Semesa Rokoduguni is set for the second phase of an eventful pre-World Cup journey this weekend after being given a chance to relaunch his England career.
The Fiji-born Bath wing initially missed out on a place in England’s 50-man World Cup training squad, but David Strettle’s decision to take up early residency in France with new club Clermont Auvergne created an opportunity for Rokoduguni.
He was back in Fiji on holiday when the call came, and after an initial training camp at England’s Surrey base, he will now jet off to Colorado with a 45-player England group and hope to earn a place in Stuart Lancaster’s final 31-man World Cup party.
Rokoduguni, who is currently on a sabbatical from the British Army, made a high-profile Test debut against world champions New Zealand at Twickenham last November. Injury then contributed to him drifting out of contention, and he presently remains a member of international rugby’s one-cap club.
Rokoduguni has revealed that his military experience helped him after he fell out of contention following the thrill of a debut against Richie McCaw’s All Blacks.
He said: “It has been one of those journeys. Everything was happening, and then suddenly there was a pause. It has been really frustrating, but coming back into the squad has been exciting.
“It is similar to what we do in military training – the mental side to deal with setbacks. We are taught to be flexible at all times, and this was useful for this situation.”
With England opening their World Cup campaign against Fiji at Twickenham on September 18, Rokoduguni could find himself in the frame to face the land of his birth.
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