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VIDEO – Earle says England U20 must step up for Australia

04 June 2014

  • Prolific wing urges England U20 to move on from Italy win
  • Earle excited by Australia rivalry 

Nathan Earle is confident England Under 20 can improve markedly on their performance during the 63-3 thrashing of Italy and says his side will need to be sharper when they face Australia in their second Junior World Championship group fixture.

Earle scored a hat-trick of tries on Monday evening – the first treble he can remember snaring since schoolboy rugby – as the Azzurri were eventually blown away in the second period, demonstrating his outstanding pace and finishing prowess in the process.

However, while praising England’s forwards for delivering a mobile, muscular display, the 19 year-old Saracens wing suggested Nick Walshe’s charges have plenty more to offer.

James Chisholm takes a lineout

Photo: Getty Images

“We were satisfied with the result but there are always things to work on,” he said. “ We felt we started slowly and didn’t really get into our groove until the second half, so it’s just about rectifying that first half and making sure we start all guns blazing from the first whistle.

“The messages were to just keep the tempo high. We play best when we are moving fast, so we didn’t want to slow down and let Italy back in the game. That way, we could keep the scoreboard rattling.

“The forward dominance was the reason us backs got some space. They got over the gainline a huge amount of times and because they’re skilful as well, they can put people through holes and drag defenders in.”

Prior to that contest at the ECOLight Stadium in Pukehoke, England watched the opening encounter in Pool A between Australia and Argentina, which saw the Antipodeans canter to a 36-17 bonus-point victory.

And, having now seen his next opponents at first hand, Earle was clearly excited about the upcoming challenge – something of a must-win if England have designs on retaining the trophy.

“Australia will probably be the hardest game in the group. They’re going to go hard at the breakdown and throw the ball wide. It was about knowing what to expect so we can prepare well.

“There’s just such a historic rivalry between the nations and that goes for all sports – rugby and cricket especially. There’s a bit more of an edge because you don’t want to lose to Australia.”