England got off to a perfect start with Sale Sharks’ George Nott scoring the opening try inside five minutes and helping the hosts beat Italy 48-10. It was a frenzied day of action as Italy was put to the sword at the Academy Stadium in Manchester.
At the break, England led 17-3 with tries from Sam Aspland-Robinson and Nott, conversions for Harry Mallinder and Theo Brophy-Clews, and a penalty for the center of Northampton Saints. Italy earned their points when Leonardo Mantelli scored a long-range drop-goal in the first half.
While the second half was also dominated by England, a Mallinder penalty and tries for Marchant, as well as penalty tries for Zach Mercer and Jack Singleton gave the hosts an unassailable lead. Both Max Malins and Mallinder sent over two conversions in the second-half, though Italy scored the final point of the match with a late try from Lorenzo Robin Masselli.
It was a memorable day for six players as Max Malins, Theo Brophy-Clews, Darren Atkins, Mallinder, Johnny Williams, Billy Walker made their U20 debuts for England, and it happened to be Haag’s first game as Head Coach for the side.