Bet of luck for Strettle
David Strettle risks being out of pocket if he makes the final cut for England's World Cup squad.
By Tony Curtis
Last Updated: 03/08/07 2:16pm
David Strettle risks being out of pocket if he makes the final cut for England's World Cup squad, however the flying winger is willing to take the financial hit.
Strettle's stock has risen enormously in the past 18 months, having gone from playing for Rotherham in the National Leagues to representing his country.
And he has adapted quickly to life in an England shirt since making his debut in the 2007 Six Nations tournament.
However, his rise has even come as a shock to Strettle himself - so much so he had even backed against himself being called up for the World Cup squad.
Strettle agreed to pay former England hooker Phil Greening £200 should he make it into the squad for France after accepting a bet while playing on the IRB Sevens Series last season.
He explained: "When I was playing sevens, I remember reading someone saying I was a long way down the pecking order in terms of England wings, and they were right.
"But Phil bet me £200 that I would be in the 2007 World Cup squad. If I am picked, he gets £200.
"Fingers crossed, I will lose the money."
Strettle's cash was almost safe, with the Harlequins wing spending part of England's tour to South Africa in an intensive care unit in Johannesburg.
Strettle was one of a number of players who went down with a stomach virus, however the 24-year-old was so severely affected he lost five kilos in 72 hours.
He said: "It was a pretty worrying experience. It hit me in bouts - I think they call it fever spikes. I had a bit of a spike that was affecting my breathing, but then about 10 minutes later I had a worse bout and started struggling to breathe.
"I am not an asthmatic, but I can sympathise with those people now. It was a pretty worrying experience, especially as I had never experienced anything like it before."