Exeter season catches eye of England head coach Stuart Lancaster

 

Exeter's memorable season that has been highlighted by Heineken Cup qualification for the first time could soon receive recognition from Stuart Lancaster.

The new England head coach is currently identifying players for his 40-man squad that will head to South Africa later this month on a demanding three-Test tour.

And the indications are that Exeter will be represented in Springbok country.

Lancaster met with Exeter head coach Rob Baxter at Sandy Park earlier this week when possible England squad members were discussed.

Wing Matt Jess, hooker Chris Whitehead, lock James Hanks, plus flankers Tom Johnson and James Scaysbrook could all conceivably be on Lancaster's radar for a trip that also includes two midweek fixtures.

Exeter are nearing the end of only their second season as an Aviva Premiership club, but they can finish no lower than fifth and will secure a title play-off place if they beat Saracens on Saturday and Northampton come unstuck at home to Worcester.

"Personally, I'm not one for guys drifting away simply because it is the end of the season and that they are thinking about their holidays," Baxter said.

"I know we have a proud group of players here, some of whom could be thinking about summer tours. There is a lot of motivation in something like that, and I know we have a few guys in with a shout.

"It would be a measure of how well the team has played and how individuals have gone as well if we were to get people selected.

"We've made no bones about it. We are very ambitious and we want to have international players playing for us.

"Any step we can take where the players can drive themselves into international recognition can only be good for them as players and for us as a team."

Baxter was encouraged by what Lancaster had to say, adding: "We spoke about several players and he (Lancaster) admitted that our position and our form in the Premiership demands that some of our players need to be looked at.

"But they have also got to show form week in, week out and probably over a longer period than one season.

"Stuart has started to become more aware of our players this season, but I think he needs to be a bit more aware.

"Of course. I am bound to say that because I am a little bit biased, but had we beaten Northampton last month and we were pushing on for the top four, I think that would have demanded even more recognition.

"We know who our EQP (English qualified players) are, and they've played a big part in a team that is currently fifth in the Premiership, so they are doing something right.

"It's a 40-man squad going there, and I would like to think we will get a few people in it."

:: ::

Wasps legend Lawrence Dallaglio will be cycling for charity in northern Italy on Saturday afternoon when the Aviva Premiership fight for survival reaches its climax.

But he admits that "head and heart" will temporarily be in Buckinghamshire as either Wasps or their opponents Newcastle face relegation from the top flight.

Dallaglio, unsurprisingly, describes it as "the most important game" in his former club's history.

"We can all remember glory days at Twickenham, where we won nine finals between 1999 and 2008, but far more is riding on the game against Newcastle," Dallaglio told Wasps' official website.

"But despite all the gloom, some big positives have come out of this painful season. I am talking about the young players who have had to step up, and who have performed so superbly in the face of great adversity.

"I wouldn't wish a season like this on anybody, but I firmly believe that this crop of young talent will be all the better for their experiences of the past eight months.

"I firmly believe that the right result on Saturday can lay the foundations for a brighter future.

"Despite all the problems, Dai Young (rugby director) has done an outstanding job this season.

"Many a lesser man might have buckled under the strain, but he has just got on with things, without complaining, and he has already assembled an excellent squad for next season.

"With better luck on the injury front, I see no reason why we should not be fighting things out at the other end of the table."

Dallaglio and former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff are aiming to raise £2,012,000 for various charities through the Dallaglio Flintoff 2012 Cycle Slam, a journey that will have taken them through Greece, Italy, Switzerland and France by the time they reach the Olympic Stadium in London on May 18.

PA

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week