Jamie George has told Eddie Jones that he can match the ferocity brought to England’s front row by Dylan Hartley.
George plays second fiddle to Hartley and given Jones’ admiration for his Grand Slam championship-winning captain, the hierarchy at hooker will be unchanged for the foreseeable future.
Hartley has been sidelined for a month by a back problem, but is expected to make his comeback for Northampton over the next fortnight.
If he suffers a setback in the build-up to the approaching autumn series, however, then George is adamant he is able to offer England the same combative edge.
“I definitely feel like I can. I have been at Saracens my whole career and that’s exactly the game we want to play,” George said. “Eddie spoke about Bodyline in Australia in June, about being physical and confrontational.
“I play in a team that does that the whole time in the way we defend here and the style of game we play at Saracens. If that’s what he wants me to do then I’ll do it.
“It’s constantly a work-on of mine, making sure I stay on top of my collisions and that I’m physical and dominant, and I feel like I’m doing that at the moment.
“Despite having eight caps I still feel like I have been in and around the camp quite a long time.
“I have played a lot of rugby for Sarries and started a lot of games and I feel my form at the minute is pretty good.
“I still have a lot to work on, but if the opportunity was to come about I definitely feel I am ready, I would take it with both hands.”
Set-piece expertise is George’s greatest strength, although five tries in six matches have made the Saracen the unlikely leading try-scorer in the Aviva Premiership so far this season.
“I guess it’s the way the new laws dictate that the hookers come in on the back of a maul,” said George, who crossed twice in Sunday’s 30-14 victory over Wasps.
“I’m pretty happy about it because my name gets on the scoresheet but at the same time it’s almost embarrassing.”
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