Belfast Telegraph

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Strettle happy to bounce back

England wing David Strettle embodies the inspirational truth behind the quote from legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi: "It's not whether you get knocked down but whether you get up".

Strettle was floored when Martin Johnson left him out of England's 2011 World Cup squad without even giving him a chance to impress in the warm-up matches. The Saracens flyer had already had to deal with the frustration of missing the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 Six Nations after twice breaking the same metatarsal.

But the 28-year-old will win his eighth cap - five years after his first - as England tackle Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday, and he said: "I had six caps until last year. My lowest point was probably at the World Cup when I got released from the squad."

He added: "Everyone has patches in their career where they have missed out through injury. I knew if I kept working hard I'd get my chance again.

"My form had been good with Sarries. I felt I warranted an opportunity to have a chance to impress in the World Cup warm-ups and it never came.

"I felt I had done everything I could and I was quite down.

"But once it has happened, you are not going to become a better player by dwelling on it.

"You have to use it as stimulus to push on. It is great to be back in the mix now. It was a great occasion last weekend to pull the shirt on."


From Belfast Telegraph