Back after a two week absence, here is my team of the week for Round 7 of the Aviva Premiership.
1 – Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
The England loose head burst through his old teammate Du Plessis to score a powerful try and was also dominant in the other areas throughout the game.
2 – Ashley Johnson (Wasps)
Johnson was everywhere in the Wasps’ away match on Saturday: kicking a lovely accurate punt for Wade to score, scoring his own try in the corner, carried really robustly and offloaded for De Jongh to score.
3 – Dan Cole (Leicester)
Gloucester’s John Afoa produced a lovely offload for Willy Heinz to score but was sloppy in other areas, therefore the coveted tighthead prop selection goes to Dan Cole who put in an impressive shift at Kingston Park, winning penalties at the scrum and was consistent elsewhere
4 – Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
The Wasps captain led by example in Saturday’s morale-boosting win over the Saints by being powerful in the carry and ever reliant in the set-piece.
5 – Ed Slater (Gloucester)
In his first West County Derby, Slater was very reliable in the set-piece and solid in the carry before scoring the crucial try in a famous away win at the Rec.
6 – Guy Thompson (Wasps)
In Nathan Hughes’s absence and returning from an injury, Thompson was a force to be reckoned with on Saturday, make huge carries and almost scoring a try in a man-of-match performance.
7 – Brendan O’Connor (Leicester)
The Kiwi openside was instrumental and outstanding in Leicester’s great win against the high-flying Newcastle, being a constant beast at the breakdown and disrupting Newcastle on multiple occasions.
8 – Mat Luamanu (Harlequins)
Luamanu constantly caused Worcester problems in defence with some strong ball-carrying and scoring a try of his own to get his side back in contention at the end of the first-half.
9 – Danny Care (Harlequins)
It’s very pleasing from an England perspective that both Youngs and Care are in such good form at the moment, the latter scoring his own great try which was instrumental in helping his side to a bonus-point win over struggling Worcester.
10 – George Ford (Leicester)
Ford was at his immaculate kicking best this weekend, judging the wind to perfection as he was 100% from the tee and produced a lovely crossfield kick for May to score.
11 – Charlie Walker (Harlequins)
I really like the look of Walker at the moment and on Saturday he scored a brilliant individual try against Worcester and was repeatedly testing the opposition with his very quick feet.
12 – Henry Slade (Exeter)
Slade was class once again on Friday and is England’s form centre at the moment in my opinion. Against Sale his handling was exquisite, kicking superb and his carrying dominant.
13 – Henry Trinder (Gloucester)
It’s wonderful to see Trinder get a full run of games (let’s hope I’ve not just jinxed that) and he was fabulous on Sunday, combining great footwork and passing for Heinz to score his first and was constantly threatening Bath’s defence.
14 – Lachie Turner (Exeter)
The former Wallaby scored the winning, and only try, lighting up a dull and somewhat controversial game.
15 – Alex Goode (Saracens)
Goode was great on Sunday, producing a lovely bit of skill to chip over the top of London Irish to gather it superbly and then pass for Wykes to score; was really solid under the high ball as well.
By Jacob Bassford