Yorkshire cricket's latest young star has told Calendar he hopes to follow in the footsteps of teammates Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow into the full England squad in the near future
Alex Lees will fly out to Australia with the England development squad tomorrow. His call-up came on the back of an impressive breakthrough season with Yorkshire which included a magnificent double century against Derbyshire in July.
Brett Ferres is relieved he did not go ahead with plans to book a family holiday in November as he prepares to make his second England appearance on his home ground.
The Huddersfield Giants second rower was forced to cancel one holiday earlier this year after he was called into England coach Steve McNamara's squad for the mid-season clash with the Exiles.
Ferres was tempted to take his family away at the end of the domestic season but held off just in case he got the call for the World Cup, which duly came for him to make his England debut last Saturday against Australia and he looks certain to keep his spot for Saturday's game with Ireland.
"Luckily I didn't book one this time. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time this time," said 27-year-old Ferres.
The former Bradford, Wakefield and Castleford player was well down the pecking order at the start of the year, missing out on a place in McNamara's elite training squad, and his World Cup hopes looked to have been dashed when he was left out of the 24-man squad at the start of the month.
But McNamara asked Ferres to go on the training camp in South Africa and act as first reserve in case of injury and, although he did not think twice, he admits it was an awkward situation.
"I wasn't wishing for anybody to get hurt. We're all striving for the same goal. I was no different, even though I wasn't part of the squad as such, " he said.
"It was difficult, being so close and yet so far away. I think the ruling has changed and you can change the squad throughout the World Cup.
"I was there as a bit of a safety net and I saw it as an opportunity to remain in the frame and to get some valuable training. It was a bit of perseverance and a case of working hard and keeping my head down and it paid off."
Leeds Rhinos' Ryan Hall knows he cannot rely solely on past glory but he will be aiming to consolidate his reputation as the world's best winger when he goes up against Australia on Saturday.
England's World Cup opener against the Kangaroos at the Millennium Stadium will bring the memories flooding back of Hall's finest hour, his superbly-executed two-try display against them in the Four Nations Series at Wembley two years ago.
It elevated him onto the world stage and he confirmed his status shortly afterwards with a 95-metre try against Australian champions Manly Sea Eagles to help Leeds become world club champions.
Hall, who has scored 13 tries in 15 appearances for his country, is hoping once more to be in the spotlight and was ready for the obvious question at an England media session at Loughborough University.
"A lot of people have mentioned the tries I scored in 2011 at Wembley," he said. "Obviously that was a great stepping stone in my life. It kind of set the ball rolling for a lot of things happened quickly after that with my profile being lifted.
"So obviously there are fond memories from a personal aspect but the objective was to win the game and obviously we didn't do that. Hopefully there is no better stage to put that right this year."
England's women international football players face a challenging game in Rotherham today. They are taking part in a friendly against Canada at Rotherham's New York Stadium. It is the first time a Women's International has come to Rotherham United.
The England Rugby Union squad will be back in West Yorkshire later this month, training at the West Park Leeds club ahead of their Six Nations campaign.
It's a repeat of last year's successful formula, when coach Stuart Lancaster - who lives in the Leeds - brought the squad north in an attempt to reconnect with the grass roots after their disastrous 2011 World Cup campaign in New Zealand.
Danny Rose - the Doncaster born footballer - was just one of several players subjected to racist chants during an England Under 21s game last night. The FA has reported "a number of incidents of racism" to UEFA after ugly scenes marred the England U-21s' win in Serbia.
Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow have been called up to the England squad for third Investec Test against South Africa, starting at Lord's on Thursday.
The full- squad is AJ Strauss (Middlesex, captain), JM Anderson (Lancashire), JM Bairstow (Yorkshire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), TT Bresnan (Yorkshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), AN Cook (Essex) ST Finn (Middlesex), G Onions (Durham), MJ Prior (Sussex),
GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), JWA Taylor (Nottinghamshire), IJL Trott (Warwickshire).