Denny Solomona is determined to win back his spot in the England team following his unceremonious departure from their recent training camp.
Along with Manu Tuilagi, Solomona was sent home early from the three-day preseason camp in Teddington three weeks ago for what the RFU said were “team culture issues”, which were understood to be alcohol-related.
Speaking for the first time about the incident at Sale Sharks’ pre-season media day at the AJ Bell Stadium, Solomona, 23, says he has learnt his lesson and will heed the advice of England coach Eddie Jones.
“He’s just said to train harder and play harder and that’s what I’ll do,” Solomona said.
“I need to do what he says. That’s the only way I’ll achieve what I want to achieve.
“By training hard, I’ll improve my game capabilities and I’ll learn a lot more. And in the game I’ll go as hard as I can and give everything I’ve got every single game.
“I’m hungry for it. I’m eager for it and I’m only going to train harder and play as good as I can to let my rugby do my talking.
“What happened was out of character, it was definitely a mistake on my behalf. I’ll cop that on the chin and I’ll work harder to get back.
“I put that person behind me a long time ago.”
Solomona caused a stir when he quit Castleford at the end of last season after scoring a Super League record 40 tries for the club in 2016.
He signed a three-year deal with Sale, who agreed in an out-of-court settlement to pay a £200,000 transfer fee, and responded with 11 tries in 15 appearances to earn an England call-up.
Solomona, who represented Samoa at rugby league before qualifying for England on the old three-year residency rule, enjoyed a mixed debut after going on as a substitute against the Pumas in the first Test in San Juan, where he overcame two costly defensive blunders to score the match-winning try.
“It will definitely live with me for a long time,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
“The atmosphere definitely got to me but Mike Brown pulled me aside after the second try and told me to calm down and try to relax. Luckily when I got the ball I managed to do something with it.”
Solomona is now determined to build on his promising start with club and country.
“I’ve got a lot of fixing up and patching up in my game to do,” he said. “I know I’ve lot to learn and a lot to offer.”