England Rugby
Clark out to hit headlines for right reasons
ESPN Staff
January 11, 2013
England U20s skipper Calum Clark takes on the Samoa defence, England v Samoa, IRB Junior World Championship, Prince Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo, June 13, 2009
Calum Clark skippered England U20s at the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship © Getty Images

England recruit Calum Clark has vowed to put his disciplinary woes behind him and prove he is worthy of his international call-up.

Clark is set to play a central role in England's forthcoming Six Nations campaign having been named in head coach Stuart Lancaster's latest Elite Player Squad earlier this week. His inclusion comes a year after being tipped for a promotion only for a 32-week ban for breaking the elbow of Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins to temporarily derail his career.

However, the 23-year-old Northampton forward has since returned to top form and is now determined to set to provide significant competition at lock and in the back-row. "I've kept my mouth shut for a long time and people have their opinions of me," he told the Daily Telegraph. "It's all been brought back up again, when all I've tried to do is keep my head down and work hard for my team.

"When it happened everyone had a lot to say about it, people formed their opinions there and then. No one really asked me about it, only Judge Jeff Blackett in the hearing. Now it's all out there again. I've got to make sure the press is all about me playing rugby, rather than it being talk about being banned. All I've wanted to do is to get back to playing rugby."

He added: "I'm not going out there to change people's opinion of me, because they will probably already have made their minds up. It would be nice to prove them wrong, but those views are formed. I'm going out there for my team and for those who have supported me."

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