Jackson eyes England Six Nations squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jackson eyes England Six Nations squad

By Julian Guyer 12/01/2009 01:17:02 PM Comments (0)

Saracens coach Eddie Jones has urged England manager Martin Johnson to name New Zealand-born outside-half Glen Jackson in his revised squad for the Six Nations on Wednesday.

England-qualified Jackson, 33, starred for Saracens in Sunday's 37-13 Premiership victory over basement club Bristol.

The stand-off's 15-point haul saw him become the first player this season to pass the 150-mark in the Premiership.

Questions have arisen over the way England No 10 Danny Cipriani has seen several charged-down kicks at Test and club level lead to opposition tries, with doubts also raised regarding his goalkicking and general game management.

But Jones, coach of the Australia side that lost the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney to an England team captained by Johnson, believes Jackson is just the man to steady the ship.

"His goalkicking was good and his out-of-hand kicking is just wonderful. England should really consider having him in the squad," Jones said.

"If they are going to have Cipriani and (Toby) Flood as their major stand-offs maybe they should have someone like Jackson, who understands the game exceedingly well, in the squad to teach these younger guys how to play because I think they need a mentor."

Also under fire for his performances during a November Test series where all three Tri-Nations teams won at Twickenham was England captain Steve Borthwick.

But Jones said the Saracens lock, who scored the team's bonus-point try on Sunday, had been "outstanding" for the north London club since his pre-season arrival from Bath.

"There's no secret we're a much better side when he's playing. He gives us the lineout leadership, he's tough around the ruck and he scored the try. He doesn't even score tries in training so he's pretty chuffed about that one."

Bristol were left seven points adrift of second-bottom Newcastle at the foot of the table and in the lone relegation place after their north-east rivals squeezed past Gloucester 10-7 in Sunday's other Premiership match.

Now, according to Bristol coach Richard Hill, the west country side must beat Newcastle at home next month when the Premiership resumes after a break for European competitions if they are to have any chance of retaining their place amongst English rugby union's 12-team elite.

"We have to beat Newcastle," he said. "There was pressure on us to win that one anyway but now we just have to win."

Former England scrum-half Hill was again frustrated as cash-strapped Bristol suffered their 10th defeat in 12 Premiership matches so far this season.

"I don't think it could have been worse. Endeavour and heart was there but the quality was lacking again.

"Some of the passing was not good and we coughed up possession too easily. Our kicking was unbelievably poor and individuals are not playing well."

England, the 2007 World Cup finalists, start their Six Nations campaign at home to Italy on February 7.

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