Joe Cokanasiga and Tom Parton’s hard work is coming to fruition according to London Irish Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy, the duo crossing for the first and last tries to help England Under-20s to a 59-17 victory over France at Sandy Park.
Cokanasiga’s impressive strength with ball in hand yielded the first score of the contest, while Parton rounded off the rout with a try to ensure the Red Rose got their Six Nations campaign off to a flying start.
“Both players thoroughly deserve to be starting for England Under-20s as they’ve been excellent for us this season,” said Kennedy, who ensured it was a winning weekend all-round by guiding Irish to a 60-14 triumph against Nottingham on Sunday.
“Joe and Tom have enjoyed significant game time with us this season and they both really deserve to be in the under-20s team. It’s great for their rugby education to be training and playing in a different environment and this experience will set them in good stead.
“It was also good to see them both getting on the score sheet which capped off a great day for them – they will remember Saturday for a long time,” he added.
England led 31-3 at half-time after a blistering opening 40 minutes in which they scored five tries through Cokanasiga, Ben Earl, Will Butler, Tom Curry and Max Malins.
France took an early lead but struggled to cope with England’s power, pace and intensity at the home of Exeter Chiefs. After trading tries in the second period through Selevasio Tolofua and Max Wright, France’s Baptiste Pesenti crossed with 10 minutes remaining.
However, Malins continued his fine afternoon, converting his late try while Sam Aspland-Robinson flew over down the left wing and Parton crossed as England had the last say.
Let's keep the tries coming with a bumper crowd to welcome London Scottish to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday 25th February (kick-off 3pm). Tickets are on sale now by calling 0118 968 1016 or click here to purchase online.