Anthony Watson striving to ‘be a Maserati for the day’ as he notches up a 50th England cap in Six Nations clash against France… but the Bath wing insists he’s ‘not too fussed’ about the milestone
- Anthony Watson said he is trying to ‘be a Maserati’ for England against France
- The wing explained a joke he shares with head coach Eddie Jones over his speed
- Watson, 27, will win his 50th Test cap for England in Saturday’s Six Nations clash
Anthony Watson will reach his Test half-century for England on Saturday but admits he is ‘not too fussed’ about that landmark. He is just glad to be motoring in the fast lane again.
The Bath wing has become a more confident, assertive figure lately, and in attempting to explain the transformation, head coach Eddie Jones joked: ‘He was driving a Daihatsu for a while and now he’s back in a Maserati! That makes a difference. He goes a bit faster. Ask him about that; which car he’s driving.’
So the question was put to Watson and when the 27-year-old stopped laughing, he said: ‘I’m actually driving neither of those but he wants me to say Maserati. It’s basically a reference to how I’ve been moving; whether I’ve been moving fast or not.
Anthony Watson will win his 50th Test cap for England in their Six Nations clash with France
Bath wing Watson (centre), 27, has scored three tries in his last two Test matches for England
‘If I’m not moving particularly well on a day, or my GPS is slow, I’m a Daihatsu for the day, or if I hit a top speed, I’m a Maserati for the day. So he often asks me first thing in the morning, “What car have we got today?” I have to reply “Maserati”.’
Whatever vehicle he is, the engine appears to be working well. Watson has scored three tries in his last two Tests, as the primary outlet for England’s best attacking moments.
It has been six-and-a-half years since his debut, against the All Blacks, and he has grown up a lot in that time.
‘When I got my first cap I was probably pretty immature,’ said Watson. ‘I was interested in a lot of other stuff besides rugby and trying to be in the limelight for not necessarily the right reasons.
‘But as Kyle Sinckler always says to me, “You’ve got to keep the main thing the main thing”.’
England head coach Eddie Jones wryly described Watson as maturing ‘like a nice Pinotage’
Serious injuries forced him to focus more on his career and becoming a father last year has played a part in the maturity process, too.
Watson said: ‘I remember being extremely upset with how I had played in one Bath game. I went home and it is less of a big deal. It still hurt me, but I was less emotionally stressed than I would have been if my son wasn’t there, so from that perspective it does change you. It (rugby) is not the be-all and end-all.’
Jones quipped that Watson has matured ‘like a nice Pinotage’ and suggested he is now fully committed to maximising his talent. ‘Maybe earlier in his career it came a bit too easily for him,’ said the head coach.
There is now a large contingent of new dads in the England squad and Jones added: ‘They appreciate their rugby more. They are playing for their families and I think that probably matures the players a little bit.’
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