KEIRON Cunningham says wing ace Tommy Makinson is in with a shot of gaining an England place, despite missing months with an ankle injury.
The Saints coach is happy with Makinson’s progress since returning to the side - and thinks he can do enough to impress Steve McNamara before November’s Test Series against New Zealand.
“I thought Tommy really was the standout winger at the start of the year and the injury came - an injury never comes at a good time does it - but the injury came at a bad time for Tommy,” said Cunningham.
“He will get better and better. From game one he was a little bit scratchy and against Leeds he was a lot better than what he was and I’m sure he will be a lot better again this week.
“If Tommy does find some form I think he’ll be in with a shot.”
But Makinson, despite his 15 tries from 19 appearances this term, faces stiff competition for a place in one of the most congested positions for quality eligible players.
“It’s a tough call isn’t it,” said Cunningham, in a nod to stars such as Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe of Leeds, and Wigan’s wing pair of Joe Burgess and Josh Charnley.
“It’s good for the competition and the international scene we have so many good outside backs.
“As a country we’re in a good spot. We have some real good wingers across the board. Your Wigan wingers and Leeds winners and our boys have been going really good too.
But Makinson isn’t Cunningham’s only weapon on the wing. He said: “Adam Swift’s been outstanding this last few weeks. He’s really hit the straps and if Tommy can do that not only does it put us in good stead but it does for the international scene.