Wasps hooker Gabriel Oghre

Gabriel Oghre hopes to follow Wasps teammate Umaga into England fold

Rising star Gabriel Oghre aims to follow flatmate Jacob Umaga by ensuring his name is at the centre of discussions around who will play for England at the 2023 World Cup.

Oghre, like Umaga, is a product of the England U20s programme and highly rated by club and country, putting him on the radar for July’s tour of Japan.

Having featured regularly for Wasps this season, the all-action hooker, 21, told The Rugby Paper: “It would be a massive honour to play in a World Cup for your country and that’s definitely something I’m going to be pushing for over the next few years.

“I had a discussion with (former Wasps DoR) Dai Young before the U20s about some of the areas I had to work on in my game, so I’ve used the 20s as a springboard to develop as a player and now I’m getting used to playing at a higher level.

“Being involved in the Premiership this season has made being a professional player more fun and it’s been great to put my skills on the pitch.”

While Oghre faces a battle to get past the likes of Bath’s Tom Dunn, Saracens man Jack Singleton and other tyros such as Bristol’s Will Capon before he can even think of ousting England regulars Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie, nothing is impossible.

Umaga is proof of that, with Oghre explaining: “I live with Jacob and he’s a great lad. He’s always been a skilful player and for him it’s just been about finding that right position.

“He can play 15 as well but now he’s had opportunities at No.10 and really taken that on, so he’s been reaping the rewards with his England calls. That’s brilliant for me to see and I’m just focussed on what I need to do to keep improving my game.”

Oghre packs a punch given front-foot ball. He added: “My main point of difference is my attack. I like to get my hands on the ball and I feel like I’m a running threat – a good link with the outside backs and people in the wide channels.

“One of my main work-ons has been my ball-carrying because there’s no point having that x-factor if you can’t get to use it. But, at the same time, the basics are non-negotiable so I’m always practising scrums and lineouts with Andy Titterrell, our scrum coach.

“He’s been a massive part of my career and to have someone that detailed and with his knowledge from having been there and done it with England and the Lions, has been brilliant.

“To now be playing against top teams like Leicester and Saracens is getting me to the level I need to be in order to take that next step.”

NEALE HARVEY

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