Cumbrian rugby union star eyeing place in England Saxons squad
Last updated at 12:02, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Will Addison saw how the London Olympics lit up the entire nation and turned Team GB stars into household names.
Now the Cumbrian centre hopes he can be part of a new generation of England stars receiving similar acclaim when the 2015 Rugby World Cup is staged on home soil.
Addison has already caught the eye of England head coach Stuart Lancaster after some dazzling displays for his club Sale Sharks last season.
Just two years after taking his A-levels at Penrith’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar, the 20-year-old from King’s Meaburn took his place in the line-up for Sale’s pre-season team photograph sitting next to star signing Danny Cipriani – and hopes the pair will be team-mates on the world stage if he continues to make his name as a richly talented prospect.
“During the Olympics we saw what effect a home crowd has on your sport and playing at the World Cup is definitely a dream of any young rugby player at the moment,” said Addison.
“But I’ll have a huge amount of competition from young England guys like Henry Trinder from Gloucester and Elliot Daly from London Wasps.
“There are a lot of good England guys coming through so it’s a very exciting time for the English game.
“England Saxons has to be the next step for me and that opportunity will only come if I am performing well for Sale and getting a good run of games.
“I have a lot of time on my hands but I want to achieve a place in the Saxons squad as fast as I can.”
After bursting on to the scene when he scored a try after coming on in a 36-31 victory against Gloucester as replacement for 2003 World Cup winner Ben Cohen in
His eye-catching performances saw Lancaster tip him as a future England star and earned him selection for England Under-20s at this summer’s Junior World Championship in South Africa.
He was unable to shine in the greatest moment of his career after collecting a hip injury in their opening clash against Ireland, but Addison has returned to full fitness in time for one of the biggest challenges of his rookie career.
The former Penrith Rugby Club junior has built a reputation as a versatile player after performing with distinction at full-back, wing and centre, but it is in the latter position that he hopes to establish himself.
However he has to overcome competition at outside centre from former All Blacks hero Sam Tuitupou and Samoan star Jonny Leota – a task he is relishing as he knows it will only make him a better player.
Addison, who along with Mark Cueto and Rob Miller is one of three Cumbrians at Sale, said: “If I need to play full-back or wing I’ve got that in my locker, but in the future it’s at centre where I want to be playing as that’s where I played my best rugby.
“I’ve naturally got good ball handling skills but with the pace I picked up playing on the wing, I can combine those two assets into hopefully becoming a good centre.
“It is all about learning from the centres who are here and learning the fine arts of the defensive features of the position because it is one of the hardest areas to defend on the pitch. I am going into the new season with more confidence as I had a lot of game time last year and gained more experience. I need to keep building my reputation with my club and playing week-in, week-out against top opposition in the Heineken Cup, which is what I want to test myself against.
“For me the season is all about nailing a place at Sale and hopefully that will be at outside centre.”
First published at 11:30, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk