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Thursday Oct 19, 2023

Ben Earl responds to comments about his selection in a World XV

The low hum of Swing Low Sweet Chariot appears to be steadily growing in bass among the hundred-odd thousand rugby fans moving around the Paris streets this week. Prior to the tournament, there would not have been more than a handful of truly optimistic fans that would have given England a chance in the depths of hell of making the final – but here we are one game away.

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The journey has been incredibly English – tough, resilient, and insistent upon giving their own fans a heart attack at every corner. Their time in France is due to come to an end in just under ten days whether they reach the final or not, but for these players and their legacies in an England shirt, the grand finale would be a deserving meeting place for many that have served their country so proudly over the years.

Despite the wealth of experience in the international setup, there has been the emergence of new talents coming into their own prime in this World Cup. Speaking in front of the world media in a press conference one particular talent has shone through, Ben Earl. Talking about his rise, and the challenges he continues to overcome on a game by game basis, the backrower had the following to say:

“Certainly the most enjoyable time of my career. Really grateful for everything that’s happened for me so far this campaign. I am not taking it for granted. I think what’s been most enjoyable for me is playing with people I’ve not had the pleasure of playing a huge amount with, Joe [Marchant] being one of them. And having played against a lot of these guys a lot in the last couple of years to play with them is a nice privilege.”

“In terms of my journey, I’ve not really had a chance to look back on it. It’s all happened quite quickly. It’s not something I’ve taken for granted. I’ve loved it. Yeah, and now it seems like a distant time away where you weren’t getting recognition, so I am just trying to appreciate wearing the [Red] Rose every day. 

He was also quizzed over the comments for Kevin Sinfield regarding Earl as being deserved of a place in a World XV, as well as fielding questions surrounding his comparisons to Billy Vunipola.

“In terms of what Kev said, for it to come from someone like him is massive. He is someone I honestly have so much respect for, on and off the pitch. One of the best guys I’ve met, one of the best rugby minds I’ve met. So, that’s always nice to hear. 

“I guess every player is slightly different, I never compare myself to Billy but I’ve learned a huge amount from Billy having played with him both for club and country. But I am just trying to do my own thing. So far, so good, in certain aspects of the game.”

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