Exeter, Devon UK • Apr 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Sport Six Nations 2024: Feyi-Waboso Scores First International Try

Six Nations 2024: Feyi-Waboso Scores First International Try

At the halfway stage of the competition, Ceri Vaughan-Jones, Online Sport Editor, discusses Exeter students’ involvement at the 2024 Six Nations.
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Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, Six Nations 2024
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso singing the anthem with his England teammates ahead of his debut in Rome
Image: Stefano Delfrate, via Wikimedia Commons

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso scored his first international try in just his second match for England, but could not prevent the Red Rose from suffering Calcutta Cup defeat. He is one of three current Exeter students competing at this year’s Six Nations, with Dafydd Jenkins captaining Wales while Ross Vintcent earned his first call-up to the senior Italy side.

Feyi-Waboso, who is studying a medical degree, has carried his electric form this season from the Exeter Chiefs to the international stage after being called up to Steve Borthwick’s squad. He has scored five Premiership tries so far this season, joint fourth most of any player, and now has his first for England after bursting through the Scottish defence to cross the whitewash unchallenged. This gave England a glimmer of hope at 30-21 following Duhan van der Merwe’s hat-trick, but the scoreline did not change during the final 14 minutes.

Despite only playing 19 minutes, he certainly left his mark, carrying 56 metres and beating three defenders. He made his debut on the opening weekend of the competition, replacing Tommy Freeman in the 77th minute of England’s 27-24 victory in Rome.

Born in Cardiff, he opted to represent England, accepting Steve Borthwick’s call-up to the squad. The England head coach’s faith is now being repaid. 

Dafydd Jenkins has become the second youngest player ever to captain Wales.

As for Wales, Sports Science student Dafydd Jenkins has become their second youngest ever captain at 21 years old. Only Sir Gareth Edwards has captained Wales at a younger age (20). He only had 12 caps before being named captain, but head coach Warren Gatland hopes that he will follow “the mould of Alun Wyn, [someone who] leads by example.”

This tops off an incredible rise for Jenkins, from scoring the try that sealed Exeter’s BUCS Super Rugby title in 2022, to becoming the Chiefs’ youngest ever captain, and now captaining his country. 

Wales have lost all three matches so far, although the defeats to Scotland and England were by a narrow scoreline. 6 foot 7 Jenkins has played every minute so far and has been praised for his leadership and his performances. He’s made the fourth most tackles in the competition with 41, only Michele Lamaro (55), Tommy Reffell (46) and Niccolo Cannone (45) have made more. He is also the player with the most attacking ruck arrivals (96) and third most cleanouts (16), behind Francois Cros (19) and Rory Darge (18).

With France and Italy left to face, Jenkins will hope that he can inspire his teammates to secure an all-important victory in the pursuit of avoiding the wooden spoon.

The EURFC has never been stronger.

Following consistent first-team action at the Chiefs, Economics student Ross Vintcent earned himself a call up to Italy’s Six Nations squad. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he has previously represented the Azzurri at U20 level, scoring two tries in 12 appearances. 

He has become an important part of the Chiefs back row, both in attack and defence. In fact, he scored a hat-trick in the 47-10 Premiership Rugby Cup victory over London Scottish back in September. 

The 21-year-old was handed his Italy debut by head coach Gonzalo Quesada in the 36-0 defeat to Ireland, replacing Zuliani in the 68th minute. He then made his first start, playing at number 8 against France in Lille. He played the full 80 minutes, making 17 tackles and 49 metres as Italy managed an impressive 13-13 draw. But it could have been better. Taking charge of his first Six Nations match, referee Christophe Ridley awarded Italy a penalty with the clock in the red. But with the shot clock ticking and the ball not sitting on the tee correctly, fly-half Paolo Garbisi could not compose himself and dragged his effort onto the post. Heartbreak. Nevertheless, Vintcent played a key part of a fantastic Azzurri performance. 

Also competing at the tournament are Chiefs teammates Alec Hepburn, Ethan Roots and Henry Slade – the Premiership’s top scorer this season – and former University of Exeter student Sam Skinner, who has featured for Scotland in all three matches so far.

The next round of fixtures sees Italy face Scotland before England host grand-slam chasers Ireland at Twickenham, while France travel to Cardiff. With Exeter representation in four of six nations, the EURFC has never been stronger.

Watch from 3:53 to see Feyi-Waboso’s first international try
Guinness Six Nations

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