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Armitage’s relief

READY TO DELIVER: Delon Armitage

RUGBY STAR Delon Armitage has spoken of his relief after being selected for England’s World Cup squad. The tournament kicks off in New Zealand next month and the full-back, after a series of disciplinary issues in the recent past, is just glad to be heading Down Under.

"It was a huge relief to get into the original training squad — and an even bigger one to make the final 30. I knew I had to finish the season strong to force my way back, and even then you don't know if the bans will count against you. As a player you want to go to World Cups and do your best.

"But regardless of how well you play, you still have in the back of your mind that there is one man who has to make that decision, Martin Johnson.

"I couldn't second-guess how Jonno would react. I just had to make sure I did the best I could when I came back.
"It was a case of getting in as much game time as possible and knuckle down and train as hard as I could to put some pressure on him to select me.

"I'm sure it helped that my discipline for England has been faultless. I've always gone out feeling I must not let the side down — that has never been a problem and it never will be."

Trinidad-born Armitage, 27, the Six Nations campaign after being handed an eight-week suspension for pushing a doping officer and using abusive language. He was then banned for another three weeks for punching Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler.

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