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Vunipola replaces Kvesic in Under 20 squad

09 May 2012

  • Vunipola comes in for injured Kvesic
  • Really exciting opportunity – Vunipola
England Under 20 back row Billy Vunipola

Photo: Getty Images

London Wasps back row Billy Vunipola will replace injured Worcester Warriors flanker Matt Kvesic in the England Under 20 squad for the IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa next month.

Former Under 18 international Billy, brother of Mako who played in last year’s competition, is in line to make his Under 20 debut after impressing for Wasps in the latter stages of the season.

Aviva Premiership Discovery of the Season nominee Kvesic misses out after having surgery on a shoulder injury, meaning the 20-year-old Warrior won’t add to his 14 Under 20 caps.

Vunipola said: “This is a really exciting opportunity and one I’m looking forward to. Matt’s a quality player and he’ll be missed, but having trained with the squad earlier in the season I know that there’s some real talent in there.”

Matt Kvesic

Photo: Getty Images

Kvesic added: “I’m obviously gutted to miss the tournament. After losing in last year’s final against New Zealand I was looking forward to giving it another crack, but it’s not meant to be.

"I’ve loved every minute representing the Under 20s and I wish the guys the best of luck in South Africa – I’ve got every confidence they’ll give it their all.”

England Under 20 Head Coach Rob Hunter said: “It’s a blow to lose a player of Matt’s experience and leadership so soon before the competition, he has been an exceptional player to work with at Under 20 level and will be missed.

"However in Billy we have a very talented replacement who I am certain will grab the opportunity with both hands.”

IRB Junior World Championship schedule

All games live on Sky Sports HD

Game 1
England v Italy
Monday June 4, 15:45 (GMT)
University of Western Cape Stadium, Cape Town

Game 2
England v Ireland
Friday June 8, 17:45 (GMT)
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch

Game 3
South Africa v England
Tuesday June 12, 17:45 (GMT)
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch

Sunday June 17

Friday June 22