A BUTCHER is set to take on the world after being selected to represent England in an international competition.

Jessica Leliuga from Ye Olde Sausage Shop at Oswaldtwistle Mill has been named as one of six members of ‘British Beefeaters Team GB’.

She will now compete in the World Butchers Challenge in Belfast next March as she seeks to be named as one of the best butchers in the world.

In competing she will become the first female to represent the national butchers team.

Miss Leliuga said: “It was a job at first I wasn’t sure I wanted to do, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

“I’ve loved it ever since I started.

“Now to get the chance to represent my country it’s just amazing.

“It’s a really great bunch on the team.

“It should offer a great opportunity for me to get out and learn from others and enhance my skills.”

The 24-year-old first started working at the butchers in Oswaldtwistle as a teenager carrying out part time and weekend work.

She then started working full-time after finishing school and later ended up buying into the business.

Miss Leliuga specialises in garnishing and finishing of meat, and this will be her role for the team in competitions.

She decided to compete after having success at a local competition two years ago when she won at a local trade show in Chorley.

She said: “When I saw applications were open at first I wasn’t sure whether to enter or not.

“But I thought why not and just went for it.

“It’s only just starting to sink in now that I’ll be representing my country.

“It’s not something I thought would happen when I started out all those years ago.

“But I’ve got no intention of moving at all.”

Applications had to be submitted by April this year, and butchers were then narrowed down to a shortlist of 17.

They then completed in a trial day in Milton Keynes where they had to work with a variety of meat including chicken and shoulders of pork.

They were then cut down to six ahead of a final day held of challenges in Leeds where four new team members were selected to joined the existing two members.

Training sessions will be held monthly leading up to the event.

The team is captained by master butcher Tom Wood, who recently opened a shop on Blackburn Market. He selected the final team.

Mr Wood said: “Jess has got that real eye for detail and brings that feminine touch to the team.

“We’ve got her in for her finesse and finishing.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do, but we’ve come close in the last two competitions and we hope we can reach the next step and win.”

The world butchers challenge will take place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast from March 20 to 22.

It will feature 12 teams from all around the world including Australia, New Zealand and Spain.