- England Under 20 begin JWC title defence with 60-point win
- Australia next up for Nick Walshe's side
England Under 20 kicked off their 2014 IRB Junior World Championship campaign with a nine-try 63-3 win against Italy in Pukekohe, New Zealand.
Captain Callum Braley was pleased to get the win, but says that there’s still “much more to come” from his charges.
A hat-trick of tries from Nathan Earle, two from Gus Jones, two from James Chisholm and one-apiece from Billy Burns and George Catchpole secured the win while Sam Olver added 16 points with the boot and Burns two.
Olver and Jake McIntyre exchanged early penalties to make it 3-3, Olver’s second put England 6-3 up before Earle’s first try made it 13-3 after a smart chip through from Aaron Morris.
Photo: Getty Images
England’s second came from a rolling maul and was touched down by Jones – his fifth England U20 try. And the third was another one for the forwards, Chisholm scoring from the back of a dominant England scrum.
England made a quick start to the second 40 as Earle broke through for his second and the Saracens wing had his hat-trick a minute later, tracking a quick break from Harry Sloan before flying over.
With the bonus point in the bag England scored their sixth try through Chisholm, who pounced on a loose ball after a grubber through from Olver.
Jones had his second try with 60 on the clock, in a not-too-dissimilar fashion to his first – dotting down off a rolling maul.
Replacement No. 10 Burns scored and converted England’s eighth try before Catchpole had his first and England’s ninth, showing good pace to score out wide.
Captain Braley said: “We’re pleased to kick off our tournament with a win – the scoreline doesn’t reflect what a physical game that was. Italy came pretty hard at us and we really had to step up – we were a bit more clinical in the second half, and we needed to be.
“We’ll learn a lot from this one and look to really push on for our second game against Australia, which we know is going to be a huge match. This tournament is about performing well and getting results. We managed to get the result today but we know that there’s much more to come from us from a performance point of view.”
Points: Earle 3T, Jones 2T, Chisholm 2T, Burns 1T, Catchpole 1T; Olver 2P, 5C, Burns 1C
England U20 team v Italy
15 Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues)
14 George Catchpole (Leicester Tigers)
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12 Harry Sloan (Harlequins)
11 Nathan Earle (Saracens)
10 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints)
9 Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby, captain)
1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints)
2 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby)
3 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens)
5 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby)
6 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby)
7 Gus Jones (London Wasps)
8 James Chisholm (Harlequins)
16 Jack Walker (Leeds Carnegie) on for Maro Itoje, 60 mins
17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps) on for Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 66 mins
18 Biyi Alo (Saracens) on for Paul Hill, 54 mins
19 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby) on for Tom Ellis, 25 mins
20 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs) on for Ross Moriarty, 50 mins
21 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University)
22 Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby) on for Sam Olver, 60 mins
23 Henry Purdy (Leicester Rugby) on for Nick Tompkins, 50 mins