The unique talent Newcastle want England to recall next Monday
Newcastle boss Dave Walder believes the unique talent of Trevor Davison can help shore up the misfiring England scrum in the upcoming Guinness Six Nations championship under new head coach Steve Borthwick. Davison, who won two England caps during 2021 under previous boss Eddie Jones, has the ability to play on both sides of the front row, something very few top-class props can achieve given the different requirements of playing loosehead and tighthead.
However, Davison has this particular skill and having been involved in the recent England fitness testing, Walder is now backing the Newcastle front-rower to be named in Borthwick’s first Six Nations squad on Monday.
With Newcastle having recorded successive Gallagher Premiership home wins over Exeter, Sale and Leicester – teams that pride themselves on their forward power – the stock of Davison has risen in recent months.
Allied to his versatility in the front row, he now warrants serious consideration by Borthwick and his fellow assistant coaches as playing both sides of the scrum helped World Cup winner Jason Leonard to become England men’s most capped forward (114) and a British and Irish Lion Test player who went on the 1993 tour to New Zealand as a loosehead but was moved to tighthead for last two Tests.
Ahead of this weekend’s Newcastle Challenge Cup match versus Cardiff, Walder said: “Trevor has always had the set-piece side to his game and now he is offering more about the pitch as well and if he can develop that it will be great to see him in an England shirt again, hopefully in the Six Nations.
“Trevor was involved in the England testing and he can genuinely play both sides of the scrum. He is not one of these guys whose agent says they can play both sides to increase their worth for a contract – he can play tight and loosehead at Premiership and higher levels. For us, he is a tighthead but we also have the confidence to slide him across to loosehead if needed.
“Chatting to Micky Ward (the Newcastle forwards coach) the ease with how Trevor does that is remarkable because some props would need two or three weeks to make that switch. Trevor can do it day to day and we are very lucky to have him. Our forwards have been playing brilliantly all season.
“Trevor doesn’t say much and is a lovely guy who goes about his business on the pitch and is very proud to represent the area having started at Blaydon. Micky has a close relationship with him from those Blaydon days and his performances this season have gone from strength to strength.”
Walder is also hoping that new England boss Borthwick calls up hooker Jamie Blamire who produced his best performance of the season in the big Newcastle win over Leicester after regaining the No2 starting spot following George McGuigan’s recent switch to Gloucester.
Blamire and McGuigan are in the frame to fill the void left by the serious injuries to Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie and Gloucester’s Jack Singleton. Walder added: ”I would have thought Jamie and George would be in the Six Nations mix. George deserves his place but I hope, of course, that Jamie gets the nod because he is playing really well.”
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