Don Armand: Exeter flanker calls for focus on England squad rather than his omission
Exeter Chiefs flanker Don Armand says people must support the England squad that head coach Eddie Jones has picked, rather than focus on his omission.
Despite an excellent season in which Armand was nominated for Premiership Player of the Year, he is not in the squad to tour South Africa this summer.
The 29-year-old has won two caps, but played just once in the Six Nations.
“I think it’s important for everyone to start getting behind the guys that are picked,” he told BBC Sport.
“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I’d like to think if I was up there I wouldn’t have people constantly second guessing the fact that I was there.
“So I think it’s important in terms of where we want England to go, and the quality of players that are there, that we get behind them and get behind the coaches.”
Armand scored the final try in Exeter’s 36-5 Premiership semi-final win over Newcastle on Saturday – his 11th of the season in all competitions.
But, despite being regarded by many as one of the best back-rowers in the Premiership, he has repeatedly been overlooked by Jones.
“Obviously I’m disappointed,” added Armand, whose caps have been limited to replacement appearances against Argentina last summer and Ireland this March.
“But I think I’m in a good situation where I’ve been in a semi-final and am in a final, there are bigger things for me to focus on at the moment.”
Asked if he would go on tour if injuries dictated a call, he told BBC Sport: “Who wouldn’t? Definitely. That’s what we work for, we all want high honours, so I definitely wouldn’t say no.”