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Rugby - 16. April 2009.

Wales Under 20s 8 England Under 20s 26

England Women Under 20s opened their international campaign this season with an impressive 26-8 victory over Wales at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay today (Tuesday).

The England young guns ran in three tries, including touchdowns for England newcomers Kettering's Lizell Heather and Manchester's Harriet Mills. Fly half Claire Garner also stroked over three penalties and a conversion.

England U20s Head Coach Giselle Mather said: "This was a good win for our first game of the season, especially with so many new players in the squad. We have had limited training time together so there was a little rustiness, but the players put on a good show today. Some of the new caps did really well today, including Lizell Heather.

"We missed some try scoring opportunities and we needed to move the ball around more, but these are all things we can work on. I was also impressed with Wales. They have improved a lot since last season, and are a much fitter and stronger side. They certainly asked questions of us and that's exactly what we need ahead of the Nations Cup in July where we'll be looking to defend our title."

With home advantage Wales started the game well and had the better of the opening 22 minutes, but they couldn't convert their opportunities into points and both sides had to settle with a penalty kick each. England's Garner was successful with the boot for England while Elinor Snowshill added the points for Wales.

England, however, did take their chances and when they got the ball they made the most of their attacking opportunities. On 21 minutes it was lock Mills who handed England the lead. England had won the ball against the throw and they moved it quickly across the field. Worcester wing Sam Bree then made the vital break before offloading to Mills just before the try line. Garner couldn't convert so England took an 8-3 lead into the break.

After the restart Bath wing Natasha Hunt gave England a comfortable 13-3 advantage when the ball was moved through the midfield and she out-flanked the defence to score on the right wing. Garner missed the conversion, but moments later added a penalty.

Wales hit back with a 53rd minute try through Adi Taviner after some good pressure on England's line, but their comeback was short lived with Garner adding a penalty.

With England leading 19-8, substitute Heather then sealed the victory for England on 80 minutes with a good break and some strong running to cross the line and score the final try.


1 Elizabeth Peak (Oakmedians), 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 3 Victoria Cornborough (VC) (Richmond), 4 Charlotte Wild (Leeds Metropolitan University), 5 Harriet Mills (Manchester), 6 Hannah Field (Reading), 7 Marlie Packer (C) (Bath), 8 Nicola Hoole (Bath), 9 Sophie Russell (Loughborough), 10 Claire Garner (Leeds Leos), 11 Samantha Bree (Worcester), 12 Sarah McKenna (OA Saints), 13 Rose Fong ( Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 14 Natasha Hunt (Bath), 15 Kimberley Davey (Richmond). Replacements: 16 Natalie McClarnon (Saracens), 17 Sasha Acheson (Sudbury), 18 Amy Miller (Reading), 19 Jessie Flowers (West Park), 20 Natasha Jones (Lichfield), 21 Sarah Graham (Bath), 22 Lizell Heather (Kettering).

Tries: Mills, Hunt, Heather
Conversions: Garner
Penalties: Garner (3)
Substitutions: Flowers for Russell, Miller for Wild (both HT), Acheson for Peak, Graham for Fong, Heather for Davey (all 55), Hunt for Jones, McClarnon for Fleetwood (both 76).


15 Kerin Lake, 14 Charlotte Murray, 13 Adi Taviner, 12 Ceri Redman, 11 Paris Nicholas, 10 Elinor Snowshill (C), 9 Natalie Watkins, 1 Alex Stokes, 2 Amy Lawrence, 3 Lowri Harries, 4 Sian Williams, 5 Sioned Harries, 6 Kathryn Joseph, 8 Vicky Owens, 7 Carys Thomas. Replacements: 16 Cory Toule, 17 Sophie Mangano, 18 Sian Williams, 19 Yasmin Leung, 20 Bethan Preece, 21 Levi Hallett, 22 Rhianydd Morgan.

Tries: Taviner
Penalties: Snowshill

Referee: John Roberts

Half-time score: Wales U20s 3 England U20s 8
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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