Steffon Armitage found England players' comments 'insulting'
ESPN Staff
November 3, 2015
Steffon Armitage

Steffon Armitage has echoed the thoughts of Nick Abendanon, revealing that it felt "insulting" to hear England players saying he should not be selected for the national team.

Abendanon branded the squad members who publicly agreed with RFU policy on picking overseas players as "pathetic" in an interview with BT Sport that aired on Monday night.

Neither the fullback nor Armitage were considered for selection for the Rugby World Cup but both feel they could have contributed to the squad, not taken away from it.

"I know them, played against them, and to hear them say we'd be a distraction if selected was pretty insulting," Armitage said when asked if he agreed with Abendanon.

"At the end of the day all we wanted to do was make the team better and I just think it was wrong for players to say what they did.

"We could have learnt from each other and created more rivalry for places."

Following the 2011 World Cup England brought in a policy that stated head coach Stuart Lancaster could only pick overseas players in "exceptional circumstances".

Armitage's name was rarely far away when Lancaster addressed the press in the run-up to the World Cup, yet the Toulon back-row failed to win a recall.

"What happened with England hit me hard," Armitage added. "There was talk I'd be involved and all of a sudden that hope was taken away.

"I've always played rugby because I love it, but that really hurt. I'm getting the enjoyment back now at Toulon but as far as England goes at the moment I'm undecided."

© ESPN Staff

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