Eddie Jones says that Denny Solomona has the X-Factor
Last Updated: 20/04/17 4:30pm
Eddie Jones has challenged Denny Solomona to nail down a regular England Test place after naming the former Samoa rugby league international in his squad for June's tour of Argentina.
The former Samoa rugby league international who qualified for England on residency grounds, was one of 15 uncapped players in a 31-man squad named by England coach Eddie Jones for a two-Test series.
Solomona's cross-code move from current Super league leaders Castleford to Sale remains a matter of dispute between the two teams.
And the New Zealand-born flyer's selection by England comes just weeks before World Rugby, rugby union's global governing body, is set to extend the time players need to qualify for a country on residency grounds from three years to five.
But there is no denying Solomona's talent, with the 23-year-old Auckland-born wing having scored 10 tries in 13 appearances for Sale since joining in December.
"There's something about him, he finds the line and you like wingers who find the line. He has that ability when he gets the ball to score a try," said Jones at the England squad announcement.
"I watched him play against Gloucester at the weekend. He's still got a lot of work to do on his game in terms of position, but they are areas that I think we can work on.
"I think he's got that X-factor, whatever you want to call it. He finds the line. He's got a Test coming up on June 10 and he can be a regular after that."
Jones insisted eligibility rule changes had played no part in Solomona's selection, saying: "We don't need to warehouse players in England. That hasn't been part of it. He's been picked purely on merit."
Jones, who won his first 17 Tests as England coach before Ireland denied him back-to-back Grand Slams, said his own career proved success was about attitude and not lifelong allegiance.
"I think I am as desperate to coach England to a win as any England coach and I haven't been brought up in England as you can tell by my accent," he said. "It's about how you feel and how much you want it."
Dylan Hartley remains as England captain after the hooker was overlooked for the British and Irish Lions squad for New Zealand announced Wednesday, as were Chris Robshaw, Mike Brown and Joe Launchbury who will add some much needed experience in Argentina.
Jones would not comment on the Lions selection saying it was nothing to do with him and said all the players were excited and focused on the England tour.
"They are all keen to tour - if they are not keen to tour then they won't play for England again - it's as simple as that."
England's tour party features four teenagers, including the 18-year-old uncapped Curry twins, Ben and Tom, who are back-row team-mates of Solomona's at Sale.
"I'm looking forward to working with the Currys because I want to find out if I can tell the difference between the two of them," said Jones, who was in the same team at Sydney club Randwick as Australia's Ella brothers.
England play Argentina in San Juan on June 10 and face the 2015 World Cup semi-finalists again in Santa Fe a week later.