- England Counties beat Spain XV 45-28
- Counties finish their season unbeaten
England Counties finished their tour of Spain with a 45-28 over the national side having beaten club side Euskarians 61-19 in their first match.
England scored seven tries against a Spain XV side in Guadalajara, fighting off a spirited comeback from Spain in the second half.
England’s Jack Preece got England off to a strong start after just four minutes, scoring under the posts after picking up a Robin Wedlake offload with the try converted by full back Matt Shepherd.
And after 13 minutes England scored their second, again set up by Wedlake whose inside ball found Albert Portsmouth who showed impressive footwork to round Spain's full back and score. Shepherd once again converted to bring the score to 14-0.
Spain responded with a try of their own after spreading the ball wide but England remained in the ascendancy and it was fly-half Rhys Hayes who scored England’s third in the corner before centre Albert Portsmouth dotted down for his second after 22 minutes.
Shepherd slotted one of the conversions to make it 26-7 and it looked set to stay that way until a moment of magic from Wedlake who stepped three players to touch down. Shepherd once again converted making it 33-7 to the visitors at half time.
Counties hold off comeback
The victory looked all but guaranteed for England but Spain mounted a spirited comeback in the second half.
Two converted tries from their forwards in the first twenty minutes of the second half made it 33-21 to set up a thrilling final 20 minutes.
Some sublime handling set up Counties replacement Max Trimble to score in the corner and widen the gap for the visitors but Spain once again responded with a rampaging try from replacement Gavidi.
However a late try from Harry Bate proved the difference with the match finishing 45-28 at the final whistle.
England Counties is the flagship team of the community game in England and offers players from National League One and below the opportunity to represent their country.
1. Dan Seal (Cambridge and East Midlands)
2. Neil Sweeney (Esher and Surrey)
3. Matt Collins (Ampthill and East Midlands)
4. Nile Dacres (Coventry and North Midlands)
5. Joe Makin (Hull Ionians and Yorkshire)
6. Keith Laughlin (c) (Blaydon and Northumberland)
7. Jack Preece (Coventry and Gloucestershire)
8. Tom Baldwin (Blackheath and Kent)
9. Pete White (Coventry and East Midlands)
10. Rhys Hayes (Caldy and Cheshire)
11. Sam Baker (Ampthill and East Midlands)
12. Jack Lavin (Caldy and Cheshire)
13. Albert Portsmouth (Cambridge and Eastern Counties)
14. Robin Wedlake (Plymouth and Cornwall)
15. Matt Shepherd (Plymouth and Cornwall)
16. Fran Entressengle (Huddersfield and Yorkshire)
17. Hayden King (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire)
18. Alex Gilthrow (Clifton and Somerset)
19. Rob Birtwell (Sedgley Park and Lancashire)
20. Harry Bate (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire)
21. Tom Wheatcroft (Coventry and Leicestershire)
22. Max Trimble (Coventry and Warwickshire)
23. James Shanahan (Hertfordshire)