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Strength for England with squad announcement imminent

Saracens’ David Strettle has claimed he is “one of the best wings in England”, and that his fine form this season, means he deserves a recall: “Stuart [Lancaster] has done the right thing, he’s had a look at the wings out there and I hope that leading up to the World Cup he’ll pick the best ones.

“Experience means you might not score the wonder try because you do not back yourself, but more often than not you’ve made the right decision,” Strettle added, having won 14 caps since the player debuted for England in 2007.

“The more you play the game, the more you recognise what’s happening that split second earlier. And those older players are the best players. They might have lost a yard or two – like Brian O’Driscoll did – but they know what’s happening that split second earlier and they react to it.”

The England squad announcement for the upcoming autumn internationals is imminent, and Strettle has acknowledged that coach Stuart Lancaster has a tough job deciding between youngsters and more experienced players, with the team 6/4 favourites with Coral to win the Six Nations next year.

“The sad thing is you get young lads who come in and score tries for their clubs, get put in at the highest level and get exposed, and then people just get rid of them,” Strettle continued. “They’ve shown some natural talent in being a good finisher, so teach them the game and stick with them. That doesn’t seem to happen on the wing.”

Sale fly-half, Danny Cipriani, who put 16 points over the posts as the Sharks narrowly lost to Munster from a last-minute drop goal, is competing with four others for a place in the squad. “There’s a lot of competition at fly-half, there’s a lot of competition in every position,” he said.

“I think it’s credit to the English system and the rugby that’s coming through, it’s an exciting time. There’s three, four, five players in every position that are putting their hand up,” Cipriani continued.

“That is the best thing and the toughest thing for England selectors and I think that’s exactly what they want.”