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Try for Purdy in England triumph

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Leicester Tigers wing Henry Purdy was among the try-scorers as England Under-20s beat Italy 52-5 at the Stade Peroni on Friday evening.

Despite scoring eight tries in the victory on Italian soil, England Under-20s had to settle for second place in the Six Nations as a 23-13 win for France against Ireland secured the Grand Slam and the title for Les Bleus.

England lost their opening game 21-15 to France, but bounced back with wins against Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Italy – racking up a points difference of plus 158.

Against Italy, tries from Joel Conlon, Maro Itoje, Harry Sloan, Aaron Morris, Tom Woolstencroft, Callum Braley, Purdy and Nathan Morris put England on the way to the win while Sam Olver added 10 points with the boot, and Aaron Morris two.

England coach Nick Walshe said: “The first half wasn’t exactly what we planned, Italy made it tough for us all over the park, but we executed our game a lot better in the second period.

“The players have been absolutely magnificent throughout the tournament, especially after a disappointing start against France. We’ve developed hugely over the course of the tournament, the performances have been extremely encouraging.

“I’m immensely proud of the whole group – not just the players but the management too. We’re growing as a team and our total focus is now on preparing for us to be able to perform at the Junior World Championship in June.”

Purdy was introduced as a first-half replacement for Howard Packman on the wing, while Tigers colleague Harry Thacker started in the front row.

England Under-20s
15 Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues)
14 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints)
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12 Harry Sloan (Harlequins)
11 Nathan Earle (Saracens)
10 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints)
9 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University)
1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints)
2 Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers)
3 Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
4 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby)
5 Jonny Hill (Gloucester Rugby)
6 Maro Itoje (Saracens)(c)
7 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs)
8 James Chisholm (Harlequins)

16 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby) for Thacker 45 mins
17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps) for Hobbs-Awoyemi 58 mins
18 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie) for Wilson 58 mins
19 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) for Itoje 65 mins
20 Hayden Thompson Stringer (Saracens) for Chisholm 45 mins
21 Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby) for Taylor 62 mins
22 Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
23 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers) for Packman 37 mins