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Eddie Jones convinces Alfie Barbeary to switch position to pursue England cap

By Chris Jones
Could a fit-again Alfie Barbeary be a bolter for a Lions jersey? (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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Wasps forward Alfie Barbeary, one of the most exciting talents in the Premiership, is going to concentrate on playing No8 after discussions with Eddie Jones, the England head coach, who convinced the injury prone youngster to switch from hooker.

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The strong running Barbeary scored four minutes into his return to action against Gloucester last night as Wasps lost 35-33 at the Coventry Building Society Arena

The 21-year-old forward spent time in the England camp during the Autumn Nations Cup last year after bursting onto the scene with Wasps during the 2019/20 season

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Having made his senior debut as an 18-year-old replacement hooker in the Premiership Cup in 2018 and being selected for England U20 in the front row, Barbeary’s 14 senior appearances to date have all come in the back row.

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett told CoventryLive. “He’ll be a back-rower. We spoke at the end of last season, myself Eddie Jones and him. We were all involved in the discussion and Alfie wants to play back-row. His appetite and his passion is to be there, so he’ll be a number eight.

“His last two games he’s played in, he’s got injured in the warmup. So half of him was hoping to get through just the warm-up, I think there were a few nerves just to get through that. I was happy with his game back but there’s plenty more to come.

“He’s someone that just wants to play. It’s been pretty hard, this, I believe is the first time his dad has seen him in a Wasps first-team jersey. Look his dad’s seen him in the age-group stuff but he’s never seen him play for the first team and that meant a lot to Alfie. It was a lot of motivation to come back and play in front of his family.”

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Injury ravaged Wasps suffered two further set backs in the lead up to the Gloucester defeat with Ali Crossdale and Marcus Watson both pulling out from the starting line-up to take their casualty list to 19.

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