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Saracens flanker and England hopeful Andy Saull made his first start in six months against London Welsh
Saracens flanker Andy Saull is back on the England trail after he made his first start of the season in the Men in Black’s 28-23 victory over London Welsh.
The 24-year-old has been on the sidelines since suffering a serious knee injury in March, but Saull played the whole 80 minutes against Welsh and came through unscathed.
One of the most promising open-sides in the country, Saull was on the brink of an England call-up before his injury and he hopes to regain his form and force his way back into international contention.
Saull said: “I’ve always got England in the back of my mind but initially I have to play well enough to get there.
“My goals for now are to get some speed back, put on some bulk and get a bit fitter. If I get all the little things right in my game the bigger picture will take care of itself.
“My aim is to rediscover my form that I had towards the back end of last season.”
Had he not got injured, it was the sort of form that might well have seen Saull take part in England’s summer tour of South Africa but the youngster insists he felt no bitterness watching the games from the sofa.
He said: “I feel I’ve been unlucky with injuries over the last two years but I’ve been pleased for the guys involved who are quite new to that England side and watching them bed in and grow.
“It’s always difficult when you’re injured but you come to terms with the fact you’re not playing and you know the guys out there on the pitch are doing their best and they’re the best guys for that game on that day.
“I’ve always felt that if I was to get my chance that I could impress so it’s just a case of being patient, trying to play the best rugby I can for my club and then obviously if I do get my moment I have to try and seize it with both hands.”
Saull was highly critical of former England hooker Brian Moore’s comments last week which suggested young Saracens players’ international prospects could suffer from the team’s style of play.
Despite being told he will feature regularly over the next few weeks for the Men in Black, the flanker suspects England’s autumn internationals will come too soon for him.
But he insists there is still a chance of a call-up if he can find form quickly and get a bit of luck.
“For me personally my aim has always been to play for England and I think it always will be until I’m too old but it’s obviously a case of just small steps at a time," Saull said.
“I’d like to try and have a good run of games but I doubt very much anything will be happening before Christmas even if I do play to the very best of my abilities.
“But if your form’s there and if you play well in the right games and the right people happen to be watching then so be it.”