Stevens eyeing return

Prop hoping to celebrate England comeback on Saturday

Last Updated: 03/08/11 10:03pm

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Stevens: Could return for England on Saturday

Stevens: Could return for England on Saturday

Sky Bet

England prop Matt Stevens hopes to once again be given the "incredible feeling" of representing his country at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 28-year-old has not played for England since coming back from a two-year ban following his positive test for cocaine two-and-a-half years ago.

But he could make a comeback in the first World Cup warm-up contest against Wales after an impressive run of form for Saracens saw him force his way into England manager Martin Johnson's squad.

Johnson will confirm his team for the Wales game on Thursday and Stevens is relishing the prospect of a return to Test rugby.

"I have played for England before and I know the honour that it is and I know the incredible feeling that it is to run out at Twickenham or anywhere in the world," Stevens said.

"It is a fantastic experience and one I hope to have again.


"Given all the circumstances surrounding my comeback and how special a time it has been for me with my club and my family at home - there is more to celebrate if that were the case."

Stevens favours the tight-head role but has played at loose-head for Saracens and that versatility could be of great benefit when Johnson selects his final World Cup squad of 30.

"I am happy to play wherever I get picked for England," he added.

England's scrum is set to be given a stern test during the World Cup with Argentina, Georgia and Scotland waiting in the pool stages and Stevens says the squad have been preparing appropriately.

"Every session is tough and that is exactly what (scrum coach) Graham Rowntree wants. It makes for a better team," he said.

"There has been a lot of live scrummaging - as many as you hit in a game - and we do a lot of work between the live scrums.

"We are doing fitness between the scrums so it is pretty tough. We have been doing a lot of one on ones - it has always been a big part of England's game and nothing changes. We have really been trying to improve our technique.

"We know the Welsh team has a good scrummaging pack and looking forward to the World Cup there are some very tough scrummaging packs there, very technically sound and we know we have got to deal with it."

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