- “Anthony has got that point of difference, it seems. He’s got great potential” – Lancaster
- England head coach hints 19 year-old starlet could graduate to senior honours soon
Stuart Lancaster has explained the rationale behind inviting Bath Rugby full back Anthony Watson to train with the senior squad this week, suggesting that the 19 year-old could be part of his plans for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
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Still just 19, Watson was a central part of England Under 20’s Junior World Championship-winning squad this summer and, like Joe Launchbury 18 months ago in the build-up to the tour of South Africa, has been integrated to “get a taste of the environment”.
After making a close season move from London Irish, he has displayed his electric pace and extremely solid skill-base over the opening of the Aviva Premiership season – noticeably in the pouring rain at Sixways last Friday as Gary Gold’s side beat Worcester Warriors 21-6.
And while Lancaster admitted that others in the Saxons EPS group such as Jonny May and David Strettle may be ahead in the pecking order for now, he also hinted that Watson’s call-up wouldn’t have happened without the genuine prospect of 2015 involvement.
“He’s got great potential. We have some back-three players in the Saxons who are probably next in, but Anthony has got that point of difference, it seems.
“Sometimes, bringing [youngesters] into camp and allowing them to get a feel for it and train with the other lads will help them prepare for when they do it full-time. You never know when that might come – it could be sooner rather than later.
“I wouldn’t do it if he didn’t have a chance [of being in the 2015 squad] – I think he does have a chance, definitely.”