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Congratulations to Matt and Robin

Well done to Matt Shepherd (pictured courtesy of Simon Bryant, Iktisphoto) and Robin Wedlake who have been selected for the England Counties tour which departs the day after the Bill Beaumont County Championship Final (Lancashire v Cornwall) on Sunday 28th May.

England Counties will complete a two-match tour of Spain from 29 May to 4 June, and team manager Matt Long is expecting a tough test.

Counties are set to face a Basque Country team in San Sebastian on Wednesday, 31 May before travelling to Guadalajara three days later to take on Spain, and Long is wary of the challenge ahead.

“I’m expecting a very physical game,” he said of the international clash. “Given we wanted a full Test against the international side, I think we’ll get one.

“We’ve done a bit of research, and we know Spain are improving, their world ranking is proof of that. We’re going to have a hard test.”

Counties will fly to Spain the day after the county championship final at Twickenham Stadium, and Long explains there will be no meet and greet beforehand, rather his side will have to gel and search for consistency from the outset.

He added: “We expect that both the Basque Country team and Spain will want to play a quick game, and we must adapt to that accordingly.”

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