Barkley philosophical over England snub
August 22, 2010
Olly Barkley is set to focus on Bath this season © Getty Images
Bath centre Olly Barkley has insisted that he did not break ranks when expressing his disappointment about England's selection policy on their June tour to Australia and New Zealand.
The playmaker has since been overlooked by Martin Johnson for both the England Elite Player Squad and Saxons panel, with his frank assessment of their midfield options seen by many as a deciding factor in his omission.
Barkley believed that he offered a more open, expansive game to the broadsword combination of Mike Tindall and Shontayne Hape, but again attention was drawn to his perceived lack of bite in defence.
He featured in tour games against the Australian Barbarians but failed to crack a Test 22, eventually being axed from the final midweek fixture against the New Zealand Maori in favour of Saracens' Brad Barritt.
"I do not feel I spoke out of turn," he told The Observer. "I was asked questions about what I could offer at 12 and I answered honestly. I was asked about how I felt the defence went in Australia and I answered honestly. I did not stab anyone in the back. I said that if I was not picked in the Test side that was the prerogative of the coaches and I did not throw my toys out of the pram.
"I am philosophical about things. I am 28 and have had enough bumpy rides to know that you have to get on with life. I had no idea I was going to be left out of the two senior squads and I have to concentrate on playing for Bath.
"It is not about proving a point but being true to myself and making sure we get what we deserve this season. I am never going to kiss England goodbye, I am not that narrow-minded. But it is quite clear I do not figure in their plans at the moment."