English Rugby
Armitage keen to kick on for England
Scrum.com
December 1, 2008
Delon Armitage of England looks on during the match between England and Pacific Islanders at Twickenham in London, England on November 8, 2008.
Armitage has emerged as a valuable weapon for England with some eye-catching displays © Getty Images
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England fullback Delon Armitage is determined to nail down his place in the international ranks after bursting onto the Test stage.

The 24-year-old London Irish star was not included in the 64-man England Elite Squad named in July this year but finishes the year as one of the rising stars of Martin Johnson's squad. Armitage was drafted in by Johnson ahead of this month's internationals and after an electric debut against the Pacific Islanders, he went on to start the remaining three fixtures.

Despite England's failure to beat anyof the southern hemisphere giants, Armitage emerged as one of the few positives from a trying period for England.

"What have I have learned? That I can compete at the top level whereas I had doubts before," he said. "I am happy Martin Johnson and Brian Smith gave me a chance to put on an England shirt - and I want to the England number 15 for some time," said Armitage.

"They told me to go out and play the way that got me into the team in the first place and that is what I tried to do. But for me, getting there is not enough. I want to progress my game and get better and better.

"Now we have this break before the Six Nations I can go back to the club and work on all the things I need to in order to achieve that. We want to go into the Six Nations to win it. We want to be a force at Twickenham."

Armitage was one of four England debutants against the Pacific Islanders. Riki Flutey and Ugo Monye have also started all four Tests, while London Irish lock Nick Kennedy returned for Saturday's 32-6 defeat to New Zealand.

Solid under the high ball, often at the heart of England's best attacking moments, Armitage kicked a memorable long-range drop goal in the defeat to Australia and also slotted a penalty at Twickenham last weekend.

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