Thursday, 2 June 2011
The rehabilitation of Matt Stevens continues apace with his selection for the England Saxons Churchill Cup squad which, despite England's apparent front row riches, has to be good news. If I was a betting man I'd certainly have a pound or two on Stevens making the final England RWC squad.
Joining Stevens in the Saxons squad is lock Mouritz Botha. That's Botha, as in the Hertfordshire Bothas, obviously. Given the apparent England second row pecking order (Palmer, Lawes, Deacon, Attwood etc) I wouldn't have thought that he was a realistic candidate for the World Cup squad but Botha has had a storming season for Sarries and stranger things have happened.
A notable omission from the Saxons squad is young Owen Farrell who, after outplaying Toby Flood at Twickenham on Saturday, is likely to find himself instead representing the England Under 20s later this month. I doubt Johnno will take the chance, but personally I'd have him in the senior squad ahead of (in fact, miles ahead of) a certain future Saracen, Charlie Hodgson.
Then again, what do I know?