June 20,2014(ISN) – England are winners of the IRB Junior World Championship 2014.
Nick Walshe’s men won a thrilling final in Eden Park on Friday, beating South Africa 21-20 in a classic.
Hosts New Zealand finished the tournament in third place after defeating a plucky Irish team, 45-23.
South African captain Handre Pollard was voted IRB Junior Player of the Year and was presented with his award by #JWC2014 Ambassador, Jonah Lomu.
The fifth place final between France and Australia was a tense affair, with Australian captain Sean McMahon leading his men to a 34-27 win.
Fiji will play in next year’s IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy after they were relegated, the islanders beaten by next year’s JWC hosts Italy, 22-17.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “My congratulations go to England for their performance, it was one of the most thrilling JWC finals.”
“The two teams delivered a showcase of skill, energy and commitment and the atmosphere in Eden Park was electric.”
“I also want to thank New Zealand Rugby for hosting a fabulous competition here in Auckland. They brought the energy and expertise from Rugby World Cup 2011 into this tournament, and the players and fans reaped the benefits. It was a wonderful experience for all involved.”
Tournament Ambassador Jonah Lomu said: “It’s been a fabulous experience watching the future stars of World Rugby over the last few weeks here in Auckland.”
“I was very impressed by England and South Africa, but teams from both hemispheres showed why the Game is in great hands over the coming years.”
“Many of these guys will go on to Test level, but they will benefit greatly from their time here at this year’s JWC.”
Next year’s IRB Junior World Championship will be held in Italy. Venues and match dates will be announced in due course