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Rugby News

'Brilliant' to end year in England shirt - Spencer

Will Spencer says an England win over the Barbarians provided the finishing touch to an enjoyable week in the national team camp.

The Leicester Tigers lock was used as a second-half replacement as England recorded a 51-43 victory at Twickenham, but only after a spirited fightback from their opponents had cut the gap to just three points by the time Spencer joined the action.

“We had a strong first half but, credit to them, they came back and got into it in the second half and on the bench it was getting a bit nervous,” said Spencer, who made 20 appearances for the Tigers in his first season at Welford Road during 2018/19.

“The game was looking quicker and quicker too. Coming off the bench, it can be hard to get up to pace, especially when they are as free-flowing as that.

“But I’m delighted to get on and see Ben White get on too, and it was capped with a really good win.”

Spencer first played in the annual fixture in 2016/17 and was happy that his form this season earned him another opportunity.

“It’s brilliant to be involved in these weeks,” he said. “It’s nice to be part of it with these boys and to play at Twickenham.

“These are the days you dream about. We spoke about it before the game, representing England at Twickenham; it means a lot to a lot of people.

“It’s been a really good week. It’s a very young squad against a really good Barbarians side and it showed the work and preparation in the week paid off.

“Phil Dowson ran the forwards and we tried to keep it pretty simple but just focus on executing well. We expect a high standard of ourselves from the set-plays and I think we delivered that as a group.

“The Barbarians went well at scrum and lineout too so it was a really good competition. They have some fantastic athletes there and it was a really challenging battle up front and I’m just really glad we came out of it in front.”