England U20s start World Championships with stylish win over Italy

Harpenden's Jack Singleton in action for Worcester Warriors. Picture: WORCESTER WARRIORS

Harpenden's Jack Singleton in action for Worcester Warriors. Picture: WORCESTER WARRIORS - Credit: Archant

Harpenden’s Jack Singleton grabbed a try as England U20s got off to an ideal start in the U20 World Championships with a 48-10 win over Italy.

Singleton was joined by former Old Albanian Max Malins and former Oaklands College student Billy Walker as England ran in six tries at the Manchester City Academy Stadium

The win puts them top of Pool B ahead of Scotland who shocked Australia earlier in the day.

England got off to a perfect start when George Nott scampered almost 70 yards from inside his own half to score under the posts.

Henry Mallinder added the conversion and the hosts led 7-0.

However, the balance of the play for the majority of the opening 30 minutes was with the Italians.

Fly-half Leonardo Mantelli added a long range drop kick on 20 minutes and full-back Matteo Minozzi should have reduced the gap to one two minutes later but he sent his penalty wide of the uprights.

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The game turned with a break by Joe Marchant which led to a series of excellent offloads.

And although the ball was eventually knocked on, it changed the momentum of the match.

Sam Aspland-Robinson gathered a Mallinder crossfield kick for try number two, with the inside-centre again adding the conversion.

Mallinder’s penalty ended the half with England 17-3 up.

And the pattern of the game picked up after the break exactly where it had left off.

Malins had arrived just before half-time and was heavily involved as England cranked up the pressure.

Mallinder kicked another penalty before Marchant capped a wonderful move with a try, again converted.

Dominance in the scrum brought a converted penalty try and the all-important bonus point.

Singleton’s score came after a catch and drive from his own line-out, converted this time by Malins.

Zach Mercer scored moments after coming off the bench before Lorenzo Masselli grabbed a consolation, converted by Mantelli.

It couldn’t dampen an excellent performance by the young English side though with Mallinder one to definitely stand out.

The Auld Enemy are up next on Saturday before England finish the pool stages against Australia next Wednesday.