Barbarians strike late in Kitch debut

Worcester lock Graham Kitchener played for just under an hour as England Saxons suffered a late defeat to the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon.

However, England Saxons coach Stuart Lancaster insisted the 38-32 defeat to the Barbarians at HQ had been a “valuable experience” for his young side.

The shadow England team surged into a 17-point lead with tries from Henry Trinder, Ugo Monye and James Simpson-Daniel but the Barbarians staged a comeback either side of the interval.

Tim Visser, George Smith and Joe Van Niekerk added to the first-half tries from Benoit Baby and Frederic Michalak as the Barbarians took control.

England thought they had escaped with the win with a late try from the Exeter flanker Tom Johnson, but the Barbarians sealed the victory with a second effort from Visser.

Lancaster said: “I was proud of our performance in terms of the inexperience of our side in relation to theirs. We put ourselves in a position at 32-31 where we could have won it. I guess at the end their experience and quality told.

“As a lead into the Churchill Cup and for players to get the experience of playing at Twickenham and benchmark themselves against World Cup players, it is valuable.”