Woodward's stocks rise in England

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    24 Apr 2018     Getty Images

With news that England are seeking Brad Shields for their tour to South Africa in the June window, there could be two Hurricanes on the tour if both are selected.

After Woodward's English club Gloucester beat Newcastle 33-12 to reach the final of the European Challenge Cup at the weekend, former Lions Investec Super Rugby coach Johan Ackermann said he believed Woodward was ready for an international call-up..

Woodward played a key role in setting up two tries with stunning breaks from within his own half.

Ackermann told, "Any player has got their work-ons, and Jason has got things he can work on, but if you look at him as a player who's got the X factor and is versatile, who can play on both wings, I think even 13 [centre], and he obviously enjoys fullback.

"And just his skill. Obviously the fact he can offload in the tackle, he's got an abundance of speed and he's great under that high ball.

"He's definitely ready for that level to step it up and I think will grab it with both hands.

"He tries things and sometimes the players don't even know what he's going to try but that's good," Ackermann said.

"He's got that freedom to try it and if he's decisive his chances of pulling it off are good.

"As the game progressed he got better and better in that decision-making and that's why that offload to Ben Vellacott is something he'll try, that's his character and I support you have live with it if it doesn't come off, but he's got that ability."

Woodward qualifies to play for England through his grandmother. England's side for the tour is to be named on May 10.

Woodward said after the game: "We're excited to get the result, it was scrappy from both sides in places, but that was probably down to the emotion out there, and in the final 40 we got the job done."

"In the first half we had to go through a lot of defensive sets and we spoke about it before the game as this is the third time we've played these guys this year.

"We knew what they were going to bring, we knew they were going to be physical and that they like to spread the ball wide so we knew we were going to have to be on our game.