Alex Seddon joined the University of Exeter Rugby League side in September 2012.

Seddon selected for Ireland students

University of Exeter rugby league player Xander Seddon has been selected for Ireland Student’s Rugby League side as they prepare for the Student’s World Cup which kicks off in July.

The selection came after Rugby League Ireland ran a series of open trial sessions earlier this year. Xander was selected from 150 hopefuls to join a training group of 35 players for two further trial weekends, during which intra-squad matches were used to select the final 24 man squad for the World Cup.

Ireland will compete in Group B in the early stages of the competition alongside England, Wales, and South Africa.  Each nation will play the teams in their pool once, the top two in each pool will then progress to the semi-finals.

Ireland’s first match will see them face England on 4 July in Batley Bulldogs’ LoveRugbyLeague.com Stadium in Yorkshire. If selected to play it will be Xander’s first international cap, having only being playing Rugby League since he arrived at the University of Exeter in September.

Xander expressed his excitement, and surprise, at being selected to compete at such a high level so soon after starting out. He said: “To get this opportunity after only six months of playing League is as surprising to me as for anyone. This is the biggest honour I could possibly be offered a sportsman. It’s the sort of thing that you day dream about doing when you are growing up, playing against teams like England and Australia in a World Cup, to play against the best in the world.

Looking to the future Xander is cautious, but hopes to further progression in his game. He commented: “For now I just want to see where it takes me; ideally, I’d like to progress into the full international side with the next two years or so, as well as winning the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) championship with the University.”

A focus sport of the University, Rugby League benefits from the support of it’s dedicated High Performance Unit. Players in the High Performance Squad receive specialist training, strength and conditioning and physio to help them reach their full potential. The men’s club also has strong links with the Super League club Leeds Rhinos who help to develop players.

It has been a successful season for the squad, who finished third in the BUCS National South league, which has also seen player Alex Mills-Baker selected for the GB Pioneers Squad for their tour of Morocco at the end of the month.

Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and Competitions) Nick Beasant complemented the squad on their development and ability to produce top quality players. “The University of Exeter Rugby League Club has become a breeding ground for young talent. The close relationship that the club enjoys with the Leeds Rhinos is really playing dividends and national sides are now showing a real interest in selecting Exeter players.

“Rugby League continues to grow as a sport around the world and it is our aim to be at the fore-front of this development within both the region and the sector. We will continue to support our League programme and I have no doubt that we will be seeing many more of our players hit the international stage in the coming years.”

Date: 17 June 2013

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