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Mercer opens up on his 'debate' with Borthwick after Six Nations snub

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Zach Mercer has been quite outspoken about his ongoing England omission and, as a result, there have been fears that he has sabotaged any chance of working his way back into Steve Borthwick’s plans.

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The 26-year-old has not taken his World Cup, Guinness Six Nations or even his England A snub lying down, and has publicly questioned how he has been handled, particularly regarding having so little time to prove himself in camp with England before the World Cup last year.

Borthwick has not shied away from the topic either, and has publicly addressed the former Top 14 player of the year’s omission and his reasoning behind it.

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Mercer recently revealed what those discussions looked like from his side when joining The Rugby Pod this week. The No8 suggested that his relationship with the England head coach may not be as frayed as some might have thought, saying that his communications after missing out on the Six Nations were “very constructive”.

While he did confess that he does not exactly know where he stands in the pecking order of England back rows, he added that he does not think he is “far away from the squad”.

“To be honest, we were very open and honest with each other about it,” the two-cap international said.

“He just said in the Six Nations the balance of the back row didn’t fit me in it. Obviously I disagreed with him, but it was a very constructive conversation. It wasn’t one-sided or I just accepted it or he just accepted it. We had a bit of a debate, which is always good.

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“I wouldn’t say I’m far away from the squad, but I don’t really know where I stand in that pecking order at the moment.

“But it doesn’t really fuss me at the moment. If I don’t play for England again, I’d be devastated but I have done it, I’ve done it twice already so no one can take that away from me.”

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