Gloucester Rugby: Sinbad on his England chances
JAMES Simpson-Daniel does not expect another England call – and would probably say no even if one came.
The 30-year-old Gloucester flyer has been in vintage form once again at the start of the new campaign, prompting murmurings of an international recall.
But the arch finisher has effectively ruled out any potential England return in his weekly column inside The Citizen today.
Scotching the need to issue a formal international retirement, popular Gloucester wing Sinbad said this is just a feeling that has built up over time.
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If Simpson-Daniel is to close his England career with just ten caps, what a paltry total that would prove for one of his generation's most gifted and dangerous talents.
The wily Stockton-born wideman hopes concentrating solely on Gloucester can extend his Cherry and Whites career beyond his current contract, which runs until the end of next season.
Rather than lament England chances lost, Simpson-Daniel still relishes each chance to play at his favourite rugby ground – Kingsholm.
He explained: "It's not a case of retiring from international rugby, it's just a decision I've made in my own mind. It's crept up over time and taken a while for me to realise that's how I feel.
"I put the World Cup camp last year down as my last chance to be with England again.
"Had I gone forward from that with England I may have continued on, but obviously that didn't happen.
"I would like to think that if I am not involved with England at all any more then it might help my career.
"It might help that I am purely concentrating on Gloucester, and it would be great if that extends my playing time at the club.
"If I don't need to worry about going away for training camps, or picking up an injury with England, it's just got to be head-on for this with Gloucester, and surely that's a good thing for the club.
"Playing for Gloucester is always a huge privilege anyway, and it excites me massively, every week.
"Any time I have been asked about where is the best place to play, I always give the honest answer: Kingsholm.
"You can have 100,000 people in a stadium, but a full Kingsholm, screaming and shouting, right on top of you – there's nothing else like it.
"I've always made it very clear that the club comes first, and in that respect nothing changes."
Praising England boss Stuart Lancaster for building towards the 2015 World Cup on home soil, Simpson-Daniel admitted he would probably turn down another opportunity with his national side.
But he also admitted a conversation with Lancaster along those lines is unlikely.
He continued: "I don't think it's a situation I need to worry about too deeply at the moment, and I'm certainly not losing any sleep over it all any more.
"I haven't spoken with Stuart this year and I haven't expected to.
"I felt as though my chance had gone, and I can respect and understand why England are moving towards the future.
"Speaking to other lads involved in the squad now, they say there's a very good atmosphere, and bit more relaxed, and that's a good thing.
"If I did get a call I would probably say no, but as I said, I don't really expect to find myself in that position."