Alex Dombrandt wants to make the No 8 jersey his own in Eddie Jones’s England team in 2022 as he looks to build on Autumn series performances and scintillating domestic form with Harlequins
- Alex Dombrandt is targeting becoming an England regular in the New Year
- The No 8 has been in fine form for Harlequins, grabbing three tries on Boxing Day
- The 24-year-old now wants to cement his place for the upcoming Six Nations
Alex Dombrandt’s New Year’s resolution is to become an England regular and better the best year of his career to date.
The Harlequins No 8, 24, was a vital part of the Londoners’ Premiership title win last summer and then won four England caps against Canada, Tonga, Australia and South Africa.
But he is yet to make a back-row shirt his own, so with the Six Nations already looming large has that goal in his sights.
Alex Dombrandt is targeting becoming a regular for Eddie Jones’s England side next year
‘I really want to continue to push to get into England and be a staple in there, not just a couple of caps and then disappear,’ said Dombrandt.
‘I really want to try and kick on there and improve as a player.
‘It has been a really good year, I have been really enjoying my rugby. To win the Premiership and to get my first England caps I definitely look back on this year with fond memories.’
Dombrandt was the star of Quins’ festive Big Game at Twickenham, scoring a hat-trick of tries to down Northampton.
That win meant the league champions ended the year nestled third in the Premiership table, behind unbeaten Leicester and in-form Saracens.
Dombrandt knows Quins can run those two close deep into next summer.
‘Top four is where we want to be, come the end of the season. When you get to top four at the end of the season, we showed last year, that anything can happen.
The No 8 (right) played in all four of England’s Autumn tests but wants to be a regular starter
‘I think we can be fairly pleased. I don’t think we are playing our best rugby but there are two sides to that coin, we are not playing our best rugby but we are picking up wins which is pleasing but obviously we want to strive and get the perfect performance we are looking for.’ And the back-rower looked to dispel any thoughts that Quins are a fair-weather side, after thrashing Saints in driving December rain.
‘We actually showed in the rain that we can throw the ball about and we can play our style of rugby in the wet,’ he concluded.
‘I actually don’t think the weather has that much to do with it, obviously it is easier to do our style of rugby when the sun is out and it is dry but I think we showed today in difficult conditions that we can put our style of game on the table.
‘I am a firm believer that if I feel I can get the offload away, regardless of if it is chucking down with rain or it is bright sunshine, I am going to back my ability to get the offload away so I don’t think I change my style of game, I just try and do what I do on a normal basis.’ Harlequins now face fourth-placed Gloucester on January 2 next in the league.