March 24, 2017 / 10:04 AM / 9 months ago

England hooker George targets starting role

(Reuters) - Hooker Jamie George was pleased with his cameos from the bench during England’s Six Nations campaign but is aiming for a starting role heading into the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Britain Rugby Union - England Training - Twickenham Stadium - 17/2/17 England's Jamie George during training Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic

George, who is often used as a second-half substitute for captain Dylan Hartley by coach Eddie Jones, said he expects to hit peak form over the next couple of years.

“I’d love to be involved in that squad,” the 26-year-old George told the Times.

”Eddie often speaks about that World Cup and being the No. 1 team in the world by then. I want to be peaking there.

“I’ll be 28 heading into that tournament and I hope to be pushing to start, as close to that team as I can.”

Jones emphasised the role of substitutes by calling England’s options on the bench “finishers” last month.

George said he understood the significance of the role and made the most of his opportunities with England as a replacement.

“The importance that Eddie puts on the ‘finishers’ — the bench — definitely helps,” he added.

“I would always try to challenge them in terms of what more they (coaching staff) needed to see from me.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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