Ugo Monye: Thank God for my try. But is it enough to keep me in?
Sometimes the ball seems to favour the right side of the field
Sunday 11 November 2012
To be back on the pitch at Twickenham, scoring a try as well, all made it a perfect comeback for me. It has been a little while since my last cap [against Scotland in March 2010] But you never lose that hunger and I was very happy with my game — although you can always improve of course.
It's surprising to think that, of my 14 appearances for England, 12 have been at Twickenham so it is a little like coming home. There have been some ups and downs along the way, injuries have interrupted my career and have led to loss of form and confidence, but once you've tasted international rugby you're always keen to get back as quickly as possible.
I suppose the nature of the victory has created just the sort of problem that the coaching staff want. I was happy with my own play,
Sharps [Charlie Sharples] played well and Ashie [Chris Ashton] available next weekend after a one-match suspension] is a class player. It's fantastic to have that kind of competition, it brings out the best in you.
The point is that everyone has put their hand up and I haven't a clue how selection will go in the coming week, I'll leave that to the coaches. I'm just happy to have developed the consistency in my game that has put me back in the mix — I knew I was capable of performing at this level, it was a case of putting a run of games together and I've been able to do that with Harlequins this season.
My comeback might have happened on tour with England in South Africa during the summer but unfortunately I was carried off after 26 minutes of the midweek match before the final test after a bang on the head. That's the second time I've been carried off while wearing an England shirt, I must try not to make a habit of it. I'd like to have stayed on longer yesterday [Monye was replaced on the hour by Mike Brown, his club colleague] but we always knew that everyone would be given their opportunity and that Brownie would come on for either me or Sharps.
The ball was running for him and sometimes in games it happens like that, the ball seems to favour the right-hand side of the field rather than the left. That's when you have to work with your nine and ten, rather than just waiting for the ball to come to you.
You have to stay patient, not force anything and wait for your chance to come. Once there was an opportunity when Sharps came over from his wing but the defence clung on. My moment came late in the first half, though, and when it did it was an absolute thrill.
It was only my second try for England [the first came against Scotland in 2009] and I was quite emotional about it. People know about the strength of my religious convoictions and I gave the man upstairs a wink after I went over. You can work as hard as you like but whatever talent you have is God-given and without it, I would not be here. So it never does any harm to give thanks.
I suppose you can make some comparisons with my first cap, against the Pacific Islands in 2008. The difference this time around is where Harlequins now stand in the domestic game: I've worked hard at the club, I've been scoring tries and that's why I'm here.
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