Allen drafted into England squad
November 15, 2010
Tigers centre Anthony Allen has joined up with the England squad ahead of their clash with Samoa © PA Photos
Leicester centre Anthony Allen has been called into the England squad ahead of Saturday's game against Samoa.
The 24-year-old has been drafted in as cover for Wasps' Dominic Waldouck, who sustained a blow to the face against Bath in yesterday's Anglo-Welsh Cup game. Allen won two caps back in 2006 when he faced New Zealand and Argentina but has not featured since.
Waldouck is being assessed by medical staff, while Wasps' Riki Flutey, who is suffering from a calf injury, is making good progress in his rehabilitation. Flutey picked up the injury playing against Northampton on October 24.
England go into Saturday's Twickenham clash on a high after their memorable 35-18 victory over Australia this weekend and two-try hero Chris Ashton has paid tribute to his late father Kevin for persuading him to stay in rugby union.
Ashton had scored a record 39 tries in the Saints' 2007-08 promotion campaign, but could not make the same impact in the Premiership. Northampton kept faith in him, Ashton's father urged him to tough it out and the advice proved inspired. Ashton finished the season as the Premiership's player of the year and has now won five England caps.
Ashton's father died in May but was in his thoughts as he raced under the posts to finish England's brilliant length-of-the-field try. "My Dad didn't want me to go back to rugby league with my head in my hands and say sorry," Ashton said. "I had a lot of help at Northampton but my Dad helped get me back on track. He was close to my thoughts when I dived over.
"I won't forget those days, when I was sat in Northampton and thinking about going back to rugby league. I have been in that place, I know what it feels like and I don't want to go back there. I like to think I am learning rugby union. There are still a few rucks I don't like to go into but I am nearly there!"
And instead of looking backward, Ashton's sights are now set on building England into a team to be feared with a World Cup just 10 months away. "This was only my second game at Twickenham and I am just grateful to be involved in these wins. Hopefully I will be for another decade," he said. "There is always competition for places and that is what you want to keep. There is a good group of lads who are sticking together.
"We have won our last two Tests against Australia and played well in both, but we have to back it up next week and prove against Samoa we are going in the right direction. We have got two more big games coming up and we need to win both to know where we are as a team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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