June International Tours

Armitage out to prove a point against Pumas

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Steffon Armitage says that he is determined to prove that he deserves his place in the International stage after he was regained his Test place for England’s match against Argentina at Old Trafford.


Armitage who plays for London Irish as a flanker had a disappointing international debut when he appeared for England against Italy in the Six Nations and failed to get another call up for international duty.


After London Irish enjoyed a late charge to the Guinness Premiership final the 23 year old Exile has now been selected ahead of Lewis Moody to face the Pumas.


This time however Armitage says that he is ready to show England manager Martin Johnson that he can perform on the international stage as well as he does for his club.


“I don’t think I showed what I can really do in the game against Italy,” Armitage told the Evening Standard.


“It wasn’t a great experience for me but now I know what international level is like and I am hoping to show against Argentina what I can do.”


Even though Armitage had his brother Delon with him in the England team he admitted that size of the international experience caught him off-guard.


Armitage recovered from his poor international debut and went on to be named man of the match as London Irish reached the Guinness Premiership final with victory over Harlequins.


In the final Armitage was as present as ever when the Exiles came close to beating Leicester to the title.


“You think about the (Italy) game. Did I go into it well enough prepared? Was I stressed or nervous? You go through all the stuff in your head,” Armitage reflected.


“I was nervous for the Italy game. There were quite a lot of errors and penalties. It was one of the games I was not really used to. At London Irish we play everything quickly and get the ball wide.


“I am one of those people who thinks that there is always more you can do. You have to get on with it for your next game.


“I always give 100% every time I play for London Irish and I had the coaches on my case telling me keep on doing what I was doing, to go out there and perform week in and week out.


“Their message was: ‘If England don’t pick you then it is their loss’, and I used that as well. I want to prove people wrong. I want to show them I can last 80 minutes every week.”


Last weekend Armitage came off the bench against the Barbarians and his performance allowed him to edge out his idol as a schoolboy flanker, Lewis Moody for the match against Argentina.


The Armitage brothers who are the first siblings to play in the same England team since Rory and Tony Underwood in 1995 will be back in tandem against the Pumas.


Johnson said: “Stef played his first game against Italy and he didn’t make the 22 after that but we said he would get another opportunity, that it was his first step.


“We have picked Steffon for what he can do well and he gets the start.”


“We could easily have picked Lewis but we have made a decision about what we want for the game.”

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