I must return to running rugby

Ben Foden

Ben Foden scored a late winning try against Harlequins last weekend

Northampton full-back Ben Foden says England head coach Eddie Jones has told him to “get back to running rugby”.

The 30-year-old won the last of his 34 caps against New Zealand in 2013.

“I had a phone call from Eddie before he picked the England squad saying I need to get back to the running rugby and get hands on the ball in the wide channels,” said Foden.

“That’s the first time anyone’s ever told me that from England – it was always the other way around.”

He added to BBC Radio Northampton: “They always said my counter game was good and I was good with ball in the wide channels but the rest of the game needed working on so it was quite bizarre for him to turn around and say that to me.”

Saints, losing Premiership semi-finalists last season, have struggled for form this term and are currently seven points off fourth-placed Harlequins in sixth.

And Foden said his conversation with Jones was linked to the problems his club side have had.

“It just shows where we are as a Northampton back-line, we haven’t been firing,” he added.

“Individually, I haven’t been getting the ball in the wide channels and doing what I used to do in a Northampton Saints shirt.

“Hopefully that will light a fire for a few of us – I think Luther [Burrell] had the same conversation as well.”

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