Flutey eyes England place
May 17, 2008

Former Hurricanes and New Zealand Maori utility back Riki Flutey is eyeing a spot in the England rugby team after being named Wasps' player of the year.

London Wasps star Flutey, 28, said he'd become available for England selection after completing the three-year residential qualification in September.

"When I got injured in mid-season, the club allowed me to go home for a fortnight, which meant I could gather my thoughts," Flutey told the Daily Mail newspaper.

"I spoke to family members and they were right behind me.

"I've done my time in New Zealand. The English premiership has enabled me to nail down one position instead of being a utility back and if the chance comes to play for England, I'd grab it."

Flutey farewelled New Zealand rugby at the end of the 2005 season on an initial contract with London Irish, before joining the Wasps club.

The utility inside back would become a leading candidate for the white No 12 jersey to face the All Blacks in November, the Daily Mail report said, in a position which has caused headaches for England since the retirement of Will Greenwood four years ago.

Another New Zealander, Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley, was named last week in the England squad to face the All Blacks next month.

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