Memories of wearing an England shirt at Twickenham will help to ease the pain of end-of-season surgery for Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben White.
White and club colleague Will Spencer were part of the England XV squad for Sunday’s 51-43 victory over the Barbarians on Sunday when both were used as second-half replacements during the annual fixture at the national stadium.
A hectic year for the Stoke-born scrum-half began and ended in England colours, from the Under-20s Worlds Championship in France last summer to the outing at Twickenham either side of 25 first-team appearances for Tigers.
But now the 21-year-old White will see a surgeon to repair a shoulder problem before he joins the pre-season programme ahead of 2019/20.
“It’s a massive honour to be involved and something I will never forget,” said White at the final whistle of Sunday’s game.
“It’s been a great week, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s nice to get picked for this sort of thing and it is a great learning opportunity to play with and against some great players, and to be involved in a different environment where you can hopefully take things away and learn from.
“I see it is a great learning curve and a platform, and you just put your best foot forward.”
White replaced Northampton’s Alex Mitchell midway through the second half just as the Baa-Baas were fighting back from a 16-point deficit to cut the gap to just three points approaching the final 10 minutes of the game.
“The Barbarians had two great scrum-halves [Wales internationals Rhys Webb and Rhodri Williams] and it’s great to play against tough opposition like that,” added White.
“They have a great squad and you don’t know what they’re going to throw at you.
“I was a bit nervous in the hotel before the game, waiting around, but once you get to the stadium it is ‘head on’ and you are preparing for the game. On the bench you’re watching to see what you can do and when you get the call it is just thinking about your first involvements and getting on with your job.
“My parents and family came down which is nice for them to share in it and I enjoyed the support.”