Barkley bemoans England snub
September 4, 2010
Olly Barkley faces an uphill battle to force his way back into the England set-up in time for the World Cup © Getty Images
Olly Barkley has again expressed his disappointment at his omission from the England senior elite and Saxons squads, arguing that he was not given a chance to prove himself during the summer series against Australia.
Despite being included in the touring party for the trip 'Down Under', Bath centre Barkley did not see any game time in either Test against the Wallabies, something which still rankles with him.
"I would have liked an opportunity," he said. "I felt I played well enough to warrant a chance, and I wasn't given that. That is the only thing I was disappointed about.
"He (Johnson) told me I didn't put my hand up enough on tour, and that is why I wasn't in the 64, and that there are areas of my defence I need to work on. He felt I didn't play well enough in the (tour) games to warrant a position in the 64, which I didn't entirely agree with.
"I am never the type of guy to moan on the phone - I will just get my head down to work on it. He made his decision and I don't agree with him, but I have to live with it."
Barkley now has it all to do if he is to force his way back into the England squad ahead of next year's World Cup. However, is determined to do all he can to persuade Johnson that he is worthy of a seat on the plane to New Zealand.
"I will never let that (dream) die. I am very simple and straight-forward about how I look at my rugby now," he said. "I clearly don't figure in their plans - I am not even in the 64, and that was a bitter pill to swallow.
"But when I broke my leg last year, my prime focus was not to get back into the England side, it was to play as well as I possibly could. I felt I did myself justice by that and that is my mindset at the moment.
"If they (England) want me to work on things and become a better player in certain areas, I am all for that. I am all for making myself better."
Jonny Wilkinson is the face of Toulon but whisper it, they might be a better team without him. Paul Eddison examines the case for dropping the talisman
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring