England v Australia: Dave Wilson eyes regular Red Rose spot
England v Australia: Dave Wilson wants a regular Red Rose spot after impressing during the summer tour
Dave Wilson finally got his chance to shine for England in the summer and the tighthead prop admits he now has a taste for the big time.
Dan Cole has had almost exclusive rights to England’s No.3 jersey for the last five years but the Leicester Tiger was part of the British & Irish Lions squad that won in Australia this summer.
And with Cole Down Under that meant Wilson finally had a chance to stake his claim in the Red Rose jersey in Argentina.
28 caps for England but only six starts tells its own story for the Bath front-rower but Wilson is confident that after starting both Tests against the Pumas, he can now push Cole all the way this autumn.
“Obviously I haven’t been promised game time – I don’t think that is how it works,” said Wilson, speaking at Hollins Hall, on behalf of Marriott, official partner of England Rugby, who teamed up with River Cottage to change the face of hotel food.
“My job recently has been on the bench a bit and obviously I had some game time in Argentina.
“I enjoyed the summer – it was good to get some game time against Argentina.
“It is tough but I just want the best player for England to play so I’m obviously going to push Dan Cole all the way to try him for his spot.
Hopefully I can push him so he performs better and ultimately it is better for the team. We just get on with it and try and play our best.
“That’s all you can do – play your best week in, week out for your club and hope you get selected for England. I’m sure he does the same thing.”
Wilson’s spot in the Test 23 for Saturday’s Test against the Australians is under threat due to a calf injury that has seen youngster Henry Thomas drafted into the squad.
And with clashes against Argentina and New Zealand to follow, Wilson is confident that the squad is deep enough to cope with any injury.
“You want a big squad leading into these big games – into the 6 Nations and the World Cup. People do pick up injuries and you need strength in depth.
“He (Thomas) is a good young player, he is good around the park, he gets some good stats and I think he will probably go on to be a very good player.
“I don’t think it will take long (to step up to England squad) – I am sure he will take his chances when he gets them. That is what it’s about – you get your chances, you take them and you perform well.”
This autumn’s clashes against the best that the southern hemisphere have to offer see England return to Twickenham for a Test match for the first time since the Six Nations.
And Wilson is relishing the chance to pull on the Red Rose Jersey and run out at Rugby HQ against the best of the best.
“These games are important, obviously. We’re against very good teams – pretty much the best in the world. We just need to perform well and get some good results,” he added.
“They have already had a bit of momentum – they have played a lot of test matches – and we don’t want to be caught cold on our first one.
“We just need to jump in there with two feet, play well and get to international standard pretty quickly.
“We want to perform well at Twickenham and we want the crowd to get behind us and act as a 16th man sort of thing. It does help us get results – there is a home advantage when we play at Twickenham – but we need to step up and play well against these big sides.”
Hardly a day goes by when Stuart Lancaster’s reign and the 2015 World Cup are not mentioned in the same breath.
But while building for the future might be a subsidiary goal, Wilson insists he and his teammates are firmly focused on the here and now of the autumn internationals.
This time last year England suffered heartbreaking reverses against both Australia and South Africa before bouncing back in magnificent style to trounce the All Blacks.
And this time around Wilson and co are looking for a clean sweep in all three of their clashes.
“To be honest I don’t think we’re looking that far ahead, really (at the 2015 World Cup),” said the Bath prop.
“I think we’re just looking at the next three games – they’re big enough games in their own right, you know?
“We’re first looking at Australia, who have played a lot of test match rugby at that level.
“We don’t want to use the first game as a warm-up – we want to go into the games and fire and play well.
“Last year we played well against New Zealand but we want to win the next three games.”
David Wilson, Mike Brown and Tom Youngs at Hollins Hall, a Marriott Hotel & Country Club. Marriott, official partner of England Rugby, has teamed up with River Cottage to change the face of hotel food by focusing on seasonal, local, organic and sustainable produce.