England U20s 48-10 Italy U20s: Mallinder inspires hosts to opening under-20 Championship victory

England claimed victory over Italy in their opening game at the under-20 World Rugby Championships in Manchester

England U20s 48-10 Italy U20s: Mallinder inspires hosts to opening under-20 Championship victory
Sam Aspland-Robinson scores England's second try (image via: Matthew Lewis/Stringer - Getty)

England made a winning start to the World Rugby under-20 Championships, beating Italy 48-10 at the Academy Stadium in Manchester

Martin Haag's side scored six tries in the win, as the tournament hosts got off to the perfect start to their campaign, claiming a bonus point. 

In a worrying sign for Haag, London Irish fly-half Theo Brophy-Clews was forced to leave the field during the first half with an ankle injury, with tougher Pool games coming fast on the horizon. 

Mallinder stands out in disappointing first-half display

The coaches would not have been too pleased with England's first-half performance, which wealded just two tries and unearthed a real problem at the lineout. 

Regular hooker, and squad captain Jack Walker started the game on the bench, with Jack Singleton chosen to start, yet he really struggled at lineout time. Whether it was overthrowing or failing to throw straight, England lost a lot of ball on their own throw which will be something they need to iron out going forward. 

George Nott races away for England's first try (image via: Matthew Lewis/Stringer - Getty)

The opening try of the game was scored by Sale Sharks flanker George Nott who collected the ball in his own half, before showing great pace to score from 60 metres out and giving England the perfect start. 

The game then became difficult for England to control, before Northampton Saints centre Harry Mallinder started to dictate proceedings. In his under-20 debut, Mallinder looked a class apart and his chip to the corner was collected by winger Sam Aspland-Robinson for England's second try just before the break. 

Hosts claim bonus point with clinical second half display

Taking a 17-3 lead with them into the second half, England proceeded to score four more tries after the break to give them the perfect start to the tournament. 

Mallinder was crucial for the third try, putting away Harlequins centre Joe Marchant who beat two men before crossing, with a dominant scrum then leading to the bonus point confirmation via a penalty try. 

Joe Marchant crosses for a try (image via: Matthew Lewis/Stringer - Getty)

Singleton made up for his first-half throwing struggles with a try on the back of a driving maul, with Bath replacement Zach Mercer adding the finishes touches with a strong run for the sixth and final England try. 

There was a minor blip in the closing minutes for the home side, when Italy grabbed a try through Lorenzo Masselli following a lucky richochet close to the line. 

Elsewhere in Pool B, Australia lost 15-10 to Scotland at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, while 2016 Grand Slam winners Wales were beaten 26-25 by Ireland in their Pool A clash.