Northampton head coach Jim Mallinder has given back row Teimana Harrison a real compliment, saying that the Kiwi-born 23 year-old should be called up for England.
Harrison moved to Northampton in 2012, and qualifies for England through his English father.
Harrison was immense as the Saints lost out to Saracens in the quarter-final of the Champions Cup this weekend, and Mallinder feels that his back row is only getting going.
“Tour to Australia, I’d say! He is definitely in the frame. He has been improving for a few years but I think we have seen a level of consistent performance from him this year to suggest that he go on and play at a higher level.”
Although the Saints lost out to the tournament favourites, Harrison took the plaudits. However, many believe that he is better suited to openside flanker rather than number 8.
Mallinder subscribes to that notion, perhaps swayed by the fact that Billy Vunipola is on the top of his game and will be difficult to dislodge from the Red Rose starting team.
“He plays well for us at eight but I think at international level seven will be his position. He was outstanding today. He has been good for us all year. He is not particularly big for a No 8 but he plays above his weight. Some of his carrying was absolutely immense.”
This is a big claim, but it’s not without its merits. However, in order for Harrison to break into Eddie Jones’ plans, he will need to continue to produce the goods.
Quotes via The Telegraph.
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Read More About: Australia, billy vunipola, chris robshaw, eddie jones, England, european champions cup, flanker, jack clifford, jim mallinder, june, man of the match, Northampton, number 8, openside, quarter-final, Rugby, saints, saracens, seven, starting, Teimana Harrison, tour