CITY rugby star Ed Slater is set to represent his country for the first time after being called up to the England Saxons squad to take on Ireland this Saturday.
The former Milton Keynes RFU Club lock is one of four Leicester Tigers players in the team for the match at Sandy Park – home of Exeter Chiefs.
England Saxons is the current name of England’s men’s second national team, and for Slater the call-up marks another landmark step in his career after forcing his way into the Leicester side in the past two seasons.
The 23-year-old helped Tigers top the leaderboard and make it through to the Aviva Premiership final last season where they lost they lost to Saracens in front of more than 80,000 supporters at Twickenham.
The current campaign hasn’t quite gone to plan for Tigers as they sit fourth in the Premiership table, 11 points behind Harlequins at the top. But Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill believes that Slater’s call-up is reward for his hard work and good attitude at Welford Road from where he’s currently made 43 appearances.
And as he continues to make a name for himself, he knows there are big challenges ahead.
Slater said: “Life at Leicester prepares you for these things, It’s a hard environment and there are a lot of quality players about.
“It’s a learning process and I’m looking forward to the game. Ireland will be a really tough test and we’re expecting a physical battle from them.”