WORCESTER Warriors youngsters Ted Hill, James Scott and Will Butler were celebrating after England reached the World Rugby U20 Championship final with a 32-31 win over South Africa.

Flanker Hill and lock James Scott started the semi-final while centre Will Butler was an unused substitute as England edged the Junior Springboks in Narbonne, France.

South Africa threatened to pull off a stunning fightback and Steve Bates’ men were reduced to 14 men in the closing minutes when Scott saw yellow.

But England hung on to book their place in the final against France in Breziers on Sunday (6pm) after the hosts stunned defending champions New Zealand.

South Africa had an early yellow card, with number eight Muller Uys sent to the sin bin for a late tackle on Marcus Smith.

And England made the Junior Springboks pay with Tom Parton going over in the corner before Hardwick powered through midfield for a second which Smith converted for a 12-0 lead.

There was better to come for England with Ben White finishing off under the posts after a searing break by Gabriel Ibitoye on the right wing. Smith added the extras.

South Africa had their first points when Sazi Sandi bundled over from close range after a period of sustained pressure and Gianni Lombard’s conversion reduced the deficit to 19-7.

However, England had the final say of the half with Smith’s penalty giving them a 22-7 advantage at the break.

The Junior Springboks had a second try shortly after the restart with Uys crashing over off the back of a driving maul but Smith kept the scoreboard ticking over with a second penalty.

Ruan Nortji went over for his side’s third, which Lombard converted but Olowofela ran in a loose ball on halfway, which Smith improved for a 32-19 lead.

Manuel Rass also crossed to add more late drama and the Boks pressed further when Scott was sin binned.

They were rewarded with a try as Asenathi Ntlabakanye powered in from two metres out. The conversion made it 32-31 with four minutes to play.

England managed to hold onto the majority of possession through the frantic closing stages as they sealed a narrow one point win over the Boks.

England head coach Bates said: “It is a great achievement for these guys.

“They played some really good rugby in the first-half but couldn’t quite get enough ball in the second, which meant it ended up being a tight game.

“From the forwards perspective that was a gruelling game, and this side’s spirit shone through in those final moments. Now we have to recover and prepare for Sunday’s final.”