“I presumed it had been a small joke to start with,” says Ben Moon when you broach the subject of his first England contact.
An unsung hero of Exeter’s increase from next grade hopefuls to British champions, the 29-year-old prop finally made the break through into the federal team in this autumn’s internationals.
But the England hierarchy struggled to get hold of the father of two to violate the fantastic news .
“I had been at a birthday party with my children,” he describes BBC Sport.
“I’d no signal therefore that I had been playing out on the bouncy castle with a wonderful time, but walked out after the party had ended and saw my phone had been going mad.
“I had a text in Henry Slade and also the boys since they were in their way up to camp and also a couple of missed calls from an unknown number and also a message from Richard Hill.
“At that point I thought’is that the lads taking the Mick?” , therefore that I rang up Sladey and asked’can it be a joke?” He said’nothey want you up there’.”
From that inauspicious start Moon seemingly took his chance, he started the narrow loss to New Zealand and the impressive win over Australia, having come off the bench against South Africa and Japan.
It had been widely viewed as because reward for a one-club player who has made more than 200 appearances since his Exeter introduction in the old National One a lot higher than 10 years past.
“I had been blessed enough to get given an opportunity and that I adored every second of it,” he explained.
“it is a great feeling, its some thing that every young rugby player wishes to do, play for their own country and I’m blessed to have been given that chance”
England is very far on the backburner for Moon today whilst the Chiefs plan the biggest game of this season so far.
Unbeaten champions Saracens see Sandy Park on Saturday to face an Exeter side two things in it following his first league loss at Harlequins at the close of last month.
While celebrity backs such as Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, Sean Maitland, Alex Cuthbert and Henry Slade may get the pulses racing, so it is among arguably the most useful two sets of forwards in the league which the contest is likely to be lost and won.
Exeter boast six global props – Moon, Harry Williams, Alec Hepburn, Tomas Francis, Greg Holmes and Moray Low, in Addition to skipper Jack Yeandle along with England fringe player Luke Cowan-Dickie at hooker.
Allied to that are fresh Scotland celebrity Sam Skinner and former Australia player Dave Dennis at the rear five, Together with highly-rated Dave Ewers and Don Armand.
But facing these are Saracens pack that with no injured Maro Itoje still have celebrities such as the Vunipola brothers, Jamie George, Vincent Koch, George Kruis and Schalk Burger available.
“They play good soccer and have got some excellent players in the marketplace.
“They’re 15 blokes who really do the things they do nicely and we’ve got to create sure we do what we do , should we focus on ourselves should be okay.”
Together with Exeter straight back to winning ways last week at Gloucester at the Champions Cup following losses to the Cherry and Whites and Harlequins inside their previous two games, Moon feels he and his team mates are ready to get their biggest challenge at the Premiership this season.
“It was important for all of us to get back to that Exeter Chiefs’ performance, it has been falling for a few weeks, but we kind of got our mojo back last week and feeling was really very excellent,” he added.
“You could feel it on the pitch, so everybody else was up for it, ready for it and hopefully we’ll carry this forward into Sarries.”