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World Cup winner Jason Robinson says there's more to come from Saracens and England full-back Alex Goode
7:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in Sport
Since his England debut last year Alex Goode has wasted little time in making the full-back jersey his own in the face of some stiff competition.
But according to Jason Robinson, England’s World Cup winning winger of ten years ago, the Saracens man is only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.
Robinson and Goode are certainly different types of player, the former renowned as man who could sidestep an opponent inside a telephone box, while the latter is a more stable calming influence, able to step in at first receiver when required with a reliable right boot.
The likes of Mike Brown and Ben Foden are all pressing hard for the No.15 Red Rose jersey so it says a lot about Goode’s talent that he has now started eight games in a row for Stuart Lancaster’s side stretching all the way back to the last test of England’s summer tour to South Africa.
But the man they called Billy Whizz admits he would like to see a bit more attacking flair from 24-year-old Goode if he is to fulfil his undoubted promise.
“Alex is a skilful player and does give Owen Farrell and the England team another option,” said Robinson, speaking in his role as an ambassador for the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens.
“That’s what the Lions management will select their squad on.
“He is a great kicker of the ball and he is being chased by the likes of Mike Brown and Ben Foden who is itching to get back.
“But he has risen to the challenge and fended them off and he is doing what needs to be done. I would probably like to see him attack a little bit more because I think he is good on his feet.
“I just would hope he doesn’t get into a mindset where kicking is always at the forefront. I know you have to be safe and there is a time to play field position but I think he can do both.
“If he gets that mix right in his game, the kicking and also taking people on, I think he can certainly make a bigger impact.”
And with a British and Irish Lions tour to come at the end of a gruelling season, Goode could not have picked a better time to burst into the international limelight.
In addition to his domestic rivals, the form of Stuart Hogg, Leigh Halfpenny and Rob Kearney will not have gone unnoticed by Warren Gatland.
But should Goode get the nod, Robinson, a veteran of two Lions tours himself has warned the youngster to get the most out of every experience put in front of him.
“It is something you will never forget and it is the ultimate test and challenge. Being selected is one thing but coming back with a series win is what everyone is striving for,” he said.
“During my two trips we weren’t able to do that. We should have done it in 2001 and we were well beaten in 2005 but the Lions certainly came a lot closer in 2009 and I have a good feeling about this time.
“We have got some great players going over in good form and the time is right for the Lions to notch up a series win and I am hopeful they can do that in 2013.”
2001 British and Irish Lions legend, Jason Robinson is an ambassador for the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens and will be running coaching clinics during the tournament courtesy of HSBC. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk/p/hsbc-coaching-clinics