'Freeman finds the ball' - England boss Jones explains selection of Saints back Tommy

Eddie Jones says Tommy Freeman's hunger to get hold of the ball has helped the Saints back secure an England debut on Saturday.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 7th July 2022, 11:09 am

Freeman will win his first Test cap after being named on the wing for the second Test against Australia in Brisbane.

The Saints star was one of the Gallagher Premiership's best backs last season, winning his club's young player of the year award.

Freeman scored 14 tries in 18 appearances, four of which came from the bench, as he helped to propel Saints into the top four.

Tommy Freeman

He recently started for England against the Barbarians at Twickenham, and will now grace the big stage at the Suncorp Stadium.

“We believe this is the future of the team going forward and we feel those players are ready,” said head coach Jones, who has also handed a debut to Leicester centre Guy Porter.

“We always try to make sure that young players are ready to play and we believe that both Guy and Tommy are ready to play.

“We’ve made the changes to the backline looking to get a bit more punch in how we play.

“We felt that we didn’t take opportunities as they availed themselves against Australia in the last game.”

Jones, who saw his side slip to a disappointing 30-28 first Test defeat against 14-man Australia, added: "Porter plays with a lot of punch, he takes the line on and he gets between defenders well. The way Australia defends you’ve got to be able to do that.

“Freeman finds the ball. We wanted our back three to be in the game more last weekend and we feel that Freeman is the type of guy who can find the ball.

“Both of them are even-keeled, they get on with the job. They have trained really well in the time we’ve had them.”

England side to face Australia in second Test: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 11 caps); 14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 40 caps), 13. Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, uncapped), 12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 95 caps), 11. Tommy Freeman (Saints, uncapped); 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 11 caps), 9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap); 1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 37 caps), 2. Jamie George (Saracens, 67 caps), 3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 21 caps); 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 57 caps), 5. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 13 caps); 6. Courtney Lawes (Saints, 94 caps, captain), 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 28 caps), 8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 62 caps)

Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 35 caps), 17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 68 caps), 18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps), 19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps), 20. Lewis Ludlam (Saints, 12 caps), 21. Jack Willis (Wasps, 3 caps), 22. Danny Care (Harlequins, 85 caps), 23. Henry Arundell (London Irish, 1 cap)