A Physical Education student at Leeds Trinity University will represent Great Britain on the GB Pioneers Rugby League Tour in Albania this month.
Linden Metcalfe, from Pontefract, is one of 18 players selected for the squad, which travels to countries with little Rugby League provision and supports them with development. This year, the Pioneers will visit Albania from 9-16 September 2019. At 19-years-old, Linden is one of the youngest members of the team.
He said: "Playing with the Pioneers is a huge honour. It will raise my ability, increase my knowledge of my position and give me extra experience to take forward into the new University season.
"I'm looking forward to playing against Albania's national side and if possible, scoring a try whilst playing for GB."
The 18-man GB squad includes student players from universities across Great Britain and North Ireland. They will be supported by six team members and will take sports kit and equipment to donate to local clubs during the tour. During the eight-day trip Linden and his teammates will train with Albania's national Rugby League side and play a number of games and tournaments against teams from across the country.
"The purpose of the trip is to play a high standard of rugby but to also innovate Rugby League in Albania," said Linden. "I'm excited but a little bit apprehensive about representing GB for the first time. I want the team to do well and don't want to let anyone down."
Linden received &pound;500 from the University's Inspiring Futures Programme as a contribution towards his trip. He is also part of the University's Talented Athlete Support Package which offers free gym membership, access to the University Strength and Conditioning Suite, tailored Sport Science testing and support, and learning and teaching support for his academic studies.
Sarah Todd, Sports Development Manager at Leeds Trinity University, said: "Linden should be exceptionally proud of his selection for the GB Pioneers tour to Albania this year, an initiative which offers a great opportunity for him and his teammates to raise the profile of the sport, play against other teams and support local development of Rugby League. We're looking forward to following his trip."
You can follow the GB Pioneers trip on Instagram and Twitter by searching 'GB Pioneers'.
Find out more about ourInspiring Futures Programme.
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