Stevens tipped for England
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter believes that banned prop Matt Stevens can earn a spot in England's Six Nations squad.
Last Updated: 10/08/10 3:12pm
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter believes that banned prop Matt Stevens can earn a spot in England's squad for next year's Six Nations.
Stevens was given a two-year suspension in January 2009 after admitting to recreational drug use following a positive cocaine test.
Sarries announced they will sign the former international when the ban expires in mid January, less than a month before the start of England's campaign in the competition.
But Venter expects the former Bath tighthead to play himself into contention for a place in Martin Johnson's side over the course of the Six Nations.
"I think he could surprise a few people when he comes back - that is my gut feeling," Venter told the Daily Mail.
"We're not going to put pressure on him when he arrives, but he is a very special individual, a talented person, so I think he will settle in quickly at Saracens.
"In fact, I think he can play himself into the Six Nations reckoning with England. I've already spoken to Martin Johnson about Matt and asked him about that position in the team. He just said he has to play, then he will be considered.
"We are in contact with Matt, checking how he is doing. From what he has told us, he is in very good nick because he has been doing Brazilian jujitsu.
"Whenever I have spoken to him I've been impressed. He said from the start that he got things wrong and he would take his punishment."