Rayer full of praise for Bassett as he gets England U20 World Cup call-up
BEDFORD Blues star Josh Bassett has been named in England U20s’ 28-man squad ahead of the IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa, which kicks off against Italy on June 4, writes James Heneghan.
Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer hailed his selection, saying: “It’s fantastic for him and the club.
“He’s worked unbelievably hard from where he was this time last year.
“It just goes to show what determination, work ethic and having a grounded attitude can give to you.
“He’s taking things on board and playing alongside the experience of Brendan Burke and James Pritchard have helped him and they’ve helped him into what he is today.
“But a lot of it is down to his individual determination to succeed and he’s worked incredibly hard with the coaches here and on the physical side and he’s got his rewards.
“We’ve had a chat this week and he’s got a bit to do for us before he can think ahead.”
Bassett is one of a number of players with local connections who have been selected by head coach Rob Hunter and assistant and ex-Blue Nick Walshe.
Dual-registered star Ben Ransom (Saracens) has also made the cut along with former Bedford School pupil Jamie Elliott (Northampton Saints).
Hunter said: “Competition for places has been high and some good players have missed out, however we’re very pleased with the 28 selected.
“The games come thick and fast in this tournament, we’ve got a tough group and we’re excited by that challenge.”
After Italy, Six Nations winners England face Ireland on June 8 before coming up against hosts South Africa in Stellenbosch on June 12, one year after defeating the southern hemisphere nation 26-20.
Hunter added: “We have two huge games before we come up against South Africa, but that match stands out for the experience of playing them in front of their home support.
“For now though all our attention is on that first game against Italy, each year they improve and we’ll need to be fully focused.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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