Alex Mitchell: Northampton scrum-half seeks consistency to boost England hopes

Alex Mitchell: Northampton scrum-half seeks consistency to boost England hopes

Alex Mitchell scored for England against Tonga after an earlier try was disallowed

Northampton scrum-half Alex Mitchell says he must be more consistent to force his way into the plans of England head coach Steve Borthwick.

Mitchell won his only cap as a replacement against Tonga under Eddie Jones in November 2021.

But Jones was sacked last month, with former Leicester head coach Borthwick appointed as his replacement.

“I’ve had some brief chats with him about my game and how I can improve,” Mitchell told BBC Radio Northampton.

The 25-year-old described his form this season as “middleish”, saying: “For me, it’s just about that consistency. I’m doing a few good things but there are a few mistakes here and there that I need to get out of my game, and that’s what I’m working on.”

He continued: “My consistency is where I can push on and be one of the best. My pass and kick are skills so I want them always to be on point, and decision-making also comes into it, I want to choose the best options possible.”

Mitchell has scored four tries in 15 appearances for Northampton this season, taking his overall tally for the club to 37 since arriving from Sale in 2017.

Following his appearance against Tonga, he trained with the England squad before last summer’s tour, but missed out as Jack van Poortvliet, Harry Randall and Danny Care were the three number nines selected.

“That was a tough one because I was involved the two weeks before we went to Australia and I literally got told the day before we went [I wasn’t in the squad],” he said.

“I was all packed and everything. And then I had five weeks when I didn’t have anything planned, no holidays or anything. I felt a bit lost. But you have to understand their decision and try and push on to the next season, there’s nothing else you can do.”

Mitchell has been given “work-ons” by the England coaching staff and accepts that selection will always be “one man’s opinion”.

“I just focus on Saints because if you try and think too far ahead of England and other honours you’re just going to get ahead of yourself,” he added.

“As long as you play well for Saints and kick on there, hopefully you get the opportunities with England.”

Northampton are away to Munster in the European Champions Cup on Saturday.

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