Wasps youngster Alfie Barbeary is set to earn an England call-up for the Autumn internationals.
The forward, who recently turned 20, has exploded onto the senior scene at Wasps, scoring a try in his Premiership debut from the bench against Worcester Warriors before backing it up with a hat-trick against Leicester Tigers on his first start.
He has been used as a replacement in Wasps’ last three games as Lee Blackett’s side fired their way to the final against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, October 24.
Such are Barbeary’s precocious talents, the Wasps head coach created a six-two split of forwards and backs on the bench just to accommodate him. While his primary position is at hooker, he has been deployed on the back row on each occasion.
The Daily Mail has also reported that he will receive the England call-up along with his team-mates Dan Robson, Jacob Umaga and Jack Willis.
CoventryLive understands that Joe Launchbury will also be included in the squad that is preparing for the final Six Nations game against Italy on October 31, followed by the Autumn Nations Cup fixtures.
Willis’ rumoured selection would cap an extraordinary year for the flanker who was first called up by Eddie Jones for the 2018 summer tour to South Africa. Days later, he suffered major knee and ankle damage in the Premiership semi-final loss to Saracens and missed the majority of the 2018/19 season.
He has made up for lost time this term, topping the Premiership’s turnover count with 44, scoring 13 tries in 25 games and playing a key part in Wasps’ rise from tenth to the Twickenham final. He was also named as the RPA’s players’ player of the season on Wednesday night. He follows Jimmy Gopperth (2017), George Smith (2016) as Wasps stars who have won the award in recent years.
Willis was also nominated for the RPA’s young player of the year in 2017/18.
Robson was most recently capped in March 2019 when he was a try scorer coming on as a substitute against Italy. He would be forced to withdraw from the squad for the Scotland match due to illness – which was later revealed to be deep vein thrombrosis. He wouldn’t play another minute of the 2018/19 season but did recover in time to be considered for World Cup selection. But Gloucester’s Wili Heinz was preferred as back-up to Ben Youngs as England travelled to Japan with just two specialist scrum-halves in their squad.
Umaga was a shock call-up to the 2020 Six Nations squad back in January having made just four Premiership starts for Wasps at that stage. He didn’t feature in a squad but remains highly thought of by Jones and was included in BT Sport’s Premiership team of the year.
While he only featured once in Japan during the World Cup, Launchbury has remained a firm favourite of Jones’, and was used from the bench against Scotland, Ireland and Wales earlier this season as the second row moved to 65 Tests for his country.
A 28-man England training squad was announced last week that met at The Lensbury in south west London for a three-day camp. It did not include players from Wasps, Bristol Bears, Worcester Warriors, Sale Sharks, Bath and Exeter Chiefs.
A further update to the squad is expected today with a final group being included upon the conclusion of the 2019/20 domestic season on October 24.
England have six fixtures this autumn, starting with the uncapped Quilter Cup against the Barbarians on October 25. The trip to Rome follows for the final round of the Six Nations on October 31.
Twickenham will host games against Georgia (November 14) and Ireland (November 21) before an away match against Wales (November 28) before returning to Twickenham for a placing match to determine final position in the competition (December 6).