ESPN SCRUM

/ England

/ News

England
England are risking 'big mistake' over Armitage
ESPN Staff
April 27, 2014
Juan Smith believes Steffon Armitage deserves an England recall © Getty Images
Enlarge

South Africa flanker Juan Smith has warned England they will be making a "big mistake" if they overlook Steffon Armitage.

Smith, who plays alongside Armitage in Toulon's back-row, believes England should relax their policy of not picking overseas-based players. Stuart Lancaster paid Armitage a visit this week to tell him the door was not nailed shut on an England recall but he is currently down the pecking order and would likely need his rivals for the No.7 shirt to succumb to injury for him to force his way back into the set-up.

For Smith, however, he believes Armitage must be in England's World Cup squad. "He's one of the most special guys I've ever played with," Smith said. "I would be surprised if England don't pick him for the World Cup next year.

"I think they must relax on that not picking overseas guys, if you look at Steffon Armitage he is one of the best openside flankers in the world at the moment. So not to take that guy to the World Cup, that would be a big mistake."

He added: "He's a short, bulky guy, and if he's on the ball you don't get him cleaned off that ball. And his all-round play, he can run, he can step, he can tackle, he can steal the ball, so I think he's arguably the worst nightmare for any team that play against Toulon.

"I must say they must realise it's a professional sport and it's good money for any player to come and play in France, especially when you look at the taxes for international players. If you look back at South Africa, [coach] Heyneke Meyer said he would pick the best player today."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Poker

    American Poker Awards handed out in Los Angeles

    Alex Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker Index, envisioned the day when he purchased the European Poker Awards two years ago. While the Europeans have had an annual awards celebration for over a decade, America has never seen a poker awards experience before

  • Boxing

    Anthony Joshua hints at future bout with Tony Thompson

    Unbeaten heavyweight Anthony Joshua has hinted at a potential fight with American veteran Tony Thompson

  • Formula 1

    Manor confirms it will race in Australia

    The Manor Marussia F1 team has confirmed it will take part in the Australian Grand Prix in less than two weeks after naming Stephen Fitzpatrick as the man behind its financial revival

  • Rugby

    Cotter protects three ahead of England clash

    Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has been forced to recall three players from club duty in order to cover player injuries

  • Golf

    British Masters returns with Poulter as host

    Four of England's top golfers will take turns hosting the British Masters when the event returns to the European Tour schedule this year

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income