An inexperienced England side defeated the Barbarians 51-43 in an entertaining encounter at Twickenham on Sunday. With England’s starting XV containing just five caps – all of which were held by number eight Teimana Harrison – and the Barbarians’ 15 blessed with a plethora of experience to the tune of 478 caps, the hosts were expected to find life difficult in front of a packed crowd.
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However, the Red Rose went toe-to-toe with the invitational side, that included former England international Joe Marler, and they managed to pull off a fantastic 51-43 victory in what was a try-fest. Joshua Bassett, Simon Hammersley, Marcus Smith, who kicked six conversions and three penalties, and Johnny Williams all crossed once for the hosts while Alex Dombrandt ended up with a brilliant brace.
Mark Atkinson scored two of the Baa-Baas’ seven tries while Colin Slade slotted over three conversions as the visitors fell just short in their bid to win this match for the second year running. It is unlikely many of the England players on show will be able to force their way into the squad for the World Cup in Japan later this year, but the performance certainly shows the future is looking bright for the Red Rose.