Strettle puts World Cup woe behind him

England wing David Strettle is savouring being back in the squad after missing the 2011 World Cup.

Strettle was floored when Martin Johnson left him at home last autumn. Johnson’s decision to cast him aside left Strettle at rock bottom just months after he had helped Saracens win their first Aviva Premiership title. But Strettle responded to the setback in such style that he forced his way back into the England team under Stuart Lancaster.

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Tomorrow, the 28-year-old will win his eighth cap as England face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. “My lowest point was probably at the World Cup when I got released from the squad,” Strettle said. “My form had been good with Sarries. I felt I warranted an opportunity to have a chance to impress in the World Cup warm-ups and it never came.

“I felt I had done everything I could and I was quite down. It is great to be back in the mix now. It was a great occasion last weekend to pull the shirt on.”