Chiefs prop has huge potential - Cockerill

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By Mark Stevens

England forwards coach Richard Cockerill believes there is "huge potential" in Exeter Chiefs prop Patrick Schickerling.

The 23-year-old was called into the England squad for last week’s three-day training camp in Teddington and came off the bench during England's friendly clash with the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

Although Schickerling's international debut was somewhat short-lived, he was forced from the field for a HIA following a shoulder to the head from Will Skelton, England head coach Eddie Jones has seen enough to reward the young Chief with a spot on his summer tour to Australia.

Schickerling will head Down Under alongside club-mates Jonny Hill, Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickie for the three-game Test series, which gets underway against the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday, July 2.

It's a remarkable rise to the top for the talented tight-head, who made eight appearances in the Championship this season for Cornish Pirates before returning to Sandy Park, where he featured prominently during the second half of the season, including making 11 Gallagher Premiership appearances and five more in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Among those watching the progress of the Namibian-born powerhouse is Cockerill, who spoke glowingly of the the forward ahead of Sunday's encounter.

“He has come in and has worked really hard. He is pretty raw but huge amount of potential. A good lad, has a really good attitude for getting on with his work and there is a huge potential for him in the future because he has trained well, has a great attitude and that tight-head prop berth is something that we need more depth in and that is the challenge and opportunity for everyone hopefully this week. He’s good, really impressed with him.”

Schickerling has been in camp with Harlequins forward Will Collier, the 31-year-old, who was last capped by England on the 2017 Argentina tour. His form as the bedrock of the Harlequins scrum under Adam Jones was favourably commented on all season.

“Will has been fantastic for Quins, probably one of the best scrummagers in the Premiership,” agreed Cockerill. “He now has the opportunity to go and prove himself and push himself forward for selection, not only for the weekend but for Australia, along with Will Stuart, Trevor Davison, Schickerling. There is an opportunity there for someone to take that role behind Will Stuart, who is going to step up and take that next role. There is obviously Joe Heyes (of Leicester) potentially to come back in there.

“It’s starting to build a bit of depth in that position and it’s down to those guys then to take the opportunity them isn’t it and really grasp it and force themselves into that squad for Australia and into the next 18 months to the World Cup.”

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