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England prop Matt Mullan discusses his Six Nations chances

By Charlie Sportsbeat
January 18 2017

Matt Mullan is the favourite to replace Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler and start for England in the front row throughout the upcoming Six Nations.He has been the cornerstone of the Wasps scrum again this year as Dai Young’s men have reached the top of the Aviva Premiership and are also on the verge of reaching the knockout stages of the European Cup. He has been discussing his England chances and also his club form for Wasps.

HE is the cornerstone of table-topping Wasps’ Premiership scrum and now Matt Mullan is determined to answer Eddie Jones’ England front row injury crisis and  star for the Red Rose during next month’s RBS 6 Nations.

He has only ever started once in an England jersey in seven years but Jones now seems certain to turn to the experienced Wasps front rower to plug a sizeable gap in his set piece.

With fellow loosehead props Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler out injured, 29-year-old Mullan would appear as the front-runner to don the No.1 jersey on February 4 when England kick-start their Six Nations defence in Paris against France.

The Six Nations holds happy memories for Mullan as it was in Rome back in 2010, where the then-Worcester Warrior, came off the bench against Italy for his England debut.

However, he failed to kick on after that initial run-out and it wasn’t until May last year that Mullan started an England game – helping Eddie Jones’ side secure a 27-13 victory over Wales in a ‘friendly’ at Twickenham.

While on the outside looking in for the most part, the 29-year-old has watched as England have racked up 14 straight wins under Jones.

But while injuries have opened the door for him to play his part in this historic run next month, many have been calling for the front-rower to be given a shot regardless, none more so than Wasps director of rugby and former Wales and Lions prop Dai Young.

And as he prepares to potentially take his place in the starting line-up against Les Bleus, Mullan admits the culture Jones has created in the camp will make his return that much easier. 

Matt Mullen

“It was nice to get back into camp last week and it is about playing as well as you can for your club and if that form gets recognised, it is about trying to replicate your club form at the highest level,” said Mullan, speaking on behalf of Land Rover, Main Club Partner of Wasps, and taking part in a day of off-road driving challenges against players from Welsh regional side Cardiff Blues. Land Rover supports both clubs and invited players to see which team could claim an early Anglo-Welsh victory and take the title of the Ultimate Off Road Driving Team.  “Everyone wants to play for their country and it is out of your hands. There is no need to stress about it. It is a tremendous honour to pull on an England shirt.

“Things are going really well for England but Eddie has made a point of saying it is not about winning every game and that the next game is the most important.   “When we met up in camp in Brighton, all the talk was how do we best prepare to beat France. That is all we are thinking about.

“That is what Eddie has been really good at. In terms of competition for places, that is why we have pushed onto the next level.   f anyone has been injured or unavailable then the people coming into the team have taken their chances and that pushes the competition for places right up.”

With 14 consecutive victories under their belt, including a Grand Slam 12 months ago, England start the 2017 Six Nations as favourites.

But Mullan is adamant no-one in the Red Rose camp is getting ahead of themselves any time soon, with chief Jones simply not allowing them to do so.

“It might bring a different type of pressure but it is a brand-new competition and everyone starts out as equals,” he added.

“No one has played a game yet and we are very keen to put last year to bed. In Brighton we spoke about that and looking at how we can learn from teams who are at the top of their games, and then teams at the top of their games but fallen off.   “And the message is to not get complacent. The reason we did very well in the last year is because we worked very hard for each other and I think that message is going straight back into camp.”

“Whether you are at your club or with England you try to win every match and so that brings its own pressure. In professional sport, it is about trying to win matches and putting yourself as high up the table as you can.

“And that is what it will be like in the Six Nations. In any international rivalry, you try and do your best and you know you have your team-mates trying to do their best.  “There are rivalries, although I think a lot of that is for the public in the build-up to the competition. In terms of preparing for the tournament and each match as it comes, I think it is all about winning the next game.”

 Land Rover is Principal Partner of Cardiff Blues and Main Club Partner of Wasps. Land Rover continues to champion grassroots rugby through its We Deal In Real campaign. @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal



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England prop Matt Mullan discusses his Six Nations chances
Unofficial England Rugby Union (IP Logged)
18/01/2017 16:56
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