Bassett relishing a chance of a lifetime
BATTLE-HARDENED Bedford Blues winger Josh Bassett is preparing for an experience of a lifetime when he flies out to South Africa to play in the IRB Junior World Championship
He is part of England’s 28-man squad for the tournament, which kicks off for England against Italy on June 4.
Speaking after his side’s 30-27 aggregate defeat to London Welsh in last Sunday’s Championship semi-final, he said: “I leave tomorrow, half six train down to Exeter for a training camp so I’m away there all week and then we fly out on the 28th of May.
“I’m really excited to get out there and it’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for myself to play against the best people in your position in your sport at your age is going to be amazing and it’s just going to be a great tournament. If you had said to me last year you would be going to the Junior World Cup and would have played in the semi-final for Bedford I would have laughed and said no way.
“It’s been absolutely amazing and all I can do is thank all the coaches and all the people that have helped me coming through the academy. They’ve all helped me along the way and all I can do is thank them.”
Blues’ leading try scorer Bassett scored in both of his England U20 caps before being dropped, seemingly to concentrate on the run-in for the Goldington Road club. He continued: “For myself I didn’t really worry about it. They said to me, go away, keep playing for Bedford, keep doing what you’re doing.
“And I just thought what will happen will happen, all I can do is keep playing well and keep my performances up and see what happens. And fortunately enough I got the call.
“I’ve played 26, 27 games this year and there’s not many other boys in the U20 squad that have done that at this level.
“I think it’s definitely going to stand me in good stead. I’m playing against great wingers week in, week out, all the time.
“I’m what they’d say is battled-hardened!
“I think it’s going to be a very tough tournament, especially with South Africa in our group.
“On their home patch they are going to be very hard to turn over. I think we’ve just got to take it one game at a time and build like we did in the Six Nations and hopefully we’ll see how far we can go.
“To get on the pitch and play against any of the other nations would be absolutely amazing.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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