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Banahan set for recall
Bath powerhouse in line for another England chance
It's terrific. He's been working really hard and it will be great to see him get another opportunity. Where it's going to be I don't know. We saw Delon Armitage go on at 13 for England in yesterday's game so if I was a betting man I'd put some money on him starting at 13.
Steve Meehan on Matt Banahan
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Matt Banahan is poised to return to the England squad against Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday after being withdrawn from Bath's 18-16 away defeat to Wasps in the LV=Cup.
Bath head coach Steve Meehan revealed that he replaced Banahan with youngster Nick Scott following a request from England manager Martin Johnson.
"England told me Matt will be in the 22 next weekend," Meehan said. "Matt was in camp with England last week and, after yesterday's Test, I got a message from Martin saying 'We're going to have to keep him'."
Banahan won his five previous England caps on the wing but has been playing in the centre recently for Bath.
Meehan, who described Banahan's recall as "great for him," said: "It's terrific. He's been working really hard and it will be great to see him get another opportunity.
"Where it's going to be I don't know. We saw Delon Armitage go on at 13 for England in yesterday's game so if I was a betting man I'd put some money on him starting at 13."
Meehan was pleased with the performance of his back row - young flankers Josh Ovens and Guy Mercer and try-scoring number eight Ben Skirving - who competed well with Wasps' England trio of Joe Worsley, Tom Rees and Dan Ward-Smith.
"They were dogged in their spirit and kept going for the 80 minutes," Meehan added. "Their youth and enthusiasm was noticeable today."
Wasps bounced back from their 29-6 defeat at Exeter in last weekend's opening LV=Cup match and director of rugby Tony Hanks said: "It was important for us to get a win, we want to stay in this competition.
"But it was more about the way we fronted up after last week and I thought the attitude and application were very good. We started with a lot of energy."
Full-back Jack Cuthbert, with the last kick of the match, narrowly missed the long-range penalty which would have snatched victory for Bath and Hanks said: "After being nine points up we didn't really need to put ourselves in that position."
Mark Van Gisbergen's six penalties from seven kicks secured the win for Wasps but Hanks revealed: "He's been kicking rubbish at training but he was tremendous today.
"He has a great temperament for goalkicking and has been given the number 10 jersey which he hasn't played properly for five years, so he had the responsibility of running the game as well."
Wasps expect to have first-choice fly-half Dave Walder back from injury for next weekend's Aviva Premiership home clash with London Irish, but could be without hooker Rob Webber, who was withdrawn at half-time with an elbow injury.
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Ben G says...
I have yet to be convinced by Banahan, good club player but I don't think he fits in with this current England team. Look at the wings we have? And as for centre, well don't you have to be able to catch and pass to a pretty high standard?!
Posted 20:41 14th November 2010
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