Palmer wants England spot back from banned Lawes
Updated: September 14, 2011, 20:00
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QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand(AP) Tom Palmer wants to be an England regular again and could get the chance at the Rugby World Cup starting Sunday.
Palmer was came on for the last 15 minutes of England's opening win over Argentina but is likely to start the Pool B match against Georgia in place of suspended lock Courtney Lawes.
A replacement for the last three games, the 32-year-old Palmer had been in the team from last year's tour to Australia through the November internationals and Six Nations until last month's opening warmup against Wales.
"I've just got to go out there and play as well as I can,'' Palmer said. "I knew right from the start that in this World Cup if I wasn't starting the first game, there would be the opportunity for me.
"The nature of the World Cup is that there's a squad of players that gets used. Every time you go out you have to go out and do your best, and hopefully the coaches will notice that and you'll get into the side next time.''
Lawes' two-game suspension for using his knee on Mario Ledesma gives Palmer that chance early.
Palmer said he was happy with his cameo against the Pumas, who tried to outmuscle England but were outlasted and tired in the final quarter. The fifth-ranked English were able to introduce a group of replacements to freshen up the team, with Palmer and try-scorer Ben Youngs among them.
From 9-3 down, England won 13-9.
"I was pleased,'' Palmer said. "I came on and went straight into a lineout, took the lineout, had a little carry after that and we ended up scoring off that play. So that was obviously the best way to enter a game.
"It's difficult when you are only on for 13, 14 minutes to actually really get a grip on how you are playing. You don't have long enough on there to really decide, 'I was really good or I was really bad.'''
England will announce Friday whether Palmer did enough to warrant a place in the second row. Louis Deacon and the veteran Simon Shaw are the other locks available to team manager Martin Johnson for what looks like being another physical encounter.
"I'm sure it's going to be a very tough match. They've got a lot of players who play in the French leagues,'' said Palmer, who plays for Stade Francais. "I know some of the guys. I've played against them a few times and I think they are going to be a big challenge up front. They've got a very strong scrum, good mauling game. I suspect they will try to make the breakdown a mess.
"I think it will be a fairly similar game to the one against Argentina.''