BILLY Burns was among the try-scorers as England opened their Under-20 Rugby World Cup campaign with an emphatic victory today.
The England young guns were too strong for Italy, beating them 63-3 in their opening group game in New Zealand.
Captain Callum Braley was pleased to get the win, but says that there’s still “much more to come” from his charges.
A hat-trick of tries from Nathan Earle, two from Gus Jones, two from James Chisholm and one apiece from Burns and George Catchpole secured the win while Sam Olver added 16 points with the boot and Burns two.
Olver and Jake McIntyre exchanged early penalties to make it 3-3, Olver’s second put England 6-3 up before Earle’s first try made it 13-3 after a smart chip through from Aaron Morris.
England’s second came from a rolling maul and was touched down by Jones – his fifth England U20 try. And the third was another one for the forwards, Chisholm scoring from the back of a dominant England scrum.
England made a quick start to the second 40 as Earle made a break through for his second and the Saracens wing had his hat-trick a minute later, tracking a quick break from Harry Sloan before flying over.
With the bonus point in the bag, England scored their sixth try through Chisholm who pounced on a loose ball after a grubber through from Olver.
Jones had his second try with 60 on the clock, in not too dissimilar fashion from his first – dotting down a rolling maul.
Replacement No 10 Burns scored and converted England’s eighth try before Catchpole had his first and England’s ninth, showing good pace to score out wide.
Captain Braley said: “We’re pleased to kick off our tournament with a win – the scoreline doesn’t reflect what a physical game that was. Italy came pretty hard at us and we really had to step up – we were a bit more clinical in the second half, and we needed to be.
“We’ll learn a lot from this one and look to really push on for our second game against Australia, which we know is going to be a huge match. This tournament is about performing well and getting results, we managed to get the result today but we know that there’s much more to come from us from a performance point of view.”
Gloucester back row Ross Moriarty played the first 50 minutes before being replaced by Joel Conlon.
England's next group game is against Australia on Friday.