Rugby Union

Steve Diamond urges England to call up Sale winger Will Addison

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Football News

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond believes that winger Will Addison should be in contention for an England call-up after his performance in the Sharks' 29-17 triumph over Bath.

Addison scored a try and produced an all-round excellent performance as the Manchester outfit moved up to sixth in the Aviva Premiership.

With the former England Under-20s wing now injury-free following years of hamstring and ankle issues, the 23-year-old has impressed throughout the campaign.

Diamond said: "I thought that Addison was the best player on the pitch so he should hopefully be getting some England recognition if they're watching the games."

Having moved into a European Champions Cup qualification spot, Diamond has set his sights on winning the final three encounters to confirm their place.

"We've just got to win," he added. "If we win our last three games we'll get there. We know where we're at, we know how good we are and we just have to keep building the team.

"Bath proved what a good side they are today and it went down to the wire.

"It was 17-all for a long time and it was error-strewn from us in the second half having struggled with a bit of ill-discipline, but we managed to get a bit of field position in the last 10 minutes."

Bath coach Neal Hatley allayed concerns over the health of centre Kyle Eastmond, who was stretchered off late on after a clash of heads with Addison.

He said: "He took a heavy shot so the good news is that he's up and moving around. He seems in good spirits in the changing rooms and we'll look after him over the next day or so just to make sure we know exactly where he is."

It continues a frustrating year for Eastmond with the England international only just returning from injury.

"He's had some soft-tissue injuries which you probably expect for somebody who's such an explosive athlete," Hatley said.

"He's had a tough nine weeks and he's worked really hard to get himself back into a position to contribute towards the end of the season, and then something like that happens."

The centre looked set to be a part of a Bath victory after they came from behind to level the game at 17-17, but the West Country outfit failed to take advantage of their forward dominance.

Tries from Vadim Cobilas and Addison, as well as seven points from the boot of Danny Cipriani, gave Sale a 17-9 lead at the interval.

To the visitors' credit, they continued to battle in the second period and deservedly levelled via Semesa Rokoduguni's touchdown and George Ford's three-pointer.

But it was the Sharks who finished the stronger and Dave Seymour and Mark Easter went over from close range to seal the win.

Hatley added: "We put ourselves in a position to win the game and we're really disappointed we didn't make the most of those opportunities.

"At 17-all we felt that we had real control of the game. From a set-piece point of view, I thought we were well in control and we just didn't make the most of it."

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