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Goode desperate for World Cup spot

Alex Goode has been forced to control his emotions at times this summer as he confronts his "desperation" to claim a place in England's World Cup squad.

A strong performance in Saturday's warm-up game against France at Twickenham will nudge Goode closer towards a berth among the 31 who will represent the nation at England 2015.

Mike Brown's status as first choice full-back is assured, but the belief of head coach Stuart Lancaster that two specialists in the position must be taken to the World Cup strengthens Goode's case.

The 27-year-old playmaker, who also covers fly-half, admits a long summer of tortuous training has seen his desire to be among England's chosen 31 an internal battle rage in his own mind.

"I feel a desperation to play in the World Cup. It plays constantly on your mind, which is not something that happens usually," Goode said.

"You develop an edge in training to such a degree that you have to check yourself and make sure you are in a good place.

"Then you have to break it down and convince yourself that it's just another game and you need to do what you do every week."

Goode bristles slightly when asked if he considers utility players such as Danny Cipriani or Henry Slade as his closest rivals for a place in the final World Cup squad that must be announced by August 31.

"My rival is Mike Brown. I don't want to be just part of the World Cup, I want to be involved in the World Cup, not watching from the sidelines," he said.

"I want to be able to say I was involved in the World Cup and in a World Cup winning team. If we get to the final and win and I'm not out there, I won't throw my medal away, but I'd be very disappointed.

"I desperately want to play in a home World Cup, not least because you only get one such opportunity in your career."


From Belfast Telegraph