Denny Solomona eyes England spot through Sale Sharks

Sale's Denny Solomona, pictured left, is determined to win back his England place
Sale's Denny Solomona, pictured left, is determined to win back his England place
©PA

Sale Sharks winger Denny Solomona is hoping to claim a spot in England's autumn internationals squad through strong performances for the Aviva Premiership club.

Earlier the 24-year-old was sent-off from England's training camp in Teddington along with Manu Tuilagi following an alcohol-related incident and was overlooked for the camp in Oxford, creating some doubt on his involvement in the November Tests.

However, he has continued his prolific try-scoring form in the ongoing season of the Aviva Premiership where he amassed five touchdowns from six games and is placed third on the list of leading try scorers.

Even in the European Challenge Cup opener against Toulouse which ended in a 20-20 draw, Solomona contributed with a try, making a strong case for his selection in the England squad for the autumn internationals.

"I don't think anyone is cemented in that squad. I think everyone has got the same right as the person next to him," said Solomona.

"It is all about performance. If you are not performing for your club then you probably won't get the call-up. I have got to do my job here at Sale.

"I am not too focused on the past, only on the present and the future. I am trying to perform for my club and that will get me a chance to represent my country as well.

"I am happy with my form but there is always room for improvement. I am working hard with my coaching staff on those areas."

The former Castleford Tigers player made his England debut during the summer tour of Argentina and opened his Test career with a try coming off the bench in the first game in San Juan and he believes the experience will be handy going forward.

"It was great to get that run-out and I think there were about nine of us that got that taste of it. It is only going to make us a lot hungrier for it."

Solomona was speaking at the AJ Bell Stadium at a launch event for Project Rugby, a new initiative between the Rugby Football Union and Premiership clubs to increase participation in the sport in under-represented groups.

The aim of the project is not only to increase playing numbers at grass-roots level for the good of the sport but to make an important social contribution to communities.

It aims to reach 12,000 participants in 200 locations across England by 2018. There is a specific focus on black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, low socio-economic groups and disabled people.

Solomona played in a tag rugby session, posed for photographs and gave his boots to one participant at the end of the session.

He said: "It is amazing, the turnout today. I think we had 40-50 kids.

"It is about getting everyone out of their comfort zone and enjoying being around their peers. They might have been talking to people they might not have talked to before. I think that is a great thing to do.

"I met one kid who struggled with anxiety and nervousness. He didn't go to school for a good three years but this project has made him come out and go to school, and enjoy being at school. That is the sort of impact this project can have on kids."

Project Rugby is an England-wide project to increase participation in rugby union among under-represented groups, specifically targetting black, Asian & minority ethnic groups, low socio-economic and disabled people. More information: www.projectrugby.co.uk.

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