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Cokanasiga’s on edge before big matches

UK Sport | Published:

Joe reveals he gets nervous.

England wing Joe Cokanasiga has revealed he feels nervous ahead of games against top opposition.

Cokanasiga’s power has made him a force on the international stage since making his debut against Japan eight caps ago and he has all the attributes to emerge as a star of the World Cup.

The 21-year-old Fijian-born giant has crossed five times in six starts, including against Wales and Australia, and has been hugely effective as a battering ram with superb pace.

But for all his formidable physical prowess, he suffers pre-match tension.

England v Ireland – Quilter International – Twickenham Stadium
Joe Cokanasiga has made a big impression with England (PA)

“Sometimes I question myself whether I can do it. But then once I’m in the game I’m back to my normal sense and just try to do what I do.

“Obviously I hate being nervous but it shows that you do care. But once that whistle goes, something just goes and you think ‘I’m here for a reason’, so just try to show it.

“The last 12 months have gone pretty quickly for me. I haven’t really had time to think about it and process everything but looking back it’s been a dream come true. Hopefully I can keep building on that.”

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England Training and Press Conference
Cokanasiga gets emotional when hearing the national anthem (PA)

“Singing the national anthem tops that, it’s the best thing and a dream come true,” he said.

“I nearly cried on my first cap. Once you’re singing the national anthem you get a lot of emotions coming through and you feel like everything you’ve done has been worth it just for this moment.”

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