ENGLAND centre Shontayne Hape fears his international career may well be over before it has even started.
The 30-year-old London Irish star, who helped England win their first Six National title since 2003 earlier this year, fears new interim head coach Stuart Lancaster is set to overhaul the squad a bring in a host of younger players.
New Zealand-born Hape only made his England debut last autumn and was part of Martin Johnson’s World Cup squad, but only figured once in the group stage win over Georgia, and admits he doesn’t expect to be included in the 32-man squad Lancaster is set to name next month ahead of the 2012 Six Nations.
“It is time to start rebuilding for the next World Cup,” he said. “You have to start looking at the new breed coming through.
“The only way they learn is if you play them. I am a big believer in chucking young players in there to see what they can do.
“On the way, if some of the older guys are selected to help out then so be it. I obviously wouldn’t say no if I was selected, but I wouldn’t be hanging my hat on it.”