Easter targeting England recall

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Published: Wednesday 14th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Nick Easter is desperate to rejoin the England fold and believes he has “unfinished business” on the international stage.

The Harlequins number eight has not featured for his country since Stuart Lancaster took charge in the wake of the disappointing 2011 World Cup campaign.

But with Ben Morgan out of the RBS 6 Nations with a broken leg and possibly facing a fitness race to be ready for this year’s tussle for the Webb Ellis Cup, Easter is staking his claim for a place in the squad.

“My hunger to play for England is as strong as it has ever been, stronger probably,” the 36-year-old told the Telegraph ahead of next week’s squad announcement.

“I believe that I am a much better player than when I was last capped. I make far better decisions for a start.

“Yes, I want to be back involved. I would love to be. It is a huge driving force for me. But all I can do is state that and then get out there and play as well as I can.”

Morgan jumped ahead of Saracens’ Billy Vunipola in the race to start for England at the base of the scrum, but outside of those two Lancaster is not as blessed with options in the same way he is in other areas.

Despite his international exile Easter has consistently been a strong performer for Quins in the Aviva Premiership and he gave a timely reminder of his talents in the 32-12 win over Leicester at the weekend.

Easter’s club director of rugby Conor O’Shea has backed his bid for a recall, telling the newspaper: ” Of course I will back my players, but in Nick’s case, I really do fail to see now with Ben’s injury how he can’t be considered to be in the top 35 or so in this country.

“He has been playing out of his skin, and against heavyweight opposition as well.

“Stuart’s initial concern was that Nick might have tipped over the edge by this point with his age. Well, he certainly hasn’t done that. Better and better. He is playing at Test level.”

Published: Wednesday 14th January 2015 by The News Editor

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