Josh Beaumont confident he offers England 'something different'
ESPN Staff
January 15, 2016
© Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sale back-row Josh Beaumont is confident he offers "something different" to England rival Billy Vunipola, as he bids to emerge from his father Bill's shadow.

Beaumont was one of seven uncapped players named in Eddie Jones' first Elite Player Squad on Wednesday, and appears to be in direct competition with Vunipola for the No.8 shirt.

As the offspring of a former England captain and current RFU chairman, the 23-year-old might expect a degree of pressure to accompany his elevation to the national squad.

"You get used to the 'son of' label, but hopefully I'll lose that soon," he reportedly said during a media session at Sale's training ground on Thursday.

Indeed, Beaumont has not enjoyed an easy rise to Jones' squad. The forward began life on the rugby pitch as a fly-half before a growth spurt ensured he was moved into the pack.

Initially that was as a lock, where he excelled for Durham University before earning a shot at professional rugby with Sale.

James Gaskell's move to Wasps in 2014 then provided an opportunity at the base of the scrum, and it is a chance he has taken.

Beaumont will meet up with the England squad a week on Monday, and he believes his past experience as a back can help him compete with Vunipola.

"Billy's a great player," Beaumont said. "He's performed well on the international scene for a couple of years now. He's a big ball-carrier and maybe I can offer something different around the park as well.

"From the brief conversation I had with Eddie, he made it pretty clear that the hard work starts now. It's a fantastic achievement to get in the squad, it's a great opportunity for all the guys in the squad and something I'm really looking forward to.

"I feel I can offer something that they maybe have not seen before. It maybe helps there's a new coach and coaching staff in place so everyone is on a level playing field."

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