Planet Rugby

Mercer backs centre duo for England

01st October 2013 18:45

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Dynamic: Joseph and Eastmond

Bath flanker Guy Mercer has backed centres Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph to start for England in the November Internationals.

Eastmond and Joseph combined for England during their Test matches against Argentina back in June.

Having seen the pair in action in training and now in a match situation, Mercer believes the duo can solve England's dilemma in November - with regular centres Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt both unavailable due to injury.

Joseph arrived from London Irish over the off-season and the two combined for the first time this season last weekend, as Bath saw off the Exiles 33-18 at home - with Mercer amongst the try scorers.

"With the form that those guys are in and the talent they have got, they are really sticking their hands up at the moment," said Mercer.

"I don't think they would just fill gaps - they would add something different as well. JJ is adding to his experience and Kyle had played for Great Britain in rugby league so he has been in that arena before. It is not something that is foreign to them.

"Everyone was really happy, especially with the first-half performance - to get five first-half tries was brilliant. We are just hoping we can put two quality halves of rugby together.

"I just want to be doing my job in the team and if I go over the try line, it is a huge positive.

"I think it is just something that comes with a bit of work rate and being lucky and in the right place. I was just happy to cross the line. But I would rather play 100 games and not score if it meant we won them all."

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