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Flutey ready to challenge for England starting berth

04 January 2011

  • Riki Flutey hopes to reignite England career after returning from injury
  • I’ve got game-time to put myself in contention says London Wasps centre

England centre Riki Flutey runs the ball for London Wasps during the Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester Rugby

Photo: Getty Images

Riki Flutey hopes to earn an England recall in time for the RBS 6 Nations after putting his protracted injury nightmare behind him.

The London Wasps centre missed most of last season due to a shoulder injury and was also ruled out England’s four game Investec International campaign last November after suffering a torn calf.

The 30-year-old’s comeback was then delayed for another two weeks after a severe bout of the flu left him bed-ridden and unable to walk.

But the Kiwi-born star made his first start since October in a 33-16 win against Newcastle Falcons on Sunday and now thinks he can put himself back into Martin Johnson’s thoughts.

"I have got a bit of game-time coming up. I am looking forward to next week against Harlequins and hopefully put myself in contention for the RBS 6 Nations," he said.

"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.

"All I need to do is get on the field and get some game-time and I know that will give me loads of confidence going forward into the RBS 6 Nations."

Hape is the man in possession of the shirt

London Wasps centre Riki Flutey in action for England during the 2010 RBS 6 Nations defeat to France in Paris

Photo: Getty Images

Flutey's last Test appearance came in the 12-10 defeat to France in the 2010 RBS 6 Nations, and since then England have beaten Australia twice and showed signs of a major improvement.

Bath Rugby centre Shontayne Hape has staked his claim to be England's first choice at inside centre during that period but Flutey is ready to challenge him for the No. 12 shirt.

He added: "I am excited to be a part of that. 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."

England Team Manager Martin Johnson will announce his updated 32-man squad for the RBS 6 Nations on January 12 and you can see his selection first on RFU.com.

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