June International Tours

Varndell hoping for England Elite squad inclusion



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Leicester Tigers & England winger Tom Varndell is hoping that he did enough against the All Blacks earlier this month in order to win a place in England’s elite squad for next season.

Varndell won a place on the tour to New Zealand after Paul Sackey pulled out injured and after a dismal performance in the first Test against the All Blacks England management brought Varndell in.

In that second Test Varndell who is still only 22, scored one try but had another disallowed and it must be said that had he dived for the line earlier – lowering his body position, it would have greatly increased his chances of scoring the try.

“I’d love to be in the squad,” Varndell told the BBC.

“If I’m given the opportunity that’s brilliant and I’ll grab it with both hands.” he added.

England’s new head coach Martin Johnson will name his 32-man elite player squad on Tuesday next week which is the 1st of July.

Varndell was this year’s top Guinness Premiership try scorer but RFU director of elite rugby Rob Andrew warned that competition for places will be tough and said the two defeats in New Zealand had given the management group plenty to think about.

“We wanted to learn about our younger players as we move towards the autumn internationals and we have learned some really good things,” he said.

“We have also learned one or two things about some players we didn’t want to learn.

“And we have left probably 10 or 12 players at home who are likely to be in the elite squad.”

The squad is expected to include Leicester scrum-half Harry Ellis who missed the world cup last year due to injury and missed the NZ tour as he was not fully fit.

Also from the Tigers, forwards Lewis Moody and Ben Kay are expected to be named in Johnson’s Elite squad.

Centre Dan Hipkiss who featured in the World cup could also appear in the squad even though he missed the tour because of injury.



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