WORCESTER Warriors prospect Will Butler started as England under 20s sealed their first Grand Slam since 2011 after a hard-fought 14-10 victory over Ireland in Dublin.

England led 14-3 at the break last night with tries from Jack Nay and Henry Walker, while Max Malins sent over two conversions.

Bill Johnston kicked a penalty for Ireland in between those scores as they went into half-time trailing by 11 points.

Gavin Coombes scored for Ireland just after the hour mark with Johnston’s conversion reducing the deficit to 14-10 but England held on for victory.

"I'm incredibly proud of the character of this team," said England captain Zach Mercer.

"We have shown that spirit throughout the competition and to defend like we did was outstanding."

The win gives England under 20s their first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2011 and Mercer believes it was resilience that kept up their unbeaten run.

He continued: "We showed a huge amount of belief in the way we performed.

"We were resilient and Ireland put us under pressure but I knew we would pull through because this team has that confidence. We have put in a lot of hard work.

“It hasn't quite kicked in that we have won the Grand Slam but I am over the moon."

England coach Tom Williams said: “We made it hard for ourselves but the team have shown a lot of backbone and character and that is what is so promising about this group of players.

“We know we can’t rest on our laurels and there is a lot to work on ahead of the U20 World Championship but we have a good platform to build from.”

Warriors' Joseph Morris and Justin Clegg were replacements for England.