billy Burns (Gloucester) 23 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers).

Wales XV v Fiji

1 Nicky Smith 2 Ethan Lewis 3 Nicky Thomas 4 Joseph Davies 5 Rory Thornton 6 Olly Cracknell 7 Scott Matthews 8 James Benjamin; 9 Luc Jones 10 Angus O’Brien 11 Daffyd Howells 12 Jack Dixon 13 Steffan Hughes (captain) 14 Tyler Morgan 15 Ashley Evans.

Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee 17 Callum Lewis 18 Benjamin Leung 19 Ben Roach 20 Will Boyde 21 Tom Williams 22 Ethan Davies 23 Joshua Adams.

Ireland XV v France

1 Peter Dooley 2 Max Abbott 3 Rory Burke 4 Stephen Gardiner 5 Ross Molony 6 Peadar Timmins 7 Frank Taggart 8 Jack O’Donoghue (captain) 9 Nick McCarthy 10 Ross Byrne 11 Ian Fitzpatrick 12 Dan Goggin 13 Garry Ringrose 14 Ciaran Gaffney 15 Cian Kelleher.

Replacements: 16 Dylan Donnellan 17 Denis Coulson 18 Oisin Heffernan 19 Darragh Moloney 20 Diarmaid Dee 21 Ryan Foley 22 Conor McKeon 23 Billy Dardis.

Scotland XV v South Africa

1 Jack Cosgrove 2 Sam James 3 Darcy Rae 4 Andy Cramond 5 Lewis Carmichael 6 Neil Irvine-Hess 7 Tommy Spinks (captain) 8 Magnus Bradbury; 9 Alex Glashan 10 Ben Chalmers 11 Damien Hoyland 12 Neil Herron 13 Christopher Dean 14 Jamie Farndale 15 Ruaraidh Young.

Replacements: 16 James Malcolm 17 Phil Cringle 18 Zanger Fagerson 19 Glen Young 20 Gabriel Carroll 21 Ben Vellacott 22 Rory Hutchinson 23 Sam Pecquer.

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