Bassett surprised by award as England U20s crash out
UNASSUMING England U20 winger Josh Bassett was surprised to be named the Times & Citizen’s Bedford Blues Player Of The Year, writes Mark Wood.
With over 200 votes cast, the former Ampthill man polled 31 per cent of the vote to follow in the path of stellar names including current England international Mouritz Botha and director of rugby and ex-Welsh international Mike Rayer.
Modest Bassett paid tribute to his team-mates, saying: “It’s great to know the fans have got behind me.
“I think this year it’s been a great team year and we’ve shown our strength in depth with the players we’ve had.
“We are losing some good players but bringing some great talent in.
“All I can do is say thanks to them (his coaches) because they developed me.”
Bassett had been looking to learn his trade last season but shone with some deadly finishing as he became the Championship’s leading try scorer.
He continued: “I wouldn’t have thought I would be voted their favourite player to be honest. I took this year to be a development year to learn from the players that are at Bedford.
“For me it was a learning year and I’ve been thrown a bit of a curve ball by playing.”
Bassett, who is currently away with England at the U20 World Cup in South Africa, is brimming with confidence but knows he has to stay grounded if he is to progress.
He added: “It gives me confidence about my ability to be involved with England at this level having not been involved with any team at this level before.
“I’m always making sure I’m keeping grounded and I’ve got a lot to work on.
“I know there’s a lot of parts of my game to improve if I’m going to be a better player.”
Bassett missed out as England U20s beat Ireland 20-15 in their second IRB Junior World Championship match in South Africa on Friday.
Bassett (55mins) and dual-registered Saracens team-mate Ben Ransom (30mins) also came off the bench on Tuesday night as England went down 28-15 to a clinical South Africa at the Cape Town Stadium.
The loss means England will not contest the semi-finals for the first time since the competition’s inception in 2008. Instead they prepare for a fifth place semi-final against Six Nations rivals Ireland.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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