Yorkshire Carnegie hooker Jack Walker set England U20 on their way to a comfortable 59-7 win over Japan as they begin the defence of their World title in Italy.

Jon Callard's side included Walker and fellow Carnegie team mate Paul Hill in the starting line up and they set about their task with relish with four tries in the opening 12 minutes including the second try of the game from Walker. 

England will now face Wales in their next game on Saturday back at the Stadio San Michele in Calvisano, kick off 8.30pm local time. England will have a point to prove as Wales defeated the World Champions in the opening game of this year's Six Nations, which England eventually went on to win by winning their remaining four games. 

In a dominant and composed first half England built a strong 45-0 lead with tries from George Perkins, Jack Walker, Tom Howe and two apiece for Aaron Morris and Stuart Townsend.

Japan were not however to be completely undone and following the break kept England under pressure with a passionate and determined performance.

Head Coach Jon Callard said: “I am pleased with that performance, we came out of the blocks and started really well.  We were clinical with the opportunities that presented themselves to us.

"Second half we emptied the bench and Japan found momentum.  To their credit, they were very good and stretched us on the edge with their attacking play.  We are through the first game and will be all the better for the experience of dealing with the heat and conditions out here.” 

England opened the scoring within the first minute through George Perkins which Rory Jennings converted.  A second was added minutes later when hooker Jack Walker charged over in the corner, again Jennings was on target.

Scrum half Stuart Townsend darted over from the back of England’s driving maul before full-back Morris got in on the action to score England’s fourth try and secure the all-important bonus point.  Jennings’ conversion put England 26-0 ahead within 15 minutes.  A second soon followed for Morris as he raced onto the offload from Nick Tompkins.

Just before the half hour mark Japan began building some phases with periods of attack in England’s half but strong work at the breakdown by Paul Hill caused Japan to be penalised for not releasing. Townsend took the penalty quickly, sprinting down field to claim his second in an all round authoritative performance. 

Tom Howe, making his first England start, added one more just before half time, again created by Tompkins – this time a perfectly weighted grubber.

Replacement Sam Skinner got the score board ticking within minutes of the second half.  It looked like Japan had responded when Tevita Tatafu drove over the line, much to the delight of the crowd however it was disallowed for obstruction.

Buoyed by their efforts, Japan remained on the offensive and were eventually rewarded with a penalty try when Max Clark saw yellow for a deliberate knock on.  Ryuji Noguchi converted to claim the full seven points with twenty minutes left to play.

Momentum remained with Japan until the final ten minutes when England pushed for a final score and it was debutant Will Witty who went over.

Perkins 1T, Jennings 7C, Walker 1T, Townsend 2T, Morris 2T, Howe 1T, Skinner 1T, Witty 1T

England U20 v Japan U20:

15 Aaron Morris (Saracens) 
14 George Perkins (Saracens) 
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens) 
12 Max Clark (Bath Rugby) 
11 Tom Howe (Wasps) 
10 Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby) 
9 Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs) 

1 Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby) 
2 Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie) 
3 Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie) 
4 Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons) 
5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, Captain) 
6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints) 
7 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers) 
8 James Chisholm (Harlequins) 


16 Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs) on for Jack Walker 40 mins 
17 Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins) on for Ellis Genge 40 mins 
18 Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks) on for Paul Hill 40 mins 
19 Sam Skinner  (Exeter Chiefs) on for Charlie Ewels 40 minutes 
20 Charlie Beckett (Leicester Tigers) on for Lewes Ludlam 55 minutes 
21 James Mitchell (Sale Sharks) on for Stuart Townsend 40 minutes 
22 Lloyd Evans (Gloucester) on for George Perkins 70 minutes 
23 Piers O’Conor (Wasps) on for Aaron Morris 40 minutes

England's Schedule: (Live on BT Sport) 

June 2, England 59 – 7 Japan, KO 5.30pm BST, Stadio San Michele Calvisano 
June 6, England v Wales, KO 7.30pm BST, Stadio San Michele Calvisano 
June 10, England v France, KO 3.30pm BST, Stadio Luigi Zaffanella Viadana 
June 15, Semi-finals and knock-out games. Details TBC 
June 20, Final and knock-out games, Details TBC