Davey Wilson determined to grasp England chance
Following his deserved promotion to the England Elite squad last week, Davey Wilson is determined to stop the clock ticking on his international career, writes Harry Abbott.
The Bath Rugby tighthead has 19 caps to his name but has not been called upon to serve his country since last year's World Cup.
But when Matt Stevens announced his retirement from England duty at the start of the season, Wilson was the logical choice for head coach Stuart Lancaster ahead of next month's QBE Internationals.
After making a strong start to the season, including a devastating try against Sale Sharks at The Rec last Saturday, the 27-year-old knows time may be running out on his involvement in the Red Rose set-up should he fail to impress this autumn.
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"I think Matt Stevens has done me a bit of a favour and it's another opportunity to play for my country," said Stevens.
"It's a massive honour to be included but time is moving on and I'm 27. Now it's about making the most of it.
"Some of the guys are satisfied to meet up with the squad but I can't be like that. I have to try and impress the coaches because I want to be involved in the games.
"I love playing for England, so I try to grab the opportunity with both hands every time it comes my way."
Wilson faces a fight with Leicester Tigers' Dan Cole to start the Twickenham clashes against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand but has nothing but admiration for his rival for the number three jersey.
"Tighthead is such a technical position and its taken me a bit of time to really master it," Wilson admitted.
"Dan is a sort of exception to the rule. He's younger than me but is one of the best around in that position.
"Anyone who has done what he has as a tighthead at such a young age is right up there in my book."
Wilson's impending unavailability could leave Bath with a shortage of props this autumn.
Anthony Perenise is likely to be on international duty with Samoa, while Nathan Catt is in the England Saxons squad.
But he backed the club's capable youngsters to more than fill the absentees' boots.
"Part of the internationals is that clubs have to learn to rely on the young players," Wilson. "They need to step up but the coaches know everyone here can do a job
"Someone like Kane Palma- Newport has been in before and he will do a great job again."