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Bath Rugby trio help England U20 to a place in the World Rugby U20 Championship Final

14 June 2017

Bath Rugby's Darren Atkins, Josh Bayliss and Zach Mercer helped England U20 book their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship Final with a dramatic 24-22 victory over South Africa. 

It was a day to remember for the trio, with Mercer scoring a double, the last of which coming within a few minutes from the final whistle.  

England had a five-point lead going into the break after Zach Mercer and Alex Mitchell crossed for converted tries which Max Malins kicked along with a further penalty.

South Africa responded though with Juarno Augusto powering over either side of England’s tries with Curwin Bosch converting the first of those tries.

A converted try from Ruben Van Heerden and a penalty from the boot of Bosch gave South Africa a five point lead with a few minutes left on the clock before a moment of brilliance saw captain Mercer score under the posts. Max Malins' subsequent conversion sending England into the final.

England U20 captain Zach Mercer said: "We're over the moon to reach the final, it's something you always dream of. I said in the changing room before the game we wanted to put ourselves in territory we've never been before and that's what we've done.

"We'll have a couple of days rest now. Credit to South Africa for putting in such a big performance. It's either New Zealand or France in the final but the boys are flying and there are plenty of smiles in that changing room." 

England will now play New Zealand in Sunday’s final at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium (live on ITV4, 3pm kick off, BST).  

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