'Surreal' feeling for new World Champions Jack Singleton and Max Malins
PUBLISHED: 09:15 30 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:15 30 June 2016
Both Jack Singleton and Max Malins were both struggling to comprehend what had happened after England's victory over Ireland in the U20 World Rugby Championship.
The young England side ran in six tries as they blew the Irish away in the 45-21 win at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.
It finished off a tournament that has just got better and better.
Victory over Italy in the opening game was followed by wins over Scotland, Australia and South Africa.
The success left former Old Albanian Max Malins and Harpenden’s Jack Singleton almost-speechless.
Malins said: “It’s overwhelming to say the least and very surreal.
“We put in four great performances before this and then being able to put that last big performance in for the final is massive. I’m really proud of the boys.”
Singleton agreed saying: “It’s a bit surreal right now. I still can’t really believe it but it’s amazing.
“The amount of hard work, effort and intensity we’ve put in with the training camps, it all paid off in that final.
“But it’s not just been the results, it’s been the performances and the way we’ve gone about it that has just built and built.
“It’s an amazing achievement.”
Both players also agreed that the togetherness of the team was a key component in lifting the trophy.
Malins said: “During the camps prior to the tournament we talked about the close relationships between the lads and building them both on and off the field.
“These three weeks have really brought us together. We’re like a band of brothers and we show that when we go on the pitch.
“It’s paid dividends in our play.”
Singleton added: “We’re a really tight team. We knew that coming in and after we got that first win against Italy, the confidence started to build.”
The career path of the pair will now diverge.
Singleton will now head back to Worcester Warriors while any future England career will be confined to the Saxons or the senior squad.
Malins though still has another year in the U20 fold and is looking forward to defending the title in Georgia next year.
However, both were also keen to pay tribute to those who have helped them get to this stage.
Singleton said: “I could never imagine something like this happening from playing at Harpenden. It’s just amazing.
“I’ve got to thank all the coaches in my past that have put in the effort to get me here and I can’t show enough gratitude toward them.”
Malins added: “It’s an awesome feeling. Looking at the journey I’ve had, things have fell in my path and I’m very grateful for it.
“It’s been an amazing year for me and hopefully I can progress next year.”