ENGLAND full-back Ben Foden may have close links with the world of pop music, but video is his preferred form of entertainment. Well, one recording in particular: that of the landmark victory over Australia in Sydney in June.
Foden – currently dating a member of girl band The Saturdays – admits he has pored over that 21-20 win on several occasions since returning from a tour on which he and a clutch of other emerging young backs cemented their place in Martin Johnson’s team. At the time the Northampton star declared it the greatest moment of his career but, as he prepares to face the gold and green ranks again on Saturday, Foden says a repeat in front of a packed home crowd would taste sweeter still.
“To win at Twickenham would be special for me. It was good to beat them in their back yard but this is a massive game for us. We have to hit the ground running,” he tells City A.M. Of his cherished recording, he adds: “I watched it when I came back from the tour and have done every now and then. But there are things we can improve on – we are by no means the finished article.”
Foden, 25, endured a bittersweet occasion last weekend, when his first Test start at Twickenham ended in an ultimately hard-fought 16-26 defeat to New Zealand.
“I will always remember it because it was such a big game, but we did lose and as a professional sportsman that is not what I’m here to do,” says Foden. “We showed a lot of guts by coming out in the second half and chasing New Zealand hard. But we learned that we need to play for the full 80 minutes.”
If the more generous observers could have put England’s defeat to All Blacks down to rustiness, Foden insists there will be no room for such excuses against the Wallabies. “Last week was our first game of the autumn,” he says. “There is nothing we can palm off our performance on in this game.”
Tickets for the Investec International between England and Samoa on Saturday 20 November at Twickenham are available from £25 for adults and £10 for under 16s via www.rfu.com/tickets or 0844 8472492.