It’s funny how it all turns out. Just six and a half weeks ago, Callum Sheedy briefly discussed with RugbyPass his international rugby options and said everything was still up for grabs. He’s is eligible to play for three countries, a situation he described as “odd”.
At that time on April 17, wearing some country’s jersey was the furthest thing from his thoughts. His main aim was to keep hold of the No10 Bristol Bears shirt he had been battling all season for with Ian Madigan.
Yet 40 days after the 23-year-old Cardiff-born out-half was non-committal about the colour of a potential international jersey, it was announced on Monday that he is preparing to play in the England white in next Sunday’s match at Twickenham versus the Barbarians.
It’s a non-cap fixture, so his appearance won’t mean he has been captured forever by England.
But his selection in the squad that is being coached by Jim Mallinder is clear evidence that they are very much interested in his services and that his excellent run of form in a breakthrough season where he featured in all but one of Bristol’s 22 Premiership matches hasn’t gone unnoticed.
? England XV head coach Jim Mallinder has named his squad to face @Barbarian_FC men on Sunday.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) May 27, 2019
Speaking at a Gallagher Insurance Train with your Heroes session for the Cheddar RFC under-10s, this was how Sheedy responded when asked by RugbyPass about his Test prospects last month:
RP: Just curious regarding your international status, you’re eligible for three international teams?
CS: Yeah, that is correct.
RP: What is it like knowing that if you play consistently well one of them might take a shine to you and give you that call?
CS: Yeah, so my mum’s Welsh, my dad’s Irish (from Kildare) and I moved to England five years ago so there is a twist to it. It’s a tough one but yeah, obviously my main focus is playing consistently well for Bristol and trying to play as much as I can and as well as I can and whatever happens internationally happens (happens). It’s an odd one, isn’t it?
— liam heagney (@heagneyl) April 26, 2019
Sheedy played for Wales under-16s and switched to Ireland at under-19s level for a FIRA championship in Portugal in 2014. He then turned down an opportunity to line out for Wales in the 2015 under-20s Six Nations.
If he had played at under-20s, he would have become Welsh qualified only and would not be part of England’s plans next weekend.
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