OITA, 14 Oct - Henry Slade and Rugby World Cup frustration go hand in hand and the England centre is having to deal with yet more set-backs in Japan.
After being largely unused during England’s doomed 2015 campaign, the elegant centre's hopes of a first start in this year's tournament - against France at the weekend - were thwarted by Typhoon Hagibis.
Four years ago, when the hosts failed to get out of their pool, Slade had to wait until the final "dead rubber" with Uruguay to get his chance, and not even a try in the 60-3 win could make up for being left largely on the sidelines.
"I definitely want to put my case forward," said Slade, ahead of England's quarter-final with Australia in Oita on Saturday. "It has been frustrating for me to miss so much game time. The boys have been doing very well and I can have no qualms if I am not picked.
"Obviously, you want to play, but if you're telling me I could play all 80 minutes of every pool game and lose in the quarter-finals or play off the bench in each game, or not play a few games and win the World Cup, then I'm 100 per cent going to take winning the World Cup."
Slade, who has won 24 caps, damaged his left knee during a pre-tournament training camp and missed the World Cup warm-up games, but a scan revealed the injury would allow him to travel to Japan.
He made his first international appearance since the remarkable 38-38 draw with Scotland in this year's Six Nations as a 52nd-minute replacement in England's opening RWC 2019 game against Tonga.
He then injured his knee again, missed the win against USA and was restricted to another replacement appearance, in the 68th minute, for the victory over 14-man Argentina.
By then, England had reverted to the George Ford-Owen Farrell combination at fly-half and inside-centre, leaving just one midfield place available. That went to Manu Tuilagi, pictured above left with Slade, who scored two tries in the win over Tonga.
"When they switched to 'Fordy' and 'Faz' in the second half of the Italy warm-up game, we played well and throughout the tournament it has been going well," said Slade.
Quarter-final 1 will be two teams with plenty of history.— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 13, 2019
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Saturday 19 October, 16:15 (JPN local)
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"I don’t have anything bad to say about it. We are a squad of 31 and however we win the World Cup, we win the World Cup.
"I am trying hard each day in training to get in the team. If I am not selected then I can't do much about it."
Slade believes the attitude of the players not in the match-day 23 has been key to England's success so far.
"That's probably a reflection of how we've done already at this tournament - how well those boys have been pushing the team," he said.
"You can't underestimate how important the squad of 31 is. If you're not playing in this tournament but you win the World Cup then you still get a winner's medal and that's a very important thing to all the boys and that's what we're going for."