Four Exiles were in action for their respective nations over the weekend, competing in the Under 20 Six Nations Summer Series and international test friendlies.
Lucas Brooke, Chandler Cunningham-South and Mikey Summerfield all played for England under-20s when taking on the South Africa under-20s side in the opening round of the Under 20 Six Nations Summer Series at the Payanini Rugby Centre, Verona.
Playing the full 80 minutes, Cunningham-South made 71 metres from 11 carries (the second most of any England player, sixth most of any player on the pitch), three passes, one offload and two broken tackles.
The nine tackles of Irish’s midseason addition were the third highest on the England team that afternoon, and also won a turnover for Alan Dickens’ side.
Summerfield was welcomed into the tie from the bench on the 46th minute in place of Saracens’ Jevaughn Warren, going on to make three metres from a carry, play one pass and boasted a 100% tackling success rate from four attempts.
Back-row talent Lucas Brooke arrived into the fray just after the hour, replacing Leicester Tigers’ Lewis Chessum, and made six metres from one carry, executed one pass and also completed all of his four attempted tackles.
The Junior Boks took the first half by three points, with two unconverted tries courtesy of Suleiman Hartzenberg and Nico Steyn sandwiching John Stewart’s converted retort.
Cameron Hanekom increased the deficit for England with his first try five minutes after resumption, Hartzenburg then adding his second after Fin Smith’s penalty.
England captain Emeka Ilione brought his side back into the game to trail by four points in the final quarter, but a Sacha Mngomezulu penalty and Tian Laange try combination meant that Conor Oresanya’s late score was a mere consolation for England, finishing 30-22.
England under-20s now sit third in Pool A of the Under 20 Six Nations Summer Series, with pool-toppers France awaiting in the second of three group stage fixtures this Wednesday (29th June, 4pm ko BST).
Danilo Fischetti, London Irish’s exciting new prospect at loosehead prop, started for Italy in their opening fixture of the summer in an away trip to the Estàdio do Restelo, Lisbon to take on Mediterranean neighbours, Portugal.
In the Italians’ first outing since a historic win in Cardiff to close out the 2022 Guinness Six Nations saw the visitors behind at the break by 17-10, despite Leonardo Marin making an impact after returning from a sin-binning.
Edoardo Padovani and Gianmarco Lucchesi levelled matters at 24-all after Tomas Appleton extended Portugal’s lead, and a Rodrigo Marta try for the hosts posed questions of the Tier One side but a Cherif Traorè effort and penalty try saw the blues home.
Fischetti played in the opening 69 minutes of the encounter, replaced by try-scorer Traorè as the Azzurri edged past their hosts as the game concluded 38-31 in favour of Kieran Crowley’s men.
Italy next take on Georgia in Batumi on 10th July as part of their tour of Europe this summer.