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Title defence remains on for England U20 after beating Wales

England U20 beat Wales 30-16 at the World Rugby U20 Championships yesterday, avenging their defeat to the same opponents in the 6 Nations and keeping their title defence on track.

England arrived at the game coming off the back of a 59-7 victory over Japan, while Wales desperately needed a win after losing 19-10 to France in their opening game.

England stormed to a 22-0 lead with just thirty minutes gone thanks to tries from former Bryanston pupil Max Clark, 2014 winner Howard Packman, and Exeter Chiefs’ Stuart Townsend, with Clark’s former schoolmate and current Bath teammate Rory Jennings landing two conversions and a penalty.

Wales’ Jarrod Evans and Jennings then exchanged penalties to put the scores at 25-3 before centre Owen Watkin scored a crucial try just before half time, which Evans converted, to leave the scores at 25-10 at the break.

On the other side of the break Evans landed two penalties to really put Wales in touching difference but Sam Skinner took advantage of a huge England maul to score his second try of the campaign, securing England the bonus point, and with just twenty minutes to go it practically secured the game.

Speaking after the game, England Under 20 Head Coach Jon Callard said:

“I thought we played very well in the first half, our game management was good, we played in the right areas and were clinical. In the second half, Wales came out strongly and caused us problems.”

“We’ve achieved what we needed to and that was to win with a bonus point, so credit to the lads and all the management staff who have put in a great stint this week to ensure that everyone was fit and ready.  We’ll work hard in the coming days and by Wednesday we’ll be equally prepared to take on France.”

Assistant Coach Ian Peel added:

“We knew that Wales had a very good set piece – a strong line out and scrum – and that they would come after us in these areas.  We also knew from the experience of the Six Nations that they were going to make it hard for us to secure the ball at the breakdown.”

“There were periods of the game when we were stretched, but the pleasing thing is that the lads are now realising the areas for improvement while on the pitch and are reacting and making changes as they go.  We are always looking to develop.  We have stepped on from where we were in the first game and will be even better for this experience.” 

England’s next Pool game comes against France on Wednesday, in what will effectively be a shoot out for the semi finals after France also secured their second victory of the campaign by beating Japan. Wales meanwhile face Japan and will be looking to make absolutely certain of third place and a bonus point.

Full Time: England U20 30-16 Wales U20

England XV:

15 Aaron Morris (Saracens) 

14 George Perkins (Saracens) 

13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens) 

12 Max Clark (Bath Rugby) 

11. Howard Packman (Northampton Saints) 

10 Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby) 

9 Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs)

1. Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins) 

2 Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie) 

3 Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie) 

4. Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins) 

5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, Captain) 

6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints) 

7 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers) 

8. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)

Replacements

16 Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs)

17. Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby)

18 Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks)

19. Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons)

20. Josh Bainbridge (Yorkshire Carnegie)

21 James Mitchell (Sale Sharks)

22 Lloyd Evans (Gloucester)

23 Piers O’Conor (Wasps)

Wales XV:

15 Dafydd Howells (Ospreys)

14 Lloyd Lewis (Dragons)

13 Garyn Smith (Blues)

12 Owen Watkin (Ospreys)

11 Joshua Adams (Scarlets)

10 Jarrod Evans (Blues)

9 Tomos Williams (Blues)

8 Luke Garrett (Dragons)

7 Liam Belcher (Blues)

6 Dillon Lewis (Blues)

5 Adam Beard (Ospreys)

4 Rory Thornton (Ospreys, captain)

3 Tom Phillips (Scarlets)

2 Ollie Griffiths (Dragons)

1 Harrison Keddie (Dragons)

Replacements:

16 Ryan Elias (Scarlets)

17 Keagan Bale (Dragons)

18 Joe Jones (Blues)

19 Jon Fox (Ospreys)

20 Seb Davies (Blues)

21 Kieran Hardy (Scarlets)

22 Daniel Jones (Scarlets)

23 Barney Nightingale (Dragons)

Scorers

England:

Tries: Clark, Packman, Townsend, Skinner

Conversions: Jennings 3

Penalties: Jennings 2

Wales:

Try: Watkin

Conversion: Evans

Penalties: Evans 3

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