England boss lining up Cumbrian full-back
Last updated at 12:40, Tuesday, 08 May 2012
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is lining up Cumbrian full-back Rob Miller for an international call-up – even if he doesn’t take the Sale Sharks star on this summer’s tour to South Africa.
Miller looks set to miss out on a place in Lancaster’s 42-man squad for the three-Test series against the Springboks in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth in June.
Lancaster is set to name Northampton Saints star Ben Foden, Harlequins’ Mike Brown and Alex Goode from Saracens as his three full-backs when he reveals his squad on Thursday.
Miller emerged as a possible contender for a place on the plane to South Africa after his outstanding season with Sale, with former England and British Lions superstar Jason Robinson leading the calls for Lancaster to take a gamble on the Cumbrian rookie this summer.
The 22-year-old from Bothel, who rose through the ranks at Aspatria Rugby Club, has thrived as a result of his switch from fly-half to full-back, and is top try scorer with the Aviva Premiership outfit with 12 touchdowns.
Penrith-born Lancaster is a huge admirer of his fellow Cumbrian and has reassured the jet-heeled youngster that his England chance will come at some point in the future.
He said: “Rob has had a really good season at Sale and he has moved up the pecking order during the course of the season.
“One of the things that Rob has to contend with is that it is a really competitive position as he has Ben Foden, Mike Brown, Alex Goode and Nick Abendanon all vying for the place as well.
“There are some players who have a little bit more experience than him at the moment, but that will come.
“All he can do is continue doing what he’s doing. I had a chat with him about two or three months ago when I saw him at Sale and told him to keep up the good work and keep on playing well.
“I would like to create him an opportunity but whether it is in the summer or not remains to be seen, but I’m sure his opportunity will come further down the line if he continues the form he is in.
“To get to where he has got to he has done incredibly well.”
Miller’s impressive displays have played a key part in Sale’s revival this season and qualification for the Heineken Cup.
Lancaster said: “I’ve seen a lot of Sale and he is the stand-out player which is really saying something.
“I was looking at the stats the other day and he is one of the top three players for metres made in the whole of the Premiership. When you consider there are 480-odd players playing in the Premiership, to be in the top three says a lot about him.”
First published at 11:24, Tuesday, 08 May 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk