Kruis relishing O’Connell clash

Date published: February 24 2015

England second-row George Kruis has praised opposite number Paul O'Connell ahead of a possible showdown between the pair in Dublin.

The youngster could take on the veteran once again this weekend and Kruis, who has faced him before, expects another tough day against O'Connell.

"I have played against him quite a lot. I think it’s up to four times now," the impressive Saracens forward told from Pennyhill Park on Tuesday.

"He is just a leader in everything he does for Ireland. He is up there with the very best in the game and he will bring a lot to the party.

"We definitely need to step up. Off the back of the Italy game there are some things we need to improve – because the games keep getting bigger and bigger.

"I've found so far that there is a natural progression from Premiership to Europe to international level.

"You're playing against the best players in the world when you're with England and that's the way it should be."

Still new to the England camp with six caps to his name, Kruis admits it's been a great experience thus far and one he wants to build on both personally and as a group in 2015.

"[On England duty] you get a lot of texts and a lot of people coming out of the woodwork that you haven't spoken to in a while – it's awesome," he added.

"Playing in front of them and hopefully making them feel proud is a nice feeling.

"When you're outside camp I guess you build up a picture of what it might be like. It actually matches up pretty well. Being in this environment is everything you'd dream for in your career."