Denny Solomona says the next chance he gets to play for England will be one that he doesn’t take for granted.
The 25-year-old Sale Shark has thus far earned five caps for Eddie Jones’ England but none since his last appearance on the South Africa tour last summer.
The reference to taking things for granted is a curious admission when talking of playing for your country but is perhaps in reference to being sent home from a pre-season training camp alongside Manu Tuilagi in 2017, understood to be alcohol-related.
But that is some time ago now and England’s resurgence over the winter under Jones as well as the looming World Cup are clearly very present in Solomona’s mind.
“The Six Nations has been great and I think England played probably their best rugby against Ireland,” said the Sale wing, who was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Lymm RFC after their U15s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher.
“It definitely made me want to get back into the scene and into that environment Eddie Jones and those senior players – Owen Farrell, George Ford – have created for the team.
“I’m not taking my chance for granted anymore and when I get my chance to hopefully get back in there I won’t hold back this time.
“I’ll give everything I’ve got and just take every moment as it comes and learn.”
One man who has certainly taken his moment in this year’s Six Nations is Solomona’s Sale teammate Tom Curry, the 20-year-old flanker whose stock has risen immeasurably in recent weeks following barnstorming performances against Wales, France and Ireland.
“It’s great to have Tom (Curry) represent his country as well as Sale,” Solomona added. “He’s a great player and he’s also got a twin who’s just as good – that one’s a bit of a roll of the dice!
“Tom’s been great, Ashy’s (Chris Ashton) been great and unfortunately injured now but it is what it is. You get setbacks but I think he might be back sooner than he thought so it’ll be good.”
When Curry and Ashton return to Sale post-Six Nations they’ll hope to find a club who have continued their mostly excellent recent form in the Gallagher Premiership.
The Salford-based club had a tricky start to the season but have claimed the scalps of Saracens and Wasps in 2019 and will look to keep pressure on the top four when they take on Leicester this Friday.
That pattern is also reflected in Solomona’s try-scoring this campaign, with the former Rugby League star starting slowly but grabbing eight tries in his last 12 appearances.
“For me personally I probably didn’t have a great start to the season,” he added.
“I was a bit out of form at the start but I’ve gained momentum now and I feel like I’m playing well and the team are as well.
“Me and the boys have been grinding away, we probably don’t want to be where we are in the table, in eighth, but we’ve still got a long way to go to climb.”
Solomona was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Lymm RFC after their U15s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby. Lymm won by describing how their team embodies the spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch, and helps grow the game locally.