Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

England reach U20s semi despite France defeat

Figure image
England qualified for the World Rugby U20s Championship semi-finals despite losing 30-18 to France in their final pool game.England, the defending champions, will play South Africa on Monday (kick off 7.30pm BST) in a repeat of last year’s final. The other semi-final will see France take on New Zealand.   Defeat at Viadana’s Stadio Luigi Zaffanella on Wednesday left England second in Pool A behind the French, and results elsewhere meant they qualified as the best performing second-paced team.   Leicester flanker Charlie Beckett made his first start of the tournament, joining Tigers teammate Will Owen in the back row. Prop Owen Hills was introduced from the bench for the final five minutes for his first appearance in the competition.   England were up against it from the early stages against France, Damian Penaud scoring two tries, including a 60m intercept score, to put les Bleus 17-3 ahead early in the second quarter.   A try by James Chisholm just before the break, kept England in contention but France extended their lead to 24-8 when Thibault Estorge finished off a lineout drive.   England clawed their way back into contention with a penalty try midway through the second half before replacement fly-half Lloyd Evans’ penalty brought the Red Rose to within six points.   But France full-back Thomas Ramos’ second penalty and a drop goal from Lucas Meret consigned England to a first defeat in three years at the World Rugby U20s Championship.   Head Coach Jon Callard said: “Credit to France, they fronted up and made inroads into our set piece which caused us some frustration and we then compounded errors with errors. “The players were disappointed with their performance, and not to top the pool, but they will learn from this experience and will be stronger for it both in terms of this competition and their international careers going forward.”   England U20 v France 15 Aaron Morris (Saracens) 14 George Perkins (Saracens) 13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens) 12 Max Clark (Bath Rugby) 11 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints) 10 Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby) 9 James Mitchell (Sale Sharks) 1 Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby) 2 Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie) 3 Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie) 4 Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins) 5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, captain) 6 Charlie Beckett (Leicester Tigers) 7 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers) 8 James Chisholm (Harlequins)   Replacements: 16 Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs) on for Jack Walker (70 mins) 17 Owen Hills (Leicester Tigers) on for Ellis Genge (70 mins) 18 Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks) on for Paul Hill (70 mins) 19 Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) on for Kieran Treadwell (50 mins) 20 Josh Bainbridge (Yorkshire Carnegie) for Charlie Beckett (57 mins) 21 Will Homer (Bath Rugby) on for James Mitchell (60 mins) 22 Lloyd Evans (Gloucester) on for Rory Jennings (57 mins) 23 Piers O’Conor (Wasps) on for Aaron Morris (75 mins)   England's Schedule: (Live on BT Sport): June 2, England 59 - 7 Japan, KO 5.30pm BST, Stadio San Michele Calvisano June 6, England 30 – 16 Wales, KO 7.30pm BST, Stadio San Michele Calvisano June 10, England 18 – 30 France, KO 3.30pm BST, Stadio Luigi Zaffanella Viadana June 15, England v South Africa, KO 7.30pm BST,  Stadio San Michele Calvisano June 20, Final and knock-out games, Details TBC