Steffon Armitage hopes Toulon and England come to deal

Steffon Armitage
Steffon Armitage

Flanker Steffon Armitage hopes England can reach an agreement with Toulon to allow him to play international rugby.

England have a policy of not selecting France-based players because their club commitments mean they are not available for all training camps.

But there have been a consistent calls for the inclusion of the 27-year-old.

Asked if he would like the two sides to come to an arrangement, Armitage said: "One hundred per cent yes. It is a big honour to put on the red rose."

Armitage won the last of his five international caps as a substitute in a 17-12 win in Italy in 2010.

England legend and Toulon team-mate Jonny Wilkinson says Armitage is "world class" and that his performances merit an England call.

The issue has been thrown into focus once again after Australia open-side flanker Michael Hooper excelled in the 20-14 win over England at the weekend, with many observers feeling he out-played England captain Chris Robshaw.

England boss Stuart Lancaster's concern is that Armitage, who won the Midi Olympique 'Oscar' for the best overseas player in the French Top 14 last season, would not be able to feature in internationals or training camps that fall outside the international windows set up by the International Rugby Board.

England's international against New Zealand on 1 December falls outside the November Test window, which means Armitage would have to receive special dispensation from Toulon in order to be able to play against the world champions.

Armitage added: "I am always hoping and I will keep hoping in the future that I do get another chance with England.

"I hope there is a possibility there can be some negotiation [between England and Toulon] further down the line.

"I will do anything to play again for England. At the moment Toulon's where everything lies."

Armitage was overlooked by former England coach Martin Johnson following his decision to move to France from London Irish last year.

But he insists the move to Toulon has taken his game to another level.

He said: "I knew what the risk was coming to France but I thought it would help my career more. I thought I needed that extra boost, to get back that feeling of always wanting more.

"I didn't think I could get that from staying at Irish. I have matured a lot in the game."

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