- England Under 20 win Six Nations Championship
- It’s an amazing feeling – Captain Chris Walker
England Under 20 20 Ireland Under 20 9
Photo: Getty Images
England Under 20 retained the Six Nations trophy after a 20-9 win against Ireland at Adams Park. Tries from Anthony Watson, Dan Robson and Marland Yarde secured the win, while Tom Heathcote added five points with the boot.
Ireland needed a win to secure a Grand Slam, but England’s impressive points difference meant that a victory of any kind would keep the trophy on home soil.
Head Coach Rob Hunter’s side got off to a flying start and were ahead within the first minute when London Irish wing Watson sidestepped two defenders and showed great acceleration to dive over between the posts, Heathcote added the extras.
Ireland hit back after 14 minutes through the boot of fly half and captain Paddy Jackson after Koree Britton was penalised for a late tackle.
Dan Robson got England’s second try, his third of this season’s competition, after a tidy line-out was gathered by Jack Clifford who found the impressive Robson in space and the Gloucester scrum half beat his man before going over the line.
Both sides exchanged penalties before the break, first Heathcote for England before Jackson kicked over his second of the evening from long range. Ireland went down to 14 men for the last ten minutes of the half when No. 12 JJ Hanrahan was sent to the sin-bin.
Photo: Getty Images
The home side started the second half as they did they first, a great high take from full back Watson was given to Charlie Walker who showed nifty footwork before the ball eventually fell to Marland Yarde to score in the corner and make it 20-6 – his fifth try of the competition.
Jackson’s third penalty reduced the deficit to 11-points with 20 to play and England should have had their fourth try of the evening when Charlie Walker broke free, but his pass inside to Watson was just wayward.
Ireland were again down to 14 men with five minutes to go when Connacht wing Conor Finn was sent to the sin-bin after a scuffle with Will Addison on the touchline.
England held out for the win though, their third Six Nations triumph in five years, conceding just one try all tournament and ending with a points difference of +129.
Captain Chris Walker said: “It’s an amazing feeling. We were hurting after the game against France last week and we wanted to right a few wrongs, I think that we did that tonight and we’re over the moon with the win.
“Massive respect to Ireland though, they were always within touching distance and we never felt like the game was won, but we worked really hard as a team tonight – the forwards built the platform and the backs finished nicely.
“Dan Robson was brilliant at scrum half, he kept our tempo up throughout, but it would be unfair just to pick him out – it was a squad effort and I’m a proud man tonight.”
Points: Watson 1T, Robson 1T, Yarde 1T; Heathcote 1C, 1P
England Under 20 side against Ireland
15 Anthony Watson (London Irish)
14 Marland Yarde (London Irish)
13 Will Addison (Sale Sharks)
12 Ryan Mills (Gloucester Rugby)
11 Charlie Walker (Harlequins)
10 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby)
9 Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)
1 Alec Hepburn (London Wasps)
2 Koree Britton (Gloucester Rugby)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
4 Tom Price (Leicester Tigers)
5 Dom Barrow (Leeds Carnegie)
6 Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors)
7 Chris Walker (Leeds Carnegie) (C)
8 Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
16 Nathan Morris (London Wasps) on for Koree Britton 65 mins
17 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs) on for Alec Hepburn 47 mins
18 Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks) on for Kyle Sinckler 65 mins
19 George Merrick (Harlequins) on for Dom Barrow 47 mins
20 David Sisi (London Irish) on for Chris Walker 65 mins
21 Ben Spencer (Saracens) on for Dan Robson 60 mins
22 Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
23 Ben Ransom (Saracens)