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Saracens winger Wilson hopes mentor Strettle gets England call-up

Saracens' Jack Wilson Saracens' Jack Wilson

By James Cunliffe
Thursday, December 5, 2013
9:00 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Jack Wilson has hailed the education he is receiving under Saracens wing duo Chris Ashton and David Strettle – and he feels the latter is making it impossible for England to ignore him any longer.

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Wasps’ Christian Wade and London Irish’s Marland Yarde both look set to miss the Six Nations through injury, leaving Red Rose boss Stuart Lancaster with a selection issue.

Strettle was omitted from England’s Elite Player Squad altogether this summer – but he has been busy proving that decision wrong by becoming the Premiership’s top try-scorer.

“It’s tough with England,” said Wilson. “Obviously they’re looking towards the World Cup but it would be hard to overlook Stretts at the moment.

“He’s playing some excellent stuff so it will be outstanding for him [to get a call-up].

“With him around the club I’ll learn a lot. Hopefully he gets a tap on the shoulder, I’ll be rooting for him.

“Sarries run a different defence system and Stretts has helped me hugely on that. I’ve picked up so much from the likes of him and Ashy. It’s the first season I’ve had with Tagi [Michael Tagicakibau] but there are class wingers around.

“Rather than going against each other there’s a good atmosphere at Sarries and everyone is trying to help each other out. You can only go up from there.”

Strettle was rested and Ashton was on international duty for Saracens’ two LV= Cup games last month.

In their absence, New Zealand youngster Wilson scored in both games – and he touched down on his Premiership debut on Saturday as Sarries beat Sale Sharks 24-19 to maintain their place as top dogs in the division.

Yet the English duo will be favourites to start in the first match of a Heineken Cup double-header against Italian minnows Zebre this weekend.

It hasn’t stopped Wilson dreaming of a European debut to match his domestic bows, but the former Kiwis sevens star is under no illusions about his place in the pecking order.

“A Heineken Cup debut would be excellent but there are some class players ahead of me,” said Wilson, who celebrated his 23rd birthday this week.

“I’ll keep trying to play well and when I’m ready it will come, but I won’t put a time frame on it.”

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