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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 11:17 GMT
Gomarsall targets England recall
By Phil Gordos

Andy Gomarsall
Gomarsall was a World Cup winner with England in 2003
Andy Gomarsall says he is the answer to England's scrum-half worries - despite being overlooked for the Six Nations.

Head coach Brian Ashton has opted for Harry Ellis, Shaun Perry and Peter Richards ahead of the Harlequins star.

But Gomarsall, with 23 caps for his country, told BBC Sport: "I still have something to offer and I'm ready and waiting if things don't go well.

"I've spoken to Brian and I know there is a chance. He told me I'd just missed out, and I've still got the hunger."

A member of England's World-Cup winning squad in 2003, Gomarsall, 32, has been in great form for Quins.

But he was very nearly left on the scrapheap after being surprisingly axed by Worcester on the eve of the 2006/2007 season.

Offered the chance by director of rugby Dean Richards to resurrect his career at Quins, he grabbed it with both hands.

If England want to play some rugby - and under Brian Ashton I think they do - they need a 9 or 10 who is going to make some decisions

Andy Gomarsall

"I'm so grateful to the club and Dean for giving me the opportunity," said Gomarsall. "I have hopefully gone some way to repaying their faith."

The former Wasps, Gloucester and Worcester star has played his part in the club's surge up the Premiership table after they began their first season back in the top flight in less than convincing fashion.

Now he is looking to make an impact with England again.

"Quins wanted me because of my experience and they wanted me to be a decision-maker," said Gomarsall.

"They wanted me to lead from the front, which I think I have done."

He also believes England need someone like him to direct operations behind the scrum and thinks the number nine shirt is still up for grabs.

Andy Gomarsall
Gomarsall's contract with Quins runs out at the end of the season

"I think there are a lot of leaders but there hasn't been much decision-making in the last couple of games," he said.

"If England want to play some rugby - and under Brian Ashton I think they do - they need a nine or 10 who is going to make some decisions.

"But if the 10 is inexperienced and not a decision-maker, then they need a nine who is going to do that.

"That's what I've said to Brian. I think we are on similar levels, so I'm excited about it.

"I understand I am not going to be the future. Time has obviously got to be invested in some of the young guys coming through.

"But it is the World Cup in nine months and I'm one of the most experienced out there at the moment.

"I've just got to keep putting in the performances for Harlequins. If I keep doing that, then I've got a chance.

"I can't play as many games as I used to and the game is getting harder and harder, but I'm definitely keen.

My game is really flourishing... when I've got a smile on my face that's when I'm at my best

Andy Gomarsall

"It's World Cup year and it's a fantastic tournament. I want to play in it and I'll do anything I can to make sure I'm in the right state to get there."

Gomarsall had hoped to be involved in Ashton's first squad and was disappointed when he was not included.

"I tried not to be but I felt things were going well," he said. "I had all the right messages and all the right vibes.

"But I'm very quick to get rid of that disappointment and pick myself up."

Quins boss Richards certainly felt the player should have been called up by Ashton, who has only just begun his tenure as England coach after being picked to replace Andy Robinson.

In turn, Gomarsall has heaped praise on Richards and insists he should take a lot of credit for his renaissance following his shock exit from Worcester.

Dean Richards
Dean Richards won 48 caps playing in England's forward pack

He is also backing Richards for a managerial role with England, saying his experience and know-how would be an important addition to the national set-up.

"He knows what works, so I would be an advocate," said Gomarsall.

"He has been there, done that and got the T-shirt.

"What he's doing with Harlequins is fantastic. All the guys here are happy and want to produce the goods. I know I'm really enjoying myself.

"When I've got a smile on my face that's when I'm at my best. My game is really flourishing. I just want to keep fit and keep knocking on the door with England."

606: DEBATE
BT

Gomarsall is also keen to stay with Quins when his deal runs out at the end of the season.

"I haven't made any decisions yet," said Gomarsall. "All I can say is that I'm absolutely loving it at Quins.

"The club is going places. It would be a very good decision for me to stay, but I'm coming to the end of my career now, so we'll see what happens."



SEE ALSO
Corry backs Richards for England
08 Dec 06 |  Rugby Union
Richards drops hint over England
06 Dec 06 |  Rugby Union
Gomarsall aims for England recall
01 Oct 06 |  Harlequins
Gomarsall delight at Quins chance
25 Sep 06 |  Harlequins


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