England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed why forward James Haskell has been dropped from the squad for the Autumn Internationals.
The 32-year-old flanker has yet to pick up a try in the Premiership for Wasps this season, and for that reason alone, Jones has decided to leave Haskell out of the 34-man list.
“At the moment, he’s just not playing well enough, but the door’s never shut on him,” said Jones.
“We know he’s a great player and he’s been a great servant to English rugby – close to 80 caps.
“I’m sure he can regain his form.”
Haskell has been omitted in favour of the likes of 19-year-old Sale Sharks player Tom Curry, who became the youngest ever flanker to start for England this summer against Argentina.
Chris Robshaw is still a mainstay in the national squad, and will be looking to add to his 56 caps against Argentina, Australia, and Samoa.
Wasps forward Nathan Hughes, Saracens’ Maro Itoje, Northampton’s Courtney Lawes, and Bath’s Sam Underhill can all play in the flanker role, and if some solid performances are delivered over the course of the next month by the names mentioned, then Haskell’s long-term international future could be in serious doubt.
Uncapped Exeter Chiefs back row Sam Simmonds has also earned a call-up, and is one of three called up from the Premiership champions.
Jones has been impressed with what he has seen from the 22-year-old and has talked up his abilities ahead of the triple header in November.
"What I like about him more is his work off the ball,” said the Australian-born coach.
"He runs very good support lines and he’s very good defensively.
"Of course everyone likes to talk about the tries he scores but that’s a small part of his game.
"He’s got good acceleration and he might add something to our back row.
"He’s one of those players you think could possibly play six, seven or eight so he gives us that utility value."
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