England’s World Cup preparations began in superb fashion as they defeated Wales in their opening warm-up match at Twickenham.
The most controversial aspect of the match was the team announcements that dominated the build-up prior to kick off.
Eddie Jones chose to field an experimental English side against Warren Gatland’s highly experienced side.
But amongst Jones’ surprise team selection was Lewis Ludlam making the starting 15.
The 23-year-old was originally only allocated to the bench, but was soon promoted to the starting 15 because vice-captain Sam Underhill was ruled out after suffering a knee injury.
- England defeat Wales in World Cup warm up
- Eddie Jones urges World Rugby to seek consistency on high tackles
- Scott Barrett shown red for dangerous elbow vs Australia
The Northampton Saints player immediately caught the attention of many by showing a passionate pre-match inclusion of the national anthem, which showed tears in his eyes. Singing the iconic ‘God save the Queen’, Ludlam earned extra praise even before he made his international debut.
Not just his passion for his country, he made an impact on yesterday’s fixture, along with his fellow debutants and teammates. He proved his worth as England ended Wales’ 14-consecutive win streak as they won 33-19.
Watch Ludlam's national anthem performance below.
It is expected that Jones is set to make his World Cup squad announcement four weeks prior to the tournament’s announcement deadline. This has showed Jones’ faith in his England players, along with the likes of Ludlam, who has the calibre to perform at this year’s World Cup.
The Australian-born coach has already made a name for himself for making brave and bold choices when it comes down to team selection. Most recently his 38-man training squad which people questioned last month.
It is still in the air if Ludlam will be a part of his final 31-man squad, but after yesterday’s performance, as well as his passionate national anthem cameo, Ludlam has made his mark on the international team.News Now - Sport News