Two Wasps help England U20 beat Italy

Date: 3 Jun 2018

Wasps' Tom Willis and Gabriel Oghre helped England U20s seal a second bonus-point victory after a seven-try win over Italy at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Having beaten Argentina 39-18 in their opening fixture of the tournament, they followed that up with a 43-5 victory over Italy in Perpignan on Sunday, with Wasps' Tom Willis starting at blindside flanker and Gabriel Oghre coming on as the replacement hooker. 

England led 26-5 at the break with tries from Marcus Smith, Tom Parton and two for Ben Loader, while Smith kicked three conversions as they secured the four-try bonus-point before half-time.

Italy, who defeated Scotland in their opening fixture, responded through Antoine Koffi but it was all they could muster in a half dominated by Steve Bates' side.

Second-half scores from Smith, Gabriel Ibitoye and Rory Brand added gloss to an impressive performance from England but the game ended with lock Sam Lewis red carded for an illegal tackle.

England thought they had an early try after a penalty was kicked to the corner and after several phases Ben Curry barged over, only for it to be disallowed because of the grounding.

Soon after they were over, with Smith jinking his way to the try line and dotting down under the posts before converting his own score.

A second try came via Parton after neat handling and a Tom Willis break eventually released England’s full-back to go over with Smith again kicking the extras.

A neat break in midfield by Smith eventually saw Loader go over for a third converted try inside 30 minutes.

Koffi finished off an Italy break from inside their own half, but, before the break, Loader sealed the bonus-point after going over in the corner. 

Wasps hooker Gabriel Oghre and lock James Scott were introduced early in the second half as England's dominance continued with Ibitoye producing a fine finish in the corner for a fifth try. 

Smith collected a loose ball just inside Italy's half to run in his second try, also converting the score for 38-5 while Brand nipped in at the corner.

Lewis was sent off late on for his high challenge but England saw out the rest of the game.

England now end their pool B fixtures against Scotland on Thursday in Beziers  (Thursday, 7 June, KO 8pm BST), with the game being streamed live by

Steve Bates said: "It was a really good first 50 minutes. We put a lot of pressure on Italy, scored seven tries and probably could have scored a couple more.

"It was a really important step forward but we know we can improve and there is lots to come from this side.

"I thought we put them under a lot of pressure up front, we scrummaged really well and that set the platform. We took our opportunities in the first half and despite the game becoming slightly fragmented in the second period I'm still satisfied with the performance.

"We know Scotland will be a really tough challenge, but so far so good.

"We are disappointed with the red card late on, and we will have to await the outcome of that."

England U20s side to play Italy:

15. Tom Parton (London Irish)
14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)
12. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
11. Ben Loader (London Irish)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
9. Rory Brand (London Irish)
1. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)
2. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Rugby)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. Sam Lewis (Leicester Tigers)
6. Tom Willis (Wasps)
7. Ben Curry - captain (Sale Sharks)
8. Josh Basham (London Irish).


16. Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)
17. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
18. Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
19. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
20. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
21. Ben White (Leicester Tigers)
22. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
23. Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)

England U20 fixtures:

England 39-18 Argentina

England: Tries – Olowofela 2, Walker 2, Smith Cons – Grayson 3, Hardwick Pens - Grayson, Hardwick

Argentina: Tries – Chocobares, Pedemonte Cons – Daireaux Pens - Daireaux, Mendía

England 43-5 Italy

England: Tries – Smith 2, Parton, Loader 2, Ibitoye, Brand Cons – Smith 4

Italy: Tries – Koffii

England v Scotland

Thursday 7 June, KO 8pm BST – highlights on ITV 4 (midnight)

Stade de la Méditerranée, Beziers

Semi-finals and ranking play-offs - Narbonne and Perpignan, 12 June

Finals day - Beziers, 17 June