The opening round of the U20 World Championship didn’t disappoint, as new records were set and plenty of running rugby was on display. Almost 350 age-grade players have made the step up to Test rugby since the inaugural tournament in 2008, so in Rugby World Cup year, there is plenty to play for and still a chance to sneak into wider training squads.
Reigning champions England had an impressive start as they ran in nine tries to beat Japan, while South Africa and New Zealand recorded big wins against Italy and Scotland, respectively.
France got the better of Wales, while Australia beat Samoa with Wallaby captain Andrew Kellaway touching down to become the leading U20 Championship try-scorer in the eight-year history of the tournament.
The tightest game of the day was the clash of Ireland v Argentina, which saw a touchline penalty-kick by Tomas Quinlan steal the win for Ireland, 18-16, on the stroke of full time.
The second day of action gets underway on Saturday at 16.30 (GMT +2) in Parma and Calvisano, with England facing their Six Nations rivals Wales, while Argentina will be looking to make amends for their last-minute defeat to Ireland when they take on New Zealand.