Injury may have robbed Ben Foden of a place in England’s training squad but the Northampton Saints full-back is adamant his World Cup dream is far from over.
Last week, England head coach Stuart Lancaster named 50 men to participate in pre-World Cup training camps, but Foden’s name was omitted after he suffered a season-ending knee injury back in January.
The 29-year-old, who has 34 international caps to his name, is now focused on regaining full fitness and forcing his way into Lancaster’s plans before the final 31-man squad is announced on August 31.
And while he concedes that the situation is less than ideal, Foden claims he won’t lack for motivation in trying to reach the home World Cup, which begins on September 18.
“It is very frustrating but I’ve had contact with both Lancaster and [backs coach] Andy Farrell and they’ve told me that I’m in their thoughts,” explained Foden, who last played for England in November 2013.
“If I can get myself right and fit then I’ll be called into the squad and that’s great for someone like me to hear.
“It’s disappointing to pick up an injury but having something to aim at will inspire me and encourage me to get my body and mind right.
“If that’s just in the training squad, then I’ll help in any way I can but if I can get in the 31-man World Cup group then even better and I’ll put myself in the best possible position to do that.”
Foden isn’t the only one hoping to get in on the World Cup action, with the full-back helping launch Emirates’, an Official Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2015, Find the Flag competition.
Emirates will be challenging teenagers in host cities around England and Wales to find a hidden flag, and Foden is urging youngsters up and down the country to grab the opportunity with both hands.
“The Emirates ‘Find a Flag’ campaign is brilliant because it’s aiming at 14-16 year olds, getting them involved in rugby and inspiring a generation of young people to get involved with the World Cup,” he added.
“Maybe we could even see a few of those faces in the white shirt of England in the future.
“There are 11 host cities, each with their own flag and we’re encouraging all 14-16 year olds to get out there, find the flag, take a selfie with it and post it to social media – it’s great.”
Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final are still available – now's the time to click here and book your place at the world's biggest club rugby final