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Watson ready to shine after year out

Watson ready to shine after year out

Inpho

  • England full-back makes return after more than a year out injured
  • Watson has 36 England caps and has scored 15 tries

Anthony Watson will make his long-awaited return to action on Friday night, handing England boss Eddie Jones a huge boost ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The Bath star will line up at full-back against Sale Sharks in the Premiership for his first start since rupturing an Achilles tendon while playing for England against Ireland in the 2018 Championship.

England boast a formidable set of backs as it is, with Jonny May finishing the 2019 Guinness Six Nations as top try-scorer, while Jack Nowell, Joe Cokanasiga and Chris Ashton have also impressed.

But Watson will add greater depth and Bath teammate and international colleague Sam Underhill expects big things.

“I have no doubt the best is yet to come from Anthony – and what he has done already has been pretty impressive,” he told The i.

“It has been brilliant having him back in training the last few weeks. He was running rings round Joe Cokanasiga the other day, which was pretty good to see – so his feet are still there. He is a great guy to have in your team, a fantastic player.

“He has been on a long and frustrating journey and I don’t think I’d have been able to compose myself with as much dignity.

“It is easy to go into your shell when you’re having a crap time and to just shut down. He has been so diligent in his rehab when it was easy to mope about and not get it done properly.

“He went the extra mile. An average performance is a good one from a guy like him, and when he is back to his best it will be unbelievable.”

Watson has won 36 England caps and was part of the team that secured the 2016 Grand Slam and 2017 Championship title.

He also won three Test caps with The British & Irish Lions on their tour to New Zealand in 2017.