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Redfern thrilled to get England call-up

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 21, 2014

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DERBYSHIRE rugby starlet Josh Redfern has been celebrating his first England call-up.

The second row forward, from Ashbourne, has been selected in the England Counties Under-20s squad for two matches against Georgia this month.

Redfern impressed during trials at Welbeck College, near Loughborough and was one of 25 players to be picked.

England Counties were due to take on a Georgia Under-20s XV at Shelford today.

The sides will then meet again at Cambridge's Volac Park on Saturday.

"Putting on an England shirt is something you dream about," said Redfern, who went to Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Ashbourne.

"When I got the call, I was over the moon. I was buzzing for about three days afterwards!

"I'm very proud to be selected – it's a great honour.

"I can't wait. It will be great to test myself against these players and see where I stand."

Redfern played for Derby RFC as a junior before joining hometown club Ashbourne.

He is currently studying at university in Sheffield and has spent the past season playing for Sheffield Tigers in National Two North.

The 20-year-old represented Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire (NLD) at junior level but has now switched to Yorkshire.

At the start of this month, he played for Yorkshire in the National Under-20 Champi onship final against Northumberland at Twickenham.

Redfern is joined in the England Counties squad by Derby's Luke Frixou.

"I know Luke from my time at Derby and there are quite a few other Yorkshire lads also in the squad, so there will be some familiar faces," he said.

Redfern is hoping to pursue a career in rugby and has had offers to play at a higher level.

"I want to finish my studies first and then maybe try to make a career out of rugby," he said.

"It's good to have a back-up, though, and I'd like to be a PE teacher."

Despite suffering relegation with the Tigers, Redfern feels the experience has benefited him as a player.

"We got relegated, so it hasn't been a brilliant season," he said.

"But my game has improved so much and I think I played some of my best rugby so far."

Sheffield Tigers spokesman Richard Joel said: "We're all very proud of Josh. He has done incredibly well at Tigers and this season the fact his talents have been recognised by the rugby elite is great for him.

"It couldn't happen to a nicer and level headed bloke. Even with all this recent attention, his feet are firmly planted on the ground."

England Counties Under-20s chairman Rob Cliverd added: "The entire management team are very excited having the chance to work with these players.

"We have some real quality throughout the squad and we are confident we will be competitive against what we know will be a very tough Georgia side.

"There are some extremely talented players and it is a tremendous reflection on the community game in England that so many capable players are available."

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