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Rugby News

World U20s round three round-up

Tommy Reffell captained Wales to victory against Japan Credit: Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency
Tommy Reffell captained Wales to victory against Japan Credit: Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency

England will play South Africa in the semi-finals of the World Rugby U20 Championship on Tuesday after a 35-10 bonus-point victory over Scotland.

Leicester Tigers fly-half Tom Hardwick kicked a penalty and a conversion while Gabriel Ibitoye (2), Beck Cutting, James Scott, Joel Kpoku and Matt Williams  scored the tries to see off Scotland.

England were captained by scrum-half Ben White and his Tigers team-mate Jordan Olowofela in the starting XV and Joe Heyes among the replacements.

It was their third successive bonus-point win in qualifying as top seeds from Pool B. They will take on South Africa in Narbonne at 6pm BST, live on ITV 4, while New Zealand face France in Perpignan in the other semi-final.

England head coach Steve Bates said: "Credit to the players for putting together another good performance and for achieving a third bonus-point victory as well as sealing top spot.

"We played South Africa a few weeks ago in Worcester, but I don't think that result will have any bearing on Tuesday's fixture. We know they will be physical, but we are a different side to the one we put out. It will heighten our focus but I don't think it will affect us.

"This competition is really intense, you have four days inbetween matches, so we have to recover, analyse and prepare correctly so we are at our best for Tuesday's game.

“We have to raise our performance to another level as we're now in the knockout phase of the tournament."

Scotland, who included Tigers prop Sam Grahamslaw in their squad for the tournament, will play Ireland in the third tier semi-finals in Perpignan on Tuesday (kick-off 3pm BST). Georgia will play Japan in the other game.

Tigers flanker Tommy Reffell, meanwhile, captained Wales to an 18-17 victory over Japan to secure second place in Pool A behind New Zealand.

A Harri Morgan try and a conversion and penalty from Cai Evans gave Wales a 13-10 half-time lead. Dewi Cross added a second try before Siosaia Fifita crossed for Japan and Yuto Mori converted to ensure a tense finish.

But Wales held out to book a meeting with Argentina in Narbonne in the second tier semi-finals. Italy and Australia contest the other game.

England U20s: 15 James Grayson (Northampton Saints), 14 Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), 13 Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers), 12 Will Butler (Worcester Warriors), 11 Ben Loader (London Irish), 10 Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), 9 Ben White (c) (Leicester Tigers); 1 Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby), 2 Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors), 3 Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints), 4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 5 James Scott (Worcester Warriors), 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), 8 Tom Willis (Wasps)

Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre (Wasps), 17 Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby), 18 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 19 Josh Basham (London Irish), 20 Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), 21 Rory Brand (London Irish), 22. Matt Williams (London Irish), 23 Tom Parton (London Irish)

Wales U20: 15 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 14 Corey Baldwin (Scarlets), 13 Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets), 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), 11 Dewi Cross (Ospreys), 10 Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues), 9 Harri Morgan (Ospreys); 1 Rhys Davies (Scarlets), 2 Dewi Lake (Ospreys), 3 Chris Coleman (Dragons), 4 Lewis Ellis-Jones (Scarlets), 5 Jack Pope (Bridgend), 6 Tommy Reffell (c) (Leicester Tigers), 7 Lennon Greggains (Dragons), 8 Taine Basham (Dragons)

Replacements: 16 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), 17 Iestyn Harris (Cardiff Blues), 18 Rhys Henry (Ospreys), 19 Max Williams (Dragons), 20 Ben Fry (Dragons), 21 Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues), 22 Ben Thomas (Cardiff Blues), 23 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues)