Rugby World Cup 2011: Joe Simpson thrilled at England chance
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
England's Joe Simpson says he is relishing the prospect of being pitched into a Rugby World Cup despite his lack of Test experience.
The uncapped Wasps scrum-half was "ecstatic" after his late call-up after Danny Care's withdrawal through injury.
"I have been around the team and I know the moves and the patterns and I know what we want to achieve," he said.
Simpson, 23, could become the first England player to make a Test debut at a World Cup since Joe Worsley in 1999.
"A lack of international experience is something I will have to adapt to. But I believe I have the ability to take it in my stride. I am desperate to represent England in such a major tournament," he said.
With no guarantees that Ben Youngs will be fit to play in Saturday's final warm-up match against Ireland, Simpson is likely to make his bow at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.
"I have had no indication yet but as a passionate Englishman, I would love to represent England in every match I can," said Simpson, born in Australia to an English father and a mother from New Zealand before the family relocated to west London, where he attended school in Ealing.
"I just have to make sure I am in the right frame of mind if I am required this weekend."
Simpson, who along with full-backs Ben Foden and Delon Armitage is the quickest player in the World Cup squad according to recent speed testing, might have made his Test debut by now.
But he dislocated his shoulder shortly before last year's Six Nations, and a hamstring tweak suffered in his only England outing in a non-cap game against the Barbarians, the day before the squad was due to travel to Australia last summer, ruled him out of that tour.
Another player well versed to injury setbacks is Lewis Moody, who will captain the England squad in New Zealand despite his recent misfortune.
The 33-year-old flanker admits he feared his World Cup hopes might be over when he suffered a recurrence of a knee injury in the opening warm-up win over Wales.
"Initially, out on the pitch, I thought 'Oh no, not again'," said Moody, who was playing only his fifth game of rugby this year.
"But fortunately it was nowhere near as bad as I thought. The rehab has gone really well, the brace is off and the physios are having to hold me back, which is a good sign.
"I feel like I could be out there running already but the target is that first game of the World Cup [against Argentina].
"Being captain is one of life's true privileges, I feel incredibly honoured to lead this group of guys."