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KO'd Catlin's England vow
BASINGSTOKE RFC youngster Ross Catlin’s first taste of international rugby may not have gone the way he would have liked – but the 16-year-old is determined to represent England again in the future.
The Lord Wandsworth College student, left, who lives in Kempshott, was picked for his country’s under-16 squad ahead of three matches over the Easter period but only managed to play a couple of minutes due to a knee injury.
Catlin missed the first game against Scotland due to the problem but was passed fit to play against Canada under-17s. He started the match, wearing the number 12 shirt, but lasted just two minutes before his knee broke down again, ending his season.
“It was frustrating because I was able to play some warm-up matches, but that was my only chance to play full internationals,” Catlin said. “Having prepared for the game for two days, having to come off after just two minutes was hard to take.
“It was an incredible experience just being in the squad though. It was the best week of my life so far because we were all there as a team and I really enjoyed it. Rather than being disappointed, that is the way I want to look at the whole thing.
“I move up to the under-17s now so that is the hope for next year, to get into that England squad. Selection will be done at the end of next season and hopefully I can do enough to get in.”
Catlin will take his GCSEs this summer before moving on to Wellington College in Berkshire – but his long-term aim is to play professionally for London Irish.
“I have got to be reasonable and there are a lot of potential obstacles in the way but hopefully I have got the talent to get there,” he said. “Irish is where I have been for the last couple of years and it would be great if I could sign professionally with them when I turn 18.
“Playing for England makes you realise how good other players are but hopefully I can keep improving and we will see where it takes me.”