Interview with Gloucester and England winger Charlie Sharples
6:00am Thursday 20th December 2012 in Gloucestershire Sport
AFTER doubling his England caps this autumn Charlie Sharples insists he is not about to let his Gloucester Rugby form drop off as he eyes a spot in Stuart Lancaster’s Six Nations squad.
The former Dursley youth player grabbed two tries against Fiji and started in the defeat to Australia in the autumn internationals, adding to the two England caps he won last season.
But the 23-year-old was dropped for the New Zealand clash in favour of versatile Harlequins full-back Mike Brown – missing out on England’s famous 38-21 victory over the reigning world champions.
The Gloucester speedster has not missed a minute of club action since – returning to a side well-placed in fifth in the Aviva Premiership and at the summit of their Amlin Challenge Cup group with a 47-3 victory over London Irish on Saturday putting them on the brink of the quarter-finals.
Sharples knows his Gloucester form will be a pivotal factor for Lancaster when he makes his decision in January.
“With the way I am playing at the minute it’s obviously something I’m thinking about but I have a job to do with Gloucester first and foremost,” he said.
“I obviously want to kick on and keep on playing well for Gloucester. If I do that and get myself on the end of a few tries then I will have a good chance.
“It’s competitive for an England place at the moment so these next few weeks are going to be important for everyone.
“It’s a key time in our season too – we’ve got Premiership games against Exeter and Leicester to close out the year.
“The table is so congested at the moment that every game is important and to finish the year like that is massive for us.”
Sharples is part of a growing group of internationals at Gloucester, with young Kingsholm team-mates Billy Twelvetrees and Freddie Burns also expected to be considered for Lancaster’s squad.
And with the Cherry and Whites unbeaten in seven matches at home and growing in confidence with every game, Sharples insists the future is bright for Nigel Davies’ side.
“We’re still quite a young team if you compare us to others in the Premiership,” added Sharples.
“We’ve got a long way to go before we are at the level we want to be but it’s clear we are improving with every game. If we start piling up the wins on the road as well as at home we’ll be incredibly tough to beat.
“There’s a great group of young players with a lot of promise here, it’s always been that way and hopefully it will continue.”
• Jonny May and Tom Savage have both committed their futures to Gloucester by signing new contracts.
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