Wasps' loosehead prop Tom West eager for more regular England involvement
Tom West is hoping his recent involvement with the senior England squad is the start of a long and successful international career.
The 24-year-old, who played for the minis in Diss Rugby Club’s youth section for a number of years, was called up by head coach Eddie Jones for the first time last month ahead of the Six Nations clash with Scotland.
The loosehead prop did not make the matchday squad at Twickenham and has since been released back to his club side Wasps, but the whole encounter has provided fresh impetus to establish himself at the very highest level.
“I’d love to get back there. I spent around a couple of weeks with the squad, training every day, and it was great,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s lit a fire under me to get to that level because that’s always in me, but it’s certainly lit a new fire to get back there.
“I was picked for a reason and that is because I’ve been doing my bread and butter right with Wasps. One doesn’t come without the other.
“I love Wasps and I will always put everything on the line for them. If I get that side of it right, then hopefully the England side of things should fall into place.”
West, whose father Duncan is the former president of Diss RFC, also believes he will become a better player for the experience.
He added: “It was intense and took a little bit of adjusting to begin with, but you have to get your around the fact it’s still rugby, it’s still 15 blokes on a field.
“I went into it open minded and worked hard in every session.
“Overall it was a big learning curve. I got different feedback to what I get at Wasps because it’s different coaches and different eyes on you.
“Some of them were seeing me up close for the first time, and they’ve given me plenty of positives to work on. One hundred per cent I learned a lot and I am desperate to implement it all.”
For now, the former England Under-20 international is focused on his commitments with Wasps.
The Coventry-based club were agonisingly close to Premiership glory last term, losing 19-13 to Exeter Chiefs in the dying embers of October’s final.
They’d desperately like to right that wrong, as well as making a mark on the European scene.
“We’ve made a strong start in Europe and it would be nice to continue that,” he said.
“Our form hasn’t been too great recently in the Premiership, but before that we’d won five in a row.
“We’re not far away and feel like we are in a good place as a team.
“If we keep up our intensity we’d love to get back in the final after getting beaten at the death last time.”