I Love Playing Full-Back

I had never played full-back before I joined London Irish, but now it is where I would love to play the majority of my rugby.

It's definitely my favourite position and in my time here I've relished the challenge of getting to grips with the role.

I was signed by Irish as a 12 but have never played there for The Exiles.

I played fly-half at school and 12 for England Under-18s - but at Irish I have played full-back, wing and outside centre.

It's always a fight to get into the side in any position, so as much as you want to pick one out, getting on the field is an achievement in itself: if you win selection, whatever the position, you don't grumble.

If I'm not competing with Delon Armitage for the full-back role, I'm battling with Sailosi Tagicakibau for a slot on the wing: I reckon that says it all.

I made my full Premiership debut on the wing against Saracens in 2008, but moved to full-back a few games later.

The basics of the game are the same whatever the position, but positioning is everything at full-back, and that takes a little time to learn.

In attack I feel as though I have more freedom from 15, you can step in at first-receiver or initiate counter-attacks, and I love that aspect.

Defensively I see it as a battle between myself and the opposition fly-half where kicking is concerned.

It's not as straight fight between the two full-backs, I've got to position myself to stop the opposition ten heaping pressure on us by kicking his team deep into our territory.

I put pressure on myself to cut out kicks then, make sure I can collect them before the bounce, or stop the finding touch.

Getting to grips with positioning has been the biggest learning curve for me at 15.

I's pretty pleasing when you get it right, but you've got to work at it all the time.



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