Channing earns shock Wales call up
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FORMER Pangbourne College pupil Michael Channing has been called into the Wales rugby league squad.
Teenager Channing caught the eye of Wales selectors while playing for Super League side London Broncos.
The 19-year-old centre is now hoping to take a bow on the international stage as Wales prepare to take on France next month.
Channing, left, said: "I was shocked and obviously very happy to be selected for the first team squad. I was really chuffed to even be considered for a call up.
"I found out as I was looking through my emails and then I saw it, so I kept double checking that it was right. I wasn't sure if I'd read it right at first."
Channing qualifies through Wales through his grandfathers, both of whom are from the principality.
He added: "We're going to be playing France in June. They're an unknown quantity to me, but I'm just hoping to be picked for the first team.
"I played for Wales Under 18 two years ago, which was the first year I played rugby league.
"We played England and Australia - we drew against England, but lost to Australia, however I did score the only try so it wasn't all bad."
Channing was something of a latecomer to rugby league after switching codes from union when he was released by London Irish.
"I played union initially and then a couple of years ago I got cut from London Irish, so I started playing for Richmond," he explained.
"One of the coaches at Richmond knows Jonesy [Phil Jones, London Broncos' head of youth and performance) and I went for trials and they liked me, it's just gone from there.
"Last year I started training with the first team at Broncos and now this year I am full time with them and hoping for a call up to the first team."
This article appeared in Reading Chronicle 09 May 12