sport news EXCLUSIVE: England centre Henry Slade admits 'there was anger' after he was ... trends now

sport news EXCLUSIVE: England centre Henry Slade admits 'there was anger' after he was ... trends now
sport news EXCLUSIVE: England centre Henry Slade admits 'there was anger' after he was ... trends now

sport news EXCLUSIVE: England centre Henry Slade admits 'there was anger' after he was ... trends now

On a bleak autumnal Thursday afternoon in Exeter, Henry Slade takes a seat in the Sandy Park stands. As the England centre discusses the lowest point of his career to date, the sky turns particularly dark all of a sudden. Soon, the rain lashes down too.

The weather accurately reflects Slade’s summer to forget.

‘We had a meeting,’ Slade says, recalling the grim moment he was told he wouldn’t be a part of England’s World Cup squad.

‘It was the morning after the first warm-up game and Steve Borthwick told me he needed more cover on the wing. I can play a lot of positions, but not wing!

‘There was nothing I could do about it. I did everything I could in the summer but it wasn’t meant to be. There were a lot of feelings, disappointment and probably some anger. You work your entire career for opportunities like that and I feel like I’m in my prime.

Henry Slade has opened up on his disappointment after being left out of England's Rugby World Cup team

Henry Slade has opened up on his disappointment after being left out of England's Rugby World Cup team

Slade admitted he was left feeling 'massively gutted' at not being picked for England's World Cup team

Slade admitted he was left feeling 'massively gutted' at not being picked for England's World Cup team

‘I was massively gutted to have that taken away, obviously.

‘But we’re in a team sport. It’s opinion driven. I guess I’ve been on the right side of the opinion for most of my career. Sometimes it goes the other way and you have to take the hand you’re dealt.’

Slade, 30, was the headline omission from national head coach Borthwick’s 33-man party for France when it was announced in August. Without him, England went on to finish third against the odds.

‘It was very tough to watch the games,’ Slade says. ‘I’m great mates with a lot of the boys and I obviously wanted them to do well but I did struggle. People did come up to me and ask why I wasn’t in the squad.

‘It was nice to hear people say I should have gone but ultimately it’s not down to their opinion. I had to come back to Exeter and not dwell on it.’

Slade has 56 England caps. He played in the 2019 World Cup final defeat by South Africa and was also part of the 2015 tournament squad as a youngster.

‘A couple of weeks after I got released by England our second daughter Orli was born,’ he adds.

‘I was always going to be there for the birth but the silver lining of missing the World Cup was that I was there for the first seven or eight weeks of her life.

Slade previously played in the 2019 World Cup final defeat by South Africa and was also part of the 2015 tournament squad as a youngster

Slade previously played in the 2019

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