6 February 2023
Eight London Irish players took part in international action over the last weekend, competing in both the Guinness Six Nations Championship and the Under-20 Six Nations.
On Friday evening, the England under-20s employed Monty Bradbury (fly-half, debut) and Chandler Cunningham-South (number eight) in their starting XV to open their 2023 campaign against Scotland.
Bradbury put pressure on the visitors from the off with his restarts, going on to make 10 tackles (joint-highest among English backs), 13 metres from four carries, 12 passes, 120 kick metres and one try assist in a starring performance.
Irish’s back-row talent scored a first-half try, executed a team-high 13 tackles, making 70 metres in 11 carries (highest among English forwards), alongside an offload and one broken tackle in another full 80 minutes.
Calum Scott (hooker) and Afolabi Fasogbon (prop) earned 29 minutes off as replacements, their first competitive appearances at under-20 level as Scott making 15 metres from two carries, a tackle and an offload in two passes.
Fasogbon made nine metres from his one carry on an evening of fine attacking form for the Exiles, complemented with an offload and two tackles as Alan Dickens’ side edged a 41-36 thriller at the Twickenham Stoop.
Ben White and Ollie Hassell-Collins, the latter of whom making his senior international bow, contested for the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham Stadium the following day in each country’s first 2023 Guinness Six Nations game.
The Scottish seniors retained the trophy for the third consecutive year with another close encounter in south-west London, winning 29-23 as Duhan van der Merwe completed his brace late on to swing the result.
White played an integral role in another famous win for the Thistle; scoring a try of his own in a 70-minute-long appearance, also registering 21 metres from three carries, 237 kick metres, 43 passes, an offload, a broken tackle and 10 tackles of his own.
The London Irish Academy graduate impressed in his 64 minutes of pitch time on his England debut, kicking 110 metres, making two tackles and breaking one in 91 metres made with ball in hand.
Another tight result swung the way of Fabien Galthié’s France, who closed out the first round of the Six Nations against Danilo Fischetti and Luca Morisi’s Italy side in Rome.
Prop Fischetti made an impact in the loose with an impressive 46 metres in seven carries and six broken tackles (joint-highest in the game), combined with three passes and nine tackles.
Luca Morisi played out all four quarters and notched the highest tackle count in Italian backs (12), as well as seven passes and 73 running metres as France emerged 29-24 victors.
Congratulations to all of our international Exiles!