Callum Braley to join Benetton Rugby at the end of the 2019-20 season
6 February 2020
After six years wearing the Cherry and White of Gloucester Rugby, scrum-half Callum Braley will join Guinness Pro 14 side Benetton Rugby at the end of the current season.
Currently away on international duty with Italy, who he qualifies for courtesy of his grandfather, Braley made his Six Nations bow for the Azzuri in last Saturday’s game against Wales in Cardiff. First capped last summer in Italy’s World Cup warm-up matches, Braley was a part of the squad that competed in Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
At club level, the Bristol-born scrum-half moved to Kingsholm in the summer of 2014 from Bristol Rugby. He played his early rugby with St Mary’s Old Boys, but made his name locally when a student at Hartpury College.
He was an England age group international from U16 level upwards and skippered the successful defence of England U20s’ Junior World Championship in June 2014.
He has been a regular in the Gloucester Rugby matchday squad, and made his 100th competitive appearance in the Heineken Cup win over Connacht back in December.
However, now he has been capped by Italy, he feels that the time is right for him to move there to play his club rugby alongside a number of his international team-mates.
“It’s all happened fairly quickly to be honest. I hadn’t even trained with the Italy team 12 months ago, but now I’ve been to a Rugby World Cup and played in the Six Nations. But, having committed my international future to Italy, it makes sense to play my club rugby there and I’m very much looking forward to the new challenge.
“I’ve had six really enjoyable years at Gloucester Rugby. I’ve grown so much here, as a player and as a person, becoming a husband and a father and I’ve made some great friends and some fantastic memories. I’ll look back on my time here fondly. It’s a club and a city that my family hold closely to our hearts and a place we now call home.
“It probably won’t sink in until that final home game of the season, when all the departing players get to say goodbye. But, until the very last minute of my last game in Cherry and White, I’ll be giving everything to say goodbye on a positive note.”
Director of Rugby David Humphreys confirmed that it will be a shame to see Callum leave, but completely understands his reasons for doing so.
“Callum has been a valued member of our squad over the past few seasons, not just for his performances on the pitch, but also his contribution to the wider squad effort where he has played a key role in driving standards on and off the pitch.
“His dedication and hard work were rewarded in his selection for the Rugby World Cup with Italy and we were all delighted to see him starting for Italy last weekend in the Six Nations.
“While we’re sorry to see him leave Gloucester Rugby at the end of the season, we fully understand his reasons for moving to Italy to play for Benetton and establish himself in the Italian national team.
“Callum will still have a big role to play for the rest of this season at Gloucester Rugby and we look forward to seeing him finish his time here on a high.”