English Rugby
Waldouck excited by Samoa challenge
ESPNscrum Staff
October 25, 2010
England's Dominic Waldouck looks for a gap against the Australian Barbarians in Gosford, Australia, June 15, 2010
Dominic Waldouck looks for a gap in the Australian Barbarians defence in the summer © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: David Lemi | Zak Taulafo | Dominic Waldouck
Tournaments/Tours: Samoa tour
Teams: England | Samoa | Wasps

Dominic Waldouck is looking forward to a potential clash with Wasps team-mates David Lemi and Zak Taulufo in the international arena when England face Samoa as part of the autumn internationals next month.

The Wasps centre has yet to win an England cap despite being around the Saxons and senior squads for some time. And with Mike Tindall and Shontayne Hape also in the England squad, he will have his work cut out to force his way into the starting XV, especially in time for the opening autumn international against New Zealand on November 6.

But should the 23-year-old feature in the match against Samoa on Saturday November 20, he will relish the chance to pit his pace and physicality against his club team-mates, wing Lemi and prop Taulufo, who are on duty for Samoa this autumn.

"Samoa are a top side, they have plenty of dangerous players in their ranks," he said. "We have a couple of lads here at London Wasps [David Lemi and Zak Taulufo] who are both quality players, and Lemi in particular can score tries from anywhere. They will be a big challenge and they have some very physical boys and some very talented players.

"As a nation Samoa are going from strength to strength, a lot of their players now play in the Aviva Premiership and are doing very well. Many of them possess great skill and they are incredible athletes so it's no surprise that they're doing well over here."

Wasps have struggled to find their best form so far this season and remain inconsistent in the Aviva Premiership. They were well beaten by Northampton on Sunday. But spirits remain relatively high within the Wasps camp and the banter will only gather pace towards the autumn internationals.

Waldouck said: "I'm waiting for the banter to start in the Wasps camp, obviously there are a few more of us England players but the Samoan boys can give as good as they get so I'm sure as the game edges closer a few quiet words will be said - but it's all good fun."

Waldouck's team-mate, at club and international level, Joe Worsley revealed further details as to the depth of the rivalry within the Wasps squad littered with internationals.

"Samoa are going to provide a huge threat going into the Investec internationals," he said. "Dave Lemi has been giving it the big one on the Wasps training ground for the past month or so. It's 'Samoa this' and 'Samoa that' with him, he's too quick to chase though so we just let him get on with it. Seriously though, we have a great rapport in the Wasps squad and it's always good fun to come up against your mates so I'm massively looking forward to it."

With the World Cup in New Zealand a year away, Waldouck is keenly aware of what is at stake this autumn. And he believes that the tests against New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Samoa will be hugely important in England's progress towards next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

"We're heading into a Rugby World Cup year and the common conception is that the Southern Hemisphere sides have the edge," said Waldouck." Obviously we won over in Australia in the summer, but to be the best you have to beat the best. We're at an important stage in the development of the squad and while we don't want to peak too soon, we know how important the Investec Internationals are."

Tickets for England v Samoa at Twickenham are on sale now at just £25 for adults, £10 U16s, available from www.rfu.com/tickets or by calling 0844 847 2492.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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