Aviva Premiership Team of the Week – Round 7


Mako Vunipola

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

12 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Team of the Week – Round 7

  1. And judging by the other England 15s on show and in particular Brown the continued absence of Goode from Eddie Jones plans more and more inexplicable (to me at less.)

    1. As David Flatman pointed out, Goode simply does not fit in the current England style. With two playmakers at 10 and 12, Eddie wants someone solid at the back to run direct lines and kick effectively when required. Goode does not fall into this category. If Eddie was playing Farrell or Ford with T’eo and JJ, then Goode would be a better option (in my opinion).
      This is part of the reason I don’t understand Eddie’s fixation with getting more playmakers in he squad to fill centre roles. Lozowski, Francis and Slade whilst all good players will be providing the same role that Farrell does at 12/13. What we need is someone different on the bench to provide more direct running.

      1. This ^. Brown gets a lot of undeserved stick imo. I see his play as very specific. His job is tidying up at the back then making as much ground as possible and setting up play for the forwards to to reset and start new phase play. Brown is fantastic at this.

    2. I think that Goode hasn’t quite cut the mustard at international level. A great prem player but has seemed out of his depth at international. Maybe its the lack of real pace or defensive frailty.
      I do think the time will soon be upon us for Brown to pass on the 15 shirt, but it should go to someone new like Watson, instead of going back to Goode.

  2. Even as a Chiefs fan I have to question the inclusion of Turner on the wing. He did score a try but offered not much else. Wyles or Roko had a much better game.

    Agree with most of the others though.

    1. I did wonder about that. Especially after the comments above for Slade. It would seem they were playing in different matches?

      Add to this the form of Liam Williams on the right wing at Sarries having Turner in there seems a bit odd?

  3. I see the news is in about the Yarde Sale…….sorry couldn’t resist it!!

    Whilst I understand why Quins wanted to get rid, I don’t see how moving to Sale will benefit Yarde? I don’t think he’ll be getting as much game time there as he did at Quins. Apart from when his new team mate Solomona is on international duty of course!!

    1. If Charnley is heading back to RL as some believe then I see what Sale get out of it. As you say, Yarde gives them cover as Solomona is in the England squad and McGuigan in the Scottish one

      Rather less clear is what Yarde gets – unless the reason he’s ended up with Sale is that no one else would take him. In which case, what he gets is a job…

      1. I did hear on the grapevine that Charnley could be heading back to RL. It kind of makes Sale look like the team to go for naughty boys.
        Next up signings include Hartley, Tuilagi, Ashton and a Ciprian re-signing.

    2. From what I understand, Quins wasn’t looking to renew this contract so he had a strop about it! Sounds like he is strongly disliked throughout the Quins changing room though and definitely won’t be missed…


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