Zach Mercer is just one of the many names that may feel slightly hard done by not to have made the recent England Six Nations squad.
On Wednesday Steve Borthwick announced a much-changed squad for the upcoming tournament, with many new faces coming into the international fold, and many experienced players feeling the harshness of the chop.
Players such as Kyle Sinckler and Billy Vunipola are now thought by many to have reached the end of their international journeys, with both players recently underperforming in both a domestic and international capacity.
There have been many surprise omissions from the squad; Caden Murley for one, finished the English Premiership as the top try scorer last season, but despite many England training camps his efforts have not been rewarded with a single international cap.
Joe Cokanasiga was a surprise exclusion from the World Cup and continues to view the England squad from the outside despite being in possibly the best form of his career to date.
The biggest selection issue that fans currently have, however, is that of Zach Mercer, a sentiment clearly shared by the player himself. In 2021, Mercer headed over the English channel to join Montpellier after struggling to build upon the two England caps he earned under Eddie Jones.
His time in France turned out to be a huge success, with the Englishman’s time reaching it’s peak in 2022 when he was named Top 14 Player of the Year.
Returning to the English west country in 2023, Mercer hoped to re-establish his international prospects having been ineligible whilst playing over in France. His recent setback has clearly put his nose finely out of joint, however, as he told BBC Sport in a recent interview.
“I’m older, more mature, I put the international selection aside now, I’m done for the time being with that and I’m just going to focus on Gloucester. To come back and get given three weeks in a training camp and that was it, I was really disappointed with that,
“I’ve been open with Steve, I’ve told him my opinions on it. I thought I haven’t really been given a crack which is what I feel like, to not even be given a game to try and prove myself is tough.
“I just don’t feel like he values what I can offer as a player and that’s me being honest, I don’t think he values what I can bring. Obviously I don’t fit into the system that he wants to run and, whether I agree with that or not, it is what it is. My focus now is on Gloucester and England can take a step aside for the moment.”