Wigglesworth determined to continue improving

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England scrum half Richard Wigglesworth says he has not even considered retiring and is still driving to improve his game at the age of 34.

The Saracen has been added to England's squad following an injury to Ben Youngs who is expected to be out for four months with a knee injury sustained in the win over Italy.

Wigglesworth has spent time in Eddie Jones' squad having played for an England XV in the Barbarians game in the summer of 2017, but has not featured at Test level since 2015.

“I’m not interested in finishing anytime soon," he said. “The only way to answer that [retirement] is to play well, train well and look like you’re no way near done.

“I think that’s why Eddie had a look at me in that Barbarians week, he probably wanted to see what sort of shape I was in and if there was still a desire to improve, which I do.

“That will be the key over the next few years is trying to actually improve. I think a lot of people may get to this age and try and hang on and I’m not interested in that.

“I take inspiration from people like Neil de Kock who lasted at Saracens until he was 38 and he was the fittest man in the squad, Peter Stringer doing the same and other people in the world of sport who are at the top, top end of the game."

One week at a time

Since his last appearance in an England shirt, Wigglesworth has been thriving at Saracens winning two European Champions Cups as well as the Premiership title in 2016.

If he features against Wales on Saturday at Twickenham stadium it will be exactly 10 years to the day since his England debut in 2008, but he has put club form over an international recall in recent campaigns. "If you do a good job this week maybe you’ll get next week."

“A long time ago I stopped worrying about what I could and couldn’t control and had to get back to worrying about myself," he added.

“I use this line a lot about being able to look myself in the mirror and know that I’ve done everything I can to give myself a chance, and I got on with that really.

“I’m lucky to be at an unbelievable club like Saracens. I enjoy my work day in, day out, we’re competitive at the top end of the league and in Europe, so I’ve had a lot to sink my teeth into to stay in that team and improve as a player - so that was all part of me getting back in."

Former Sale Sharks scrum half Wigglesworth, who has 27 caps for England, says he plans to still be playing rugby when the 2019 Rugby World Cup takes place but would not be looking too far into the future.

“I’m thinking about one week and one week only, if you do a good job this week maybe you’ll get next week and that’s the only way to look at it."

 

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