Four second-half tries, scored in just 27 minutes, gave England the bonus-point victory they needed to secure the men’s U20 Six Nations title at a packed Stade du Hameau in Pau last Friday.

The highly impressive 45-31 win capped a near-perfect tournament for England, who had suffered last-minute heartbreak in Bath seven days previously as Ireland snatched a 32-32 draw thanks to Luke Murphy’s late try.

It meant Mark Mapletoft’s side finished top of the standings by a solitary point from Ireland, who completed their campaign with a commanding 36-0 defeat of Scotland in Cork.

But where does winning an eighth U20 Six Nations title leave England ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2024, which is scheduled to kick off in South Africa on 29 June?

In the 13 years where the U20 Six Nations and World Rugby U20 Championship have been played in the same year only twice have the kings of Europe also reigned supreme over the rest of international age-grade rugby.

Translating continental success into global glory has proved beyond all teams other than England in 2013 and France in 2018. But England have another opportunity to set the record straight in South Africa this June and July.

On five occasions, the U20 Six Nations champions have fallen just short of doing the double by losing in the final, with England accounting for four runners-up finishes (2008, 2011, 2015 and 2017) and Ireland the other in 2023.

In the remainder, Europe’s premier team have been well off the pace in attempting to win both the U20 Six Nations and the World Rugby U20 Championship trophies in the same year.

Last year’s runners-up finish behind France was atypical of Ireland who have largely struggled as reigning U20 Six Nations champions at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Having secured the U20 Six Nations title and Triple Crown in 2010, Ireland, captained in their first two matches by Rhys Ruddock and including stellar talents like winger Simon Zebo, were brought right back down to earth at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina, finishing ninth.

Drawn in a really tough pool, Ireland suffered three straight defeats. They began by losing 25-22 to France, who had ruined their Grand Slam hopes with a similarly tight victory back in February, and that was followed by a heavier loss against England – a side they had beaten only a few months previously – before they went down by three points to the host team, Los Pumitas.

Left to dispute the minor placings, Ireland saw off Samoa and Scotland to avoid relegation to the World Rugby U20 Trophy – but ninth place is still the worst finish by the reigning U20 Six Nations champions in history.

The next time the tournament was held in Argentina in 2019, Ireland did not fare much better. The spectre of dropping out of the World Rugby U20 Championship was not as apparent as it had been the year before, when they narrowly beat Japan to stay in the competition. But eighth place was a very disappointing return for a team that had swept all before them in winning the U20 Six Nations Grand Slam and contained current Ireland internationals like Ryan Baird and Craig Casey.

Noel McNamara’s side started well by inflicting a first-ever pool stage defeat on England but a defeat to Australia cost them a place in the semi-finals. England then gained revenge on them in the fifth-place semi-final before a heavy loss to New Zealand in the seventh-place play-off brought a year that had started so well to a disappointing conclusion.

England’s worst finish as reigning U20 Six Nations champions came in 2012 when they finished seventh, despite having five players who have played test rugby for England in the last six months in their ranks, such as Henry Slade and Kyle Sinckler.

Slade, however, managed to put that disappointment behind him to feature in England’s triumphant 2013 double, when they beat Wales 23-15 in the first all-northern hemisphere U20 Championship final.

Other than the class of 2018, France have also fallen short when going into a World Rugby U20 Championship as reigning U20 Six Nations champions, finishing fifth in 2009 and sixth in 2014.

Wales, meanwhile, have only gone into one U20 Championship with that status, having won the Grand Slam in 2016. They came away with a seventh-place finish in Manchester, although it could have been so much better for them had one-point defeats to Ireland and New Zealand in the pool stage fallen their way.

Mapletoft and England will hope to draw on inspiration from their class of 2013, and build on fourth place at last year’s tournament, when the U20 Championship gets underway in June.