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Rugby News

Winning start for skipper Van Poortvliet and U20s

Jack Van Poortvliet with a box kick during the Six Nations U20s [Credit: Inpho/SixNations]
Jack Van Poortvliet with a box kick during the Six Nations U20s [Credit: Inpho/SixNations]

Jack Van Poortvliet captained England to victory in the opening game of the Under-20s Six Nations and picked up the man-of-the-match award.

Leicester Tigers scrum-half Van Poortvliet, in his second Under-20s Six Nations tournament, led England to a 38-22 win over France despite trailing by 16 points at half-time.

After a scrappy opening period, England were 19-3 down but turned the tables after the break with five tries to get the Championship off to a winning start.

“We’re obviously very happy,” he said. “It was a very scrappy first half so I’m really proud of the boys for how we turned it around in the second half.

“We felt like we were handing points to France through errors and indiscipline.

“The breakdown was an obvious area that we were struggling with. We just focused on concentrating on that breakdown and then we spoke about playing in the right areas of the field as a focus.”

Tigers colleague Archie Vanes made his Under-20s debut at hooker with another Tigers academy graduate, Emeka Ilione earning his first cap from the bench.

England play Scotland in their next fixture on Friday.