Richards to silence England’s critics

England scrum-half Peter Richards believes victory for his team on Saturday against the Springboks in Bloemfontein will be the perfect response to criticism of the South Africa tour.

The 29-year-old scrum-half was selected ahead of Shaun Perry and Andy Gomarsall for the first of two Tests in a tour which sees a host of players miss out due to commitments in European rugby finals.

It has led to questions over whether the tour will be worthwhile, but Richards sees an opportunity for players to stake a claim for a place in the World Cup squad later this year.

“There has been negative press about the strength of the team but for everyone involved there is an opportunity with the World Cup around the corner,” said Richards, who will start his second spell with London Irish next season after signing from Gloucester.

“It’s going to be tough in intimidating circumstances but I’m very keen to prove people wrong about the tour.”

With Harry Ellis ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury, Richards gets the first chance to impress at number nine when he earns his seventh cap.

“There is the likes of Andy Gomarsall and Shaun Perry who, like myself, wish to have that position,” he added.

“It’s the same for all the positions, they will be fiercely contested with the World Cup coming up.”


365 Digital

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