Rugby Union

Anthony Watson targets big display to earn World Cup starting berth for England

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Anthony Watson knows he must back up his stunning two-try salvo against France if he is to capture one of the wing slots for England's World Cup opener against Fiji.

Watson struck twice in last month's 19-14 victory at Twickenham, displaying dazzling footwork and acceleration for the first score and a clever jink for the second just seven minutes later.

Jonny May also impressed in the first of two Tests against France and the pair have been restored on the flanks for Saturday's visit of Ireland after Jack Nowell had been given his chance in the 25-20 defeat in Paris.

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A strong performance against Joe Schmidt's RBS 6 Nations champions is essential if Watson is to guarantee his presence when a ferociously competitive Pool A kicks off against Fiji.

"I'm looking to seize this opportunity with both hands. I've watched my tries a few times, I wouldn't say over and over because all that stuff doesn't really mean much unless you do it again," Watson said.

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"Performing at international level is about doing that week-in week-out and not having inconsistencies.

"All three wings have been going well. Jonny played particularly well in the first France game and showed what he can do in the second Test against France as well. For Jack to beat 10 defenders in Paris was a special feat.

"All of us are challenging each other and trying to make each other better."

Watson's jink and dart around France wing Brice Dulin evoked memories of Jason Robinson and the 21-year-old Bath three-quarter has studied the former England finisher for tips.

"The first try was a bit of instinct and practise. Growing up I watched lots of Jason Robinson and Quade Cooper, guys who had good footwork. Just by watching them it rubs off," Watson said.

"It's probably 50-50 - a lot of it is instinctive, but the more you practise it the easier it is to translate into instinct."

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Topics:
Rugby Union
England Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup

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