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Rugby News

Heyes excited for honour of representing England

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Joe Heyes says he will go in to this season's U20s Six Nations a much less nervous player after a year in which the young Tigers front rower has gained a lot of experience on and off the pitch with club and country.

Heyes was this week named in England's U20s squad for 2019 alongside Tigers team mate Tom Hardwick and says he's looking forward to another chance to represent his country.

"I feel a bit more comfortable going in this year as opposed to last, as I've been through a lot since then and gained a lot of experience with both England and the senior side here at Tigers," said Heyes.

"Yes, it's nice and I'm very happy ... I really enjoyed the experience last year and am looking forward to it again."

Since making his England U20s debut during last season's Six Nations, Heyes has gone on to feature consistently for the Tigers senior team in both the Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup as an understudy to the experienced Dan Cole.

Looking ahead to his second season in the U20s squad, Heyes says it's a good chance to mix with players you might not have ever trained or played alongside.

"I got a lot from it and learned loads last season," he said.

"You have the chance to mix with other players during the week, training and playing alongside them in big games with big crowds watching."

Heyes and Hardwick are the lone Leicester players to have been selected and the front rower is excited to share the "honour" with his high-energy Tigers team mate.

"It doesn't get much better than being able to represent your country, so to have the chance again is a big honour," Heyes said.

"He [Tom Hardwick] brings a lot of energy to any team, so to do it with him again is great for us both and for Tigers."