Share

Semesa Rokoduguni: England winger ‘knows where he stands’ says Paul Gustard

Semesa Rokoduguni

Semesa Rokoduguni scored twice in England’s 58-15 win over Fiji on his return to Test rugby

England assistant coach Paul Gustard insists Semesa Rokoduguni “knows where he stands” after his surprise exclusion from the squad to face Argentina.

The Bath winger scored twice on his return to Test rugby against Fiji, but was sent back to his club on Tuesday.

“Roko acquitted himself pretty well, and this is one game he is not chosen for,” Gustard said ahead of Saturday’s meeting with the Pumas.

“It is not a reflection of anything that will come after that.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Gustard added: “We need to make sure we get the results that we want, and we feel the group we have picked is the right group.”

Rokoduguni won his first cap against New Zealand in 2014, but was dropped soon after and did not feature again on the international stage until last weekend.

Coach Eddie Jones had spoken about how the winger was badly affected by his previous experience of international rugby, but Gustard does not believe the player’s confidence will be dented this time.

“He’s had a good chat with Eddie and he knows where he stands, and [he knows] the areas of improvement [he needs to look at],” Gustard added.

“We need to exploit the opportunities we think Argentina will present, and counter any threats they may have. Roko’s exclusion – like Jonny May’s from round one to round two – is indicative of that.”

<!–

George Kruis could start against Argentina on Saturday following his recovery from ankle surgery

May is expected to return in place of Rokoduguni on the right wing on Saturday, with Elliot Daly likely to continue on the left with vice-captain Mike Brown at full-back.

Furthermore, George Kruis has made a speedy return to the squad following ankle surgery and is expected to start in the second row.

The Saracens lock has been sidelined for the past month.

“You set yourself goals to get back as quickly as possible,” Kruis told BBC 5 live.

“The specialists said four to seven weeks [recovery], so I tried to target between four and five weeks and work as hard as I could.”

England will confirm their starting XV and replacements on Thursday morning.