Steve Diamond backs Sale Sharks flanker Jono Ross to make it to England squad

Steve Diamond backs Jono Ross to make it to England's tour of South Africa
Steve Diamond backs Jono Ross to make it to England's tour of South Africa

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond believes flanker Jono Ross has all the credentials to be picked for England's upcoming tour of South Africa that begins in June.

The 27-year-old, who featured for Saracens, Bulls and Stade Francais in the past joined Sale Sharks in 2017 and has racked up 21 Aviva Premiership appearances since then. Even though he is born in South Africa, Ross qualifies to play for England through his grandmother.

"He’s a Test player,” Diamond said.

"His statistics are very high, he’s got a lot of experience under his belt and is still only 27, but that’s in the lap of the gods really.

"He would be in most teams in the world’s top-six, or certainly in their squads, but England do have a plethora of players in these positions. If it’s not this summer, it won’t be too long before the doorbell rings for Jono."

Ross, who featured in all 80 minutes in Sale Sharks' final round clash against Leicester Tigers which saw Diamond's team lose 13-35 said his immediate focus is doing well for his club. He also expressed disappointment on Sale Sharks losing an opportunity on qualification for European Champions Cup.

“Obviously, my focus has solely been at Sale. I said before the (Leicester) game if we didn’t make the top-six, we would have let ourselves down so, to be honest, that’s where my sole focus has been.

“If something came off the back of that, it would be great, but I was massively disappointed with what happened against Leicester.

“I can’t control what happens outside of here, I can only control my performances. It wasn’t good enough on Saturday but, if I get picked, then great. If I don’t, I will have a good break and come back stronger next year.”

The three-game series between England and South Africa will be played between 9th and 23rd June.

Premiership Rugby 2018/19 - Points Table