England

Lancaster thrilled to have Brad back

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 17:28
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As a leader he is hugely respected
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England coach Stuart Lancaster is thrilled to welcome South African-born centre Brad Barritt back from injury ahead of the Six Nations.

Barritt returned from an ankle injury that sidelined him since last September as a replacement in Saracens’ recent English Premiership win over Worcester Warriors.

He starred in his first match back in the starting line-up as Sarries beat Gloucester 29-8 a fortnight ago and retained the No.12 jersey in the European Cup clash against Toulouse at the weekend.

Before being rested for the tour Argentina and then being ruled out of last November’s internationals with an injury, Barritt had featured in all but one of Lancaster’s Test matches, only missing the second Test in South Africa in June 2012 with an eye injury.

A key figure tactically on the field and culturally off it, Lancaster is delighted to be able to call on his experience.

“He’s hugely experienced and important to the squad as a player and as a person,” Lancaster said.

“As a leader he is hugely respected. I’ve coached him for a long time now and we get on well, I’m just looking forward to having him back in the squad.

“We missed his presence during the November Tests and he’ll be back competing for the shirt in the first camp.”

The 35-man England Six Nations squad assemble at Pennyhill Park on Monday, January 20, after rounds five and six of the European and European Challenge Cups to start preparations to face France in Paris on Saturday, February 14.

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