Jamie George will ‘stand up to the challenge’ following Lions and England snubs, insists Mark McCall


Jamie George will ‘stand up to the challenge’ following shock Lions and England snubs, insists Mark McCall… with Saracens coach believing Eddie Jones will see a ‘response’ from the hooker

  • Jamie George was a shock emission from most recent England training squad 
  • The hooker, 30, also did not feature in any Lions Tests against South Africa 
  • But at Saracens, Mark McCall thinks George will be better for these setbacks 
  • He, Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell will feature for Sarries in next few weeks


Jamie George will roar back after his Lions and England snub, according to his club coach Mark McCall.

The hooker, 30, was a shock omission from the most recent national training squad picked by Eddie Jones having not featured in any Lions Tests against South Africa this summer.

But at Saracens McCall thinks George will be better for these setbacks.

Jamie George (right) will roar back after his Lions and England snub, according to his club coach Mark McCall (centre)

The hooker was a shock omission from the most recent national training squad picked by Eddie Jones (second from left)

The hooker was a shock omission from the most recent national training squad picked by Eddie Jones (second from left)

‘I think he’s going to stand up to the challenge,’ said the Sarries boss.

‘In the long run I think it’ll be good for him. It’ll push him hard to establish himself back in that England squad again.

‘He was behind Schalk Brits and John Smit and he had to bide his time and wait (early in his career).

‘He showed hunger and desire to get past them and ended up getting selected ahead of Schalk Brits for finals as a youngish fellow.

‘Then he was behind Dylan Hartley when Dylan was captain. He had to bide his time and fight past Dylan as well. Now he’s been given a new challenge.

That came after he did not feature in any Lions Tests against South Africa this summer

That came after he did not feature in any Lions Tests against South Africa this summer

‘For some of our players it was disappointing but knowing those players and how committed they are to playing for England, I think Eddie wants to see a response and I am sure he will see that.

‘First and foremost we want them to play for their country. This is a provisional squad, there is a proper squad announced around 18 October and players will have the chance to catch his eye in between.

‘I think Eddie knows the quality of those players. He’s worked with them for a long time and if he sees what he hopes to see – the hunger and the drive which is necessary to play at that level – then hopefully they have the opportunity to get back into the squad.’

George could feature for Sarries as early as this weekend, after Premiership clubs negotiated the early release of some Lions for domestic action.

George could feature for Sarries as early as this weekend in return to domestic action

George could feature for Sarries as early as this weekend in return to domestic action

He, Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell will feature in the next couple of weeks, after the 10-week rest-period mandated was adapted on a case-by-case basis especially for those who did not play much in the Lions Tests, but Maro Itoje will return later having played every minute of the series.

‘There has been a sensible conversation and a sensible approach to the whole thing, rather than having a blanket rule for everybody,’ added McCall, who confirmed Elliot Daly is out until December with a shin injury.

‘I think they are rightly going to make decisions based on common sense and individual reasons. And ultimately, what is best for the players – which should be front and centre.

‘That is a really good way to approach it, even though it has happened quite late.

England and Lions fly half Owen Farrell

England and Lions prop Mako Vunipola

He, Mako Vunipola (right) and Owen Farrell (left) will feature in the next couple of weeks

‘Generally, our players had a low amount of game time last year. And all of those Lions players, none of them played a club game between October 3 and the end of March.

‘So obviously their game minutes are low, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be rushed back.

‘Someone like Maro played three Tests matches and every minute of those for the Lions.

‘So we need to make sure each one of them comes back at the right time as they have all had a rest, it is just about when they are ready to go and go and play rugby.’

Maro Itoje however will return later having played every minute of the Lions series

Maro Itoje however will return later having played every minute of the Lions series

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