International Scout Notes: 10th September

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Jamie George

The first week of the season is bit too early to call international contenders. However, young hooker Jamie George played a huge part in Saracens’ opening day demolition of London Irish. The 22 year old ran in two tries in the opening stages, the second being the pick of the bunch as he took Farrell’s inside pass off the back of a mall, side-stepped his man and crossed the line to finish. Both tries demonstrated power and guile, and certainly made the hooker a worthy man of the match.

Luther Burrell

The Northampton centre was on the fringes of the England tour to Argentina over the summer. With more performances like this though he may well find himself in contention come the Autumn Internationals. Two glorious passes sent Northampton away on a first half frenzy as they opened up an unassailable lead over Exeter. The first of the centre’s assists came from a wonderful miss pass to cut out the Chiefs defence send over Dylan Hartley. The second came following an incisive line break before drawing the man and releasing his team mate. This was an exciting performance from the powerful number 12 which may well have turned some heads.

Tom Palmer

Wasps against Harlequins never fails to disappoint as the game was decided by the width of a post from Andy Goode’s missed conversion. Although he will be feeling aggrieved that his side did not take maximum points from his try in the dying minutes, Tom Palmer can take some pride from a defensive performance which saw him make 10 tackles. At 34, time may be drawing to a close on the lock’s international career but more performances such as this could give him the chance for one last roll of the dice. The likes of Palmer will be vital this season to provide an example for the work-rate required as Wasps continue to rebuild.

Jordan Williams

Sometimes being compared to a legend of the game means attracting unwanted attention, high volumes of pressure and a large target on your back. That is exactly what has happened to 19 year-old Jordan Williams who has recently been compared to All-Black great Christian Cullen by another All-Black legend, Sean Fitzpatrick.

Cullen will easily go down in history as one of the true masters of the game. His rugby genius is unquestioned, he possessed devastating running ability, Ferrari like acceleration and hawk-like vision to spot the gaps us mere mortals are just never going to see. Williams has a very, very long way to go to reach these lofty expectations but his recent performances in the Junior World Championships and brief substitute appearance in the Scarlets opening round Pro12 match against Leinster point to his potential.

Rhys Patchell

Patchell announced himself to the rugby world with some eye-catching performances for the Blues as a 19 year-old last year. His impressive debut season was rewarded with a late replacement call-up to the Welsh senior squad who toured Japan in the summer. Patchell put in some notable displays while away, doing his chances of leading the line for Wales in the up-coming autumn internationals no harm. Patchell will be battling seasoned veteran James Hook, Dan Biggar and Rhys Priestland for the No.10 jersey with most suggesting that Patchell just needs to keep Cardiff competitive to solidify his place in November’s matches.

His excellent performance against Glasgow in a wet opening round fixture at Scotstoun Stadium proved his credentials as one of Wales’ brightest talents. Scoring four penalties and one drop goal were not enough to propel the Blues to victory against the Scots but they do showcase exactly what this young man is capable of and what Welsh rugby fans can look forward to.

Compiled by Jono Frank and Alex Mcleman

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

12 thoughts on “International Scout Notes: 10th September

  1. I don’t think Patchell is battling James Hook for anything. Hook is truly forgotten by Wales now.

    I can’t see Patchell getting a place in November. I think Biggar is still in the jersey and Gats will want to see if he can ease Priestland back in. This isn’t a slight on Patch, I just don’t think they’re looking at him as a full option yet.

    Jordan Williams compared to Christian Cullen. Wow. Hey, at least he only has to displace Halfpenny to get into the Welsh side…

    1. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of patchell. Just glad the weather was as such on Friday to limit the ball available to him! I reckon he’ll be involved in the Welsh squad come November, and will probably find game time against Tonga.

  2. I’d be surprised if any of the English guys mentioned play in the Autumn. Jamie George is a very promising talent, but with Hartley and Youngs around I just can’t see him getting a chance. SL is a fan of Webber too so if any of them miss out, I would guess he’d come in. If they is an injury to either of Hartley/Youngs; I would prefer young hookers like George of Cowan-Dickie given a shot. Whilst Webber is ok, is it really worth playing him when there are younger hookers with more potential available?

    I’be always been a big Palmer fan, and he is very important to Wasps, but he isn’t in SLs plans I don’t think. Burrell is unlucky enough that he is playing well, but probably something like 4th in line to play 12? Barritt/ Twelvetrees/ Eastmond, maybe even Farrell as 12 before he gets a shot.

  3. Big season for Jamie George. With Smit gone, and him and Brits rotating regularly, he could see himself in the Saxons squad if he carries on like this. His throwing was great, defence was great, and he obviously knows his way to the line, as he scored two Saturday, but has also scored several in Sarries pre-season games as well.

  4. Very good on Jamie George for sticking with Sarries. I am glad he had the common sense to see that whilst he was behind two superb hookers in Brits and Smit, he would eventually get his chance. He could easily have moved to somewhere where he could start, perhaps Sale, Newcastle, Worcester etc, but he now has a chance to really stake a claim to be starting hooker at a top 4 team which will do his International chances a world of good. Problem is, Hartley and Youngs are both superb hookers and neither are very old. Could maybe get ahead of Webber but he himself performed well in the summer and for Bath last year. Hooker is a position England could have a lot of depth in eventually, which is very good considering not long ago it was just Hartley by default.

  5. Watching Luther Burrell reminded me of what I always hoped Jordan Tuner-Hall would turn out to be.

    Hopefully Burrell can kick on in a way that JTH never did

  6. Have to say that English rugby seems to have a wealth of talent at the moment. Is this due to the French Top 14 having more money and therefore luring away top talent meaning that our youngsters get more playing time? Discuss!

    1. It’s an interesting point and is often mentioned in Wales. Only time will tell if it’s true or if it’s just clutching at straws.

      1. Brighty, not sure my omnipotence gives me the answer either. It might just be a talented set of age groups all coming through at once, or it might be a better selection strategy or it might be better playing time or something else. Personally I am veering towards the greater playing time, bearing in mind that we do have a large pool of players numbers to choose from. Something that you are not as blessed with sadly.

        1. I like to side with the idea that the game time is at least a partial payback for losing our best players. We can point at a few solid examples in Wales – Andrew Coombs was behind that lanky fella who went to France, can’t remember his name now. Cory Allen is likely to get a lot of starts now Roberts has gone. There may be an advantage that we avoid French moves for the younger gguys as when the older guys move we can dangle the carrot of regular rugby in front of the younger guys – I think one of the most worrying trends of the French drain is seeing young uncapped players off there. I see there’s a bit of a story brewing about a young Bok scrumhalf eligible for France in a few months?

          We have a smaller pool, yes. We’re known for small numbers of sturgeon rather than swarms of mackerel. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

          1. Well you certainly seem to feed them well! and here’s to hoping our mackerel start to show up their Russian cousins!

  7. Andy Goode back to England? joking aside he looked pretty impressive and was the link for the try that set up his final kick.

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