england u20 rugby champs

England have been crowned World Rugby U20 Championship 2016 winners after beating Ireland 45-21 in Manchester

The hosts scored six tries to secure the win in front of a packed house at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturdayevening in the north-west of England. 

Despite a solid second half performance, Ireland struggled to gain momentum, as man of the match Harry Mallinder scored 23 points during a commanding performance, which saw him finish as the tournament’s leading points scorer.

Speaking after he raised the trophy aloft, Mallinder said: “It’s great to test yourself against the very best in the world, we’ve had that in this tournament and it’s exciting as a young lad to get this opportunity. It’s been an amazing journey and a huge squad effort.” 

Winning coach Martin Haag said he was proud of his team: “The performance tonight was outstanding. We adapted well to the transititon between attack and defence and the way they handled the 80 minutes was a credit to the guys.

“The individuals became a team and they bonded really well over the last few weeks. These guys have a bright future together, they’ve made friendships and some bonds that will last forever and it’s superb.” 

Irish coach Nigel Carolan said: “We felt we were beaten by the better side. They were very clinical, any chance they got they took and, at 21-0 down, it was always going to be an uphill battle.

“I’m extremely proud of the way these boys have conducted themselves over the last three and a half weeks, it’s been an immense tournament.”

Earlier in the day Argentina beat South Africa 49-19 in the battle for third place. Japan were relegated to next year’s U20 Trophy, after they were beaten 41-17 by Italy in the opening game of the day at the Manchester City Academy Stadium.

Elsewhere on final’s day, there were wins for New Zealand, France and Wales in the battle for positional seedings


There was some positive news for Ireland however; No.8 Max Deegan was named Player of the Tournament at a special post-match presentation at the AJ Bell Stadium, following a public vote. 

The focus now moves to Georgia in 2017, where the Lelos, who finished the competition in 10th place, will host the tournament for the first time.