OLLY BARKLEY believes coach Martin Johnson is missing a trick by omitting him from England’s Test line-ups.
The Bath playmaker has once again been included in England’s midweek squad side to take on the Australian Barbarians in Gosford this morning.
But Barkley feels his more expansive game is better suited to be pitted against the Wallabies in Tests, as opposed to the more direct style of club-mate Shontayne Hape, who looks set to get the nod again for Saturday’s second Test in Sydney.
“It is the Tests that are the games everyone wants to play in,” Barkley said. “I play the way I play. I like to think I bring something different to a midfield when I play there.
“A large part of my development has been the way we play at Bath, with the expansive style and I feel I have quite a big role in that It is the way I am used to playing and I think I can develop that but I don’t pick the team.”
Johnson insists the idea of a five-match tour was to give as many of his 44-man squad a chance to play and has made seven changes from the side which drew 28-28 against the Barbarians last Tuesday.
Joe Worsley replaces Chris Robshaw and captains the side.
ENGLAND | V AUS. BARBARIANS
15 Delon Armitage, 14 David Strettle, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 Jon Golding, 2 Lee Mears, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Dan Ward-Smith, 6 Joe Worsley (capt), 7 Steffon Armitage, 8 James Haskell. Replacements: Rob Webber, David Flatman, Chris Robshaw, Phil Dowson, Paul Hodgson, Shane Geraghty, Mathew Tait.