Bath Rugby had eight players in action over the weekend as 2020’s Six Nations got underway. Here is how they got on…
Wales opened their Guinness Six Nations account in spectacular fashion with a 42-0 win over Italy at the Principality Stadium. The game also saw the return of Bath Rugby’s star backrow forward Taulupe Faletau, who returned to the international scene for the first time since March 2018.
The defending champions got off to a flying start as Josh Adams scored a stunning hat-trick with Nick Tompkins and George North also crossing the whitewash to set up the victory. Fly-half Dan Biggar added 13 points after being given the goalkicking duties to add gloss to the score line.
World Cup finalists in 2019, England got off to a stuttering start as Eddie Jones’ men fell to a 24-17 defeat in Paris. Bath Rugby’s Charlie Ewels and Sam Underhill started the match and were joined by Jonathan Joseph after an early injury to Manu Tuilagi in the first half. There was a notable appearance for Blue, Black and White front rower Will Stuart, as the 23-year-old came on for the final quarter of the game to make his international debut.
In a one-sided first half at the Stade de France, converted tries from Vincent Rattez and captain Charles Ollivon plus a Romain Ntamack penalty allowed the hosts to open up a deserved 17-point lead at the interval.
Ollivon dived over for his second try to stretch that advantage to 24 at the start of the second period, before two brilliant solo scores from Jonny May suddenly brought hope in the final quarter. But England could add only a late Owen Farrell penalty to secure a solitary bonus-point.
Max Ojomoh and Gabe Hamer-Webb, two of Bath Rugby’s Senior Academy players who both made first team debuts for Bath in the 2019/20 Premiership Cup competition, started for England in the 29-24 win over France in Grenoble on Saturday to earn their first U20s caps. The side showed their clinical nature in the final moments of the game as Richard Capstick scored with the final play to earn a dramatic win to open their campaign.
Having already scored two tries while down to 14 men, England held their nerve in the final seconds as Capstick powered over after Les Bleuets came from 12 points down to level.
Other scores from Tom Roebuck, Josh Hodge and Rusiate Tuima set up a thrilling final quarter in the game with Capstick diving over to prevent a draw and seal a bonus-point win.
Wales missed out on the chance to open their U20s Six Nations with a win as they missed out 17-7 against Italy at Colwyn Bay.
Bath Rugby’s Senior Academy forward Archie Griffin featured during the defeat and gained invaluable experience as he made his Wales U20s debut, having previously been in the age groups at different ages for the international side.
Sam Costelow made the first score of the game but a clinical display from the Italians saw Matteo Drudi cross the whitewash and Paolo Garbisi added 12 points from the boot to secure the result.