Cokanasiga still gets nervous when training with England

The 21-year-old has four England caps.

By Press Association Published: 2 August 2019 - 11.00am


Rugby Union

Joe Cokanasiga admits that even after two years he still “bricks it” every time he trains with England.

The Fijian-born giant has made a thunderous impact since winning his debut against Japan last autumn and was even compared with Jonah Lomu by Sir Clive Woodward after scattering Italy in March.

But despite four caps, two Test tries and a mass of broken tackles, the 21-year-old still enters Eddie Jones’ camps with a sense of dread .

“I was really nervous the first time I met up with England in 2017 and that’s not changed – I still brick it ahead of every training session and every match!” Cokanasiga said.

“It’s weird to think that just two years ago I was playing for the England U20s and preparing for a junior World Cup.

“I had no idea back then that I would get called up to the senior team for the Argentina tour, let alone be in contention for an actual World Cup.

“I was getting my hair cut when an email came through from England marked ‘confidential’ and I couldn’t believe it.

Eddie Jones is expected to name Joe Cokanasiga in his World Cup squad
Eddie Jones is expected to name Joe Cokanasiga in his World Cup squad, Adam Davy/PA

“I stopped the hair cut and rang my sister who started crying. Then I contacted my mum and she did the same, so it really means a lot to them and as well as me.”

Cokanasiga is part of Jones’ World Cup training squad that is going through a gruelling heat camp in Treviso, north east Italy, as build-up to four warm-up Tests including a double header against Wales.

Not only is it the 6’3”, 18-stone juggernaut’s ambition to participate at Japan 2019, he has also set his sights on taking it by storm.

“I’m just keeping my fingers crossed now that I make it on to the plane to Japan,” he said.

“We want to win the World Cup, that’s what England are going there for, and if I make the squad then my aim is to the best winger out there, that’s my ambition.

“Striving to be the best is the aim whether I’m playing in the Premiership or internationally.”

:: Joe Cokanasiga has joined forces with Maximuscle, the UK’s leading sports nutrition brand, to help him become the best in the world.