RORY Jones has skippered England Under-24s freshwater angling team to success at the World Championships in Portugal.

The 22-year-old from Aylton, near Ledbury, helped his side to the gold medal, 11 points ahead of second-placed Italy on the River Sorraia in Coruche.

Jones, who fishes for Woody’s Angling Centre in Hereford and Kamasan Starlets in the national league, was thrilled with the triumph.

“I learned to fish on the River Wye and lakes throughout Herefordshire and have fished all over the country and in Europe,” said Jones, who has represented England seven times.

“It’s nice to have finally won a gold medal.

“I had previously won three silver medals and an individual bronze and it does not get any better than this.”

Thirty teams took part in the event and were allowed five official days of practise along the match length before the two days of competition.

The fishing was varied with different disciplines used to catch the target species of barbel, carrassio, catfish and mullet.

The hot weather proved extremely difficult for the England five-man team with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius during practise.

Despite heat, Jones and his teammates Bradley Gibbons, Ricky Marshall, Alex Clements, Matthew Barnett appeared strong.

After the third day of training the aggressive feeding tactics seemed to draw fish from neighbouring anglers’ swims.

After the first day, the team totalled 15 penalty points, seven clear of their nearest rivals.

An even better day two effort gave England 13 points to finish the competition well ahead of second-placed Italy’s 39-point total.

England had double cause to celebrate with Clements taking the individual top spot with three points and a 13.222kg combined weight.