Exclusive: The club which tried to sway Jack Willis to play for Ireland and not England

JACK WILLIS rejected a move to Ulster this summer because he wants to force his way into Eddie Jones’ England squad this autumn.

Willis, and his younger brother Tom, who also plays for Wasps, are both Irish qualified, but turnover king Jack is very much on Jones’ radar.

The 23-year-old flanker, who signed a new deal with Wasps earlier this year, was the subject of an enquiry by Ulster but turned it down flat.

Willis, who was selected to tour South Africa two years ago only to pick up a knee ligament injury, faces stiff competition from Sale’s Tom Curry and Bath’s Sam Underhill.

And it was because of Curry and Underhill blocking Willis’ path to England  that Ulster, buoyed by the success they had in tempting Will Addison to leave Sale Sharks, thought they would chance their arm.

Willis produced a standout performance for Wasps on their return to Premiership action in Round 14, finishing with a try as well as putting in a dominant display at the ruck in front of an onlooking Eddie Jones.

Meanwhile, Wasps have signed lock Levi Douglas from Bath after Thibaud Flament made it clear he was leaving the club at the end of the season.

Paris-born back rower Flament, 23, who joined Wasps from Loughborough University rejected the offer of a new contract from the Premiership side.

Flament, who has missed both of Wasps wins over Worcester and Northampton since the restart, is set to go home to France where he is expected to join Toulouse.

The Rugby Paper reported at the start of the year that he was on Toulouse’s radar and that they were going to take him back across the Channel.

NEIL FISSLER

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