For Emmanuel Iyogun, donning the Red Rose at Franklin’s Gardens was an “unbelievable” experience despite England U20s falling just short against Ireland on Friday night.
It was an eight-try thriller as Iyogun earned his third cap at that level with Ireland racing out of the blocks to claim the try-bonus point before the break; and though England clawed their way back with three scores of their own, Alan Dickens’ charges lost their unbeaten Six Nations recrod as a strong Ireland side held out to claim the win.
And 19-year-old Iyogun said that while the side were disappointed to come up short, there was plenty to build on as England move onto Wales.
"To run out on home soil where a lot of fans are supporting you through thick and thin was an honour."Emmanuel Iyogun
“The result was unfortunate,” said Iyogun. “We fought back well but we came up just short. There’s a lot of learnings to take from the game though and we’ll look at those next week.
“It’s not the end of the competition by any means, we’re still two from three. We’ll look back at the match, review it, take our learnings from it and move onto Wales next week.”
But despite the results, the Saints Academy prop was delighted to be able to grace the Franklin’s turf with his country.
He added: “It was unbelievable to run out on my home patch.
“The support tonight was incredible; it means a lot for us to get a good crowd, it really builds an atmosphere. For me, to run out on home soil where a lot of fans are supporting you through thick and thin was an honour.”
And next up for the young England side is a trip to Kingsholm Stadium where a clash with Wales awaits, and Iyogun hopes his team can get their title hopes back on track.
“We’ll take the next game as it comes,” he said. “Wales are a strong team and we definitely won’t underestimate them.
“We’ll have a good look at them in the previews and look to improve on this performance.”