Sheridan: England can call on me
February 15, 2012
Andrew Sheridan is still available to play for England © Getty Images
Andrew Sheridan insists he has not given up hope of playing for England again.
The 32-year-old prop - who made his comeback for Sale at the weekend after five months out with a career-threatening injury - appears unlikely to add to his 40 England caps after agreeing to join French Top 14 side Toulon from next season.
The Rugby Football Union's stated policy is not to select players plying their trade outside the Aviva Premiership. But with the likes of Stade Francais' Tom Palmer and the Scarlets' Ben Morgan bucking the trend, Sheridan is hopeful he could yet play for England.
"I haven't turned down playing for England - they may turn me down but while I am playing at a decent level I always want to be considered," Sheridan told the Daily Express.
"I haven't spoken to Stuart, but I have a standard contract with Toulon so I will be released in the IRB window and if I am selected I would be very happy to play. They have the 'exceptional circumstances' rule so it is up to them."
Sheridan suffered his latest injury during the Rugby World Cup clash with Argentina last September and is looking forward playing in France, where he has signed a three-year deal with Toulon, after a lengthy recovery.
"When I was injured at the World Cup I did think, 'Is this going to be it?' But the surgeon was adamant that I would be able to get back to playing at decent level. It was a long road, but it's nice to be back."
Meanwhile Sheridan has been impressed with England's start to the Six Nations and their new-look, if interim, management team.
"Wales have a particularly big, powerful backline and are playing some great rugby. But we have plenty of powerful athletes ourselves," he said. "Our scrum did pretty well in those first two games and we will have Courtney Lawes, who is a powerful athlete, and Manu Tuilagi to come in too. I don't think many people would question his power or fancy stopping him.
"To bring in a new management and a lot of new players and win their first two games away from home, England deserve a lot of credit. The performances are only going to get better as they play more together. We have some tough matches coming up, but there is no reason why we can't go on and do well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship