WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club’s Matt McLean says it will be an honour to run out in a Wales shirt at the weekend, just four months after returning from a 16-month injury absence.
Raiders’ 28-year-old full-back has been selected for Wales FIRA 7s squad for the first leg of the European Series this weekend.
He got the call after impressing in two GB 7s series events for the Wales development squad, called Crawshays Welsh, having starred while playing in a 7s tournament in Cardiff last month.
The European Series takes place over four legs, with the first one in Lyon, France, this weekend, and McLean said: “This is my first call-up to the Wales 7s squad and, prior to the last three weeks, I wasn’t expecting it at all.
“Aged 22 and 23, I was on the fringes but then injuries and other factors meant it didn’t happen for me.
“I played in a tournament in Cardiff three or four weeks ago for my old high school, Glantaf Old Boys, as we enter a side every year.
“From that, I got picked up by the Wales development squad, where we played at Saracens’ Allianz Park and then in Edinburgh over the past two weekends, and now I’ve got selected for the Wales 7s squad for the European Series.
“I’ve been selected for the first leg, so my performance will depend on re-selection for the other three legs in Moscow, Manchester and Bucharest.
“It’s something I’m massively looking forward to, though. To get international selection for your country is quite an honour.
“It’s always been an ambition of mine to be part of the Wales 7s squad. But given the fact I only returned to playing rugby at the end of February, after 16 months out injured, it wasn’t something I was expecting.”
More from McLean in this wee’s paper.