Hartlepool star called up in England squad

Michael Young
Michael Young

Revitalised Michael Young will relish a crack at international rugby following his return to the England set-up.

One of Hartlepool’s most successful rugby players, the West product has been named in the England Saxons squad for next month’s tour to South Africa.

Young is no stranger to the Saxons squad.

The Newcastle Falcons scrum-half has enjoyed an outstanding season in the Aviva Premiership and has deservedly regained his place in England’s reserve side.

England Saxons play two internationals against South Africa’s second-string national side.

Ali Hepher’s team face the Boks A-team on Friday, June 10 in Bloemfontein, with the second test on the following Friday in George.

Both games will kick off at 6.10pm BST and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Young is no stranger to the Saxons squad, having represented the side at the Churchill Cups in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Back then he was a player on the up, having starred for the England Sevens side, sending a full house at Twickenham into dreamland in 2009 when he scored the extra-time winner for his country in the final of the IRB World Sevens event against New Zealand.

The 27-year-old started his career with West before going on to play for Newcastle, Leicester and Bath before returning to the Falcons last year.

Young also played for England in an uncapped match as a replacement against the Barbarians ion 2011 and has recently been on a three-day training squad with Eddie Jones squad.

Jones has sent six senior internationals away with the Saxons squad, the highest-profile being the gifted if inconsistent Danny Cipriani, centre Luther Burrell and forward Dave Attwood.

Winger Chris Ashton is not among them, having turned down a place on the trip because his “head wouldn’t have been in the right place”.

Ashton was a shock omission from the senior squad destined for Australia with head coach Jones stating it was an easy decision to make due to his shortcomings in defence.

Ten tries in eight matches since completing the 10-week ban that forced him to miss England’s Grand Slam triumph failed to convince Jones that the 29-year-old was ready to add to his 39 caps.

Saxons squad

Forwards: Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks); Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs); Tommy Taylor (Wasps); George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons); Jake Cooper-Woolley (Wasps); Kieran Brookes (Northampton Saints); James Craig (Northampton Saints); Mitch Lees (Exeter Chiefs); Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby); Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby); Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs); Donovan Armand (Exeter Chiefs); Matthew Kvesic (Gloucester); James Chisholm (Harlequins); Sam Jones (Wasps).

Backs: Dan Robson (Wasps); Michael Young (Newcastle Falcons); Oliver Devoto (Bath Rugby); Danny Cipriani (Wasps); Christian Wade (Wasps); Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby); Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs); Nick Tompkins (Saracens); Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints); Alex Lewington (London Irish); Sam James (Sale Sharks); Mike Haley (Sale Sharks).