England U20s well beaten in World Championship final

Max Malins in action for England during this year's Under-20 Six Nations (pic: Ben Birchall/PA Image

Max Malins in action for England during this year's Under-20 Six Nations (pic: Ben Birchall/PA Images) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

New Zealand 64 England 17

England under-20s were well beaten by their New Zealand counterparts in the final of the World Rugby Championship in Georgia.

They trailed 40-7 at the break with the dominant Baby Blacks scoring six tries through Dalton Papali’I, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Asafo Aumua (2), Isaia Walker-Leawere and Luke Jacobson, as Stephen Perofeta contributed 10 points.

England’s try came from Ben Earl, which his Saracens’ clubmate Max Malins converted.

Josh McKay and Alex Mitchell traded tries after the break before New Zealand added to their lead through Aumua and Tom Christie.

Josh Bayliss scored England’s third while Jacobson had a second and the final try of the game.

The England side had defied the odds to reach their fifth successive World Rugby U20 Championship final after five members of the U20 Elite Performance Squad were called into the senior set up for the two-Test tour of Argentina, while they also lost five key players to injury out in Georgia.

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Nonetheless the side had bonus-point victories over Samoa and Wales before beating Australia in their final pool game.

A late Zach Mercer try against South Africa in the last four secured their place in Sunday’s final but New Zealand proved too strong.

England U20 head coach Ian Vass said: “The physical attributes of New Zealand meant they just kept coming and unfortunately we weren’t able to stick with them to make it the tight game that we wanted.

“The way we fought back in the second half shows the fight and the spirit in the team that we have displayed the whole tournament. We are massively proud of their efforts over the past three weeks and the whole season.”

England U20: 15. Tom Parton (London Irish), 14. Darren Atkins (Bath Rugby), 13. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors), 12. Jacob Umaga (Wasps), 11. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), 10. Max Malins (Saracens), 9. Harry Randall (Gloucester Rugby), 1. Ralph Adams-Hale (Saracens), 2. Joe Mullis (Gloucester Rugby), 3. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby), 4. Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs), 5. Jack Nay (Saracens), 6. Dino Lamb (Harlequins), 7. Ben Earl (Saracens), 8. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby). Replacements: 16. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby), 17. Ollie Dawe (Bristol Rugby), 18. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby), 19. Justin Clegg (Worcester Warriors), 20. Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby), 21. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), 22. James Grayson (Northampton Saints), 23. Paolo Odogwu (Sale Sharks).