Mr BootsImage copyright Matt Shepherd
Image caption ‘Mr Boots’ (pictured right, next to Honey) is in the dog house

A rugby player was left in a “nightmare” predicament after his dog chewed up his passport ahead of an overseas tour.

Matt Shepherd, 27, from Cornwall, is due to travel to Spain for a two-match England Counties tour on Monday.

His seven-month-old cocker spaniel destroyed the document less than two weeks before the flight.

The Plymouth Albion player was forced to make an eight-hour round trip to south Wales, to get a new passport.

Image copyright Brain Tempest
Image caption Matt Shepherd said he feared he would miss the England Counties tour to Spain

Shepherd, a former St Austell and Redruth back, had got his passport out to check the expiry date ahead of the trip, then left it on the table while he went out.

“When I got back I saw pieces of paper on the floor and didn’t know what it was. Then I saw him on the bed with the passport in his mouth,” he said.

“I was in shock, I didn’t know what to do.”

He was worried he would not be able to board the plane for the tour, which he described as “really, really big for amateur rugby”.

However “the authorities agreed to speed things up and help out as I was representing my country,” he said.

It involved an eight hour round drive from Cornwall to the Newport Passport Office in south Wales.

Shepherd made it back home for final training ahead of Cornwall v Lancashire in Sunday’s County Championship final at Twickenham.

He added: “It’s my fault, I left it on the table – but there we go it’s a learning curve. You can’t be mad with a puppy, can you?”

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