WORCESTER Warriors prop Kai Owen started for England as they overcame Italy 24-23 in a thrilling World Rugby U20 Championship encounter in Argentina.

Having lost to Ireland in their opening fixture England got back to winning ways but crucially missed out on a four-try bonus point.

England held a narrow one-point lead at the break through an Alex Coles converted try while Italy sent over two penalties via Giacomo Da Re.

Steve Bates' side scored second half tries through Tom Willis and Richard Capstick, with Italy responding via Cristian Lai, Ange Capuozzo and Paolo Garbisi but Josh Hodge's late penalty won the game.

England will face pool leaders Australia on Wednesday.

Head coach Bates said: "It was a tough game.

“We put them under a lot of pressure but didn’t turn that pressure into points and they capitalised on the opportunities they had.

"We will look back and say we made far too many individual mistakes, but credit to our guys for fighting back in the manner they did to get the victory and the guys should be proud of that.”

"It’s disappointing the position we’re in as we’ve come here to win the tournament but if you don’t play well then you are going to struggle as there are no easy games in this Championship.

"We will go into the Australia game looking to give a good account of ourselves and whatever happens after that we will deal with."