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Max: We could have won World Champs
MAX Crumpton was left suffering mixed emotions after England ended the Junior World Rugby Championships in seventh place.
The Hadleigh-based 18-year-old, who plays as a hooker, was pleased by his own personal performances in South Africa.
But he admitted the team were disappointed not to have done better.
And Crumpton was also frustrated to have picked up a thumb injury.
“It was all a bit mixed really because I was happy with the way I played and the impact I made on the matches,” said Crumpton.
“I probably also ended up playing more than I expected, but we had a really good squad of players out there and felt like we could’ve won it.
“With that in mind we were disappointed to finish seventh and it was the defeat to South Africa in the group stages which cost us dear.”
Crumpton was rested for the 28-15 defeat against the Springboks which stopped England securing a higher finish.
But he came off the bench in the three of his side’s first four games before picking up a thumb injury in the fifth placed play-off semi-final against Ireland.
“I came on at half-time and did it after about five seconds,” said Crumpton, a former King John School pupil.
“I felt it ping back and hit my arm which I knew wasn’t good but I strapped it up and carried on.
“Sadly it turned out I ruptured the ligaments in my thumb and that meant I had to miss the win over Australia which was obviously a disappointment for me.”
Crumpton has since had an operation on his thumb and will have to wear a protective splint for the next six weeks.
The injury could then take anywhere between two weeks and two months to heal when the splint is removed.
But Crumpton remains hopeful of being fit for the start of next season and has his sights set on playing in another Junior World Championships.
“Hopefully everything will soon be OK with my thumb and I’ll be OK right from the start of the season,” said Crumpton.
“After that, my aim is to have another good year and it’s a target of mine to stay in the squad for the next Championships and to make sure I get the starting shirt this time.”
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