Lewis Ludlam: ‘This time last year I was fighting for a club contract’ | Gerard Meagher

The Northampton flanker is a surprise World Cup inclusion but in many ways he exemplifies Eddie Jones’s England squad

Twenty-four hours after Lewis Ludlam’s remarkable rise into England’s World Cup squad he posted two pictures on social media. In the first he is belting out the national anthem just before his senior Test debut last Sunday while in the second he is doing the same, four years earlier, at the Junior World Cup in Italy. As fate would have it, Ellis Genge is standing next to him in both and Ludlam accompanied the images with caption: “4 years apart. Aint nothing changed.”

It resonates because as Ludlam is only too aware, much has changed in the intervening period. Twelve months ago he was fighting for his career, told by Northampton that he was unlikely to feature in their future plans. Twelve weeks ago he was not due to be part of the England squad to face the Barbarians, only to be added because Teimana Harrison was called away to the birth of his child. Even 12 days ago Ludlam would have featured in few predicted World Cup squads and Eddie Jones is not overstating the flanker’s emergence when he says he came from nowhere.

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