Four tries, one conversion and two penalties were enough to see England home, with Brett Herron, Tom Howe, George Wacokecoke and Charlie Hewitt crossing the white wash for England, whilst Herron added a conversion and replacement Josh Sharpe slotted two penalties of his own.
Both sides went tit for tat for much of the match, with France opening the scoring after their back linked up to collect a clever kick through. England struck back shortly after with a try of their own through fly half Brett Herron.
England then took the initiative with the next score to give them a 12-7 lead Tom Howe benefited from a superb Nick Tompkins break.
The scoring went much the same way for the rest of the match, with France converting a penalty to give them a slim 24-23 lead going into the dying minutes of the match. England gained possession and began their final surge up the pitch and after a period of sustained pressure on the French line, replacement Charlie Hewitt crashed over for the winning score.
The u17s system is designed to provide development for the primary age group side, which is the u18s for the following season, and help with talent identification. Consequently, the performance of the team at times lacked sharpness and cohesiveness, however overall one felt that it was a strong and promising performance against a dogged French team.
Coach John Fletcher commented: “The Under 17 programme underpins what we are trying to do at Under 18 and Under 20 level. The lads have been fantastic all year and deserve the results in both games this season.”
“As always it is not just the result, it is the manner of the result. We outplayed a strong French team in most areas and certainly looked more dangerous with the ball in our hands.”
England Under 17 starting XV
- 15 Richard Mathieson (St Pauls Barnes) (London Wasps)
- 14 Howard Packman (Moulton College) (Northampton Saints)
- 13 Nick Tompkins (Oaklands College) (Saracens)
- 12 Max Clark (Bryanston School) (Bath Rugby)
- 11 George Wacokecoke (St Joseph’s College) (Northampton Saints)
- 10 Brett Herron (Wellington College) (London Irish)
- 9 James Mitchell (Lymm School) (Sale Sharks)
- 1 Lewis Boyce (MacMillan Academy) (Leeds Carnegie)
- 2 Matt Beaty (Lancaster Grammar) (Sale Sharks)
- 3 Luke Chapman (Truro College) (Exeter Chiefs)
- 4 Jordan Onojaife (Stowe School) (Northampton Saints)
- 5 Charlie Ewels (Bryanston School) (Bath Rugby)
- 6 Dan Grange (Prince Henry Grammar School) (Leeds Carnegie)
- 7 Ellis Genge (Hartpury College) (Bristol Rugby)
- 8 James Chisholm (Brighton College) (Harlequins)
- 16 Paul Hill (Prince Henry Grammar School) (Leeds Carnegie) 17 Matt Bolwell (Truro College) (Exeter Chiefs)
- 18 Charlie Hewitt (Ivybridge Community College) (Exeter Chiefs)
- 19 Jack Walker (Settle School) (Leeds Carnegie)
- 20 Stuart Townsend (Ivybridge Community College) (Exeter Chiefs)
- 21 Josh Sharp (Oaklands College) (Saracens)
- 22 Louis Clayton-Malloy (Harrow School) (London Wasps) 23 Tom Howe (Shiplake College) (London Wasps)
- 24 Will Owen (Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth 1st) (Leicester Tigers)