I need to play to keep my shirt, Wat­son tells Ed­die

The Rugby Paper - - News - ■ By GARY FITZGER­ALD

AN­THONY Wat­son has begged Ed­die Jones to ditch plans he has to give him an au­tumn break.

The Bath star, who was out­stand­ing in the Lions drawn se­ries against the All Blacks, does not want to miss out against Ar­gentina, Aus­tralia and Samoa.

Wat­son is keen to build on his New Zealand suc­cess rather than sit and watch the Novem­ber games at Twick­en­ham. One rea­son is he still fears some­one else may grab his white jer­sey!

He said “I can fully un­der­stand (be­ing rested) in terms of how many tough club games we play and with in­ter­na­tional rugby in the mid­dle it is very tough on the body and men­tally stren­u­ous so I can fully un­der­stand.

“But hav­ing missed so many in­ter­na­tion­als last year I’d pre­fer to play.

“Watch­ing Eng­land from the stand when you could have played is al­ways tough.”

Wat­son, 23, en­dured long spells out with a ham­string in­juy and bo­ken jaw last sea­son. He said: “I had a one to one with Ed­die at Lens­bury last month and he still wants me to work on my speed.”

Wat­son plays for Eng­land on the wing but many see him as the next full­back.

He added: “Who knows what Ed­die wants to do with me but I’ve said all along I’m happy to play in both po­si­tions or wher­ever he wants me. “You have to look over your shoul­der 100 per cent. There are so many world class wingers in the Pre­mier­ship. The boys who went out to Ar­gentina put their hands up, like Mar­land Yarde, Denny Solomona and Jonny May.

“So for guys re­turn­ing from Lions duty it is im­por­tant for us to come back hun­gry and de­ter­mined to get a place in the side.”

Wat­son cel­e­brated his suc­cess­ful New Zealand cam­paign by go­ing on hol­i­day to Fiji with Eng­land and Lions team-mate Kyle Sinck­ler fol­lowed by a “boys out­ing to Las Ve­gas”.

But he still has that Lions ex­pe­ri­ence firmly in mind and claims: “I felt I grew as an in­di­vid­ual through­out the tour.

“The coolest thing was get­ting to know guys who I had only played against. I learned a lot off Jonny Sex­ton.”

Driven: An­thony Wat­son

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