Is this really Eddie Jones?Save
Blues first five-eighth Piers Francis has revealed he didn't believe it was the real Eddie Jones when the England coach called him early on Tuesday morning to tell him he was named in the latest England squad.
Francis, who will be leaving the Blues to play for Northampton at the end of the season, was overnight named in England's 31-man squad to tour Argentina in June.
With 16 English players named in the British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand, Jones has called on Francis for a potential test debut during the two-match series.
Francis told Radio Sport that he first thought the phone call was friends playing a joke on him.
"He rang me two days ago, Tuesday morning about 5am. It was a bit surreal. I wasn't quite sure if it was the right Eddie Jones to be honest. I had to call a few people to make sure it was," Francis told Radio Sport's Brenton Vannisselroy.
Francis said it wasn't until Jones got in contact with Blues coach Tana Umaga and Umaga text him congratulations that he believed the international call-up was real.
"After I found that out I was ecstatic to be honest," he added.
"Putting pen to paper with Northampton and moving back to the UK, it was always the intention to push my case internationally but probably a little surprised it came out this soon. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, so I'm stoked."
The one downside for the Blues is that Francis will be unavailable to play the Lions.
"It's great news for Piers and we are really pleased that his strong form for the Blues has provided the platform for him to be considered for selection for England," said Umaga.
"It's a pity that he can't be in the Blues team to play the Lions as he will be in Argentina, but we will welcome him back for Super Rugby in July."
Forwards: Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped) Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps) Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped) Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped) Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps) Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap) Dylan Hartley - captain (Northampton Saints, 84 caps) James Haskell (Wasps, 75 caps) Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps) Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 8 caps) Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped) Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 42 caps) Matt Mullan (Wasps, 15 caps) Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 55 caps) Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby, uncapped) Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped) Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 50 caps)
Backs: Mike Brown - vice-captain (Harlequins, 60 caps) Danny Care - vice captain (Harlequins, 71 caps) Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish, uncapped) Nathan Earle (Saracens, uncapped) George Ford - vice captain (Bath Rugby, 35 caps) Piers Francis (Blues/Northampton Saints, uncapped) Sam James (Sale Sharks, uncapped) Alex Lozowski (Saracens, uncapped) Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints, uncapped) Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped) Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped) Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps) Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps) Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
- Rugby World Cup