13 Jun 2018

NZ under 20's beaten by France

10:47 am on 13 June 2018

The New Zealand under 20 rugby side won't defend their World Championship title after being beaten 16-7 by France in their semi-final in Perpignan.

New Zealand under 20 first five Harry Plummer.

New Zealand under 20 first five Harry Plummer. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

France led 3-nil at half time.

France booked their place in a first-ever World Rugby U20 Championship final by taking the game to the New Zealanders and they dominated territory and possession.

"I'm immensely gutted at the result but I'm very far from being disappointed at my lads. My lads played with a lot of heart and a lot of pride. Credit to the French they're an amazing outfit and they will punish you," said New Zealand captain Tom Christie.

France front-row Daniel Brennan said: "The team put in such a good effort against South Africa, we said that we're coming back today and we had a cracker of a game. It's going to be amazing [the final], I'm really looking forward to it. All the boys are pumped and the mindset is there already."

France will play England in the final after they beat South Africa 32-31.

It will be England's sixth straight final having won three times in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

New Zealand will play South Africa for third.