Cameron Neild is hoping his impressive season can come to an end with what he’s been wanting since he started playing rugby – an England call up.
The 22-year-old has been a key member of Sale Sharks’ forward pack this year, making his impact on every game he’s starred in with big tackles and barraging carries, of which he’s made 215 this season, the second highest in the league.
But while he’s happy to be performing week in, week out for his club, the next step on the road to the top is always on his mind.
“I think it’s been a good season for myself and I’ve been happy with my personal performances,” he said.
“I’d like to think I’m in with a shot of England this summer but there’s not a lot more I can do other than to keep performing. I have to turn up every week and then we’ll see what happens.
“As a team, we’re not where we want to be and we know we’re better. We just need to finish this season strongly and we can do much better next time around.”
With teammates Josh Beaumont and Mike Haley having been involved in England camps this term, Neild is surrounded by the right people to help him achieve his goal.
The visit of England head coach Eddie Jones and forwards coach Steve Borthwick to Carrington this week will have also been added incentive.
“Mike and Josh have had the chance to be involved in camps and hopefully I’ll follow in their footsteps soon – that’d be great,” Neild explained.
“It’s interesting when they get back because you can see how they’ve been training with England and how it differs to training at the club. You take some little hints and put them in to your own training.
“We didn’t get a chance to speak to the England coaches because we were training as a group all day. Hopefully we get to speak over the phone, or Dimes speaks about me, to find out where I am in terms of that recognition.”
With it being a British and Irish Lions year, plenty of England’s back-to-back Six Nations winners are due to be touring New Zealand rather than with Eddie Jones’ men in Argentina.
But the versatile forward is unsure whether this summer will be his time until he firms down on a position, having played at both hooker and flanker throughout his career so far.
“Lots of players will be away so it’s a great opportunity for players like me to get on the England tour,” said the versatile forward.
“I don’t know whether playing six and two plays in my favour or not, I’m almost a jack of all trades, master of none. Hopefully it’s a good thing.
“Everyone wants to represent their country and it’d mean the world to me. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do but if it turns out not to be this summer, then it’s the goal for the next 12 months.”
This article was written for the Sale Sharks website, and the original post can be viewed here.