17 Days Remaining

Friday 21st
posted by Morning Star in Sport

EDDIE JONES said yesterday he has no concerns about New Zealand-born Denny Solomona’s desire to play for England.

Solomona, who swapped codes in December, is due for his first cap on a two-Test tour of Argentina in June. And the England coach used himself as an example, saying that he has no less desire to see England win despite being Australian.

Solomona moved from playing league for Castleford to union for Sale and continues to be every bit as prolific, plundering 10 tries in 13 appearances for the Sharks.

Since making a solitary appearance for Samoa last year, he has qualified for England on residency grounds and pledged allegiance to the Six Nations champions, following in the footsteps of recent converts from overseas Ben Te’o and Nathan Hughes.

Solomona set a new Super League record by scoring 40 tries in a season in 2016, eclipsing the mark established by another cross-code convert in Lesley Vainikolo, before abruptly departing Castleford.

A resolution to the dispute over his contract is expected today, but Jones is more focused on the potential of a lethal finisher who was even touted for British and Irish selection.

“There’s something about him, he finds the line. He has that ability when he gets the ball to score a try,” Jones said.

Solomona is one of 15 uncapped players who will tour Argentina — among them back row prospect Sam Underhill, who has become eligible for England after leaving the Ospreys for Bath.

The highly successful Under-20 production line has been raided in picking the debutants, but it is the senior players overlooked by the Lions who will form the core of the starting XV.

Jones had indicated he would rest some of his established names but instead the likes of Chris Robshaw, Mike Brown, James Haskell and George Ford will be present to face the Pumas.