- England Counties U20 take first victory on Georgian soil
- Bob Hood's side face Georgia U20s tomorrow (May 18)
Photo: Tamuna Kulumbegashvili
England Counties U20 held out for their first win in Georgia on Wednesday evening (May 15) after taking a 16-point lead through the boot of Rob Avery-Wright and a try from Kent’s Jesse Liston.
The mid-week fixture enabled the coaches to test out different combinations as the squad prepare to take on Georgia U20s tomorrow evening (Saturday, May 18, kick off 6pm Georgian time, 2pm BST).
Head Coach Bob Hood said: “Georgia proved that they are a serious rugby playing nation and produced a very physical and organised performance. The Counties U20 have only had four training sessions since meeting at Stansted last Saturday and we are very pleased with the way they played and responded to the challenge.
“The fixture was useful to assess where we are as a group and to establish the work-ons ahead of the main test on Saturday. The England players have proved to be great ambassadors for the game and we are already extremely aware of how much our visit is appreciated by the Georgian Rugby Union.”
Photo: Tamuna Kulumbegashvili
Playing in front of a large passionate crowd at the Shevardeni High Performance Centre in Tbilisi, England benefited from Georgia’s ill-discipline with three penalties from fly half Avery-Wright before replacement Liston touched down early in the second half.
England continued to play a high-tempo and expansive game but as they made changes Georgia forced their way into the match, scoring two converted tries within ten minutes.
With just under a quarter of the game still to play England regained their focused to defend their two-point lead until the final whistle.
Scorers: Avery-Wright (3P and 1C), Liston (1T)
England Counties U20
15. Jim Wigglesworth (Hull RFC, NLD, Midlands)
14. Jack Rossiter (Richmond RFC, Berkshire, South West)
13. Aiden Moss (Canterbury RFC, Kent, London & South East)
12. David Massey (Reading Abbey RFC, Berkshire, South West)
11. Ben Rath (Fylde RFC, Lancashire, North)
10. Rob Avery-Wright (Newton Abbot RFC, Devon, South West)
9. Nick Foster (Old Albanians RFC, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
1. Ricky Cano (Hartpury College RFC, Gloucestershire, South West)
2. Will Roberts (Loughborough Students RFC, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
3. David Coutts (Esher RFC, Hampshire, London & South East)
4. Josh Pettet (Sevenoaks RFC, Kent, London & South East) (captain)
5. Gareth Baxter (Cambridge RFC, Eastern Counties, London & South)
6. George Oram (Medway RFC, Kent, London & South East)
7. Edward Webster (Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Lancashire, North)
8. David Jones (Caldy RFC, Cheshire, North)
16. Mike Flook (Dings RFC, Somerset, South West)
17. Johnny Matthews (Otley RFC, Yorkshire, North)
18. Zac Cinnamond (Wadebridge Camels, Cornwall, South West)
19. Guy Van Den Dries (Darlingotn Mowden Park RFC, Yorkshire, North)
20. Samir Kharbouch (Henley Hawks RFC, Berkshire, South West)
21. Jesse Liston (Canterbury RFC, Kent, London & South East)
22. Thomas Banks (Bishop Stortford RFC, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
23. Alex Seers (Chobham RFC, Surrey, London & South East)
24. Joe Allott (Sandal RFC, Yorkshire, North)
25. Ryan Redman (Medway RFC, Kent, London & South East)