Barritt reveling in dream start to Test career
February 17, 2012
Brad Barritt hands out pies to the public along with some help from his friends © Getty Images
England centre Brad Barritt admits that it has been a "dream come true" to play in the Six Nations but is fully aware of the threats posed by Wales ahead of next week's clash at Twickenham.
The 25-year-old made his long-awaited debut for England against Scotland in the opening match of this year's Six Nations and retained his spot in the side a week later against the Azzurri. And Barritt - born in Durban - now faces the threat of a resurgent Manu Tuilagi to his spot in the side, but with two wins from two, the Saracens centre has made a firm call to retain the outside centre berth for when Wales travel to HQ next week.
"There's a huge amount of emotion and pride at having made my debut for England," Barritt told ESPNscrum. "It's a dream come true for me to play international rugby and it's been a desire of mine since I was a young boy and to pull the jersey on and have two wins on the back of it has been an amazing experience."
Barritt's transition into the England side has been aided by the strong Sarries presence in the backline. With David Strettle, Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell - along with soon-to-be Saracens winger Chris Ashton - all starting in the first two matches of this campaign, Barritt has experienced a home from home when pulling on the red rose jersey - something he sees as proud moment for the Aviva Premiership champions.
"It's been a blessing with the whole team and everyone has come together really well," Barritt said. "There's been a great camaraderie among the players with everyone getting on really well together. And it has helped to have a couple of Sarries mates alongside me - it's been immensely enjoyable and a proud moment for the club."
And the Sarries familiarity does not end on the pitch with Andy Farrell marshalling the backs during the Six Nations. The Saracens coach has received widespread praise for his mentoring role, and Barritt is quick to add his weight behind the tributes.
"He's [Andy Farrell] been brilliant both for Saracens and for England," Barritt said. "He brings a wealth of experience both at league and at union and he's very technically astute. He knows what is required to win big games and he brings a huge amount of confidence to the guys. He's a very passionate man and speaks well to the players and produces a big buzz around the team."
But Barritt - if he retains his spot in the side - now faces his biggest task yet in an England shirt with Wales around the corner. With two wins to their name, one of the two side's 100% record in this Six Nations will have to give at Twickenham, and the Saracens centre is relishing the chance to test his metal against the likes of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies.
"As a rugby player you afford each opposition player with equal respect. Obviously Wales have had two positive results so we are relishing and looking forward to the challenge."
O2 For England - O2 customers can apply to get a free pie and pint delivered to their door to enjoy as they get behind the team in this year's RBS 6 Nations www.O2ForEngland.co.uk
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