ENGLAND rugby star Ben Foden was in Colchester yesterday putting players from Essex University through their paces.

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More than 50 members of the University’s rugby club turned up for the two hour training session at Wivenhoe Park.

Foden was forced to miss Saturday’s international match against Australia after sustaining an ankle injury while playing for his club the Northampton Saints, but said he hopes to be fully fit in two weeks time.

The 27-year-old fullback has become one of the most recognisable players to non-rugby fans after marrying The Saturday’s singer Una Healy who gave birth to their first daughter earlier this year.

Foden led a series of training drills for the University team, who won the training session througha competition with Multipower Sportsfood.

Speaking afterwards, Foden said: “It was a good turn out and it was great to see the fresh faces of the guys looking to play rugby. It went from all differnet levels as well, from guys who had played the game for while and guys who hadn’t played at all.

“I think sport at school and at university is even more important now, especially with technology - laptops and computer games - it’s easy to get swept away in that world. I’m a big believer in healthy body healthy mind. There’s also the social aspect as well, what better way to meet friends in a new environment than to play sport together.”

On Saturday, England lost 20-14 to Australia at Twickenham and face South Africa this coming weekend as part of the Autumn internationals before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Commenting on the defeat, Foden said: “It’s pretty frustrating to see that. Everyone is expecting us to beat one of the best side’s in the world which is a great thing because everyone has high expectations of their team including the players themselves.

“But it’s a lesson learned, hopefully we will pick ourselves up and perform better at the weekend and take out a very good South African side.”

Asked whether he thinks England can win the World Cup, he said: “Yes definitely. That’s the whole reason why we’re doing it. What Stuart Lancaster is trying to achieve in how he is choosing his staff and all about getting culture going - the fans, the media, getting them all on our side so when we do take the first match in 2015 we’ll be an unstoppable force.”

Ben Foden is an ambassador for Multipower Sportsfood. Visit www.multipower.co.uk

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