- Four tries for Cambridge full back
- Long praises Counties XV tenacity
Photo: Tamar Kulumbegashvili
England Counties XV opened their tour of Georgia with a 48-23 win over Emerging Georgia in Tblisi on Wednesday evening (June 4).
Full back Jim Wigglesworth (Cambridge and Yorkshire) scored four tries for the Counties, who twice had to come from behind to secure victory.
Emerging Georgia led 13-10 late in the first half and regained the lead at 16-15 three minutes into the second half before the Counties produced a controlled and disciplined second-half display to ease to victory.
“Georgia were very physical in the scrums and at the breakdown, as we expected them to be, and they scored two tries through our mistakes, one from an interception, in the first half,” said England Counties XV manager Matt Long.
“But we stuck to our structures, we kept hold of the ball much better in the second half and we scored some excellent tries with the forwards building the pressure superbly and the backs finishing off well.”
The pacy Wigglesworth benefited from the efforts of the Counties XV forwards and there were also tries for wings Lewis Vinnicombe and Nev Codlin and replacement back-row forward Harry Broadbent.
Fly half Lawrence Rayner, who was one of eight new caps in the starting XV, converted five of the tries and he also kicked a penalty to help the Counties XV to their first win of the year following one-point defeats by France Federale XV and Ireland Club XV.
England Counties will play a second match against Emerging Georgia in Tblisi on Sunday, June 8 (3pm BST) but before then the squad will visit a local school for a coaching session.
England Counties XV v Emerging Georgia
15 Jim Wigglesworth (Cambridge and Yorkshire)
14 Lewis Vinnicombe (Truro and Cornwall)
13 Markus Burcham (Blackheath and Kent)
12 Seb Rodwell (Hartpury College and Gloucestershire)
11 Nev Codlin (Cinderford and Gloucestershire)
10 Lawrence Rayner (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire)
9 Joe Bedford (Sandal and Yorkshire)
1 Tom Mantell (Macclesfield and Cheshire)
2 James Salter (Redruth and Cornwall)
3 Sean Edwards (Bishops Storford and Hertfordshire)
4 Keith Laughlin (Blaydon and Northumberland)
5 Ben Hilton Launceston and Cornwall – captain)
6 Jessie Liston (Blackheath and Kent)
7 Ollie Cooper-Millar (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire)
8 Billy Johnson (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire)
William Radburn (Birmingham & Solihull and North Midlands)
Jamal Ford-Robinson (Cambridge and Cornwall)
Richard List (Doncaster and Yorkshire)
Chris Wearmouth (Blaydon and Durham)
Harry Broadbent (Rosslyn Park and Cheshire)
Rhodri Adamson (Winchester, Newcastle University and Northumberland)
Mike Wilcox (Cinderford and Gloucestershire)
Cameron Mitchell (Darlington MP and Durham)