22nd Aug, 2019

Premiership-bound Pennell hopeful of England return

Aaron Wise 4th Jun, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

CHRIS Pennell says he hopes his match-winning display in the Greene King IPA Championship play-off final has launched himself back into England reckoning.

The 28-year-old struck twice on the memorable night at Sixways, with his second coming in the dying seconds as Worcester Warriors overcame Bristol in thrilling encounter.

His man-of-the-match performance came just days after he was not named in Stuart Lancaster’s 50-man squad for the Rugby World Cup warm-up matches.

And Pennell, who made his international debut last summer, believes steering Worcester to promotion has done his hopes of return to the England fold a world of good.

“The England coaches said that they wanted me to channel my disappointment into some good performances and hopefully done that tonight.

“Body-wise it has been a backward season, which has been frustrating as I have not been able to do what I know I can do week-in week-out.

“But hopefully I have shown them that if the call does come I am ready to go and I will do everything I can to get an opportunity to be in that training squad if injuries unfortunately happen.

“I just need to get a foot in the door, so I can show them what I can do.”

Director of rugby Dean Ryan also highlighted Pennell’s injury set-backs this season as the reason behind his omission, but he believes the Worcester academy graduate can still be considered as England’s third choice full back.

“Penns only missed a game last year whereas I don’t think he has strung three together this year.

“So I am not surprised, but I don’t think that rules him out of playing international rugby.

“They have only named two full backs and about 35 wings, so if they need a full back then Chris Pennell is international standard and they know that from experience.”

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