England debutant Paul Sackey believes Mark Cueto’s ankle injury could allow him the opportunity to cement his place in the England side.
The 26-year-old Wasps wing has been in prolific try-scoring form in the Premiership and although he wished the best for Cueto, he was adamant that he would be looking make a lasting impression against the All Blacks on Sunday.
“Mark and I are good friends,” Sackey told the BBC. “He is a great player, and I just hope he gets back fit and firing in the next couple of weeks but I am going to try to take my chance and give Andy Robinson a problem.”
Sackey committed to a rigourous off-season training schedule, which involved working with renowned sprint coach Margot Wells, in an attempt to challenge for a place in Robinson’s World Cup squad.
“There were times in the past when I thought I had missed the boat with England, but at the back end of last season I thought to myself that maybe this season would be my last chance to press my claims for the World Cup.
“I had a few little niggling injuries so I didn’t go on any summer tours, and I just got back into the swing of things with my club and Margot Wells.
“She has helped me to focus more, and the sessions were short and sharp. It has been a combination of Margot, the coaches at Wasps and my commitment.”
Sackey, three debutants to face New Zealand at Twickenham, will be joined by Gloucester centre Anthony Allen and Bristol scrumhalf Shaun Perry.