I can be the answer to England's breakdown troubles - Sam Underhill

England’s Sam Underhill took drastic measures to step away from scrutiny
England’s Sam Underhill took drastic measures to step away from scrutiny
©Aaron Chown/PA

Sam Underhill believes that he's the go-to guy to resolve England's rucking shambles ahead of Six Nations showdown with France.

The 21-year-old Bath flanker has been doing all that he can at England’s weekend training camp to persuade Eddie Jones.

England were beaten fair and square 25-13 by Scotland in the Six Nations losing nine ruck contests highlighting England’s lack of a breakdown boss.

“Yes, I do want to start,” said Underhill. “I was definitely itching to get on [at Murrayfield]. I thought the guys could have done things differently, although I don’t think I could have come on and solved things single-handedly. Scotland obviously got the better of us at the breakdown.

“We were slow to adapt and react to what was happening. We should have been quicker to realise how Nigel [Owens] was refereeing it.

"He was consistent, and you can’t complain because consistency is all you really need from a referee. We should have dealt with it ourselves more quickly: committed more numbers, made the game narrow. I was watching and thinking I could contribute.”

Underhill, who did get on in the 55th minute, replacing No 8 Nathan Hughes, was sin-binned for a no-arms tackle on prop Jamie Bhatti.

“There was no malicious intent there,” Underhill said. “Looking back on it, it probably looks worse than I thought it did in real time. It’s fair enough. I am not going to argue with the decision that was made.

"For me, it’s just a lesson to make things more obvious. I was targeting the ball, but you need to make that [clear]. You’ve got a responsibility to one another, so I’m not going to complain about the same rules that keep us safe, ultimately, as players.”

England name their side on Thursday for the trip to the Stade de France.

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