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Home > News > Mugford inclusion extends Cambridge's England Counties contingent
Your News Mugford inclusion extends Cambridge's England Counties contingent

THE ENGLAND Counties XV will contain three players from the same house when they tackle Ireland’s Ulster Bank Club International Team in Dublin on Friday week (March 18, 17.30pm kick-off) following the call-up of Cambridge RUFC fly-half Dan Mugford.

Mugford lives with his team-mates Ben Spencer and Tom Wheatcroft and his inclusion in the squad takes the Cambridge contingent to four with lock Robbie Hurrell also in the team.

Mugford gets his chance following the withdrawal because of injury of London Scottish No 10 James Brown and given a run of bad luck earlier in the season, getting a call from Counties Manager Michael Old was a massive boost for the 19-year-old.

“In November I ruptured a ligament in my ankle which kept me out of the game for a month or so and while I was recovering, I was doing some DIY on a glass-panelled door and managed to cut through a tendon in my thumb.” he said: “That kept me out for another spell.

“At that stage I was simply looking to get back playing after the injury and push on to the end of the season. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like this and it’s absolutely brilliant that the chance has come up. It’s been a real confidence booster and some light at the end of the tunnel.

“And with three of us from the same house all being involved, there’s a real buzz going around the place.”

A product of Exeter Chiefs Ivybridge Community College, Mugford played alongside Spencer before the pair decided to accept an offer to join Cambridge after coach Bob Crooks went to watch them on the advice of a friend.

“We both believed that getting game time at National League level was the key for us and we moved up to Cambridge,” said Mugford: “They’ve been really good and got behind us all the way.”

“James Brown has been a first-class member of the England Counties set-up, both on and off the field, and we’re sorry to see him having to withdraw,” says Counties Manager Michael Old: “But his bad luck opens a door for Dan and I’m sure he’ll grasp the opportunity with both hands.

“He’s next to the youngest in the squad – his housemate Ben Spencer is nine months younger at 18 – and I’m sure being with the England Counties will be a great experience for them both.

“It’s always very exciting to see young players coming into the team and testing themselves in a different, challenging environment. On our last tour to Canada we had Tom Kessell from Plymouth – a Devon team-mate of Dan’s - in the squad and he was a revelation. Hopefully these two teenagers can enjoy the same experience and really blossom in Dublin.”

England Counties (v Ulster Bank Club International Team, Old Belvedere RUFC, Dublin, Friday, March 18, 2011): Forwards - Dave Allen* (Blackheath), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Alex Clarke (London Scottish), Matt Hall* (Blaydon), Robbie Hurrell (Cambridge), James Kellard* (Barking), Aaron Liffchak (Barking), Dan Lloyd-Jones (Barking), Alex MacKenzie (Barking), James Ngan (Barking), Steve Pape* (Rosslyn Park), Tom Standfield (London Scottish).

Backs - Gareth Collins* (Leicester Lions), Peter Hodgkinson (EalingTrailfinders), David Howells* (London Scottish), Tom Jarvis* (Stourbridge), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanians), Dan Mugford (Cambridge), Ben Spencer (Cambridge), James Stephenson (Blackheath), Mike Waywell (Fylde), Tom Wheatcroft (Cambridge)

(* denotes previous England Counties cap)

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