Saracens’ Jamie George discusses 2023 World Cup hopes

England's Jamie George looks on during the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. Picture: PA

England's Jamie George looks on during the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens hooker Jamie George says he is hopeful of featuring in the 2023 World Cup for England but admits it is going to be “tough” to make the cut.

George will be staying with Saracens next season despite their relegation to the Championship due to breaching salary cap regulations.

But the 29-year-old still has his eyes on being successful at international level for Eddie Jones’ England.

When asked about his hopes of making it into the 2023 World Cup squad, he told the Rugby Union Weekly Podcast: “It is going to be tough.

“I will be 32 by the time of the next World Cup but a lot of players are still playing international rugby late into their 30s.

“My position at hooker is a bit generous to older players so hopefully I can cling on in there.

“I have good grip strength. Anything on top of my career so far, I have been very lucky, would be great to be honest.”

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Premiership rugby remains postponed for the time being due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with Saracens having already been relegated.

The Rugby Football Union made the decision to end the season at all levels below the Premiership and determine relegation and promotion by a best playing record formula.

Despite admitting he wants to play at the highest level he can, George believes there may be benefits to dropping down to the Championship.

“It is a tough balancing act,” he added.

“Obviously you want to be playing top-flight rugby and hopefully we will get that through internationals.

“Saracens are brilliant at looking after players and keeping them fit, so we should be able to have breaks, do different things off the field, rest up a little bit and hopefully it will add some time onto our careers.

“A big ambition of mine is to get on the next Lions tour to South Africa in 2021.”

And while he is undoubtedly missing the action, George says following the measures put in place to restrict the spread of coronavirus has not been all bad.

“Isolation’s alright actually,” he said.

“Weirdly I am quite enjoying the lockdown. I managed to get a very makeshift gym installed into my garage.

“If I hadn’t done that I could have put on 20kg during this lockdown. I am trying to turn it the other way.”