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McCall backs Strettle for England spot

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes David Strettle could well have played his way into an England shirt after his man-of-the-match performance against Sale.

The wing grabbed his first Aviva Premiership try of the season in the second half of the 32-12 win at Vicarage Road, followed shortly after by Charlie Hodgson who crossed against his former club.

Owen Farrell also kicked 22 points in the win and McCall insists Strettle could join the fly-half in the England camp when Stuart Lancaster announces his Six Nations squad on Wednesday. "David Strettle was made man-of-the-match and he was magnificent," he said.

"He's really relished this opportunity to play on the left wing and England don't have that many natural left wingers. No-one's been putting their hands up as an out-an-out starter and the last five weeks has seen some of the best rugby I've seen from him.

"We'd like to be scoring more tries and we've done that in certain games in Europe but we were dominant in the first half as well here and that is a good sign. We just couldn't go more than three phases without Sale giving a penalty away - that's not our fault - and Owen [Farrell] quite rightly kicked all the penalties to build a good lead so I am not too worried about the tries."

Sale remain rooted to the foot of the table as they could only muster up four Danny Cipriani penalties in reply. And with his side now five points adrift of second-bottom London Irish Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond is urging his troops to play for the full 80 minutes if they are to escape the drop.

"We came down here looking for a performance and trying to stay with them for the first 60 minutes, which we managed to do," he said.

"Then we conceded a soft try, really, once Charlie Hodgson came on that opened us up and then another basic error where they chipped through and scored.

"So we're disappointed with that, but for the first 60 minutes we were still in the game - if we could've just sorted our tackle awareness out in getting away from the ball we'd have been competitive. We've just got to stick to what we do in the league and hopefully our endeavour will show.

"We proved last week against Worcester that we can be competitive right the way through but when you come up against a top four side like this, if you're off your metal in the last 15 minutes they'll make you pay."

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