Rugby: Captain Braley leads England to win

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First published in Sport

CALLUM Braley led England under-20s to a crushing 63-3 victory over Italy in their opening game of the Junior World Championship in New Zealand.

The Bristol scrum half, who grew up in Coalpit Heath, was part of the squad that won the title last year and is now captain.

“We’re pleased to kick off our tournament with a win – the scoreline doesn’t reflect what a physical game that was,” Braley told www.rfu.com

“Italy came pretty hard at us and we really had to step up – we were a bit more clinical in the second half, and we needed to be.

England face Australia in their next group game on Friday.

Braley added: “We’ll learn a lot from this one and look to really push on for our second game against Australia, which we know is going to be a huge match.

“This tournament is about performing well and getting results. We managed to get the result today but we know that there’s much more to come from us from a performance point of view.”

• Former Castle School pupil and Thornbury Broncos player Billy Vunipola has been added to the England squad to tour New Zealand.

The No 8 was amongst 16 players in the second group to fly out this week after playing for Saracens in their Premiership final defeat against Northampton at Twickenham on Saturday.

However, Vunipola’s brother, Mako, was ruled out following surgery on a dislocated knee.

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