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Top 14 Orange
Laporte backs Armitage for England
ESPN Staff
May 28, 2012
Toulon's Steffon Armitage crosses against Stade, Toulon v Stade Francais, Amlin Challenge Cup, Toulon, France, April 27, 2012
Steffon Armitage has been sensational for Toulon this term © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Steffon Armitage
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Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has backed Steffon Armitage to make an impact on the international stage sooner rather than later despite the openside being left out of England's squad for the tour to South Africa.

If Toulon reach the final of the Top 14 Orange on June 9 then they will be in action on the same day that England play their first Test against the Springboks. This seems to be the reason behind Armitage's omission from the party to South Africa as he has been the standout openside in the Top 14 this term.

Prestigious sports paper Midi Olympique gave him their Top 14 Player of the Year award and former France boss Laporte believes that Armitage will add to his five England caps next season.

"In terms of playing for England, the tour of South Africa was not the be-all and end-all," Laporte told the Rugby Paper. "If he continues to produce performances like he has been recently there is no way he will be ignored. His future belongs to him, but if he carries on the way he's going at the moment I'm sure he will be playing for England come the Six Nations.

"I hadn't realised that he had been voted player of the season, but frankly it makes perfect sense. With regards to the consistency of performance he is one of those who is rarely poor and doesn't have off games. In fact I'd go as far as to say that he is one of those who is always very good."

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