Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'll Show Johnno What He's Been Missing, Says Sackey

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'll Show Johnno What He's Been Missing, Says Sackey

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Douglas

WITH both his future club coach and his current national team manager to impress at Twickenham this weekend, Paul Sackey insists his outing for the Barbarians against England will be anything but an end-of-season jolly.

The 30-year-old winger has been handed the perfect stage to show England what they will be missing on their tour Down Under this summer by being selected to play for the Baa-Baas against Martin Johnson's men on Sunday.

Sackey, who quits London Wasps for French club Toulon this summer, was an England regular as recently as 2008 -- boasting a one-in-two tryscoring record at international level to boot -- but his fall from grace is such that he did not make either the senior or Saxons squads earlier this month. An eye-catching performance for the Barbarians, the star-filled invitational team who will be coached this weekend by Philippe Saint-Andre, the man who will be Sackey's boss at Toulon, is sure to give Johnson a timely nudge.

"I don't think I've got a point to prove to England at all," Sackey said. "I'm just going to play my own game and if I play really well in front of Johnno, maybe I'll put a thought in this mind.

"It's a good chance to show what I can do. Of course, I'm bitterly disappointed not to be going on tour with them but I can't dwell on it. They know what I can do and I know what I can do.

"At the moment, it's just their preference but I'll be out to beat England on Sunday."

Sackey will be in good company for the Mastercard Trophy clash this weekend -- the lure of the world-famous Barbarians brand has enticed a raft of top-class performers such as Australia flanker George Smith, Wales backrower Martyn Williams and France winger Cedric Heymans.

Danny Cipriani, Sackey's former colleague at Wasps and another discarded by England, was also selected to play against his own country at Twickenham but the No10 misses out because of a broken thumb.

The Barbarians, whose current squad will only start training together today, are renowned for playing a distinctive style of attacking rugby, which Sackey insists will fit perfectly in with his own ethos. …

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