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England calls give Esher some festive cheer
International calls for Esher duo Chris Elder and James Inglis meant there was at least some festive cheer for head coach Ollie Smith, writes Muhammed Sher.
Former Quins player Inglis and ex-London Wasps full back Chris Elder
have been named in the England Counties squad for the February clashes against the Ireland Club XV and France Amateurs.
Elder has previously played on the international stage at age group level with England U18, but for Inglis, the call-up caps two years of hard work.
Lock forward Inglis was called up for the game against Ireland two years’ ago, but was replaced by Blackheath’s Tom Bason at the 11th hour after damaging a toe in a league game against London Scottish.
Both men have played major parts in Ollie Smith’s new look side, who suffered back-to-back defeats to London Scottish and Blackheath prior to Christmas, with Elder having contributed 36 points, including two tries, since his summer move.
And the Molesey Road chief looked forward to reaping the benefits from their progress.
“Both James and Chris have been excellent for us every time they’ve pulled on the jersey and they fully deserve the opportunity to go and show what they can do on the big stage,” said Smith, ahead of Saturday’s visit from Loughborough Students.
“They will bring quality to a strong group. It will only develop them as players and as people, and it’ll benefit us because we’ll have two players on our hands who’ll return, hopefully, having learnt a lot.”
* Esher have announced special January ticket cards for the club’s home National Division One clashes with Loughborough Students (Jan 5), Wharfedale (Jan 12) and Blaydon (Jan 26).
The cards cost £25 and will give the holder entry to all three games.