Ryan – Pennell deserves England recognition

Dean Ryan insists Chris Pennell deserves an England call-up after the Warriors vice-captain was nominated for the Aviva Premiership Player of the Season award.

The full-back has been in blistering form this season and has played in every minute of Warriors’ Premiership campaign.

And Ryan hopes the nomination will lead to more recognition for Pennell.

He said: “I don’t think anybody in the game would question that Chris has been one of the form Premiership players.

“I’m really pleased about his nomination. He is getting real attention now and deservedly so. I hope it goes on to be more than that.”

With some fine players already impressing in the England number 15 jersey, Ryan knows it is a competitive position, but he believes Pennell would be able to make the step.

He continued: “There are a lot of things still to be decided at the end of the year. I’d be gobsmacked if Chris isn't in conversation around the selectors table because they’ve got a number of challenges coming up. It would be pretty foolish to ignore him.

“He does sit in a position that is pretty well stocked but he deserves the recognition and being exposed to different environments. I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t considered.”

Meanwhile, Warriors face a must-win game at Saracens this Saturday if they are to avoid the drop (kick-off 3pm).

And their Director of Rugby insists his side will not admit defeat despite being up against the league leaders.

He concluded: “If they pick the same side that played Clermont last week we are pretty much outclassed across the field but that doesn’t stop us going there and trying to win.

“It didn’t stop London Irish a couple of months back. Things do happen and if we are at our best and prepare as best we can, we are in this contest.

“We’ll have to face up to whatever team they show. I’m not going to go into the game thinking that we’re relegated and we haven’t got a prayer.

“Because we believe we do have a chance and we will not give up.”