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Young star Jack earns his stripes.

Byline: Philip Tallentire Boro Editor

DEBUTANT Jack Stephens got a useful 30 minutes of international action under his belt as England Under-21s overcame the USA Under-23 Olympic team 1-0 at Preston.

The 21-year-old Boro defender won his first cap at under-21 level when he replaced Joe Gomez in the 61st minute of Thursday night's encounter at Deepdale, which was decided by James Wilson's 72nd minute winner.

Stephens will be hoping for more game time when Gareth Southgate's side are next in action in Norway on Monday when they begin their European Championship qualifying campaign in Drammen (5.45pm). Meanwhile, the former Boro manager believes Nathaniel Chalobah's move to Serie A club Napoli will aid his development.

The Chelsea midfielder, who played for Boro during a loan spell last year, was on Aitor Karanka's list of potential summer signings.

However Chalobah, who started for England Under-21s at Preston, joined Napoli on a season-long loan on Monday. "We would advocate going and getting first team football, that's the most important thing for him," said Southgate.

"It's an interesting challenge for him, life-experience wise it's going to be different for him compared to his other loan moves."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 5, 2015
Words:194
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