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Forwards lead the way in Saxons success

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Jordan Crane saluted the efforts of the England Saxons squad in a dominant performance against Tonga on Sunday.

Skipper Crane had a busy afternoon, captaining the side to a second successive win, scoring a try, setting up a score for Leicester Tigers club colleague Billy Twelvetrees with a delicate kick through and taking control at the base of a scrum which claimed three penalty tries as they applied relentless pressure on the Tongans.

“I thought the referee dealt well with the scrum,” Crane said. “I felt after the first couple of scrums that we had an edge there which is why we went for the scrum when we had penalties rather than kicking for goal and it worked out well.

“It could have been really difficult for us today. Tonga are a big, physical team and people could have got intimidated by them.

"But we played the way we wanted to play and played it well.

“We’ve got a pack with a lot of young talent in there and an awesome backline. They are mainly young lads but they are very mature in the way they are playing. We are playing in the right areas.”

Saxons head coach Stuart Lancaster was similarly impressed by Crane, who has taken over as captain after Luke Narraway was ruled out by injury.

Lancaster said: “Jordan’s control at the base was excellent. He has an empathy for managing the game as captain and I think he will go on to be a very good leader.”

And what about the kick which put Twelvetrees in for the final Saxons try of the afternoon?

“I just saw him there and I thought I’d pass to Billy rather than any other player!” quipped Crane who is still unbeaten in a Saxons shirt.

England Saxons face Canada in the final at Worcester on Saturday.