CAMERON Hetherington cannot wait to tackle the best players in Europe when he heads out to Serbia with the England Under-19s squad tomorrow.

The Walney Central and Furness Raiders prop has earned selection for the national team as part of head coach Allan Coleman's 21-man squad for the Under-19 European Championship.

Hetherington was earmarked after impressing for Cumbria's under-16s against Yorkshire last year, and the 17-year-old is relishing the prospect of representing his country.

“I am very excited,” said Hetherington. “I feel very honoured to be picked for England and hopefully we can come back as European Under-19s champions.

“I have been eating healthily, training hard, feeling good and ready for the challenge ahead.

“I would like to play for Barrow Raiders along the way.”

Hetherington was part of the Furness team which reached the final of this year's Association of Colleges National Cup and was one of those who made the step up from the Raiders' elite under-16s squad.

Should he go on to play for Barrow's senior side, he would follow in the footsteps of father Anthony Horton, who had two spells with the club and is impressed with his son's efforts.

“I am really proud of the way he has applied himself off the field to put himself in a position to represent his country as one of the youngest in the age group at prop, which is remarkable,” said Horton.

Hetherington and his England team-mates get their campaign in the eight-team European Championship under way against the host nation in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

And his home club of Walney will be keeping a close eye on his progress, with Cents joint-coach Dave Warne full of praise for Hetherington.

“It is brilliant for Cameron and it is absolutely massive for the club,” said Warne. “He is still a young lad, only 17, he trains really hard and has a big presence in the changing rooms.

“He is a credit to his family and the club, and we wish him the best for the games. He can play anywhere on the park.”