Test bow justifies switch – Eastmond

Date published: June 12 2013

England centre Kyle Eastmond feels his move to switch codes was justified after making his Test debut against Argentina last Saturday.

Bath centre Kyle Eastmond believes his decision to switch codes was justified after he made his England debut against Argentina last Saturday.

Eastmond came in for heavy criticism from rugby league supporters in 2011 when he announced that he was leaving St Helens to further his career in the Aviva Premiership with Bath.

Despite still learning the 15-man code, he came off the replacements bench in England's 32-3 win over the Pumas in Salta last weekend and is set to be involved again during Saturday's second Test in Buenos Aires.

“To be involved with England and pull the shirt on first time was unbelievable,” he told Press Association Sport.

“Just getting out there and getting on the field was great.

“It is not a quick thing when you are switching codes. It has been tough but this is where I want to be and I know what I have got to do to improve myself and improve my game and become a better player.

“Hopefully I can go on and do more. They (rugby league fans) showed what they really thought about the move but it was something I really wanted to do and I am really glad I made the decision and came to rugby union.”

Eastmond has played in various back-line positions since switching to union. He has thrived as a ball-playing inside centre with England under the watchful eye of skills coach Mike Catt.

“(To be coached by) someone with that amount of knowledge and that amount of experience is great,” Eastmond added.

“He passes on his knowledge. It is invaluable especially to me.

“The fact I played in a lot of different positions this year has helped me out more than playing in one position.

“I imagine myself in the thick of the action and getting my hands on the ball but wherever the coaches see fit for me to play that is okay.”