'He's probably the first Egyptian going to play for England'
Eddie Jones has celebrated his gamble on the unheralded Adam Radwan proving himself at international level following the uncapped Newcastle player’s selection to start on the England wing this Saturday versus Canada at Twickenham.
Radwan’s debut this weekend follows last weekend’s debuts for Falcons trio Jamie Blamire, Callum Chick and Trevor Davison, a turn of events thought unlikely in mid-May given the criticism from Newcastle about their England involvement in the past few years being restricted to just Mark Wilson getting a look in.
At the time Newcastle head coach Dave Walder alleged: “I hope they are looking at our guys. We haven’t seen England coaches up here for a while.”
It was some weeks later – on June 10 – when Jones was praising the recruitment strategy of director of rugby Dean Richards at Newcastle, an approval that led to the North-East club getting rewarded with the biggest representation of the seven clubs that provided 21 uncapped players in the first England summer series training squad.
“Dean has got an uncanny eye to pick out talent and they usually come through the unusual pathways, not the usual way with (England) 16s, 18s, the 20s. They usually come through a more diverged pathway and he has got an eye for that talent. They have played consistently well and they are being rewarded for their performances,” said Jones last month.
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Four weeks later, Jones was now picking the 23-year-old Radwan for his Test debut after his impressive progress at England training. “His is quick, lightning quick. That is the comparison. Sometimes we can’t see him at training he is that quick. I remember watching him about six games ago and he caught my eye and then I went up to Newcastle for the second last round (against Worcester) and watched the players live and he scored an extraordinary try in the corner so I thought he is worth a gamble.
“We rolled the dice, brought him into camp and every week he has grown. He is a hard worker, a hard trainer, wants to learn. He is probably the first Egyptian that is going to play for England. What a great story. Terrific young lad.”
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