Goode targets England place against Australia

2016-05-29 07:30
Alex Goode (AFP)

London - Alex Goode quickly turned his sights on the Wallabies and his ambition to wear the red rose on the other side of the world as he came to terms with a dream end to an incredible club campaign.

The fullback who has lived in the England shadow of Mike Brown for so long almost blushed as he was told Mark McCall had just labelled him "the best No.15 in English rugby".

Goode and the rest of Sarries' triumphant England men join up with the rest of Eddie Jones's squad on Monday as they prepare to fly out this week for the three-Test tour to Australia.

And, having scored a crucial late try and played a Man of the Match role in ensuring Sarries became just the fifth team to clinch the domestic and European double -- Toulouse, (1996), Leicester (2001, 2002), Wasps (2004) and Toulon (2014) are the others -- Goode is praying he may well add to his 20 caps this summer. Preferably as a starter.

The 28-year-old Premiership Player of the Year, who has been a long-serving member of Sarries' dramatic rise up to the top of European club rugby, insisted: "That's nice to hear but unfortunately, it's not up to Mark. It's up to Eddie to decide who plays.

"All I can do is keep doing my best, train and play hard, and bang on the door hoping for a chance. And when the opportunity does, make the most of it.

"Naturally, it's been frustrating not playing as many games for England as I'd hope but that's the way it's been. I feel in a very good place and my confidence is high.

"I just want to keep playing rugby right now. So it's ideal to be going off to Australia on the back of this success with Sarries."

After defeating Racing 92 to lift the Champions Cup, Sarries merely confirmed themselves as the best team in Europe with a 28-20 win over Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham.

Again their England contingent led by Goode, Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy and Mako Vunipola were outstanding.

"It is an unbelievable achievement by a special group of players," added Goode.

"We may have won the double this season but the hunger and desire to be better and do better is still there. We simply have to keep improving and wanting to improve if we are to stay at the top.

"We are an even closer unit for this fantastic experience, and there is a great mix of youth and experience in the squad. So the outlook and future looks very good."

England lock Maro Itoje, who has hardly lost a game since coming through the ranks to make his Sarries debut, added: "The mental appetite is still immense. It's the perfect way to end this season and fly off to Australia, but when we get back it will be all about repeating the season again next time."

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter shrugged off his side's loss to outline his belief the result is just a big learning curve in the club's impressive rise up the English club ladder.

Chiefs were appearing in their first Premiership final and Baxter feels bigger and better things lie ahead.

"In the next few years I'd love us to reach the Champions Cup final, along with staying in the top six in the Premiership and showing we can consistently compete with the best in English club rugby.

"This was never going to be the be all and end all of our season. It was our first Premiership final and it was always going to be the next step up in our progression and development as a club.

"I am excited about our future and this defeat is just a small setback and nothing more than that. We didn't get much wrong. We just didn't start for half an hour, but we have to learn from it."

Read more on:    england  |  saracens  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Which of the 4 South African team will finish with the fewest Super Rugby SA Conference points?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.