Wasps star Joe Simpson is targeting an England recall
The scrum-half missed the cut for Stuart Lancaster’s World Cup squad
Centre Elliott Daly and speedy winger Christian Wade could also be on Eddie Jones radar
“I’m enjoying my rugby more than ever.”
A telling thought from in-form Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson, who has spoken of his delight at Eddie Jones’ appointment as England coach, with the 27-year-old hopeful of returning to the international picture.
Simpson, who has been instrumental in Wasps’ impressive start to the season, hasn’t played for England since picking up one cap against Georgia in the 2011 World Cup, but the Sydney-born man is optimistic of the chances of both himself and his overlooked team mates, going forward.
“We all believe that we’ve got the ability to represent England and each of us individually believes we can bring something different to what is already there,” said Simpson.
“I guess a new coach does give you a bit of positivity. It all depends on what Eddie wants of course.
“I’m enjoying my rugby more than I ever have,” he added.
“I realise that I’ve been extremely lucky to be given the opportunity by Wasps to represent them for so long, but I feel I’d like to finish my career having had a proper international career.
“It’s not really unfinished business, but that’s something I would like to strive for and really push myself and challenge myself to get up to that standard.”
Simpson starred in Wasps’ stunning 32-6 Champions Cup win over Toulon on Sunday, earning widespread praise from fans and fellow players alike, and he is hopeful a more expansive style of rugby will be adopted by Jones, giving him and his Wasps colleagues a boost as they look to step into the England set up.
“I believe there’s been a shift in the brand of rugby all teams are going to have to start to play now,” Simpson, a former Blackneath loanee, added.
“New Zealand have always thrown the ball around and really played with flair, but they’ve always had the players to do that. When you’ve got players that aren’t quite up to it, you have to adapt your style.
“With England, with the players they’ve got, they most certainly have the talent to throw the ball around.
“With people like Elliot (Daly) and Wadey (Christian Wade) not even making the final squads, they’re two of the most flair players in the league.
“Eddie has those players at his disposal and hopefully for me, because it would suit my game, the brand of rugby that will be played will be a speedy game.
“That’s the brand of rugby I want to play, I enjoy playing and (what) I’m best at, really upping the tempo of matches and making it uncomfortable for opposition defences.”