Tait has renewed England hopes

Date published: December 2 2015

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England international Mathew Tait said he was encouraged by the appointment of Eddie Jones as the coach of the national team.

The 29-year-old Leicester Tigers back last competed for the national team in 2010 and failed to win over previous boss Stuart Lancaster ahead of the 2015 World Cup. While some might feel he is running out of time at the highest level, Tait thinks he still has a genuine opportunity to excel on the international stage.

"I've always got ambitions to play for my country," Tait told The Rugby Paper.

"I'm realistic that there are a fair few guys around who are younger, and there are a lot of quality backs coming through, but if I play well for Leicester and something comes off the back of that, then great," added Tait, who feels that the brand of rugby he plays might be compatible with the philosophy adopted by Jones.

"I've got unfinished business with England, but it is what it is and we'll have to see what happens now."

The fact that Tait is currently under the tutelage of former All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger will only help his cause, as it adds an extra dimension to his game.

"He's given people a framework and the confidence to play what's in front of us, and have the confidence to back their decisions," said Tait of Mauger.

"Nine and 10 are still the key decision-makers, but they're starting to make those decisions based on information from guys in the wide channels: if it's on, go wide; if not, we can still stick it up the jumper and do it the Leicester way.

"I'm enjoying my rugby, though, and for me it's always been about staying fit and playing consistently and I've been able to do that."

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