Six Nations Rugby | Jack van Poortvliet wins 2021 Six Nations Under-20 Championship title
Van Poortvliet was recognized for his outstanding performance in five thrilling action rounds, winning a vote featuring the head coaches and captains of each nation.
He becomes the very first winner of the award.
Having started and skippered each of his country’s five successive victories, van Poortvliet was instrumental in securing England’s coveted trophy for the first time since 2017.
A player-of-the-match match helped England secure a 38-22 debut victory over three-time winners France, while the 20-year-old scored one try each against Scotland and Wales.
A relentless 27-17 victory over Italy in the 5th round was enough to ensure an unequivocal sweep, and after receiving his championship-playing applause, van Poortvliet was quick to recognize the rest of the setup. ‘England.
“I am very honored,” he said. “I am delighted to have received this award but I cannot take any credit from the team. I couldn’t have done everything I have done without everyone around me.
“They put the ball on a plate for me and I was very lucky to have the opportunity to play with a pack like mine and a backline like mine.
“It was a great championship and some great moments stand out. The turnaround against France was huge, and I think the game against Ireland really set the tone for our defense.
“I’m just thankful that I got to experience it with such a brilliant group of guys and come out on top.
“With the year we’ve all had, there have been a lot of camps and few official games so I’m super proud of how everyone came together and played like we did.
“We didn’t know much about the other teams and I hadn’t been a part of the squad much before the tournament, but as soon as I joined the squad I knew we had a good chance. We have shown an ability to win games throughout the series and I loved playing with the boys.
Six Nations CEO Ben Morel said: “Representing your country is a huge achievement for any player. This year, our Under-20 teams had to overcome the fact that they had not played international games for over a year due to the pandemic. They were asked to adhere to strict covid protocols and have been away from their homes for a long time. They took it in their stride and produced some exciting high quality rugby.
“Massive congratulations to Jack on an outstanding campaign. We wish him the best of luck for a long and successful career in rugby.