The Welsh seven open to donning the Red Rose?
With Wales’ resources in the seven jersey at a seemingly all-time high, it should come as no surprise that one Welsh openside has publicly suggested that he’d accept a call-up from England, should it come.
Despite the retirement of Sam Warburton earlier this year, Wales’ options at the position are still stacked, with Ellis Jenkins and James Davies among the leading contenders for the jersey, as well as a number of impressive youngsters also pushing their claims, not least former Wales U20 captain Ollie Griffiths.
Given the heated competition for the job and the selection criteria making it difficult for English-based players to break into the squad, Worcester Warriors’ Sam Lewis may well have a better opportunity to don the white of England, than the red of Wales in the coming years.
Speaking to Worcester News, Lewis was open on his international allegiances.
“I just want to play at the highest level I can so if an international [coach] comes calling I don’t think any player would turn that down.”
The openside flanker qualifies for England through his English mother and he put on quite the show for the watching Eddie Jones on Sunday, as he, along with fellow back-rows Marco Mama and Gerrit-Jan van Velze, shone in a dominant 52-7 win over Bristol Bears.
It was not an isolated performance, either, with Lewis having stood out for Worcester throughout the 2017/18 season and reinforced that with a strong start to the 2018/19 campaign, after enduring more than his fair share of injury issues in his first two seasons with the club.
England’s seven position is frequently talked about as a problem area for Jones and his side, but both Tom Curry and Sam Underhill have impressed in recent seasons when opportunities have been handed to them. Ben Curry has also been talked about as an option, as have Zach Mercer and Sam Simmonds, not to mention Gallagher Premiership stalwarts Matt Kvesic and Luke Wallace, but the Australian has always been very particular about what he looks for in an openside flanker.
If Jones were to pick Lewis, despite the array of talent he already has available to him, it could simply be that the Welshman better ticks those boxes that Jones wants in his seven.
With Worcester starting the season in strong form and having been an unlucky decision or two away from wins over Wasps and Sale Sharks, something which would have taken them to a tally of four wins from six games, it seems as though the Warriors could provide Lewis with the platform he needs to impress people at the next level this season.
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