WEST Cumbrian rugby union player Jamie Blamire will win his fifth cap as he starts for England against South Africa today.

The 23-year-old hooker from Seaton has featured in the first two matches of the autumn series, scoring tries in both.

This is only the second time that the Newcastle Falcons player has been called up to the squad, after making his debut in the summer.

Jamie said: "It’s been good. It’s been a tough few weeks but I’ve enjoyed it.

"It’s very exciting because we’ve got a good mix in the squad. 

"There’s a lot of experience but there’s youth coming through as well. It’s really exciting to be part of it."

The next match is again at Twickenham Stadium in London, the world's largest rugby union stadium.
Jamie said: "It’s pretty mental when you’re running out in from of 80,000 people. 

"For the last few weeks it’s been some experience. It’s very loud."
It could be overwhelming for some players, but Jamie doesn't let it get to him.

"Once you’re on the pitch you just try and think about your game and just treat it as a normal game of rugby. That’s what you have to think about, I think.

"I try not to think about [the nerves] too much."
Like many West Cumbrians, the former Stainbeck School pupil's first love was rugby league.

As a boy he played for Glasson Rangers, Salterbeck Storm and Seaton Rangers.

He only started playing rugby union at the age of 15 after a teacher recommended it.

Jamie admitted that he was more interested in rugby league as a youngster.

He said: "I didn’t know what union was until I started playing it to be honest!

"It was a bit weird at first because of the rules and rucks and balls and stuff like that. 

"After playing it for a few years, I think I’m used to it now."
With the World Cup in 2023, you couldn't blame Jamie for thinking ahead, but he has his feet firmly on the ground.

"I’ll just concentrate on the games that I’m picked to play in, and whatever comes my way comes my way."