Two former Diss players help England Under-20s thump Italy in Six Nations

England Under-20 international Will Owen with Pete Tomson, who coached him at Diss throughout his 11

England Under-20 international Will Owen with Pete Tomson, who coached him at Diss throughout his 11 years at the club. - Credit: Archant

Two Norfolk youngsters helped England Under-20s get their first win of the Six Nations with a comprehensive nine-try 61-0 win against Italy.

Former Diss RFC junior players Will Owen and Tom West, both aged 19, played in front of over 3,000 fans at The Brickfields in Plymouth – with Owen scoring one of England's tries.

Owen, a member of the Leicester Tigers academy, started the match at openside flanker and West, who is with the academy of Wasps, made his debut as the loosehead prop replacement in the 70th minute.

West is the younger brother of Diss first-team captain Giles West and the son of club president, Duncan. He was signed up by Wasps last summer after completing his studies at Radley College in Oxfordshire.

The young prop plays for Henley Hawks in National Two South at the moment, while continuing his rugby education with Wasps. He is at the lower end of his age group so will be eligible for the England U20s next season as well.


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Centre Joe Marchant scored three of England's tries in the victory, with Owen scoring the second of the nine tries early on, picking up a loose Italian lineout to scoot over.

The two Norfolk youngsters must now wait to see if they are included in the U20s squad for the next Six Nations clash, in Ireland on Friday, February 27.

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England U20s head coach Jon Callard said: 'We're really pleased with the performance from the lads, particularly against a physical and passionate Italian side.

'The response from last week (losing 20-15 to Wales) was spot on and it puts us in a good place as we head into the fallow week.'

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