Gomarsall eager to restate his case against Canadians

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The Independent Online

Andy Gomarsall may have a World Cup winner's medal and an MBE but the England scrum-half believes he still has a point to prove against Canada tomorrow.

Andy Gomarsall may have a World Cup winner's medal and an MBE but the England scrum-half believes he still has a point to prove against Canada tomorrow.

Gomarsall has played more times for his country than the rest of tomorrow's England team put together, but the games he has missed have left him wanting more.

The emergence of Leicester's Harry Ellis last season meant Gomarsall was a spectator for the entire Six Nations.

Now he starts for England again, albeit a second-string side in the Churchill Cup, and he says his summer move from Gloucester to Worcester has given him a new lease of life at 30.

"A lot of the guys here on the tour are feeling heavy after a long season but I feel as if it's the beginning of a new start for me," he said.

"I spent 10 days of quality training with Worcester at the start of the month and I feel great for that. Now I can't wait for next season. But I didn't want to miss this trip. I want to be a part of what's going on and impress on the management exactly what I can do.

"I've been around for a while now so I don't know how many more points I can make but I definitely have another one to prove on this tour. Missing the Six Nations left a huge hole in the season for me. It had been quite a while since the last time I had to sit back and watch England from a distance. I played during the autumn series but I didn't follow it through. It was very frustrating and a little odd.

"It probably didn't help that things were not going that well at Gloucester. When things are good at your club, it's reflected in selection for your country. The fact I was out of contract and out of a job at the end of the season didn't help either. Things like that hang over your head."

Joe Lydon's England side have just 22 caps to their name, discounting their vice captain's 23.

"The Churchill Cup is about balancing individual opportunity with the team effort. I want players to shine but within the parameters of the team performance," said Lydon. "This tournament is a proven stepping stone for further honours."

England will play either Argentina A or the USA in the final next week if they beat a Canada side which lost 60-3 to Wales last week.

England: S Vesty (Leicester); P Sackey (Wasps), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester), C Bell (Leeds), U Monye (Harlequins); A Goode (Leicester), A Gomarsall (Worcester); P Freshwater (Perpignan), G Chuter (Leicester), S Turner (Sale), L Deacon (Leicester), T Palmer (Leeds), C Jones (Sale), P Sanderson (Worcester, capt), P Dowson (Newcastle).

Replacements: L Mears (Bath), R Morris (Northampton), S Hooper (Leeds), J Forrester (Gloucester), P Richards, A Erinle, T Voyce (all Wasps).

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