WATCH: Awkward Silence Mishap During England U20s National Anthem - Ruck

WATCH: Awkward Silence Mishap During England U20s National Anthem

There was an awkward moment for the England U20s, ahead of their 2023 World Championships opener against Ireland last weekend.

After a resounding initial rendition of the first verse of England’s national anthem God Save the King, the orchestral music continued for the little-known second verse. What followed saw Mark Mapletoft’s side stand in an awkward silence, and painstakingly wait out the remainder of the song along with the travelling England fans.

The continued music came as quite a shock to the England U20s players, as a rarely played full version of God Save the King was heard ahead of Pool B clash in South Africa’s Paarl Gymnasium. Despite seeming to halt the amped-up pre-match adrenaline of the young England stars, the anthem mishap did not lead to any lasting implications on the pitch.

What followed was a classic encounter between two hungry U20s sides. England took the reigning U20s Six Nations Grand Slam champions to their very limit, for a 34-34 draw presenting exciting futures for both sides. England found their way to the try line through new Harlequins signee Chandler Cunningham-South, and a brace from centre Jacob Cusick.

Try celebrations for Chandler Cunningham-South of London Irish during the Gallagher Premiership match between London Irish and Leicester Tigers at The Gtech Community Stadium, London on 25 February 2023 (Photo: Danny Loo/PPAUK)

An additional 18 points from the boot of Connor Slevin built a resounding points tally for England. Ireland worked their way to the try-line on six occasions, with each try adding a new name onto the score-sheet. James McNabney, George Hadden, Sam Prendergast, Ruadhan Quinn, Hugh Cooney and Henry McErlean all corssed over, with Prendergast adding 13 points off the tee.