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Mark McCall says it would be ‘foolish’ to omit Saracens stars from England squad

Saracens England

Mark McCall has argued that it would be “foolish” for Eddie Jones to leave senior Saracens players out of his England squad.

Several senior England players missed out on last month’s 45-man training squad, with Saracens trio Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola and Jamie George among those excluded.

While Jones will be expected to make changes to his squad for England’s tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa next month, the experienced Australian coach has signalled that he intends to introduce several new faces.

Saracens director of rugby McCall was speaking ahead of Saturday’s game against Newcastle Falcons and stressed how the Vunipola brothers and George all have much more to give for club and country.

Mark McCall on the omitted Saracens trio.

“I thought Billy was exceptional last weekend. Billy has had two really strong matches for us, so with all of them they are very motivated, they really want to get back into the England squad,” McCall said, via RugbyPass.

“They are great competitors, all of them, so I am sure Mako, Billy and Jamie will put their best foot forward… Most of them are only 29, 30 years old. It would be foolish to write them off at this point.

“Jamie, Mako, Maro [Itoje], Billy are all superb leaders in their own right. They all understand the game very well but one of their big roles at our club is to mentor the next generation.

“They are all super keen to be involved in that and they have two or three players under their wing from their positions and they do a very good job at passing on what they have learned over the years to those players.”

Senior England stars made to fight to get back into the squad.

The exclusions of Mako Vunipola and Jamie George from England’s 45-man training squad were particularly surprising, as both men had toured with the British and Irish Lions this summer.

The three Saracens players, as well as George Ford, have all been mainstays in Jones’ team in the last few years, but the England head coach has called on them to step up their game.

Saracens duo Billy Vunipola and George, as well as Leicester Tiger’s Ford have all played well for their clubs in recent weeks, which is exactly the response Jones would have been looking for after leaving them out.

Mako Vunipola is yet to play for Saracens this season, although he has been named to start against Newcastle Falcons on Saturday, and will be looking to make a big impression.

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