Brighton student's perfect start to life as England captain

6:00pm Saturday 16th March 2013

By Gareth Davies

A Brighton College student captained his England rugby union under-18s team to an impressive nine-try drubbing of fierce rivals Scotland.

James Chisholm began his reign as under-18s captain with a 57-13 win in front of more than 1,600 fans in Darlington.

It was the hosts’ first game of the season and they showed no signs of rustiness as they put their cross-border foes to the sword.

James said: “We’re delighted to get the win. To score nine tries is a credit to the guys and I think we deserved it for the way we played.

“Scotland never let up though and fair play to them, it was a tough test match.

“You can’t single out any individuals, the whole squad played their part, and we’re really looking forward to heading over to France for the FIRA/AER European Championship later this month.”

His team thrived with a bumper crowd urging them on, and the skipper is already hooked on the feeling.

He said: “Someone said there were about 1,600 and the atmosphere was brilliant. It was class – a great experience.”

'Amazing feeling'

Having played for England under-17s last season, being called up to represent the under-18s was always on the cards, but the captaincy was somewhat of a surprise to him.

He said: “I’ve been training with the squad since August but they didn’t actually announce the final team until two weeks ago.

“It’s been an ongoing thing for a while because I’ve been playing for the under-17s and they’re closely linked with the 18s, but getting the nod is an amazing feeling.

“I didn’t get told I was going to be captain until Friday morning – less than two days before the Scotland game.

“It was a bit of a bolt out of the blue to be honest, I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I was dead chuffed – there’s nothing like it.”

'Powerful player'

Brighton College’s director of rugby Nick Buoy thinks James has got what it takes to go all the way.

He said: “James is a powerful player and ball carrier but he is most impressive when his back is against the wall.

“This is the sign of a good leader and probably why the coaches have made him captain.

“He will lead from the front, and the college is very proud to have the England under-18 group captain – it’s a huge honour for James and he deserves it.”

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