Wasps’s Paolo Odogwu has insisted that he is as determined as ever to play for England despite not being capped during the 2021 Six Nations campaign.
Odogwu was named in Eddie Jones’ 28-man squad for the Six Nations, but the England head coach never selected the 24-year-old in a match-day squad as the Wasps player went 11 weeks without any competitive rugby.
While Odogwu is also eligible to play for Italy through his father, he told the Daily Mail that he was committed to England, despite not receiving a cap during his first involvement with Jones’ squad.
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) April 19, 2021
“England is the place for me. I can’t just run away from it now as I haven’t been picked in one camp,” Odogwu said.
‘I felt like I was getting a lot out of it.’
Eddie Jones came under plenty of criticism for opting against selecting Odogwu in any of England’s five Six Nations matches, especially seeing as the team’s performances left plenty to be desired.
Odogwu was in fantastic form for Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership, and many questioned why the youngster was taken away from his club if Jones had no intention of giving him game time for England.
While the youngster admitted that it was encouraging to see so many supporters and pundits clamouring for him to play, he insisted that his time spent in the England camp was not wasted.
“It was hard to miss as a lot of people have a lot of opinions. It is quite nice seeing so many people backing me but you don’t take it to heart. I’m the only one in the set-up so the only one who really knows what’s going on,” Odogwu commented.
“There was a lot of ‘he’s not getting picked and just holding bags’ which wasn’t the case. Everyone there is training properly, doing everything the same. I felt like I was getting a lot out of it.”