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Sport

Willis revels in excitement of first test cap after delayed England debut

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(Reuters) - England’s 40-0 win over Georgia on Saturday may have been nothing more than a routine victory over a tier-two side but the match was truly special for Jack Willis who finally made his much-awaited debut and marked the occasion with a try.

The Wasps flanker, who was crowned the Premiership’s player of the season, had his debut delayed by two years after a knee injury in 2018 saw him sidelined for 10 months.

Nine tries in the 2019-20 season convinced Jones to recall Willis to hand him his first test cap and even though the COVID-19 pandemic barred fans from Twickenham Stadium, it did little to quell the 23-year-old’s enthusiasm.

“It doesn’t make the moment or the occasion any less special. It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a young lad, it was an incredible feeling to finally get here,” a beaming Willis said while wearing his cap in a virtual news conference.

“I loved every second of it. It was incredible to get out there and a massive honour. It was a very strange experience not having family and friends there,” adding he was hopeful of another opportunity to impress.

After a stellar season with Wasps, his team lost out to Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership final last month but Willis was quick to move on from the narrow defeat.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that the last few days. It was just excitement, nerves, all sorts of emotions,” Willis added.

“As it got closer, it was just pure excitement. I couldn’t wait to get out there and get stuck in.”

England next play Ireland on Saturday at Twickenham.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

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