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Keen helps England Counties U20s to a memorable win over Georgia

19 May 2018 21:26 | Sara Raine

DEVON player Max Keen came on as a replacement as England Counties’ under-20 side claimed a memorable 24-17 win over Georgia under-20s in Tbilisi.

The Georgian’s were using the match as preparation for this summer’s World Under-20 Championship, but the England squad really stepped up and showed what talent there is outside the Premiership and Championship.

England led 17-3 at one point but they had to weather a storm in the second half as the hosts, cheered on by 3,000 people, came back to level the game.

However, England secured the win with a late converted try by Tom Carleton.

Exmouth flanker Keen took to the field in the second period, while former Devon and Barnstaple player Hallam Chapman started at number eight.

Fellow Devonian Mitch Pinkus is also in the England Counties squad but did not feature on Saturday. However, he is likely to play in their second match of the tour on Friday.

More than 3,000 players applied to be part of the England Counties U20 tour and the management team oversaw a rigorous selection process to select their touring squad of 26. 

England Counties forward coach Paul Arnold said: "I just think it’s a great programme, especially for these young lads. It’s very much the aspirational pathway to hopefully getting them to play in the national leagues and pushing on.”