- Sharples aiming to build on domestic form
- Targeting starting place in this weekend's Fiji match
England wing Charlie Sharples is hoping that his recent strong form for Gloucester will be enough to launch him into England’s starting line-up for this year’s QBE Internationals at Twickenham.
The 23-year-old has scored three tries in his last two games for the Cherry and Whites – with two of them coming against Bordeaux recently in the Amlin Challenge Cup – and is one of the in-form players in Stuart Lancaster’s squad.
Sharples has two caps for England but missed out on the tour of South Africa last June. A shoulder injury sustained earlier this season also hampered his progress during the opening weeks of the campaign but now he is back to full fitness and says his domestic form could be the perfect launch pad into the England line-up.
“I have been in and around the squad for just over a year but have only got two caps to my name,” said Sharples. “I have definitely been on the fringes, coming to camp and then not quite making the cut so I want to keep kicking on.
“It has been a good time for me at Gloucester because the club itself has been playing some good stuff and we have had a good run of games. The first time I got drafted into the England squad was off the back of Gloucester playing well so it definitely helps when getting picked up by England.
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“My plan going into this season after missing the South Africa tour was to get a good run of games behind me and get in good form ahead of the autumn internationals. Unfortunately I got the injury but I have still managed to play this season and in the last few games have managed to get a few tries which is good for the confidence so I feel like I am hitting form at the right time.”
With Saracens wing Chris Ashton missing this Saturday’s Test after three domestic yellow cards it is likely that Sharples will get a chance to start on the right wing and he believes it’s a good opportunity for him to put pressure on Ashton for the position.
“Ashton’s form has been fantastic but it’s up to me to put pressure on him and to compete for those places. I would like to be able to think I can pressure both Ashton and Ugo [Monye]. It will be a big opportunity for me to put my marker down and to try and kick on my England career.”