Goode backs Saracens team-mate Will Fraser to push his way into England frame ahead of World Cup
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Alex Goode believes his Saracens team-mate Will Fraser can push his way into the England frame as the clock ticks down towards next year’s home World Cup.
There is exactly a year until the tournament kicks off on September 18 2015, and competition for places in Stuart Lancaster’s Red Rose squad is intensifying.
Fraser was one of Saracens’ stars as they triumphed 39-0 away at Harlequins on Friday - and England full-back Goode feels the 24-year-old could make an impression on the international stage.
“I think Will’s a fantastic player, he’s been in great form,” said Goode. “He’s been extremely unlucky with injuries, but I feel there’s no reason why he couldn’t make that step up comfortably.
“He’s been playing in big games for Saracens in Europe and in the Premiership, and if he does make the step up he would do it very well.
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“I think Stuart’s got a wonderful selection headache all over the place with so many good players who are playing well. I think that’s pushing everyone on to prepare and put a bit more in and play even better, so it’s a good situation.”
Saracens’ emphatic away win over Quins sent a real statement about the Hendon outfit’s intentions this season.
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The pair met in the Premiership semi-final at May, when Sarries won 31-17, but the gap was much bigger on Friday.
All of the points scorers were English, with Charlie Hodgson contributing 22 points – including a try – and Chris Ashton and Fraser also touching down, while Owen Farrell added two conversions and Goode slotted over a penalty.
Saracens had narrowly edged past London Wasps in their previous game – a 34-28 victory in the first game of the season against Twickenham.
But they did not concede a single point against Harlequins, and Goode was pleased with the dominant performance.
“We were just really happy that we improved from the first week,” he said. “We felt there were a few areas where we weren’t quite good enough, and we made a few mistakes and we were disappointed in ourselves really. But beating Harlequins is a massive plus for us and a great boost going forward.
“There were different aspects of their play that we dealt with really well. It was a great night for our defence and I think our defensive coach was very happy.
“No matter who we’re playing, whether we’re home or away or against a top team or bottom team, it doesn’t matter. We always work hard for every match and that’s what we pride ourselves on as a team. But the way we won the match, I think we can be very happy with ourselves.”
Saracens visit London Irish on Saturday and Goode said: “Two years ago they beat us away and last year they beat us at home, so we won’t be taking them lightly. It will be a tough game.”