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Rugby News

England book their place in World Under-20s Final

Leicester scrum-half Ben White scored a first-half try in the semi-final victory
Leicester scrum-half Ben White scored a first-half try in the semi-final victory

Leicester Tigers trio Ben White, Tom Hardwick and Jordan Olowofela were among the tryscorers as England booked their place in the World Under-20s Championships Final with victory over South Africa on Tuesday evening.

Tigers prop Joe Heyes was also in the starting line-up as England won 32-31 in a nailbiting contest in Narbonne in France.

A try from Northampton centre Fraser Dingwall put England in front after 10 minutes, before Hardwick stepped through the covering defence to add a second and then scrum-half White ran in from 40 metres as England created a counter-attacking try from deep inside their own territory to stretch the lead to 19-0.

The Junior Springboks got on the board with a try from prop Sazi Sandi just after the half-hour, but England had the final word in the first half with a Marcus Smith penalty making it 22-7 at the break.

South Africa were right back into the game after a score in the opening exchanges of the second half and trailed by just six points at 25-19 before Olowofela provided some breathing space with an England try.

But the contest was still not over as the Springboks scored again and trailed by eight points entering the final 10 minutes. Then with England shorthanded after losing lock James Scott to a yellow card, South Africa scored again, with the conversion cutting the gap to a single point with five minutes remaining on the clock.

England, though, held their nerve to book a place in the Under-20s Final again, with New Zealand and hosts France contesting the second semi-final.