Michael Rhodes says his commitment to England should not be in doubt if he is selected to play against the Springboks at Twickenham on Saturday.
With England facing a crisis in their loose trio after losing Chris Robshaw, Billy Vunipola, Sam Simmonds, Nathan Hughes and Courtney Lawes to injury and suspension, Rhodes received a call-up to the squad for the November internationals.
The Durban-born flank has impressed for Saracens after joining them from the Stormers in 2015, helping them to an English Premiership and European Champions Cup double in the 2015-16 season, and was named the club’s Players’ Player of the Year in 2017.
Rhodes admitted his England call-up came as a surprise and that playing for England was never his intention when he joined Saracens.
‘Three years ago I’d have never believed you if you’d said: “You’ll be in the England camp leading into a possible game against South Africa.” It is strange how things work out but I’m very happy how it is,’ he told The Guardian.
However, the 30-year-old added that anybody doubting his commitment to his adopted country should judge him on his performances in the white jersey.
‘To those people, I would say that my goal is to win rugby games with England. If they are supporting the team, then the winning is what they should be concerned about.
‘I am going to play as hard as possible. When it comes down to it, there should be no doubt where my commitment lies. One or two other guys have done it. I am quite comfortable, it is not something that bothers me.’
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— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) October 29, 2018
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