James Haskell has earned a starting role with England according to his Wasps director of rugby Dai Young.
The Wasps skipper has been in the form of his life this season, and last week helped his side to a vital win away at Harlequins to keep their Champions Cup hopes alive.
That has seen calls for Haskell to return to the England starting lineup, and he was this week named in Stuart Lancaster’s 34-man squad.
Now Young, a former Wales and Lions prop, has backed his skipper as the best choice in the English back row for their Six Nations opener in Cardiff in a fortnight.
“I think he’s by far the form back-rower in England,” said Young.
“Wales’s strength has always been their power and physicality but Hask is more than a match for that. I know I’m biased and I’m not going to knock any of the other players but he’d be in my team, put it that way.
“What he has developed over the last 12 months is a really strong carrying game. His defensive ability and work at the contact area have always been exceptional but he’s one of our best carriers now and is also a recognised lineout option.
“He’s not Paul O’Connell but he’s an effective target. I’d feel for him if he’s not starting.”