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Spurling on top of the world

    Scott Spurling was this week celebrating international glory after helping the England under-20 team win the IRB Junior World Championship.

    The dual-registered Saracens and Bedford Blues hooker played the last 11 minutes of the final as England completed a stirring comeback to beat Wales 23-15 at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, France.

    In a match England trailed 15-3 at half-time, Spurling, who is 20 and lives in Stanmore, replaced Matt Hankin in the closing stages and helped the team finish strongly as England became the first northern hemisphere winners of the competition.

    Spurling also helped England claim their first-ever win over New Zealand in the under-20 age group in the semi-finals, winning 33-21 which followed a 109-0 win over the USA in which he played the whole match.

    The victory completed a memorable double for Spurling and England who lifted the under-20 Six Nations title earlier in the year.

    England coach Nick Walshe said: "The lads certainly did it the hard way, but we showed real character in the second half and it’s amazing to get the win.

    "We put a strong emphasis on performance, and in the second 40 we delivered. These guys have worked so hard, not only over the past few weeks, but over the course of the season."

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