ENGLAND Community Lions under 19s pulled off a dramatic victory to win the European Championships in Italy over the weekend.

After being 8-0 down at the break, England came back to defeat holders France 14-12 at the Pasian di Prato Stadium in Udine, Italy.

The win was immediately dedicated to assistant coach Gary McMahon, who tragically passed away when with the squad last weekend.


Winger Noah Lancellot claimed two tries as part of the fightback, England head coach Allan Coleman, who stands down now, understandably emotional and full of praise for his charges.

“I’m so proud of everybody, players, staff - all who has been part of what we wanted to achieve,” he said.

“Our message at half time was let’s leave everything out there, give it all we’ve got, no regrets and I’m lost for words; Gary was behind everything we did.

"A number of these players will go on and sign professional from this, I have no doubt of that.”

In a fiery encounter as the light faded, Justin Tropis opened the scoring for the French with a fine long range effort, Thomas Monclus missing the conversion but adding two penalties before the break, both sides having a player sinbinned in the opening forty for late challenges.

Leigh Journal: England beat France 14-12England beat France 14-12 (Image: England Community Lions)

England had two tries disallowed, winger Andy Djeukam couldn’t beat the touchline in the first half and his replacement Harvey Oldroyd was also ruled out in the second, but Lancelott did find space on the opposite wing for his double just after the hour, one a spectacular dive into the corner.

England’s improved defensive effort, enthusiasm in contact and territorial advantage throughout the second half unsettled the French and Oldroyd finished another superb left to right move in the corner to move them ahead.

French centre Arthur Salles went over five minutes from time, but Monclus missed the conversion that could have taken it to golden point.

France: Julien Laporte, Damien Huescar, Arthur Salles, Maxence Barbet, Justin Tropis, Lenny Chachoua, Thomas Monclus, Romain Humbert, Ben Abdesle Yacine, Theo Fouque, Benjamin Sinimale, Enzo Deltheil, Louis Grossemy. Subs: Salim Nahal, Sosthene Ennoyotie, Rayan Tadjeur, Nolan Lopez-Buttignol.

Tries: Justin Tropis (3), Arthur Salles (75).

Goals: Thomas Monclus 2/4 Sin Bin: Sosthene Ennoyotie (29 – late challenge).

England: Ryan Wood, Noah Lancelott, Callum Murphy, Mekhi Bridgeman-Reany, Andy Djeukam, Toby Hughes, Jack Newbegin, Matthew Parkes, Logan Holgate, Josh Leeson, Harry Penny, Kieran Welburn, Scott Parnaby Subs: Kieran Dean, Rio McQuistan, Dyan Turner, Harvey Oldyroyd.

Tries: Noah Lancelott (50, 62), Harvey Oldroyd (68).

Goals: Kieran Welburn 1/3.

Sin Bin: Dylan Turner (37 - late challenge).

Half time: 8-0.

Referee: Kristoff Young (Wales).