England prop Tim Payne maintains he won't give up his England No.1 shirt without a fight despite the emergence of loosehead talents Jon Golding and Matt Mullan this season.
Payne has often been scapegoated for Wasps’ scrummaging woes and was on the receiving end of a battering from England teammate Dan Cole in their defeat to Leicester earlier this season.
But Opta Statistics showed Payne was the best performing loosehead during the RBS 6 Nations, finishing near the top of the pile for both carries and tackles for a front rower.
And while several young guns might be eyeing up his place, 31-year-old Payne says they are going to have to wait their turn until after the 2011 World Cup where he believes England can conquer despite a mixed Six Nations.
He said: “Matt Mullan is a young 22-year-old lad with a good future but you need the old heads to help these guys through, and that includes me.
“England actually did perform in the Six Nations. We won a great game against Wales, were very unlucky against Ireland, and to go out to Scotland is tough.
“Our record there isn’t great, but they are a tough team. We were unlucky against France, but the only way is up, and that is the way England are going.
“I wouldn’t play the game if I didn’t think we could win in 2011, and every time I go on the pitch I think we are going to win.”