Bates coaches Saxons to victory

PUBLISHED: 13:52 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 22:07 26 October 2009

STEVE Bates got his England coaching career off to a winning start. The former Welwyn player is now head coach of England Saxons - the country s A team - and they beat their Irish counterparts 31-13 at Leicester last Friday. And it was a Tigers player who

STEVE Bates got his England coaching career off to a winning start.

The former Welwyn player is now head coach of England Saxons - the country's A team - and they beat their Irish counterparts 31-13 at Leicester last Friday.

And it was a Tigers player who starred for England.

Wing Tom Varndell made himself at home at Welford Road by scoring two tries in an emphatic win for the Saxons over an experienced Ireland A side.

Varndell scored two sparkling second-half tries as the Saxons eventually turned their forward superiority into points.

An injury-time try from Varndell's fellow wing-man Delon Armitage put the seal on victory for the Saxons in the first of their two internationals this season.

The performance delighted former England scrum-half Bates.

He said: "We put in the groundwork in the first half which meant that we could open up in the second half.

"We controlled the game and dominated in terms of territory.

"I was a bit concerned that we had not turned that dominance into points.

"But we were playing against a good Ireland side and we took our chances well in the second half.

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