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Tigers trio enjoy first-up success in U18 Six Nations

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Tigers academy trio George Martin, Joe Browning and Jack Van Poortvliet enjoyed a successful start to the 2019 Six Nations U18s Festival as part of the England side to defeat Wales 38-20 at Gillman's Ground in Hartpury.

The home side, captained by Leicester lock Martin, took a 24-10 lead in to the half-time break after three first half tries - including one for Tigers winger Browning, who dived over down the left corner after good work from England’s forwards to create space out wide.

Both sides came out to play in the second half, crossing for two tries each, however the boot of England's goal kicker Tom Curtis helped extend the difference and ultimately deliver victory for the Jim Mallinder coached squad.

Speaking at full-time, Mallinder told England Rugby: “It was a good positive start for us. We played some really good rugby in that first half and scored some good tries. Possession dried up a little in the second half and credit to Wales who came back into the game but I thought our defence was outstanding.

"It’s a good start to the tournament, the players will learn a lot from the experience and it gives us a good platform from which to build on.

“We need to sort out our set piece and that is understandable as this is a relatively new group who have only come together recently and we need to have a look at our attacking structure as we left a few tries out there. In defence we need one or two little tweaks but overall we are really happy with that performance.”

Elsewhere, Ireland were defeated by France and Italy scored a try in the final play of the game to beat Scotland - who have Tigers back-rower Ben Muncaster as part of their squad for the 2019 festival.

The festival, which is being hosted by England Rugby at Hartpury University and College, will see three sets of fixtures at Gillman’s Ground, Sixways Stadium and Kingsholm, all live via FreeSports TV.