Chichester plays its part in England under-20s’ world glory bid

Charlie Matthews, from Chichester, of England under-20s
Charlie Matthews, from Chichester, of England under-20s

A PAIR of former Chichester rugby colts are helping England grab glory at the junior world championships in Italy.

Charlie Matthews and Rob Buchanan have each played in the two wins which have got England’s campaign off to a flying start.

England kicked off their campaign with a hard-fought 33-25 win against Ireland in Treviso last Friday.

Rob Hunter’s men outscored Ireland four tries to one with scores from Andy Short, Henry Thomas, Mako Vunipola and Marland Yarde. George Ford added 13 points with the boot.

Matthews, who plays for Harlequins, played the whole game, while his club-mate Buchanan came on as a replacement at half-time.

Buchanan, who is from Oving, then played from the start as England followed up with a 39-18 triumph over the Scots.

Matthews came on at the break – in what was supposed to be his rest game.

The 19-year-old, who can play at lock or flanker, has been an integral part of the side since making his debut in February 2010 against Wales. Before that Matthews featured for England under-18s, scoring a try on his debut in a 63-0 whipping of Scotland in March 2009.

The 6ft 8in forward made his Harlequins debut in the Aviva Premiership in November 2009 aged just 18.

The Loughborough University student, who is exceptionally agile in the lineout, spent his junior years playing for Chichester RFC.

Now the under-20s are gearing up to face South Africa in Saturday’s (June 18) final pool game – with hopes high they could go all the way to the final on Sunday week.

A third ex-Chichester colt, Kieran Low, is involved in the England under-20 set-up, but is out with ankle ligament damage.