|Weight||87kg (13st 9lb)|
Injuries have not deflected David Strettle in his quest for caps and he added five to his total last year. A newcomer to Saracens from Harlequins for 2010-11, he was try-scorer on his Test debut against Ireland at Croke Park six years ago and made two more appearances before damaging an ankle while playing for Harlequins.
He recovered in time to tour South Africa in the summer of 2007 but had to watch both Test matches on television in isolation at the team hotel. He had already spent three nights in the high dependency unit in a Johannesburg hospital with a ‘non specific virus’ resulting in a weight loss of five kilograms.
A broken bone in his left foot that required a screw being inserted in the fractured fifth metatarsal subsequently ruled him out of the 2007 RWC and a similar injury restricted him to 13 minutes’ playing time in the 2008 RBS 6 Nations Championship. He won his seventh Test cap in March 2011 against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, 33 months after his most recent one against New Zealand in Auckland. His eighth appearance was in the 13-6 triumph over Scotland at Murrayfield in February last year and his ninth followed a week later in the 19-15 victory over Italy in Rome.
He reached double figures in the Wales’ match at Twickenham and came close to scoring his second Test try with the final play of a thrilling game that brought a 19-12 defeat. It was ruled out by Iain Ramage, the television match official. A chest injury prevented him from playing against France in March last year but he returned six days later against Ireland at Twickenham, went on to tour South Africa in the summer of 2012 and started the second Test at Johannesburg.
David had created IRB Sevens history in 2006 when scoring five first-half tries on his debut against Papua New Guinea. Warrington-born, he played rugby league from the age of five, switched to Lymm RUFC and had football trials for Manchester City, Everton and Liverpool.
He was educated at Lymm HS and Sheffield Hallam University, where he obtained a Sport Science degree and joined Harlequins in 2006-07 from Rotherham Titans, for whom he had run in a hat-trick of tries on his debut. David also marked his first game for Saracens with a touchdown against Sale Sharks in September 2010 and by mid March this year had brought his Premiership try total to 27 in 112 matches overall.
The RPA Young Player of the Year in 2007, he had taken steps along his mazy path to top level by representing Cheshire, the North of England U21 and British Universities.
His ability to pop up in unorthodox positions and change direction at pace has bemused many defenders, as has his flamboyant attacking concept of 'disco rugby', a phrase that he picked up while with Lymm. So the Strettle beat goes on.
5 points – 1T
2007 I, F, W, W 2008 W, NZ(1), I(R) 2012 S, It, W, I, SA(2) 2013 S(R)
Last updated: March 11, 2013