The SA U18s came up short against France last Tuesday, but they knuckled down and put in the hard work in the build-up to the England game, which they won by 33-19 in Paarl on Saturday, outscoring the visitors by five tries to three, and keeping them scoreless in the second half.

Afterwards, Lynch praised the attitude of his players and said the boys would have learned a lot in their time together.

“The boys really put in a big performance, doing everything we’ve asked of them. As coaches, we’re very proud of the way in which the entire squad conducted themselves from Tuesday onwards,” said Lynch.

“We decided to treat the game like a final and to represent the badge and the jersey with honour, and the guys really played with great character.

“The focus wasn’t only on ourselves, but we wanted to ensure the players put in the effort and hard work in the build-up to the game, from walk-throughs at training, analysis and one-on-ones, and obviously in the game itself.

“Most importantly, as a squad we did our homework in terms of analysing the English game and how we can exploit it.”

Focusing in on the performance itself, Lynch said he was very proud of the effort on the field, from the first whistle and especially after they were down 7-0 early in the game against a dangerous English side.

“Our set pieces were excellent, and I thought we really put them under pressure on defence – they could not score any points against us in the second half,” he said.

“We scored some wonderful individual tries as well and it meant we kept the scoreboard ticking over.

“I really feel the future is bright and I think a lot of these guys will progress successfully into the U19 and U20 ranks. They have been given great exposure at international level and that is important in terms of the Elite Player Development pathway. For us as coaches, it was a great privilege to work with them.”