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BATH RUGBY: England ambitions still as strong as ever for Nick
1:30pm Friday 11th January 2013 in Sport
FULL-BACK Nick Abendanon insists his hunger to rejoin the senior national set-up remains as strong as ever despite England’s plethora of talent in the full-back department.
Abendanon, 26, has two caps to his name, but has slipped down the pecking order for the number 15 shirt, the likes of Saracens’ Alex Goode, Harlequins’ Mike Brown and Northampton’s Ben Foden all jostling for position.
Abendanon joined teammates Tom Biggs, prop Nathan Catt and rugby league convert Kyle Eastmond in the Saxons’ squad for forthcoming matches against Ireland and Scotland.
But he is hoping to make an impact at both club and international level to force himself into the forefront of England coach Stuart Lancaster’s thinking.
“That’s the reason why you go out each week and play well, to ultimately try and play for your country,’’ he said.
“That’s what I’ve been wanting to do that for the last six or seven years and I haven’t managed to get a chance.
“If that chance comes in the Six Nations, then hopefully I can grab it with two hands.
“It is frustrating, but coaches have players who are their favourites like anyone else and it’s hard for them to look at every single player and watch every single game.
“All the full-backs in England are playing pretty good rugby so you’ve just got to be patient.’’
Bath scrum coach Neal Hatley has hailed former St Helens’ man Eastmond’s selection, just 17 games into his rugby union career.
“This game is about beating players one on one and we’ve seen glimpses of what he is capable of.
“He’s a complete footballer, he kicks and catches well, is a good defender and has unbelievable distribution skills.
“Exposure to surroundings like that, where he is challenged to get better, will be good for him and he’ll be a better player for the experience.’’