1. Worcester need something special
Worcester Warriors are quite rightly feeling the pressure at the moment; they lost to relegation rivals Newcastle, at home, at the weekend, and Sale and London Irish picked up wins against Bath and Quins respectively. Maybe their trio of newly-signed Argentinians can work some magic now that the Rugby Championship has ended, but Leonardo Senatore, Agustin Creevy and Mariano Galarza have their work cut out. Coincidentally, I predicted Irish to struggle recently due to the amount of injuries they have, but they proved me wrong at the weekend.
2. Will Fraser adds to England’s back-row options
After ripping his lat off the bone, no-one would blame Will Fraser for taking his time coming back from injury, but nearly six months later, he was back in Saracens’ starting XV and back on the scoresheet. It’s a timely return from the youngster who probably would have been capped on England’s tour of Argentina and if he continues show this sort of form on his path back from injury, he could still make his debut in the next Six Nations.
3. Fair play to JP Doyle
All too recently, players have been giving referees far too much of an earful when it comes to managing the game, so thank you JP Doyle who, during the Tigers – Saints match, sin-binned Louis Deacon for dissent. Doyle was heard telling Tigers captain Toby Flood “He came screaming over at me, demanding what I do. Unacceptable!” That’s right, Sir, you remind them who’s boss!
4. England’s future at 10 looks rosy
Owen Farrell will probably be Stuart Lancaster’s first choice, but Toby Flood was back to his influential best against Saints, and there is a huge amount of buzz about George Ford at the moment, although his opposite man at the weekend, Danny Cipriani, was by far the better fly-half. The bad boy of English rugby could have an outside chance if he keeps Sale’s heads above water, but his road to redemption is still long. Freddie Burns has yet to fire this season, but Lancaster will be aware that he is playing behind a badly misfiring pack, so he is not completely to blame.
5. Saints’ England stars are shining
Saints may be frustrated by the fact that they ended up drawing against the Tigers (even though a win was in their grasp) but they will be enjoying the form of their home-grown talent this season. Sam Dickinson has undoubtedly been the revelation of the season, Luther Burrell’s performances have earned talks of an England call up and Courtney Lawes is still smashing his way through the opposition. Not to mention how easily Alex Corbisiero has fit into the team and the consistency of Calum Clark, Phil Dowson, Ben Foden and Dylan Hartley.
By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images