International Scout Notes – 11th Dec

Jono Frank casts his eye over the recent European action in search of contenders for Six Nations selection.

Rhys Patchell

Rhys Patchell
At a difficult time for Welsh rugby there is still one shining light in the form of fly-half Rhys Patchell. In a game ultimately decided by the sending off of Lloyd Williams in the 25th minute, the youngster showed great resolve to dispatch all 24 of his team’s points. At just 19, he is still developing and most pundits would urge caution with regard to rushing him into the international set-up. The red-headed number 10 seems comfortable and happy to wait in the wings, “if in two or three years a Welsh call-up comes along, that’s great”. However, with Priestland’s most recent injury depleting the Welsh ranks further, could the Blues’ fly-half be about to step on to centre stage?

Ronan O’Gara
Whilst his international role is slowly declining, Ireland’s top points scorer is still asserting his influence at club level. The fly-half kicked all 15 of Munster’s points as they triumphed over a jaded looking Saracens side. The weekend’s rugby certainly had an air of an international hangover, and the stuttering performances certainly highlighted the benefit of having a wise old head at fly-half. The 35 year old tormented Saracens all afternoon, and remains a reassuring figure for the Irish as the Six Nations rolls around.

Andrew Trimble
Ulster swept aside a lacklustre Northampton with a fine team display that Mark Anscombe justifiably referred to as “a bit of a statement”. It certainly sent out a message reaffirming of the wealth of talent being nurtured within Irish ranks. However, it was Andrew Trimble who caught the eye in this one with an excellent display on the wing. Having been given the nod ahead of the Autumn Internationals hero, Craig Gilroy, the 27 year old demonstrated the value of experience as they produced one of the big results of the weekend.

By Jono Frank

11 thoughts on “International Scout Notes – 11th Dec

  1. A little ironic as Rhys was pummeled in the press last weekend, a little over the top it was as well. Well deserved tip this week though – he plays brilliantly. I fear he may get thrown in though regardless (fear, as I wouldn’t want him to be the next Prydie) because Priestland is out for the season. With Hook all over the shop, Biggar and Priestland are pretty much the only two fit 10s we’ve got left… and I’m not sure how fit Biggar is.

    I just bought Wal v Ire tix – I hope O’Gara is playing :-)

    Remember when Trimble came on the scene? He looked like the next O’Driscoll and then thoroughly tailed off in impact. He hope he does better this time. He’s a great player to watch – skillful, strong and always looks massively up for every single ball and tackle. I hope he *isn’t* playing against Wales.

    Did I see Mathew Tait looking good for Leics? Ok, it was Treviso, but still … could be be pushing himself back into contention?

    1. Please no to Tait. Some players come onto the international stage and look born to it and others look lost. He is in the latter category – a real shame as he is a gifted player but not an international I think. Probably pressed into action at too young an age – Patchell look out!

      1. Hmmm…I know what you mean but I think Tait’s problem was that England never gave him a proper chance. He was chosen, dropped, chosen and dropped again. And when he was dropped it tended to be for a lump like Hipkiss or Noon

        Any player who can produce a break like this in a world cup final

        or score like this against the Kiwis

        Has something to add if he can find his form again.

        Hopefully Leicester will be good for him

      2. Staggy, whilst I agree he was pushed in too early I disagree that Tait has never looked capable at international level. I’d point to the 07 RWC and the tour of SA before that as proof of his ability and potential to become a top rate 13. South Africa identified him before the final as the only threat in the England side. In my opinion his career has been hampered by conservative coaching styles and imbalanced midfield partnerships (He needs a brute inside him at 12 not Toby Flood), Positional changes (in my opinion he should have stuck to 13) and injuries.

        1. Nick I know what you are saying – it’s just to my mind, he has flattered to deceive. Maybe I’m being harsh on him, but I don’t think that he will ever truly cut it on the international stage. I would love to be wrong because at his best he is a sublime player. Don’t think that mixing his position around has helped.

    1. Well, Morgan I think is going to suffer from his size. It doesn’t bother me – he is skilful, exciting and tackles like a young halfpenny. But look at Gatland’s track record got selecting backs. Not one under six foot except for the one man he can’t leave out, halfpenny.

      Rhys is over six foot. That ginger hair can’t be hurting him from getting noticed as well.

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