Ex-England centre Will Greenwood claimed last month that new Wales midfielder Nick Tompkins would make the British and Irish Lions tour if it were this summer.

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However, with the tour to South Africa not scheduled to take place until next year, the 25-year-old has admitted he will likely have to leave Saracens at the end of this season in order to challenge for a place in Warren Gatland’s 2021 tour party. 

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The London club have been automatically relegated to the Championship for the 2020/21 season due to repeated salary cap breaches, a demotion that has left Tompkins sizing up his options away from Saracens, with whom he is contracted until 2022. 

Despite winning an under-20s World Cup with England, Tompkins was snapped up this year by new Wales coach Wayne Pivac for a Six Nations campaign where he showed his worth despite the Welsh losing three of their four matches before the final game versus Scotland was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

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In an interview with The Rugby Paper, Tompkins said: “What Will said is really pleasing because he knows what he’s talking about and I grew up watching him as one of my idols.

“Am I ready for the Lions? I don’t know, but for that to happen would be a dream come true. I just wish I’d had that last game against Scotland because if I’d put in a good performance there, I would have been really happy with my Six Nations.

“Bearing in mind those were my first international games at that level, I feel I learnt a lot, but it’s difficult to say what the future holds.

“If Saracens carry on with being relegated to the Championship, it will probably mean a decision to play with one of the Welsh regions to keep my standard up so I can keep playing internationals.

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“It would only be for a year so I’d return as soon as Sarries came back up, but with what’s happening with coronavirus there’s a lot of uncertainty, so who knows what could happen? If there’s another scenario where Saracens stay up, maybe I’ll end up staying where I am.”

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