Riki Flutey eyes return to England squad

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The Independent Online

Riki Flutey wants his England place back from Shontayne Hape after finally putting 18 months of injury hell behind him.

The Wasps centre spent the majority of last season sidelined by a shoulder injury and he missed England's November Tests with a torn calf.



Flutey then had to shake a severe dose of the flu before making his comeback on Sunday as Wasps climbed to fourth in the Aviva Premiership with a 33-16 victory over Newcastle.



Hape has started the last six Tests for England at inside centre - but Flutey is ready to challenge his fellow Kiwi for the red rose 12 jersey.



"I have got a bit of game-time coming up. All I need to do is get on the field and I know that will give me loads of confidence going forward into the Six Nations," said Flutey.



"I am looking forward to next week against Harlequins and hopefully put myself in contention for the Six Nations.



"It's been a while with my calf injury. That took longer than expected. It was in an area of my calf that the medical teams with England and Wasps hadn't seen a tear before.



"It has taken a while but it is good to finally have it right now.



"The England management have been great. I have had the England physios and doctors coming into Wasps once a week to check on things."



Flutey's last Test was against France in Paris in last year's Six Nations, since when England have beaten Australia twice and shown signs of a promising future.



"I am excited to be a part of that," said Flutey.



"I got excited in the autumn by watching training. The coaches were trying to make it harder than it would be out on the field, in terms of intensity, tempo and fitness-wise.



"You see that going out onto the field and I was excited, hoping to get an opportunity in one of the last two games.



"There are positive signs there with the England team and if I get some game-time I can hopefully push for a place."



Martin Johnson will announce his updated 32-man squad for the Six Nations on January 12, ahead of England's opening clash with Wales in Cardiff on February 4.



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