LONDON Irish second row Josh McNally has spoken of his pride after being given a maiden call-up to England's training squad ahead of their game against Barbarians at Twickenham and the summer tour to South Africa.

The 24-year-old has been part of a 31-man group training in Brighton this week, albeit it does not feature any players from the clubs involved in the Aviva Premiership play-off semi finals – Exeter Chiefs, Saracens, Wasps and Newcastle.

McNally's call-up caps a remarkable recovery for the RAF corporal, who missed much of the season after suffering a stroke following the game against Saracens back in October.

However, he enjoyed a remarkable return to form and scored three tries in the last five games as Exiles were relegated from the top flight.

He said: “I’m delighted to get the call from England and it just shows that I must have been doing something right for London Irish.

“I’m happy to be back playing and getting 80 minutes under my belt on a consistent basis, and my body is getting back to how it was feeling before the operation.”

He also reflected on the challenges facing Exiles as they bid to return to the top flight next season, adding: “I have a lot of experience of playing in the Championship and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in next season and putting London Irish back on the map by winning games.

“It’s great to see a number of players signing for us ahead of next season and we’ve recruited well – I know Barney Maddison very well from my time playing for London Welsh. Stephen Myler will also bring some valuable experience to the squad.”