Jun 16, 2015
Tompkins looking to 'bring it home' once again
Nick Tompkins is hoping England U20s can repeat their success of 2014, when the face New Zealand in the World Cup U20s Final on Saturday.
For the fourth time - and first since 2011 - New Zealand and England will battle it out to be crowned World Rugby U20 Championship champions in the 2015 title decider in Cremona on Saturday, and 2014 U20s World Champion Tompkins is hoping England can seal the title once again.
The Saracens centre lifted the trophy in 2014 in New Zealand, in a side that included Maro Itoje, current England U20s full-back Aaron Morris and four other Saracens teammates.
[caption id="attachment_41463" align="alignnone" width="560"] Aaron Morris (left) and Nick Tompkins (right) won the competition in 2014.[/caption]
“For me this year is a lot different,” said Tompkins, who scored a try in England’s 28-20 defeat of South Africa in Monday’s semi-final. “It’s such a different team from last years, with different leaders we’re a side with bags of ability and we have every chance of bringing this home. We’ve got a wonderful chance against New Zealand, we have to execute as they’re such a wonderful side.
“In terms of preparation nothing changes for Saturday’s final. We have to prepare like we did for the South Africa game, by looking at the little the details. These finals can come down the little details, things like how hard you chase a kick, or how hard you do a t lot of things, but it’s all about keeping your calm and keeping your head in these big finals. You can’t let the occasion get to you, you have to enjoy it and try to stamp your authority on the game."
Tompkins, alongside Sarries teammates Aaron Morris and George Perkins has been an ever-present in England’s 2015 campaign and the tenacious Saracens midfielder was a key influence in their gutsy defeat of the Junior Boks.
On progressing to the final, he said: “It was a feeling of relief really. I’s so happy for this group, as we’ve worked so hard, especially for this game. Now we’re in a final, and I’m really pleased to be facing the All Blacks, to be facing the ‘Haka’ and we’re all really excited.
[caption id="attachment_41464" align="alignnone" width="560"] Tompkins (No13) is mobbed by his teammates after his second half try[/caption]
“South Africa were a different team from last year and we have to do all our prep for that and the coaches were outstanding and gave us everything we had to look at. The players really bought into it during the week and we prepared unbelievably well."
Tompkins added: “We didn’t lose our heads (after the France defeat). We didn’t panic and we knew it was just a bad for us. We just wanted to get out there and rectify it and to be honest, just get into the final. It was emotional in a way, it was billed a revenge (for South Africa) but we went into the game with cool and calm heads and executed our plan.”
Nick Tompkins was speaking to the England Rugby Podcast.