England reach European Under-19s final and dedicate win to Gary McMahon

Title holders France will take on England on Saturday in the final of the European U19s Championship, after both were comprehensive winners in their semis.

Eric Anselme’s young Tricolors beat surprise package Ukraine 62-7 whilst England triumphed 56-8 against Wales, in the heat at the Pasian di Prato Stadium in Udine, Italy.

England dedicated their win to assistant coach Gary McMahon, who tragically passed away at the team base on Sunday morning.

Keiran Welburn finished with 24 points from a try and ten perfect goals, Leeds Rhinos academy player Mekhi Bridgeman-Reany with a brace of tries after the hour.

Mason Phillips levelled for Wales early on but they trailed 20-8 at the break, and the Community Lions dominated the late exchanges.

Their head coach Allan Coleman commented: “The lads were emotional and paid the perfect tribute to Gary, they’ve been brilliant today. It’s just fitting that they scored 56 points and that was his age. The second half we were excellent, completed our sets and it really worked for us.”

Ukraine will take on Wales in the curtain raiser to the final for the European U19s Shield.