Delon Armitage aims to oust Ben Foden as England full-back

Jonny Wilkinson

Delon Armitage has set his sights on dislodging Ben Foden as first-choice England full-back for the World Cup.

Armitage impressed in Saturday's 23-19 warm-up win over Wales after 17 months out of international action.

"I felt like I missed a lifetime of rugby, but I am back now and ready to go," said Armitage.

"I have got that hunger again. I really want to be involved for England. I am pushing Ben. I want that shirt back and he knows it."

The 27-year-old burst onto the international scene with a man-of-the-match performance against the Pacific Islanders in November 2008 and three tries in the next year's Six Nations.

After narrowly missing out on selection for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2009, his progress stalled as he picked up a shoulder injury and Foden seized the opportunity when asked to fill in.

Armitage drifted further away from England manager Martin Johnson's reckoning last season after he was banned twice for indiscipline.

An eight-week suspension for pushing a doping official was followed by after he struck Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler.

Armitage and Foden are the only two specialist full-backs left in England's training squad, and the London Irish man believes he can be more than just an understudy in New Zealand.

"When I saw the 15 jersey hanging up it brought back some awesome memories. I love playing rugby, I love playing for England," Armitage added.

"Ben knows I will be pushing him all the way. I like that competition. It makes us both better."

Johnson admitted that Armitage's impressive performance on Saturday, combined with his versatility, makes him an useful addition to his squad.

"Delon is a Test match player. If he is in good form he is putting pressure on everyone in the back three. I am glad he has gone well," said Johnson.

"He is a pretty tough character, he has a good edge about him. He just needs to be going in the right direction."

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