‘Jones would be stupid to overlook north’

Date published: December 1 2015

England legend Jason Robinson believes new head coach Eddie Jones would be stupid not to consider Sale and Newcastle players when selecting his squad.

The 41-year-old who helped his country win the Rugby World Cup in 2003 by scoring their only try in the final against Australia, played in a side that included Newcastle fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, who was another key member of the successful group coached by Sir Clive Woodward.

And with players such as Mathew Tait, Richard Wigglesworth, Magnus Lund, Mark Cueto and Kieran Brookes being capped by England in recent seasons, there is no doubt the talent is there in the north of the country, especially with a strong Academy conveyer belt at the Sharks.

Robinson, now an HSBC ambassador, was speaking exclusively to Planet Rugby ahead of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series opener in Dubai when the hot topic of Paul Ackford's recent column was touched upon, an article the former lock suggested Sale are "not worth bothering with" at Test level.

Sale hero Robinson admitted to not having read the story but stressed that new England boss Jones had to study all clubs in the Premiership.

"I think it's a throw-away comment to get headlines but if that was the case then we probably would not have won the World Cup," he said.

"Jonny Wilkinson played for Newcastle and I played for Sale so without seeing the article all I can say is, you must look at every club across the Premiership. Why would you discount guys like Danny Cipriani. With such a talent pool England have, you'd be stupid not to."

HSBC ambassador Jason Robinson was talking to Adam Kyriacou. Robinson's preview of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will follow on Wednesday.