Goode looking forward to tackling the French

PUBLISHED: 15:26 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:41 26 October 2009

ONE member of a famous Times Territory sporting family is set to do battle with France in the Six Nations. England U20 fly-half Alex Goode, the nephew of Tewin s Olympic badminton star Andy Goode, is due to line-up for his country in Grenoble on Friday ni

ONE member of a famous Times Territory sporting family is set to do battle with France in the Six Nations.

England U20 fly-half Alex Goode, the nephew of Tewin's Olympic badminton star Andy Goode, is due to line-up for his country in Grenoble on Friday night against Les Bleus.

Ahead of the game the 19-year-old, who attends the Saracens professional academy based at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, said: "France is a big test as they are always strong.

"I'm confident we can get the win in what will be a hostile environment.

"There is massive belief in the squad that we can beat anyone on our day.

"Everyone believes we have got the best players and we have players that have experience of Premiership rugby.

Goode said: "We expect a very physical, bruising encounter.

"It will come down to who is more tactically astute and there will be a big role for me to get the calls right and kick the points.

"It's a massive test and I'm definitely looking forward to it.

"I'm very confident we can come away with the win which will set us up nicely with two games to go."

The Saracens player is from a long-running Goode family dynasty in sport.

His grandfather Bill, dad Tim and uncles Nick and Andy all won badminton titles in their day.

Andy's wife Joanne also claimed an Olympic mixed doubles bronze in Sydney in 2000 and even their oldest son, Jack, has already won a county schools' title at the sport.

Cambridge-born Alex has turned his back on the traditional Goode racket sport and chosen a career with the oval ball.

He has already made a mark with his abilities in the Six Nations.

In England's opening match of the competition, and his first start for the U20s, the teenager kicked 13 points as England U20 beat Wales 28-15 in Gloucester.

The second fixture for England saw them triumph 22-13 over Italy in Genoa. Goode again got on the scoresheet, kicking two conversions and a penalty.

With two wins from two, Goode was understandably happy with how the early stages of the tournament have panned out.

"I'm very pleased with the way it's gone so far, especially the result against Wales," he said.

"It was a fantastic performance and we did a good job on them and made them look average.

"Italy are always difficult to break down. They are very passionate and we had to work hard, but in the end it was a comfortable win.

"I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing, especially against Wales.

"On paper, we see ourselves as world class and don't see any weaknesses in the squad.

"Beating Wales has given us huge belief as we feel they are the best side in the competition."

This year also marks the 2008 U20 Rugby World Cup, which is being hosted by Wales.

Goode definitely has his eyes on staying in the England team for that one. He said: "I'm looking forward to the World Cup hugely.

"The preparations are going well and we should be in peak condition for the World Cup.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase our talent on the world stage and show we can compete with the best players in the world.

"You can test yourself against the best players in world and see how you stand up.

"We believe we can beat anybody and are capable of winning it."

As well as his sporting career and having ambitions to carry on his rugby development, Goode is continuing his academic studies.

He is in the second year of a marketing degree at the Hatfield-based university.

However, it is clear his near future will be in sport.

He said: "My long term aim is to come back from the World Cup a better player and hopefully become number two at Saracens.

"It's been frustrating this year as I haven't had many opportunities, but I feel next year the opportunities will come under new management.

"I'm really looking forward to showing what I can do.

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