Rugby U20: France win their first-ever World U20 Championship title

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The Stade de la Méditerranée was rocking on Sunday as France beat England 33-25 to be crowned World Rugby U20 Championship winners for the first time in the competition’s 11-year history.

France, playing in their maiden final, fed off the cacophony of noise created by the 17,700 strong crowd to avenge their loss to England in the Six Nations in March and cap off a remarkable year that has seen them win that title and the World Championship crown.

It was a second final loss in a row for England after they suffered defeat at the hands of New Zealand 12 months ago in Georgia, but both sides played their part in an enthralling conclusion to the 2018 edition of the premier age-grade competition.

There was further cause for celebration for France after their 17-year-old number eight Jordan Joseph was named the Breakthrough Player of the Tournament in association with TUDOR.

All six matches on the final day took place in Béziers with South Africa battling back to beat New Zealand 40-30 to claim the bronze medal, with Australia finishing fifth after a 41-15 victory over Argentina.

Wales finished seventh for the second year in a row after seeing off Italy 34-17, while Georgia recorded their second Six Nations scalp and highest-ever finish of ninth after beating Scotland 39-31.

The day’s opening match brought joy for Ireland and dismay for Japan, who will play in the World Rugby U20 Trophy in 2019 after losing a thrilling 11th place play-off 39-33.

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