England Scout Notes – 15th September

Another full week of Guinness Premiership action in Round 2, and there were a few more performances that got the Scout pen quivering.

Joe Simpson

The Wasps scrum-half has unbelievable pace, seems to drift past defenders without trying. Created try for Varndell from first phase from base of scrum and was gone before the Bath back row had stood up.

Tom Varndell

Four tries in two matches makes Varndell difficult to ignore. Three out of four scores have been fairly straightforward, but the fourth took some finishing. Shown glimpses of tremendous speed, but there are lingering doubts in his defence and ability under the high ball and would make your nerves jangle in an International.

Matt Banahan

Had my doubts about sticking a second rower on the wing, but is incredibly difficult to put down. Took four Wasps men to stop him charging for the line, and could well be an option on the England wing with confrontational approach to complement a more elusive player.

Steve Borthwick

Has had two very effective games for Saracens, dominating the lineout against Irish and Northampton and contributing in the loose. Appears to be much-improved defensively, turning the ball over on several occasions like a good open-side.

Jonny Wilkinson

Haven’t seen him play since week one, but has been prominent in Toulon’s success so far this season. Kicking well, and most importantly, has stayed fit throughout. Will ask Johnno for some budget to go and watch him play.


News this week of injuries to Riki Flutey and Delon Armitage that could rule them out of the Autumn Internationals. Will be watching Ugo Monye at full-back for Quins, which could be a good option now that we have a few quality wings. Shane Geraghty looks more than capable of filling the number 12 spot.