Centre puts false starts behind him
Northlander Jack Goodhue’s midfield combination with Sonny Bill Williams will face its toughest test when the All Blacks meet England in tomorrow’s (4am NZT) test at Twickenham.
It has been a long time in the making, given several false starts due to late withdrawals by Goodhue, one of them being when hit with glandular fever. He said his mother’s chicken soup proved useful in his recovery.
Goodhue said he wasn’t sure what to expect when first told he had glandular fever, he had heard some horror stories, but he was feeling 100 per cent now and was ready to play.
He was looking forward to teaming with Williams tomorrow.
“Sonny is cool under pressure. He’s always around for a wee offload that can put you into space. He’s a good guy, he’s a good communicator and there’s plenty to like about him,” he said.
While Williams and Ryan Crotty were different types of players, he had learned a lot from both of them.
Goodhue wasn’t fazed by the prospect of playing in front of 80,000 at Twickenham. He hadn’t done it before but didn’t imagine it would be much different to playing in front of 50,000.
“It’s just a lot of people, isn’t it? It’ll be a little bit louder but I’m just going to go through my processes, prepare well, try not to think about it and play the game I’ve been playing since I was a little kid and do my thing,” he said.
Tighthead prop Owen Franks said his delayed start to Super Rugby due to his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery meant he was feeling fresher than usual at this stage of the year and it was certainly different to other end of year tours he had been on.
Compared to a typical season, he was probably only about halfway through his usual number
"Sonny is cool under pressure. He’s always around for a wee offload that can put you into space."
of games and was feeling good as a result.
Now that he is paired with Karl Tu’inukuafe in the propping duties after Joe Moody’s forced withdrawal due to an eye injury, Franks said he had been impressed by Tu’inukuafe’s nonchalance since coming into test rugby.
“He takes it all in his stride, that’s probably the thing that impresses me the most. He’s pretty relaxed but he can turn it on when he needs to,” he said.
He wouldn’t need a lot of advice about England, he had played a lot of rugby in France’s second division which was renowned for its scrummaging.
“He’s new to test rugby but he’s been around the block for quite a while, he’s had the scrummaging experience and he’ll be really excited by it.”
Franks said while the England props were not well known, he had been able to talk to older brother Ben about them as a result of his experience in England and had done due diligence on them from the South African game last weekend.
Loosehead Ben Moon had 10 years of experience in the Premiership and was a destructive scrummager while replacement prop Alec Hepburn had sound technique and looked the type of player who liked to have a crack.
Jack Goodhue is 100 per cent well and eager to play in front of a crowd of 80,000 at Twickenham tomorrow.