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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 13:06 GMT
Josh Lewsey Q&A

Josh Lewsey
Josh Lewsey
England wing

Josh Lewsey will play on the wing for England against Scotland in the Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham on Saturday.

He took time out after Wednesday's training session to answer some of your questions.


How complex are the calls for different "plays" from set-pieces - and who calls them?
Colin, Leeds

Traditionally the 10 (fly-half) calls the plays from set-pieces - he's the decision-maker. How complex are they? They tend to be quite complex if you're trying to get through the dialects and regional accents of Jonny Wilkinson, Andy Farrell, Mike Tindall and Iain Balshaw as well!

It can be quite Chinese whispers, so it's fortunate if you get the right one by the time it gets to the wing!. Actually, in all honesty they're fairly simple - we try and play a simple game.

I heard that out of the World Cup winning squad, Neil Back was the fittest and could get the highest level on the "bleep test". Who is the fittest now and what do they get on the test?
George, 16, Winchester

Well, that is actually wrong - we didn't do the bleep test (shuttle runs) then and we haven't done it for years and years, so I'm not sure whether Backy would have won that.

As for who's the fittest? Fit means being fit for your job. Everyone on the pitch has different requirements; the requirements Julian White has are somewhat different to those of Jason Robinson.

Do you have any superstitions before a match?
Will, 13, Lincolnshire

I don't really have any superstitions. I try to stick to a routine which works OK for me, having the same breakfast and rest period before a game, but I don't have any out-and out-superstitions. I don't think anyone in the current teams has any outlandish superstitions these days, although Will Greenwood used to wear a certain pair of socks under his England socks.

How can we assume that this England side is better than the one three months ago and do you feel that there is a real opportunity for success this time?
James Headspeath, 18, Gloucestershire

You can't assume this is a better side - assumption is the mother of mistakes. Yes, we try to be positive, but you're only as good as your last game, which was pretty poor. We're not getting ahead of ourselves and hopefully our performance will do our talking for us.

Hi Josh, in the dressing room before a big international, is there an aggressive atmosphere or is it more subdued as players compose themselves?
Patrick, Oxford

It's a mixture of both - everyone's different. Some players are the proverbial head bangers and like to get themselves really worked up, some people are slightly more calm and collected - it really does depend on the individual. Of course, just before kick-off it needs to be a little bit aggressive and a bit more energetic.

How do you mentally prepare for the match in the hour before kick off, and how does this differ from other players?
Simon Head, Surrey

You're busy with the warm-up for most of that time. The more you think about the game the less likely you are to play well. I'm a reactive player - you've got to react to what you see in front of you and that's what I try to do, rather than pre-empt anything. If you try to think about it too much, you might get inhibited so I try not to get too worried about the game.

If you could choose one player from any of the other five countries to play for England, who would it be?
Owain Gwyn, Bath

That's a very difficult question. I like the look of our side at the moment, to be honest with you. Obviously there are some fantastic players out there but I'm not going to single out any one individual. There are some key players in each side, and probably everyone knows who they are, but I don't need to massage anyone's ego!

Would you ever consider playing rugby league?
Mark

The short answer is no. I would have absolutely loved to play rugby league because I think it's a free-flowing, continuous game. There's probably a lot more freedom in terms of playing what you see, rather than in union which has become in some cases, quite contrived. But realistically, now that I'm 30, I won't play it now.

How much of an influence do traditional rugby league running lines have in rugby union today?
Sam Miller, Epsom

That's a very good question, actually. The answer is, probably more so than people would expect. The Premiership has become very confrontational and physical and I think you can see the influence of rugby league. There's a lot of one-off runners - it's all about gain-line and physicality.

I know decent rugby league relies on an awful lot of creativity and skill as well and as a nation we need to readdress that balance and concentrate as much on that area as we have done, over the past 10-15 years, on getting the guys into absolutely fantastic athletic condition. So, yes it has been a big influence and probably more so than people would anticipate due to the influence of some of the coaches.

What one important tip would you give to a 13-year-old full-back who plays on a weekly basis?
James Corbyn, Kent

Go and get your hands on the ball and don't get over-coached.

Who is the biggest joker in the England squad and what do they do?
Charlie Mills, 16, Oxford

Most people are jokers actually. Vicks (Phil Vickery) likes a little practical joke, as does Steve Thompson, and Andy Farrell as well. It's quite a nice atmosphere and hopefully, if we can start winning some games, it can only add to that.

If you would like to ask Josh a question during the course of the Six Nations, fill in the form at the top right of this page.
















 

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