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Russell Earnshaw Q&A after England U18s victory

England U18s ended their summer development tour with a 52-22 victory over South Africa Schools.

England had won one against France and later lost to Wales in their previous games of the U19 International Series in South Africa.

Coach Russell Earnshaw analyses the performance of the side on Saturday.

How would you sum up the performance?

“I just think we played with real ambition and intent.

“We could have done without half-time, they came out after the break and scored 15 points in 10 minutes but the lads showed great resilience to get through that spell and I thought it was a great performance in the end.

“They just played like they trained and it’s pretty exciting when it transfers onto the pitch.”

England led 19-0 at the break through tries from Ollie Hassell-Collins, Josh Basham and Sam Moore.

South Africa scored second-half tries from Muller du Plessis (2) and Henco Martins as well as seven points from the boot of Qamani Kota.

But tries from Nick Rigby, Tom Willis, Cadan Marley, Sam Spink and Nick David as well as three Kieran Wilkinson conversions sealed victory.

How should the players feel after that performance?

This tour is about them learning, making connections on and off the pitch and improving their skillset. Putting 50 points on South Africa in South Africa is outstanding and the players should be very proud of themselves.

Did you see the principles of CARDS out there today?

“We coach the principles of CARDS and the players showed a lot of the different elements of that in their performance today.

“We showed creativity and came up with solutions to the different problems South Africa were presenting. There was plenty of resilience out there also, it was a brilliant performance.”

What do you hope the players will go on to do now?

“We do a lot of work alongside the clubs and schools so that these players can be the best they can be.

“I’m excited when I see players that we’ve coached go on and progress in their careers and I think this group have the capability to do that and move the game on.

“We have seven lads who are Under 17 so they will be with us next year and they will carry the mantel on. I’m just excited for them.”

 


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