France spoil Isiekwe’s full England U18 debut

Nick Isiekwe with his England shirt.

Nick Isiekwe with his England shirt. - Credit: Archant

Nick Isiewke’s full England U18 debut ended in defeat as the Three Lions were narrowly beaten 23-19 by France in the European Championships.

The Haileybury pupil was one of 10 changes to the England line-up after their 85-5 thrashing of Portugal in their opening fixture of the tournament.

They couldn’t build on their momentum despite showing real promise in attack, resulting in tries from Jake Pope, Alex Mitchell and Josh Caulfield.

France maintained the lead throughout the fixture in Blagnac, scoring two tries and 13 points off the boot.

Head coach John Fletcher said: “We knew France would be a tough opposition and that was proved right. Against a team of France’s quality, you can’t afford to give them the chances we did and that cost us. We couldn’t maintain enough pressure for long periods.

“But despite the scoreline I was pleased with the effort from the players; they didn’t let up and we were pushing hard for a try at the end. They are disappointed with the result but the players will learn from it and produce a good performance in our last game.”

England’s final game of the European Championships is on Saturday.