Jacob Stockdale hoping for more good memories of Twickenham in bid for World Cup place

Jacob Stockdale hoping for more good memories of Twickenham in bid for World Cup place

Jacob Stockdale can’t wait to get back to Japan next month with a trip to Twickenham to face England this Saturday underlining just how close the Ireland wing is to a World Cup debut.

Stockdale, 23, got his first taste of Test rugby on Ireland’s 2017 summer tour of the USA and Japan, winning his first cap against the Americans and a second a fortnight later against the Brave Blossoms.

The Ulster wing is now less than a month from returning to Japan ahead of Ireland’s World Cup pool opener against Scotland on September 22 and after eight weeks of pre-season training in the national training camp, the chance to get his season up and running at Twickenham, where Stockdale helped Ireland win the Grand Slam in 2018, has brought the challenges ahead into sharp focus.

“At the start of pre-season you're kinda going, ‘I've got a lot of running to get through before I can even think about going to the World Cup’,” Stockdale said today.

“But it's come up very, very quickly and it's becoming a proper reality that in less than a month we'll be in Japan, which is just dead exciting.

“Pretty good memories of Twickenham but at the same time, it's a long time ago so yeah, I'm just excited to get back into playing rugby.

“I haven't played in a couple of months and you're always excited for that first game back after pre-season. I'm just excited about the opportunity of getting stuck into it, really.”

Ireland will fly to London on Thursday direct from Faro, Portugal, where the squad have been training at nearby Quinta do Lago Campus for the past week and Stockdale said the camp will be hugely beneficial for acclimatising to the heat they can expect in Japan.

Jacob Stockdale hoping for more good memories of Twickenham in bid for World Cup place

“Definitely, I mean this is probably not even as warm as it was the last time we played in Japan. That was in June so it was probably a bit warmer than this time around. But it will be very hot and very humid so getting this type of training in, in this weather, it really does help acclimatise you to those conditions.”

The wing, with 14 tries in 19 Tests, admitted his first impressions of Japan two years ago were not great but he quickly grew to love the country.

“To be honest, for the first couple of days I didn't like it at all, but the longer you're there, the more you start to enjoy it and by the end of it, I was loving it. So I'm really excited about going back.

“They do everything differently to the way it's done in Ireland and it’s a big cultural shock, but once you get used to that...like, I really, really enjoyed it and it's just a really cool place to be in and to explore.”

More on this topic

WADA compliments Rugby World Cup for zero failed drug tests

Stuart Lancaster steps down as England head coach 'by mutual consent'Stuart Lancaster steps down as England head coach 'by mutual consent'

VIDEO: Why the Rugby World Cup 2015 was the greatest rugby tournament everVIDEO: Why the Rugby World Cup 2015 was the greatest rugby tournament ever

‘We love you JC’: All Blacks bring Webb Ellis trophy to former team-mate’s grave‘We love you JC’: All Blacks bring Webb Ellis trophy to former team-mate’s grave

More in this Section

Shouldering the nation’s hopes: three players Ireland cannot afford to loseShouldering the nation’s hopes: three players Ireland cannot afford to lose

McIlroy off to nightmare start at WentworthMcIlroy off to nightmare start at Wentworth

Spurs slip-up as City bounce back – 5 things we learned from Champions LeagueSpurs slip-up as City bounce back – 5 things we learned from Champions League

Shakhtar are no pushovers and can still cause us problems at Etihad – GuardiolaShakhtar are no pushovers and can still cause us problems at Etihad – Guardiola


Lifestyle

The American heritage brand has put together a collection inspired by the most stylish Friends character.This is why Rachel Green’s style is the epitome of Ralph Lauren – as a new collection is announced

When starting out as a comedian, Cork man Andrew Ryan decided to go to straight to London, sidestepping the usual starting ground of Irish clubs and pubs.Cork comedian Andrew Ryan is 'a cross between Ardal O’Hanlon and Ed Byrne'

Rachel Marie Walsh knows the best eyeliners to try this season.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Essential eyeliners for a killer look

Paul McLauchlan has the lowdown from London Fashion Week. Here’s all you need to know about next season.London Fashion Week: How you’ll dress for the next decade

More From The Irish Examiner