Alfie Barbeary is ready for England call up says Wasps boss Lee Blackett

Lee Blackett, the Wasps head coach, believes Alfie Barbeary is ready to be included in England’s Six Nations squad after a series of eye catching performances, including his match winning turnover which helped end Leicester’s unbeaten start to the season.
Having overcome a run of serious injuries, Barbeary has made a significant impact with his ball carrying and defensive strength coupled with that ability to jackal possession at the break down. The England head coach Eddie Jones will name his Six Nations squad next Tuesday (18th) and has a host of back row options, but Blackett is adamant his man is ready for a first cap, having opted to switch positions from hooker to No8.
Jones named Barbeary in the 33-man squad for the Autumn Nations Cup final against France in December 2020 having noted the youngster’s appetite for hard work and willingness to take on any challenge. The next one Barbeary faces comes in the shape of the Toulouse, the reigning Heineken Champions Cup title holders, who travel to the Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday.
Barbeary’s importance to Wasps will have been noted by Toulouse who base their attacking game around World Player of the Year Antoine Dupont, the France scrum half. Barbeary,21, will be asked to help shut him down and Blackett said: “I would like to think that Alfie has done enough (to be selected). There is still more in Alfie and we will need to see consistency week in, week out but everyone is taking note of the potential he has got and he is only going to get better. I hope there are a few Wasps players in the squad.”
Blackett also paid tribute to the recovery work of Paolo Odogwu, who suffered a serious knee injury in June last year against Northampton just as he was pressing for a first England cap. Odogwu will be back to face Toulouse along with Jacob Umaga who has completed his ban. Blackett, who has lost prop Robin Hislop to injury, added:“ Paolo is a brilliant personality has done really well and he adds that x-factor and physicality. He can turn something out of nothing. Bomber (Hislop) will be out for four to six weeks and we now have four fit props and that’s all you need.
“Toulouse are not European champions for nothing and they different to other teams with their off-loading game and we have to be aware of that along with a strong scrum. After the win over Leicester we talked about bottling that because the mind set was second to none.”