Aviva Premiership

Cueto thinks Beaumont call-up just rewards for Sale form

Former England international Mark Cueto believes Josh Beaumont's international call-up is just rewards for his impressive club form with Sale Sharks.

Beaumont was a surprise inclusion in Jones' squad ahead of the Six Nations, the number eight handed the chance to impress after scoring five tries in his last 25 appearances.

The 22-year old forward was one of seven new faces in the England squad for the tournament – which sees them begin against Scotland on February 6 – and Cueto says his chance was richly deserved.

"It is a massive reward [for Beaumont]," Cueto told Omnisport. "He's played well week in and week out for the best part of 18 months.

"If it wasn't for a couple of bad injuries he got two years ago - which kept him out majority of the season - he'd probably have been given the opportunity a lot earlier.

"He's from good stock with his old man [former England captain Bill Beaumont], so there's no doubt of his potential, but I think he's shown that and fulfilled that in the last 18 months. 

"He's been exceptional for Sale at number eight. He's probably a little bit more powerful than his old man, he just seems to be able to beat that first man of the back of the scrum, it's great to see him involved."

One player not included was Northampton Saints lock Tom Wood, a surprise decision that Cueto says can come when a new coach takes control.

"Generally you always find when a new coach comes in there’s some players who get moved around," he continued.

"With Tom Wood, it's more of a surprise, just purely from his experience, he's a quality player, he's been a part of that squad for a long time, and to not see his name is surprising."

Despite Wood's omission, Cueto thinks Jones has put together a competitive group of players as they look to bounce back from their Rugby World Cup disaster.

He added: "It looks like a good squad, as I've said there's normally a couple of casualties when a new coach comes in, there always is, it's inevitable, but on the flip side of that there’s young lads who get an opportunity for the first time. 

"I think overall it looks like a decent squad."