England's new kids on the block
January 6, 2000
The latest England training squad has seen the arrival of ten new faces:
Lee Best (Bristol, full-back): The 21 year-old former Richmond player is equally adept as a wing, having represented England at under-16 and 18 level. Joined Bristol earlier this season.
Ben Cohen (Northampton, wing): Nephew of England 1966 World Cup hero George Cohen, the 21-year-old home town boy boasts England Under-21 honours and is firmly established in Saints' first team line-up.
Mark Denney (Wasps, centre): Formerly with Bedford and Bristol, the 24-year-old captained England Under-18s and won Blues in 1997 and 1998 as a member of Varsity match-winning Cambridge University sides.
Fraser Waters (Wasps, centre): Cape Town-born and Harrow-educated, he previously played for Bath and Bristol, but has now linked up again with his former Bristol University midfield partner Denney at Wasps. Age 23.
Joe Ewens (Gloucester, centre): Labelled the `new Jeremy Guscott' during a glittering schoolboy career that saw him captain England Under-18s. Has yet to realise that potential at senior level, but at 22, still has time on his side.
Nick Walshe (Saracens, scrum-half): Made more than 60 league appearances for Harlequins and Rosslyn Park, but has switched to Saracens with success this season following Kyran Bracken's injury. Age 26.
David Flatman (Saracens, prop): Kent born teenager who celebrates his 20th birthday later this month. Has risen rapidly through the ranks, showing superb scrummaging technique and terrific ball-handling skills.
Julian White (Saracens, prop): The 26 year-old Devonian farmer served his rugby apprenticeship with Okehampton and Plymouth before heading off sheep-shearing to New Zealand. Made a Super 12 appearance for Canterbury against Natal, joining Saracens after a stint at Bridgend.
Steve Walter (Northampton, hooker): The 21-year-old has taken his chance superbly with Northampton this season after their Argentine hooker Federico Mendez was sidelined through injury. At 6ft 2in tall and more than 17 stone, he is a real handful.
Peter Scrivener (Wasps, number eight): A succession of serious shoulder injuries hampered his early career, but at 26, he is now playing outstanding rugby alongside Lawrence Dallaglio and Joe Worsley in the Wasps back-row. Brunel University product who has played sevens for England.
Dick Best's thoughts here.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter