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Andy Goode reveals what life’s like for a Premiership player that just missed out on World Cup selection

Five-time Premiership winner Andy Goode explains how watching the tournament can be too much for some disappointed players and the lasting impact the World Cup can have on a long season of domestic rugby to come.

It’s not unreasonable to expect professional rugby union players to be desperate to watch every minute of the World Cup – but it’s not always the case.

Andy Goode admits he knows of players that have been so hurt by missing out on selection that they’ve had to boycott a tournament altogether.

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The former England fly-half talks exclusively to BTSport.com about how hard international omission can be for some and why it’s not all doom and gloom just yet.

With the Gallagher Premiership season just weeks away, we sit down with the ex-Leicester Tiger to find out what impact the World Cup really has on the domestic game.

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All eyes are on Japan for the coming weeks as the world’s best battle it out for Webb Ellis Cup and with it a slice of history.

But for those that were agonisingly close to making the plane, former Saracen Goode admits the hurt can add a sour taste to the tournament.

“In 2015 I know there was a player that did all the training and believed he should have been picked,” said Goode.

“But didn’t make the squad and he couldn’t watch a game – his team was pretty successful in that World Cup too.

“If you’re emotionally attached and believe you should be in the squad, that you’ve been hard done by, there might be a bone of contention there and put you off watching it.

“But those emotions can change at the drop of a hat when a player gets injured and all of a sudden you’re on a plane out to Japan.

“Opportunities will be there for players even if they haven’t been selected but ultimately there’s bound to be a bit of hurt knocking around the training grounds in England at the minute.”

So as a 17-cap England international, who does Goode think could be in that position when it comes to Eddie Jones’ squad?

Ben Te’o and Mike Brown were among the big-names that didn’t make the cut as Jones trimmed his training squad down to a final 31-man strong touring party.

“There are going to be guys at Premiership clubs that are on the fringes of international selection and might have been told they’re on standby,” added the 39-year-old.

“The likes of [Danny] Cipriani, maybe Dan Robson at Wasps, Harry Williams down at Exeter and Mike Brown will be watching the England games with a very keen eye.

“They’ll be keeping their ear close to the ground with their club mates at the tournament to see if there are any niggles or if it looks like people will get sent home through injury, which always happens in a World Cup.”

The World Cup will naturally affect Premiership clubs’ pre-season preparations and perhaps even results in the opening weeks with certain squads more depleted than others.

But aside from the obvious lack of time together, Goode insists reintegrating players that are returning either on the highs of winning or lows of failing to meet expectations can be difficult.

Seven Leicester Tigers were part of England’s 2003 World Cup winning squad, including our very own Ben Kay, and Goode admits it was tough for those players to adjust back to the demands of the club game.

“It’s a really tough year and if you go back historically there are always some bizarre results,” added Premiership rugby’s second-highest points scorer of all time.

“On the back of England’s 2003 victory all the Leicester players came back to the squad and Dean Richards, who had won four Premiership titles before that, got sacked that season.

“It takes a lot emotionally for the guys to come back for a World Cup having won it and to just get back to club rugby.”

Andy Goode is an ambassador of Greene King pubs with key matches for the Rugby World Cup, including home nation and knockout stage games, will be aired at more than 500 Greene King pubs nationwide.

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