England hopefuls target strong end to the season

Tom Varndell

James Haskell

First published in Sport by

TOM Varndell hasn’t given up on forcing his way into Stuart Lancaster’s squad for their summer tour to New Zealand.

The Wasps wing has spent most of the season in the treatment room, but he crossed the whitewash at Twickenham on his return to action and the double-header against Stade Francais will give him a bit more time to impress the England coaches.

He said: “If you are playing well, there is no reason why not – but you have got to be playing quite well and consistently.

“This season I have got a lot of time to make up but if I’m playing well and finishing well, I don’t see why not.”

Varndell topped the scoring charts with Christian Wade last season, but biceps injuries have dogged the 28-year-old this time around.

He said: “It has been a long old season. I have had in total six months out. When you get injured it is just devastating at the time but if you think about what might have been, you start beating yourself up.”

Varndell’s club team-mate James Haskell is another one with half an eye on New Zealand. His form in the last month has been revelatory and he wants to continue that against Saints tomorrow.

He said: “There is no way that we will be taking the match lightly. We will be giving 100 per cent and trying to make sure we get the win against a really strong side who need the points.

“Going up a full-strength Northampton side is never an easy prospect so there is no chance we will go into the match relaxing.

“We know that they are an extremely dangerous side and if we went in there half-heartedly then they have the potential to embarrass you.”

Be part of the world’s biggest club rugby final. To buy your tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 31 May at Twickenham go to www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby

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