Number eight was on his way to train at Harlequins when he heard he was back on World Cup duty as replacement for injured Billy Vunipola
LONDON – Veteran England forward Nick Easter answered crucial calls from his dog, his professional conscience and his stomach before concentrating on the key one from his country on Monday.
The 37-year-old Easter revealed that he was told about his urgent call-up to the England squad by his Harlequins coach Conor O’Shea when he was driving to club training on Monday morning.
Easter was advised to do a U-turn and head home because England coach Stuart Lancaster would need him to replace the injured number eight Billy Vunipola, who has been ruled out of Rugby World Cup 2015 with a knee injury. But Easter had a few things to do first.
“The dog was in the back and needed to do its business. So I gave the dog a walk, did a weights session at the club and got a meal there since it’s taken off my salary, ” Easter said.
BOOTS AND GUM SHIELDS
“When I got home I got the call (from Lancaster) and did some packing. Not too much – just boots and gum shields.”
Easter was involved in England’s build-up to the tournament but just failed to make the final 31-man squad. He has been working as a pitchside television pundit but also played for Harlequins in a pre-season friendly against London Irish last Friday.
Easter will be the oldest player in the England squad as they prepare for a potentially decisive game against Australia in Pool A on Saturday. The squad will resume training on Tuesday following last Saturday’s 28-25 defeat by Wales .
“I am honoured to get the call,” he said. “There is a really positive vibe in the camp and the guys are looking forward to the biggest week of their lives.
“I am thrilled and finally delighted that my pre-season has finally come to an end.”
- World Rugby