England back Alex Lozowski says he is excited to get stuck in to the new international season after getting a taste of Test match rugby during the summer tour of Argentina.
Lozowski was part of England’s 2-0 series win against Los Pumas in June - starting the first Test in San Juan and coming off the bench a week later in Santa Fe - and the 24-year-old says he wants to build on that involvement.
“It was good to get my first game and get that experience of playing in a Test match,” he said.
Had some fun! pic.twitter.com/col7sbfqjs— Alex Lozowski (@alexlozowski) June 20, 2017
“There’s nothing that can prepare you for it really, you just have to go out there and give it your best shot and see if you can do it.
“I’d like to think I gave a good account of myself and put my best foot forward in those two games, now I’m just excited to get stuck in to the new season and try putting it all into action again.”
The waiting game
Lozowski was first included in head coach Eddie Jones' squad for the Old Mutual Wealth Series in November 2016, but didn't get a chance to play in any of the four Tests.
In January 2017 the Saracen made the cut for the 34-man Six Nations squad but again he would play no part in the campaign. "We’re looking ahead to Argentina in November."
But fast-forward seven months to the weekend just gone and Lozowski entered his fourth England training camp with two caps to his name, and a big smile on his face.
“Obviously three days is a bit of a time constraint but we managed to get a lot of good stuff done over the weekend,” Lozowski said.
“It was good to get back together and everyone is just looking forward to the autumn now.
“We caught up with the coaches individually about what we need to be doing going forward, making sure we’re on top of things and on top of our game, and as a team we’re looking ahead to Argentina in November.”
Knowing what to expect
England welcome Argentina to Twickenham Stadium for their Old Mutual Wealth Series opener on Saturday 11 November, and having only featured against Los Pumas at Test level, Lozowski is well-versed in their style of play.
“They have a big forward pack, they're strong at set-piece, scrum and driving mauls so we need to be aware of that.
“They also have some really talented runners at the back that might not look to kick the ball back, but run at you, so we have to be aware of those threats too.
“If we can nullify those, we’ll hopefully have some success.”
The Londoner, who has notched up 226 points in 38 Aviva Premiership appearances, has mostly done so from his preferred position of fly half, but having worn the number 12 shirt in San Juan, Lozowski has proven himself adaptable.
“I like to think the two roles are quite interchangeable, just look at Owen (Farrell) and the way he can play both, he’s the standard bearer for being able to play both positions, so it’s definitely doable and something I enjoy,” Lozowski explains.
“Different skills are needed for those positions and they are skills I’m constantly trying to get better at and work on.
“From conversations I’ve had with Eddie, he wants me to have the ability to play both, so at the moment it’s about trying to do both as well as I can.”
Lozowski, who was in Chelsea's academy from the age of ten to 16, has doubled the international tally of his father, Rob, who made his sole appearance for England against Australia in 1984, but in order to achieve more, Alex highlights an area he must improve in.
“If you look at some of the best players in the world, their catch-pass skills and basic skills are world class, and that is where I need to try and get to.
“I need to make sure my catching and passing is right on the money and of a standard that will get into the best team in the world.”
A handful of England's British & Irish Lions reunited with the national team over the three-day training camp in Teddington last weekend and Lozowski says it will be useful to learn from what they experienced in New Zealand.
“It's been great welcoming the some of the Lions boys back, they had a good tour down in New Zealand and showed that the All Blacks are beatable.
He added: “They'll be able to share the information and insight they've gathered from going there and levelling the series, all the experience they've gained is going to be really helpful for us.”