Youthful England survive Barbarians comeback at Twickenham

Twenty-year-old Marcus Smith, centre, was ruthless with his kicking as Jim Mallinder's young England outfit overcame the Barbarians in a tight contest at Twickenham. Dan Mullan/Getty Images

England defeated the Barbarians 51-43 in a scintillating contest in the Quilter Cup on Sunday afternoon, bringing the rugby season to a close in front of a modest crowd at Twickenham.

What started as a back-and-forth first half ended with the youthful England side establishing a solid 31-12 lead, as Alex Dombrandt added his team's fourth try of the afternoon before a clinical Marcus Smith made his fourth successive conversion.

The Barbarians -- led by former Wallabies captain James Horwill in his final game before retirement -- regained composure in the second half, scoring three tries in the space of eight minutes to narrow the deficit and head into the final 10 minutes trailing by just three points, 41-38.

England kept their heads impressively, however, and finished the second half as they had finished the first -- with Smith converting after a Dombrandt try.

Taqele Naiyaravoro went over in the last-minute for the Baa-Baas, but it wasn't enough to prevent Jim Mallinder's men from avenging last year's Quilter Cup defeat.

England coach Eddie Jones was in attendance and will have been given plenty to think about by a number of the England players, particularly 20-year-old Smith and Dombrandt, 22, who could yet find places in Jones' World Cup training squad.