Quins winger Ugo Monye may have started the season like a house on fire, but he knows it is how you finish the campaign that counts with a British & Irish Lions tour on the horizon.
The 29-year-old notched his third try in two appearances in Saturday’s 37-14 win over Sale Sharks as director of rugby Conor O’Shea’s men have kicked-off the defence of their Premiership title with
three straight bonus-point wins.
Monye scored 10 tries during the 2008-09 campaign – including two in the final month of the domestic season – which saw Quins reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and reach the Premiership
His form, coupled with a try in England’s Six Nations victory over Scotland, landed him a place on the plane for the 2009 South African Lions tour, which saw him scorch over for an interception try
in the final Test win over the Springboks.
Monye was named in the England Saxons squad in July– alongside fellow Quins Joe Gray, George Robson and George Lowe – for the coming campaign, but he insisted that was no barrier to him getting the
nod from Lions head coach Warren Gatland come the end of the season.
“I’m really pleased to have started where we finished off last season – winning games,” he said.
“I think my all round game has improved – particularly my defending – and I have got a lot of touches on the ball.
“But equally I think I have lot more to offer over the coming season. I just need to work on my consistency now.
“Any rugby player with any ambition in a Lions season has a Lions tour in the back of their mind and I am no different.
“Prioviding you focus on the processes that make you successful for your club then I might get my chance.
“I was disappointed to be picked in the Saxons squad, but providing I keep doing my job for Quins you never know what might happen with injuries.”
Quins full back Mike Brown will know that only too well, having seen Northampton Saints’ Ben Foden – his rival for the England 15 shirt – become a major doubt for autumn internationals having
suffered ankle ligament damage at the weekend.
“Mike did fantastically well in South Africa over the summer and was unlucky to see his tour ended by injury,” Monye added.
“It is disappointing for Ben, but England are blessed in the back three department, but Mike has been fantastic in attack and defence for some time.
“Hopefully he will get his opportunity.”