- England Counties U20s take two wins in Georgia
- Wins complete a successful tour on and off the pitch
Photo: Khatia Jijeishvili
England Counties U20s 25 Georgia U20s 13
England Counties U20s scored three tries in a tough contest against Georgia U20s at the Shevardeni High Performance Centre, Tiblisi on Saturday evening to complete a successful tour both on and off the field.
A try from Gloucestershire prop Ricky Cano gave England a 6-11 lead at half-time as both teams successfully kicked two penalties.
Three converted tries were scored at five minute intervals during an action-packed period early in the second half. Seven points to Georgia separated tries from scrum half Thomas Banks and Berkshire back row Samir Kharbouch, both converted by Rob Avery-Wright.
Head Coach Bob Hood said: “This Test match was an excellent display of powerful, controlled and aggressive rugby played by two talented teams. The midweek fixture against a Georgia U20 Select XV was invaluable to our preparations as it gave an opportunity for every member of our squad to understand the demands of international rugby.
“This has been an excellent week in which we have achieved two wins and created a high quality environment for every player to develop. We are delighted with how this England Counties U20s programme continues to go from strength to strength.”
During the week the Counties U20s attended an Embassy reception and carried out coaching sessions in an orphanage in Tiblisi. The players were so moved by the outreach experience that they arranged for the children to be mascots and flag bearers for Saturday’s Test.
Photo: Khatia Jijeishvili
Team Manager Malcolm Ross said: “The players have been outstanding ambassadors for England Rugby and demonstrated absolute commitment and unity to beat a strong and well supported Georgian side on Saturday. This is a country whose rugby is going places and I am delighted that the England Counties U20s have been able to support the continued development of Georgian rugby.”
England Counties U20s team:
15. Jim Wigglesworth (Hull RFC, NLD, Midlands)
14. Jack Rossiter (Richmond RFC, Berkshire, South West)
13. Joe Allott (Sandal RFC, Yorkshire, North)
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. Thomas Banks (Bishop Stortford 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. Samir Kharbouch (Henley Hawks RFC, Berkshire, South West)
7. Jesse Liston (Canterbury RFC, Kent, London & South East)
8. George Oram (Medway RFC, Kent, London & South East)
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. David Jones (Caldy RFC, Cheshire, North)
21. Edward Webster (Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Lancashire, North)
22. Nick Foster (Old Albanians RFC, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
23. Alex Seers (Chobham RFC, Surrey, London & South East)
24. Aiden Moss (Canterbury RFC, Kent, London & South East)
Ryan Redman (Medway RFC, Kent, London & South East) did not make the squad due to injury