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Young Tiger leads England to victory

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Leicester Tigers Academy back-rower Charlie Beckett led England Under-18s to a 30-22 win over South Africa in Stellenbosch to finish the season unbeaten.

Tries from Rotimi Segun, Joe Batley and Max Clark put England in control in the first half, while a second-half score from Sam Underhill took the game away from South Africa. Harry Mallinder kicked four points and Rory Jennings six.

England started brilliantly and were 12-0 up with barely 10 minutes on the clock with quick-fire tries from Segun and Batley, and Clark soon added a third on the way to a 19-8 lead at the break.

In the second half, Underhill dived over early on before the South Africans hit back with their second try to make it 24-15.

A Jennings penalty made it 27-15 but the hosts came back and cut the gap to just five points before another Jennings made the game safe.

Head coach John Fletcher said: “The players and management have been great all tour, but the performance was the most pleasing thing. I thought that we were on top for the majority of the game, South Africa came back fighting in the second half but our defence was excellent and we deserved the victory.

“Charlie Beckett led the guys very well, and when he went off Sam Underhill took over and he was also excellent. They’re a talented group and deserve the success.

“In terms of the programme – from Under 15 through to Under 19 – we’ve finished the season unbeaten and, while it’s not all about results, it’s a positive thing. And if you include the Under20s in that – they lost one game in the Six Nations and won the Junior World Championship, so it’s fair to say that English rugby is in a good place.”

England Under-18
15 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School & Yorkshire Carnegie)
14 Kai Little (Hartpury College)
13 Max Clark (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)
12 Harry Mallinder (Rugby School & Northampton Saints)
11 Rotimi Segun (Stowe School & Northampton Saints)
10 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)
9 Will Homer (Sherborne School & Bath Rugby)
1 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry's & Yorkshire Carnegie)
2 Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish)
3 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose & Sale Sharks)
4 Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher & Harlequins)
5 Joe Batley (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby)
6 Charlie Beckett (QEW & Leicester Tigers) (c)
7 Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s School & Gloucester Rugby)
8 Lewis Ludlam (St Joseph’s College & Northampton Saints)
16 James Fish (Trent College & Northampton Saints)
17 Owen Hills (QEW & Leicester Tigers)
18 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College & Harlequins)
19 Joe Maksymiw (QEW & Leicester Tigers)
20 George Nott (Kings School Chester & Sale Sharks)
21 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds & Harlequins)
22 Ollie Thorley (Cheltenham College & Gloucester Rugby)
23 John Williams (St Pauls College & London Irish)
24 Cameron Cowell (St Pauls College & London Irish)
25 Theo Brophy Clews (Abingdon School & London Irish)