Vickery makes England pledge
Phil Vickery has followed former England football captain David Beckham by insisting he will never turn his back on his country.
The 34-year-old prop is fit again after undergoing a fourth neck operation last season but he was left out of Martin Johnson's 32-man senior England squad. Beckham vowed he would never retire from international football despite being told by Fabio Capello he was too old to be considered for England's Euro 2012 qualification campaign.
And Vickery, who captained England to the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, has told Johnson that for as long as he is playing he will always be available to pull on the red rose. He said: "Of course I want to be involved again. I never want to retire."
He added: "If you are playing well enough and Martin Johnson rings you up with the opportunity to play for England I will never say 'sorry, I have retired from international rugby'. That doesn't wash with me.
"We had a good chat before he announced his squad. I think he is happy with what he has got there.
"I didn't get any indication in the tone of the conversation that it's all over (for me).
"I am looking forward to the start of the season and hopefully playing well and showing consistency so when old monobrow looks at his squad again (before the autumn internationals) I might be in consideration.
"He might say he is happy with what he has got. You have got to accept that. I have always said, I never want to be one of those blokes who becomes bitter and twisted about it.
"As long as people are honest I can deal with it."