Narraway ready for audition
Luke Narraway is determined to make up for lost time and force himself into World Cup contention against the Barbarians.
Last Updated: 29/05/11 10:09am
Luke Narraway is determined to make up for lost time and force himself into World Cup contention when England face the Barbarians on Sunday.
The Gloucester No. 8 will captain an unfamiliar England line-up for the clash at Twickenham, with several players being given a chance to prove their international credentials.
Although he was a standout during the 2008 tour of New Zealand, Narraway has not won a Test cap in over two years.
The 27-year-old admits he did back up the promising performances on that tour but has now set his sights firmly on getting back into the reckoning as a member of the full-strength squad.
"It has been frustrating. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed (at other players being picked ahead of him) but that's the professional game," he said.
"I went off the boil a little bit after that tour and then I backed that up with a season where I was injured and only played five games.
"I kind of fell off the radar but I feel I've had a decent season and Sunday's a great day to get myself back into the shop window and hopefully show what I can do."
Narraway will be up against proven quality on Sunday, with the Baa-Baas boasting Italy captain Sergio Parisse and Toulon flankers Joe van Niekerk and George Smith in a fearsome back row.
Narraway added: "It's not bad, is it? If we're talking about a game where people want to prove themselves, prove how well they're playing and their form, in the back row you're not going to come up against much better.
"So if you can perform against Parisse, Van Niekerk and Smith then I'm sure you can perform against any back row in the world.
"They have quality players throughout but we've got a very exciting player in Tom Johnson who has taken the Premiership by storm. He got my vote for player of the season.
"It will be great to play alongside him and see how he goes and then we've got a very abrasive player in Carl Fearns.
"We're not going to take a step backwards, we're going to get in the mix and see how we get on."