England hopeful feeling Goode
Published 28/01/2013 | 06:22
Alex Goode declared himself fit for England's RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland after making a successful return in Saracens' 19-11 LV= Cup victory over Cardiff Blues.
Goode was making his first appearance in five weeks since sustaining a shoulder injury and emerged from his 56-minute spell on the club's new artificial pitch at Allianz Park unscathed.
"I feel really good. There was a bit of apprehension - you always go into a situation like that a bit unsure at times," he said. "But I'd done all the training, I'd tested the shoulder to the max and the physios had done a great job. I felt 100 per cent going into the game and the shoulder came through really well. I was very happy."
He went on: "I was a bit winded after getting smashed by their winger, but I managed to carry on all right and the shoulder showed no effects after the game.
"It feels brilliant and I'm very confident going forward."
England launch their Six Nations campaign at Twickenham on Saturday with Goode competing against Mike Brown of Harlequins and Northampton's Ben Foden for the number 15 jersey.
"It's up to (coach) Stuart Lancaster but I'm fit. I've got to train well this week and put myself on the radar," Goode said.
Blues director of rugby Phil Davies described the pitch as a "great surface", while fly-half Ceri Sweeney claimed it will lead to a faster game.
"There was no moisture on the ball, which was good for handling and meant you could play a bit," Sweeney said.
"That was good for players and spectators - everyone wants to see quicker and more open games of rugby. It's all good."