Paul Doran-Jones has revealed his frustration at being left out of the senior England squad and has vowed to prove Stuart Lancaster wrong.
Doran-Jones was part of Martin Johnson’s World Cup training camp before being left out of the final 30-man squad.
But instead of being part of Lancaster’s new era, the Saints prop was again overlooked with David Wilson staying ahead of the 26-year-old in the tighthead pecking order.
After starting so well for Saints following his move from Gloucester in the summer Doran-Jones was hoping for recognition in the Elite Player Squad.
Instead he will line up against Ireland Wolfhounds at Exeter’s Sandy Park today with a point to prove.
Doran-Jones said: “I was very frustrated not to get into the senior squad, it has been tough for me.
“I had a good run of games starting for Northampton, a successful side, so I was hoping to get in there, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“I feel I have bedded in really well at Saints and I was hoping to get into the senior squad.
“But it has been fantastic here with the Saxons, we’ve had a good week and the aim for all of us is to put pressure on the senior guys.
“The best way to do that is by going out and beating Ireland and put in a good personal performance to put pressure on the guys ahead of me.
“They told me it was a tough decision and I was close so I want to keep making it hard for them.”
Doran-Jones is one of five full internationals in the Saxons side with Saints team-mate Ryan Lamb on the bench as Gloucester’s Freddie Burns is preferred at fly-half.
Given Doran-Jones has just been dumped out of the Heineken Cup by Munster, he has more motivation to get some revenge against the Irish – especially as the Wolfhounds will contain Simon Zebo on the wing, the man who scored a hat-trick against Saints last week in the 51-36 loss at stadium:mk.
With Irish rugby on a high after three of its provinces reached the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, Doran-Jones knows it will be a stiff test.
“It will be a tough game, but that is good for us,” said Doran-Jones, who has won three caps for England, the first in 2009 against Argentina.
“It is better for us to play against good quality opposition because people will see exactly how good we are.
“We want a tough test and if we pass it it means a lot more. I have to keep working on my game and improving if I want to nudge the guys out ahead of me.”