England centre Jonathan Joseph ready to face up to All Blacks challenge

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter: @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 28/11/12 8:52am

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Jonathan Joseph: Hoping to face the All Blacks on Saturday

Jonathan Joseph: Hoping to face the All Blacks on Saturday

Sky Bet

For Jonathan Joseph it will be the "pinnacle of his career" to play against New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 21-year-old centre is pushing hard for inclusion, with the England back division having lacked a cutting edge in their defeats to Australia and South Africa.

Joseph has been capped three times but was overlooked for the QBE Internationals against Fiji and Australia, while he was an unused replacement in Saturday's loss to the Springboks.

However, he is hoping for the chance to pit his skills against the all-conquering All Blacks.

"They've got some great players and I have a huge amount of respect for them," Joseph told Sky Sports.

"I grew up watching them and it would be the pinnacle of my career to play on Saturday.

"With the players they have got it would be a huge honour just to be involved.

"I'm sure the Haka will be special. I've experienced it at Under-21s level but not at Twickenham in front of a packed house of over 80,000 with 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' being sung - that would just be amazing."


England have been criticised for their back-to-back losses to Australia and the Boks, with their decision-making being particularly questioned.

And although the defeats are far from the ideal preparation for facing the world champion All Blacks, Joseph insists the squad are confident of their chances against a side which has not lost for more than a year.

"The boys are excited," said Joseph. "We are obviously frustrated after the South Africa game but we have reflected on it now and we will take that into Saturday against the very best side in the world.

"These games are why we play. There is perhaps no greater challenge than playing the All Blacks. They are in tremendous form and are unbeaten in God knows how long but this is a great opportunity for us.

"We were unlucky against South Africa. It was very close and ultimately a lucky bounce of the ball in their favour proved to be the difference.

"That was then and this is now, though, and we are focused on the new challenge ahead."

Jonathan Joseph is representing the England team. O2 is a proud supporter of the England team. Watch the latest episode of O2 Inside Line for more behind the scenes footage from inside the England camp. Visit www.O2InsideLine.com

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