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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Catt plays down World Cup hopes
Mike Catt
Catt was named Premiership player of the season in 2005/06
London Irish centre Mike Catt says his inclusion in England's Elite Player Squad is no guarantee of a place at next year's World Cup in France.

The 34-year-old, who is preparing for what could be his last season, was named in Andy Robinson's 55-man elite squad earlier this month.

"France 2007 is a long way away," Catt told BBC London.

"If I continue to play well for London Irish, an England call-up might still be there but I am focused on my club."

Catt, who was part of England's World Cup-winning squad in 2003, was recalled for the two-match tour to Australia this summer - his first Test starts since 2004.

The recall came after a superb campaign with his club, which saw him secure the Premiership player of the year award as the Exiles made the top-four play-offs for the first time.

Catt was linked with coaching roles at Leicester and his former club Bath earlier this year but signed a one-year deal to continue playing for Irish.

There is a three-year plan for the club to be successful land at the moment we have got to level one

Exiles fly-half Mike Catt

"I will keep this up for as long as I can," Catt added. "You are retired for a very long time and I don't particularly want to go back to a nine-to-five job again.

"I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and it seems to be going pretty well at the moment.

"Getting back in the England set-up is a nice little boost for me. We will see at the end of the season where we go from there."

Irish were flirting with relegation in 2004/05 but under the guidance of new coach Brian Smith, they finished third last season for a place in the Heineken Cup as well as reaching the European Challenge Cup final.

And Catt has warned his team-mates that they will have to live up to a higher level of expectation this campaign.

"It's going to be very tough this season," said Catt. "The expectation on our shoulders to go out and win every game is very high.

"But as long as the players keep their feet on the ground and worry about the process rather than the outcome then I think we will do very well.

"The Heineken Cup is the ultimate thing. It is the competition to be in and it is vital that we are in there again next season.

"There is a three-year plan for the club to be successful and at the moment we have got to level one."

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01 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Catt selection queried by Jones
10 Jun 06 |  Internationals
Catt & Tait back in England side
25 May 06 |  Internationals
Catt picks up Premiership honour
24 May 06 |  English
Old hand Catt to guide youngsters
15 May 06 |  Internationals
England recall for veteran Catt
15 May 06 |  Internationals
Catt to stay on at London Irish
05 May 06 |  English
Catt linked with Leicester role
18 Jan 06 |  English


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