|Event:||Australia in British Isles 2009|
DateLine: 6th July 2009
England seamer Graham Onions could not contain his excitement after being named in the England squad for the first Ashes Test.
The right-arm pacer, who made his debut in the series against the West Indies earlier this summer, retained his place for Wednesday's Ashes opener in Cardiff when the squad was named on Sunday morning.
The 26-year-old was chosen ahead of his Durham team-mate Steve Harmison who has also impressed in a warm-up match for England Lions against Australia this week.
"It's absolutely unbelievable. I feel I have learned a lot from the two games I have played and the Lions game just gone. It shows the hard work does pay off eventually.
"It is all exciting times, the Australians are ahead of us and bring it on. It's quite hard to think from last winter that I'm in the squad and I just can't wait. I'm really looking forward to it," said Onions.
Onions admitted his confidence is sky high after a strong start to the summer.
"I feel everything is clicking. I'm pitching the ball up and doing a lot more with it.
"The work which I have done in the winter has paid off. I feel fit and strong and when you get wickets your confidence is sky high. I'll be taking that into the game."
Onions also spoke about Steve Harmison saying that he still views the tall pacer as a great inspiration and a good friend to whom he can turn for advice.
"I can't speak highly enough of Steve Harmison," Onions said.
"When he left the ground yesterday he said he was just a phone call away, which is great. He has played 60-odd Test matches and I have got to look up to him for advice.
"Steve has helped me so much in my career as well but I have been selected in that first Test squad and I have got to make the most of it."
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