Four Saints stars who must get England recognition under new boss Jones

Mike Haywood deserves England recognition (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Mike Haywood deserves England recognition (picture: Sharon Lucey)

England head coach Eddie Jones started life in his new job last week.

The Australian has a plethora of issues to deal with following the fall-out from the infamous World Cup campaign.

Alex Waller

Alex Waller

He is set to call on new coaching staff, with former Saracens lock Steve Borthwick among those likely to join the team.

And, most importantly, Jones must sift through a whole host of players as he bids to shape his squad for the Six Nations.

And with Aviva Premiership clubs performing so well on the Champions Cup stage, Jones will have plenty of food for thought as he takes in who he wants to take the country forward.

At Franklin’s Gardens, there are several stars chomping at the bit to earn England recognition.

Sam Dickinson

Sam Dickinson

And among them are four uncapped talents who must be given the chance to shine on the international stage sooner rather than later.

We take a look at the quartet of players who Jones must present with a cap in the coming months.


Made his 100th consecutive Premiership appearance for Saints in the win at Bath on Saturday.

Calum Clark

Calum Clark

The 25-year-old is a product of the Northampton Academy and he has grown in the No.1 shirt in recent seasons.

Alex Corbisiero is another competitor for that shirt, but the former London Irish man’s injury problems have given Waller a plethora of chances to impress.

And impress he has, scoring the winning try in last year’s Premiership final against Saracens and stamping his mark on the Saints side.

Waller is arguably now first choice, whether Corbisiero is fit or not, and he has the ability to play for England.

The Kettering-born forward has been called into the international squad in the past, jetting off to take part in the tour of New Zealand in 2014, but he has yet to win a cap. That must change under Jones, who will also have the likes of Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler to call upon at loosehead.

The Saints man has been as impressive, if not more impressive, than both of those men in recent times and the shrewd tuition of forwards coach Dorian West has made Waller one to watch.


A real unsung hero, Haywood is finally starting to get the recognition he deserves.

Everyone at Franklin’s Gardens has known what he can do for some time now, but it appears he is now getting the praise he merits nationally.

He was recently named man of the match by BT Sport in the win against Gloucester and was just as good in the battling win at Bath last weekend.

But this is no flash in the pan.

Haywood started both the Amlin Challenge Cup and Aviva Premiership final triumphs in 2014, making his mark in both matches. And while he may not yet have the reputation that Dylan Hartley enjoys, Haywood should eventually emulate his club-mate in winning a whole host of England caps.

The 24-year-old is powerful and accurate in the set piece and dynamic in the loose, meaning Jones must give him the call.

The former England Under-20s player has outclassed the likes of Bath’s Rob Webber and Leicester’s Tom Youngs in the past and he can get ahead of them in the Red Rose pecking order if given the chance.


Like Haywood, this man doesn’t get the attention he deserves. And, like Haywood, it is quickly forgotten that he started in the Premiership final win against Saracens.

With Samu Manoa in the second row, Dickinson stepped up, building on a bulldozing play-off semi-final win against Leicester Tigers, during which he flattened Logovi’i Mulipola (no easy task), to help Saints see off Saracens.

The former Rotherham Titans captain has had injury issues in the past, but when he gets a run in the team, he is hugely effective.

The 30-year-old is one of only three Saints forwards to have started every game this season and he can also be utilised in the second row, although he is far better suited to the No.8 role.

He was given a Saxons call in January, 2014 and can now make the step up to the full squad.

Dickinson is capable of competing with Billy Vunipola for the No.8 shirt and there is no reason why he shouldn’t get in ahead of Gloucester’s Ben Morgan and others.

And let’s not forget...


He might not be fit right now, with the flanker sidelined with a shoulder injury until the new year, but Clark simply has to be handed an England cap when he recovers.

He was Saints’ players’ and supporters’ player of the year for 2014/15 and is a turnover machine.

A victim of the fact England captain Chris Robshaw plays in his position, Clark can finally step out of the shadows under Jones.

As his awards suggest, the 26-year-old was easily Saints’ most consistent performer last season and he can add real energy and drive to the England back row.

He could line up alongside fellow Northampton star Tom Wood to give the Red Rose a huge dose of passion as they go into big battles in the Six Nations and beyond.

Clark is a must in the Jones revolution.