England U18 had to settle for the Bronze medal after they defeated Italy 39-12 in the third place final of the 2015 Rugby Europe Under 18 Championship in Toulouse.

The age-group side started brightly despite the difficult and wet conditions in France, scoring four tries in the first spell to go into the break 29-0 up.

The second half proved a tougher 40 minutes for the England team as the young Azzurri began to work their way into the match and play to their strengths. The Italians were able to hit back twice in response to England’s two tries scored in the half.

The result leaves England in third place with France winning the tournament on home soil with a comprehensive 57-0 win in the Final over Georgia.

Head coach John Fletcher said: “Overall it was an okay performance from the guys. It was a decent effort but we felt we could have given more. The Italian scrum and driving play was strong but when we got the ball in hand we looked a threatening side.

Reflecting on the tournament, he added: “We came out here with the ultimate goal to win all three games and continue to improve our performances.

“We are obviously disappointed not to win but overall it has been a pleasing competition for us in terms of players improving and spending time together.

“We will be looking forward to the under 19 games coming up and then the South African tests in August.”

England convincingly beat Portugal 85-5 in the opening game of the tournament last weekend before losing out to a strong French side 21-17 mid-week.

Scorers: Zach Mercer 1T; Johnny McPhillips 1T, 3 Con, 1 Pen; Paolo Odogwu 2T; Mark Dixon 1T; Dan Frost 1T.

England U18 team

15. Johnny McPhillips (Newcastle Falcons, Sedbergh School)
14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins, Trinity College)
13. Dominic Morris (Saracens, New Hall School)
12. Max Malins (Saracens, Felsted)
11. Paolo Odogwu (Leicester Tigers, Leicester Grammar School)
10. Mark Dixon (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS)
9. Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs) (Captain)

1. Jake Pope (Sale Sharks, Myerscough College)
2. Curtis Langdon (London Irish, St Pauls Sunbury)
3. Charlie Capps (Prince Henry’s, Yorkshire Carnegie)
4. Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College)
5. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, Haileybury College)
6. Archie White (Harlequins, Epsom College)
7. Will Allman (Northampton Saints, Trent College)
8. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby, Merchiston Castle School

Replacements:

16. Dan Frost (Bath Rugby, Filton College)
17. Oliver Dawe (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College)
18. Jack Edmondson (Bath Rugby, Sherborne)
19. Tim Cardall (Northampton Saints, Moulton College)
20. Joe Craggs (Newcastle Falcons, Gosforth Academy)
21. Will Evans (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & QEI College)
22. Alex Mitchell (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS)
23. Darren Atkins (Bath Rugby, Millfield School)
24. Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry’s)
25. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins, Welling College)

Tournament results

Friday 27 March
England U18 85 v Portugal U18 5, Montauban

Tuesday 31 March
England U18 17 v France U18 21, Blagnac

Saturday 4 April
England U18 39 v Italy U18 12, Toulouse