Pennell relishing tonight’s England Saxons clash

Chris Pennell admits he is relishing tonight’s clash with Ireland Wolfhounds when he puts on the England shirt for the Saxons.

The Warriors man starts at full-back in Cork with the game live on Sky Sports (kick-off 7.45pm).

He said: “I’m buzzing for the game tonight. I can’t wait to step on the field.

“Ireland are fielding a strong team and there will be some well-established players with a lot of caps.

“The atmosphere at Independence Park will be superb no doubt and with us fielding a very strong side it’s going to be a top-end international standard game.”

With the Six Nations soon kicking off, Pennell will have an opportunity to shine this evening in an attempt to try and impress England boss Stuart Lancaster.

But the modest full-back insists he is only focusing on tonight’s match.

He explained: “My focus is purely on this game and making sure I go out and enjoy the experience and play to the best of my ability.

“Anything that may come off the back of it would just be an added bonus.”

Warriors Director of Rugby Dean Ryan admitted he will be watching the TV closely this evening.

He said: “I will be watching with great interest as it’s a fantastic opportunity for Chris. This Saxons group isn’t necessarily about Six Nations places but there are four or five World Cup places up for grabs.

“Chris has got a shout. He has to play well. He needs to play and needs an opportunity to show where he is at. Now he has to take it. If he does then it will define some of those numbers around the edge of the squad.

“They really liked what he did in New Zealand in the summer and it’s great that he’s in the Championship and still on the radar.

“I’m sure that his name will be debated especially with the loss of Ben Foden due to injury.”