Cross-code winger Denny Solomona has an “outside chance” of being named in the British & Irish Lions squad, according to Jason Robinson.
Solomona, who has recently qualified to play for England, has only played 11 games of union for Sale Sharks after his controversial switch from league, but his record of 11 tries in as many matches has seen him emerge as one of the Aviva Premiership’s most lethal finishers.
Despite his lack of international experience, Austin Healey — who won two Lions caps across the 1997 and 2001 tours — believes Solomona should be in the mix for a spot on the tour of New Zealand and Robinson feels his try-scoring ability has seen him emerge as a potential bolter.
If Solomona was to be picked, then it would emulate Robinson’s feat in 2001. Robinson was yet to start an international for England when he was included in the 2001 squad but he went on to take the series by storm, starting in all three Tests and causing the Australian defence all sorts of bother as he scored two tries.
And Robinson feels the lack of standout options on the wing means Solomona deserves to be discussed as a potential Lions bolter.
“He’s [Solomona] actually got more experience than I had [coming into the 2001 tour],” Robinson told ESPN. “And I know there’s people sort of saying it’s too early for him he’s not even been in the England squad but for me I started a Lions Test before I started an England Test match.
“It’s a difficult one because he’s not been in for a long time but when you go off what he has done thus but when you’re picking the Lions squad, I think the wing spots are probably the weakest area for the Lions.
“I don’t think they’ve had the same form on the wings as we’ve had in other positions so he [Solomona] has been scoring tries for Sale game in game out.
“He’s got the edge on some of the wingers in terms of what he can do and what he can bring. At the end of the day he’s put himself in the shop window by scoring tries and going down to New Zealand, Warren Gatland is going to have to pick a team to really attack New Zealand, you won’t go down and beat New Zealand by playing defensive rugby.
“So, yeah he [Solomona] has got an outside chance, you always pick a bolter and he could be one of those.”
Jason Robinson was speaking whilst at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, the sixth leg on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as it’s looks to capitalise on Rugby Sevens highly successful Olympic debut.
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Solomona in mix for Lions spot – Robinson
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