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'Armitage deserves to play for England'
ESPN Staff
May 26, 2014
Steffon Armitage is playing some fantastic rugby © Getty Images

Toulon's Bryan Habana has backed Steffon Armitage for an England recall.

Armitage last played for England in 2010 but has excelled at Toulon this season leading to a growing clamour for him to be given another chance at Test level though at present this seems unlikely due to the Rugby Football Union's strict policy of not selecting overseas-based players unless there are "exceptional circumstances".

England head coach Stuart Lancaster recently met with Armitage, and following Saturday's Heineken Cup win over Saracens, a game which saw Armitage named Man of the Match, Habana has called for the No.8 to be given another chance with England

"Steff has really been phenomenal, and it is sad that because of where he plays he is not going to go on and achieve high honours," Habana said. "He gets vital turnovers that get the scoreboard ticking - three, six, nine points - and our team thrives on that. He is a crucial part of the team.

"He has put his hand up this whole season. People write him off at their own peril. He has been absolutely wonderful - he can dominate games.

"As a player, you understand the commitments the countries need to grow their own game and you understand their logic. You respect the decisions made by the administrators. The decision is out of our hands, but I think a guy like Steffon, with the season he has had, probably deserves to be playing international rugby. He is a great team man."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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