Gloucester Rugby: England call-up is a dream, says Henry Trinder
EXPERIENCE has catapulted Henry Trinder from the England wilderness to Stuart Lancaster's autumn internationals squad.
And the 24-year-old is intent on harnessing the benefit of hindsight to win a starting berth in the full England XV.
A spate of injuries hampered Trinder's progress for the last two campaigns, but an unbroken pre-season has helped him become the Premiership's form outside centre.
England boss Lancaster added midfielders Trinder, Northampton's Luther Burrell and Saracen Joel Tomkins to his Elite Player Squad yesterday, to offset the injury loss of Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt.
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Former Cirencester RFC junior Trinder has no interest in makeweight status, though, so he has targeted the 13 shirt for the autumn schedule.
England take on Australia, Argentina and New Zealand at Twickenham next month, ramping up preparations with a squad camp in Leeds starting on Sunday.
Trinder sustained a mild hamstring tweak that ruled him out of Saturday's 27-22 Perpignan victory, but the injury will not hinder his England prospects.
The ex-Hartpury College centre believes time has helped him hone what makes him tick, and now he is intent on transferring that to the international stage.
He explained: "I'm not a young player anymore, and so it's about living up to my potential now.
"I've had people praise what I could be, but now I've got to make that happen that for myself.
"It's a dream for me to be back in the squad, that's where I want to be, and not just for now but for the next few years.
"So I'll throw everything at maintaining that position.
"So much of it is confidence, making sure you get the right ball from your inside backs and forwards.
"But now I'm older and have more experience I know it's about making sure as much happens on your terms as possible.
"A lot of my game is using my instincts, using what I see straightaway and just going with it. At the moment I'm making a good amount of right decisions, so I need to make sure I continue that.
"Just because Manu and Brad are out there is still a huge amount of competition in there, with Luther and Joel stepping in as well.
"But I'm not going to put myself in there just to be a squad player, I want to start and that's what I'm going to try to do. It's down to me now to try to push ahead of the other boys."
Uncapped Trinder was called up as injury cover to England's 2012 Six Nations squad, only for injury to deny him any action.
Trinder was not even named in the England Saxons squad selected in the summer.
But his outstanding form has clearly impressed Lancaster and Co, and he admits he has reaped the benefits of Gloucester's gruelling pre-season, including SAS and Army fitness challenges. He said: "It's been a bit of a rocky road for the last few years so I'm delighted to be back now.
"I had a great pre-season with Gloucester, have built some confidence and can now really look forward to the autumn internationals.
"Stuart rang me on Tuesday, it's great to talk to him again but it's always a shock when you see his number come up on your phone.
"He's backing me and that's great.
"And now I've got to go out there and prove him right.
"Stuart said, 'What have you been doing in pre-season!' "Nigel and all the Gloucester coaches have spoken very highly of me and have backed me throughout the season.
"I've just tried to go out there, play well and repay their faith.
"Stuart congratulated me on my start to the season, he said he wants me in his squad and he told me just to keep pushing forward.
"I had a good summer away, I've got my balance right with that and I managed to get a good, unbroken block of training in too.
"I've been fit for a good time now, and that's always great, when you don't need to worry about niggles and you can push on with your training.
"The army camps and things we did in pre-season have definitely paid off.
"They were put in there by Nigel and Paddy to help us push and find ourselves physically, and I think it generally brought us all together as a squad.
"It beats you up individually. If you can run around with an 80kg stretcher on your shoulder for an hour, then you can do most things on a rugby pitch."