- Walshe wants more from England Under 20 side
- We left a lot out there against Ireland - Walshe
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Despite putting four tries on a spirited Ireland side at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, England Under 20 boss Nick Walshe is adamant that there is still more to come from his charges.
Scores from Maro Itoje, Howard Packman and Nick Tompkins set England’s youngsters on the way to a 33-9 win before flanker Joel Conlon delivered the coup de grâce with a late effort, but Walshe is striving for more as his side begin preparations for Wales on February 7.
“We were really pleased to get the win, to put 33 points on a side is pretty good going,” Walshe said. “However I think we left a lot out there. We made silly mistakes and gave away too many penalties. We have a lot to work on, but the fact that we’re saying we can get better after a good win is a positive.
“I’m not disrespecting Ireland at all – they came at us and fought really hard, but I feel that we still have another couple of gears to move into and we’ll be looking to take that into our game against Wales.”
With a week off between matches, Walshe indicates that while the players aren’t physically in camp, mentally they need to keep on top of their analysis and preparation.
Photo: Getty Images
“We’ll keep in touch with the guys, and it’s important to maintain that dialogue,” he explained. “We don’t want to head into that Wales week from a standing start – it’s up to the player to analyse the Ireland game, as well as the coaches, and we all need to be on the same page for when we get together in Newcastle on Monday.”
The meeting with Wales will be the first between the two sides since June’s IRB Junior World Championship final in France, and while the sunnier climes of northern France will be swapped for the somewhat chillier north east of England, the magnitude of the game remains the same.
“We know that Wales are a massively tough side, we respect them enormously and we know that it will be a difficult game against a physical side. They’re a top side and we’re going to have to raise our game.”
Highlights of England U20 33 Ireland U20 9