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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 18:13 GMT
Paul must wait for debut
Henry Paul v Caerphilly
Paul only started playing for Gloucester last month
Henry Paul will have to wait months before being considered for his England rugby union debut, says coach Clive Woodward.

Woodward confirmed the union convert is to play no part in the games against Australia, Romania and South Africa this month.

Although Paul trained with the England squad on Tuesday, he will not make his debut until February at the earliest, with Woodward saying he needs to 're-learn' the game.

I don't want to give the guy a cheap cap
Clive Woodward on Henry Paul

Paul has only just started playing for new club Gloucester after leading the Bradford Bulls to a Super League Grand Final victory last month.

But his situation contrasts sharply with Welsh star Iestyn Harris.

Wales named the former Leeds Rhino star Harris as fly-half against Argentina on Saturday after playing just 200 minutes in the 15-man code.

New Zealander Paul, who joined Gloucester after winning the Grand Final with Bradford Bulls last month, qualifies for England through residency and an English grandparent.

"It's great now we've got Henry Paul," said Woodward.

Australian criticism

"Whether he gets picked is up to him, but he won't come in until he has re-learned the game, which won't be until the Six Nations, and then he's got to get in on merit."

Woodward responded to criticism from Australia coach Eddie Jones.

Jones has questioned the presence of Paul in the England set-up, and refused to fast-track his own Aussie rugby league converts Wendell Sailor and Mat Rogers.

"I wouldn't play them but I would have the balls to bring them straight into the squad, hold tackle bags, get to know everybody," said Woodward.

"Let's be under no illusions that Mat Rogers and Wendell Sailor have been signed to play for Australia.

See also:

31 Oct 01 |  Rugby Union
England call up Kiwi star Paul
25 Oct 01 |  Rugby Union
Early England chance for Paul
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