Simpson: I’ll take Tests in my stride

UNCAPPED Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson insists his lack of international experience does not faze him as he prepares to play in his first World Cup.

Simpson was the surprise inclusion in Martin Johnson’s 30-man squad yesterday and could make his debut in Saturday’s warm-up match against Ireland in Dublin.

“I have been around the team and I know the moves and the patterns and I know what we want to achieve,” he said.

“A lack of international experience is something I will have to adapt to, but I believe I have the ability to take it in my stride. I am desperate to represent England in such a major tournament.”

Australian-born, English-educated Simpson said he had received “no indication yet” whether he would play against Ireland, adding: “But as a passionate Englishman, I would love to represent England in every match I can. I just have to make sure I am in the right frame of mind if I am required this weekend.”

The 23-year-old benefited from Johnson’s decision to take three scrum-halves, following an injury to the Harlequins No9 and leading contender to start to the tournament, Danny Care.