Alex Lozowski moved closer to a place in England’s 2019 World Cup squad with a try scoring contribution to the 48-14 victory over Samoa, but now finds himself battling to get into the Saracens team for the crucial Premiership clash with Harlequins on Sunday.
Sarries are now trailing leaders Exeter by five points having lost 20-18 to the reigning champions yesterday minus their international players and are now desperate to avoid a third successive loss in the Premiership. They had gone 19 league games unbeaten at Allianz Park but found Exeter too street wise in the final ten minutes.
Lozowski wants to forge a career as a centre for club and country but is also an outside half option at Sarries where Owen Farrell is the first choice. With Sarries captain Brad Barritt at No12 the challenge Lozowski faces to win a starting place with the double European Campions Cup winners is formidable. Besides kick-starting their Premiership campaign, Sarries also have home and away Champions Cup matches with Clermont on successive weekends, starting at Allianz Park on December 10.
Lozowski has been enthused working with England under Eddie Jones, named World Rugby Coach of the Year last night, and is up for the challenge he currently faces admitting; “Obviously it has been good to get involved in my first autumn series and I think I will obviously reflect on it, see where I can improve and then go back to the club and make sure I am doing everything I can to put myself in the frame at the Six Nations.
“Eddie always said that when you go back to your clubs you have to behave, train and play like an international player and the responsibility is on us now to do that and I have to get back to Sarries, train really hard to push everyone in the team. We have some really tough games coming up starting with Quins and then the Champions Cup matches against Clermont so there is no time to take your foot off the gas and you have kick on. I will reflect on the Samoa game and see what could have gone better.”
Sarries, chasing a third successive title, beat Clermont in last season’s Champions Cup final in Murrayfield and that will add an extra edge to what will be the biggest games of the next two rounds of pool matches. Lozowski added: “Clermont are one of the powerhouses in European rugby and everyone knows what a difficult place that is to play in France and we are going to have to be right on the money to achieve what we want to this season.”
All Black Beauden Barrett was named World Rugby’s best male player, beating out teammate Rieko Ioane, Australia’s Israel Folau, England’s Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje.