Howard aiming to beat France

By Geoff Berkeley Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 15:29

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Buy photos » Rising star Ben Howard has penned a new deal to remain at Worcester Warriors. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4612010MMR5

ACADEMY star Ben Howard is hoping home comforts will help him play a key role in guiding England u20s to victory over France at Sixways tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm).

The 20-year-old, who signed a new deal to remain at Worcester Warriors this week, is expected to line-up in Rob Hunter’s starting 15 to face their RBS Six Nations rivals.

And Howard is relishing the prospect of playing in front of a home crowd and hopes to repay their support with a strong England performance.

“Obviously when you see there is an England match at your home ground you’re always going to be excited about it,” Howard said.

“I know what the support is like at Worcester and I’m sure we’ll get a good crowd out to support us. It’s the one I really targeted to be selected for, so I am definitely looking forward to it.

“I just hope it will be a good match and a memorable one as well.”

The highs of kicking off his international career with victory over Scotland was followed by an agonising 16-15 defeat to Ireland and Howard is determined to return to winning ways.

“After the final whistle the changing room was probably the lowest times in my rugby career,” Howard added. “It was heartbreaking and we’ll certainly be looking to bounce back against France.”

A win would be the perfect end to a week which has seen Howard, who has scored five tries in seven appearances for the first team, pen new terms at Warriors.

He added: “I think you’ve seen over the years that Sixways has been a great place for young players to be especially when making that step up from academy to first team.

“It’s quite exciting really to sign a new deal and be staying here and hopefully get a few more matches out there and get a few more good performances. That’s certainly the aim.”

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