<
>

Richard Cockerill backs Tom Youngs to prove Eddie Jones wrong

David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill says Tom Youngs will force his way back into England selection after he was a high profile omission from Eddie Jones' first squad.

Youngs was one of nine players left out by Jones who featured in England's World Cup squad. Cockerill said he was "disappointed" by Jones' call with Dylan Hartley, Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie preferred.

The Tigers boss telephoned Jones to ask for his reasoning behind the decision to axe Youngs and has backed the hooker to prove the England coach wrong through impressive performances for Leicester.

"Tommy is a world-class player," Cockerill said in the Daily Telegraph. "I think I am more disappointed than he is. He will crack on and play hard for the club. As I have already said to Eddie, I think he will prove him wrong. That's cool. I rang Eddie and had a chat about the rationale behind it. I am obviously biased because I know Tommy very well but him and Jamie George have been the two form hookers of the campaign.

"I am disappointed Tom is not in the side. I think if there are three hookers to be picked, then Tom Youngs would be one of those. I think he will prove Eddie wrong and I see him being involved in the Six Nations at some point and taking that opportunity.

"That's how it is sometimes, you have setbacks - and if there's anyone who can cope with setbacks, Tommy is that man."