England U17 beat France U17 19-17 at Kingston Park on Saturday.
England had to weather a brilliant second half fightback from the French to hold on to victory though.
England were 14-0 up at half time after tries from captain Oli Morris of New Hall and Reigate Grammar School’s Max Coyle, both converted by Rugby’s Tom Hardwick.
However France hit back in the second half with two converted tries of their own, plus a penalty, to give them a 17-14 advantage.
England refused to panic though, and sealed the victory in truly dramatic fashion as they engineered a score for Harrow’s Elliott Obatoyinbo in the final minute of the game for the 19-17 victory.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com after the game, Head Coach John Fletcher said:
“We should have been further ahead in the first half, we created some opportunities but the French came out strong for the second half and it took us time to get into the game, they built a lead and I think we showed a lot of resilience at the end to score a really good try.”
“It was a good game, our first half performance deserved more and to come back with not long on the clock is a good sign of their resilience and decision making at the end of games, we encourage them to explore the game, we have different combinations and sometimes things don’t go so well. One of their tries came from us trying to run the ball out from our line.”
“They are encouraged to be creative so overall we are pleased with the level of performance. I’m really excited about them moving forward.”
Full Time: England U17 19-17 France U17
England Academies U17 Squad:
Jack Wafer, (Yorkshire Carnegie, Leeds Grammar)
Oscar Harper (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & QEI College)
Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors, Bromsgrove)
Tom Guthrie (Wasps, Abingdon)
Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College)
Nick Rigby (Worcester Warriors, Warwick)
Laurence Weston (Worcester Warriors, Bromsgrove)
Josh Basham (London Irish, Wellington College)
James Scott (Worcester Warriors, Malvern College)
Tom Willis (Wasps, Henley College)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, Worcester Sixth Form College)
Charlie Wright (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College)
Sam Moore (Sale Sharks, Sedbergh)
Will Porter (Wasps, Merchant Taylors’)
Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie, Pontefract New College)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, Brighton College)
Charlie Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, RGS Newcastle)
Ben Loader (London Irish, Wellington College)
Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers, Rugby)
Reuben Bird-Tulloch (Saracens, Harrow)
Oli Morris, captain (Saracens, New Hall)
Elliott Obatoyinbo (Saracens, Harrow)
Max Coyle (Harlequins, Reigate Grammar School)