World Cup winner Lewsey has been pretty much ever-present in the side in the last few seasons and had been one of a few players to perform consistently during a dreadful run of England results.

But an indifferent Six Nations championship and poor game against France last weekend has seen coach Brian Ashton hand the number 15 jersey to recalled Mark Cueto.

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"I didn't play particularly well last weekend and I'm no different from anybody else," said the London Wasps player.

"At the end of the day, there's a lot of competition for places - not just in my positions - but everywhere else on the field.

"If England are to have a realistic chance this year and late in the autumn, we need a lot of people competing for places. So I think it's a positive thing really.

"I'm obviously disappointed but I think it's fair enough really, I didn't have my best game, but I've been very lucky over the last few years and have been relatively consistent."

The irony is that Lewsey's speed and strength make him an ideal player to fit into Ashton's blueprint for a running and passing game.

"I've played 47 times for England, and I reckon I've only had a couple of bad games, but at the end of the day it's a fair call," Lewsey explained.

"I didn't play well even in a style of game that I like and that suits me, and there's a lot of competition for back three places."

Lewsey added that he had had a long talk with Ashton about the decision and was now looking forward to rediscovering his form with club Wasps.

"I spoke to Brian about it, the lines of communication were good," he said.

"I'll go back to Wasps and hopefully play this weekend against London Irish. And as the pitches start to dry up things should start to improve."

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