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Current national team head coach Paul Shaw was pleased with the standard of the clubs on show at the recent BT National Championships in Leicester last month.

Twelve of the best sides from across the UK came together for the final tournament of the season, after another competitive year of the BT Super Series.

All of Shaw’s GB squad that have been selected for the European Championships in Germany later this month, were playing for their respective club teams as they prepare to retain their European title in Koblenz (25th June-1st July).

Shaw was in attendance throughout the weekend, offering advice to players and coaches, as well as spending some time with Canterbury, offering his expertise on the touchline as Hellfire finished runners-up in the Shield.

He said: “I think the standard is getting better every year and I think that is down to more coaches coming through. Technically, the game is better and in the Super Series. Division Two, for me, is a massive step up from last year and in Division Three in a couple of years we will see where they are at.”

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It was a good chance for the coach to see his GB players in competitive action before the remaining training camps ahead of the European Championships and he couldn’t stress enough on the importance of events such as the BT Super Series and the BT National Championships.

“If you don’t play club rugby and go into an international game you wont be able to compete. So playing club rugby at this high standard is imperative if you are going to represent your country.” Shaw added.

Chris Ryan of Storm will continue as captain with Gavin Walker (Leicester Tigers) as his assistant. Ryan’s Storm teammates Jonny Coggan and Jim Roberts will be competing in Germany also whilst Crash quartet Ayaz Bhuta, Myles Pearson, Danny Dawoud and Ryan Cowling will also feature. Tigers duo Jamie Stead and Nick Cummings alongside Ollie Mangion (Canterbury) and Stuart Robinson (Ospreys) complete the squad.

A reserve list of David Ross (Team Solent Sharks), Jack Smith (Tigers) and Coral Batey (Crash) will be on standby should they be called upon.