Barkley rues Test snub
June 14, 2010
Olly Barkley will again be on midweek duty for England © Getty Images
Olly Barkley again cut a disenchanted figure after being named in England's midweek side to play the Australian Barbarians, insisting that he offered a more expansive approach in the wake of a spluttering 27-17 Test defeat to the Wallabies.
The Bath centre broke from the pack last week to show his disappointment at the pre-ordained nature of the midweek and Test selections, having missed out to the more direct, physical Shontayne Hape. While England dominated the scrum in Perth, securing two penalty tries, their invention behind the pack was almost non-existent.
"It is the Tests that are the games everyone wants to play in," Barkley said. "I play the way I play. I like to think I bring something different to a midfield when I play there. A large part of my development has been the way we play at Bath, with the expansive style and I feel I have quite a big role in that.
"You can put it in the 12's hands and you have three options, to run, kick or pass. It is the way I am used to playing and I think I can develop that - but I don't pick the team. Whether they want me to play that role here is up to the coaches.
"There is a stigma attached to me that I don't like defending which is not true. I do like defending, I am probably just not as big as the next guy who plays there. It is their prerogative and their choice as to the game they want to play."
Barkley was left to watch enviously from the sidelines as Australian playmaker Quade Cooper orchestrated England's downfall with a brace of tries. In contrast to England, the Wallabies are keen to play with two playmakers chosen from Cooper, Matt Giteau and Berrick Barnes.
"It is no secret the Aussies play. They have an expansive, expressive culture in their team," Barkley said. "They are always looking to play a ball-player at second receiver and they are the match of anyone in the world. They are a very difficult team to contain."
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