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Being nominated for Premiership Player of the Year and impressing during Worcester’s otherwise disappointing season have not been enough to earn Chris Pennell an England call up, the full-back has revealed.
Pennell said he has not received so much as a phone call from Stuart Lancaster’s coaching staff despite being nominated for Player of the Year alongside the current England full-back Mike Brown.
Pennell told Worcester News: “It was nice that I have been included alongside Mike on the Aviva Premiership Player of the Year shortlist – if only that was the England selection!
“I have not had any contact with the England set-up though. You see the odd thing in the press saying that I should be considered, but I’ve never had anything from the coaches themselves.”
Worcester are almost certain to be relegated from the Premiership this year and, if Pennell is left to ply his trade in the Championship next season, he can all but forget any hopes of representing England at next year’s World Cup. But the full-back is determined to get his chance, even if it means pestering Lancaster to take notice of him.
“Maybe I’ve got a part to play and perhaps I should be a little more pro-active, get on the phone and chase them up as opposed to everyone saying they should be in touch with me,” Pennell said.
“With a home World Cup fast approaching, it would be an absolute dream to be involved and I don’t think that will change until the day I hang up my boots, even if I am a 34-year-old veteran!”
Pennell is contracted to Worcester for the next three seasons, complicating any chances of a quick escape to another Premiership club this summer. There have been hints at a possible loan next season, but Pennell insisted he is concentrating on the current campaign.
“A loan move has not been a conversation and my primary focus is on tomorrow’s game at Saracens,” he said.
“If it does get confirmed that we are relegated, then I’d never close the door on those conversations but, as far as I’m concerned, I’m contracted here next season and the two seasons after that. That is where my focus is at the moment and trying to finish this season on a high.”
Impressive Pennell still waiting for England call