- Full back Ollie Devoto praises squad depth ahead of New Zealand clash
- England "deserve to be in top four" says Devoto
Photo: Getty Images
England Under 20s full back Ollie Devoto believes there are players on the USA U20s team who will go far, despite his team’s record-breaking 109-0 victory over them last night.
The huge winning margin secured them a place in the semi-final of the IRB Junior World Championships against New Zealand, who they last met in the 2011 JWC final, losing 33-22.
Looking back to their defeat of the Group A minnows, Devoto, who contributed a try and a conversion to the points tally, said: “We said we needed to do a job and get as many points as possible and I thought the team went really well. Credit to USA, at times they challenged us, we made a few errors here and there but on the whole it’s really pleasing.
"The USA team all seem really nice guys. You don’t realise the lack of rugby they get prior to this competition, but they’ve got some really good ball carriers and they tested us at times. There are a few individuals [on the USA team] that will go far.”
With the focus now fully on how to beat the Baby Blacks – who beat Fiji, Australia and Ireland to top Group B – for a place in the JWC final, Devoto believes they are fully prepared.
“A few guys were a bit disappointed about how they played against France and maybe didn’t get the selection they wanted against South Africa,” he added. “But it just shows the depth in this squad. The guys who haven’t been selected every time have really stepped up. It’s a testament to how tight we are.
“It’s going to be a huge experience for us, I literally can’t wait. If I get lucky enough to be involved it’ll be fantastic. I think we’re going into this game confident – we ran South Africa close, so I think we’ve got all to play for and I think we deserve to be where we are, in the top four.”
England U20s play New Zealand U20s on June 18 at Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon (kick-off 7.15pm BST).