Ashton has started the season in ominous form
We are always on the lookout for international talent, helping the coaches of the home nations keep tabs on their players – here, Stephen Thomas runs the rule over a number of stand-out performances at the weekend.
A solid performance for the Ospreys’ fly-half. In difficult conditions, he controlled the game effectively and introduced enough variety to keep Treviso guessing. He is desperate to be Wales’ 10 and playing like this could put him in contention for the World Cup.
Edinburgh’s Dutch winger and last year’s top tryscorer has carried on where he left off this season. An impressive finisher and undoubted talent, he will be eligible to play for Scotland in a couple years on residency, and at only 23, he’s surely one for the future. We’ll keep an eye on his progress over the next season or two.
Another, great game topped off with a try. He has such good vision of the game as a whole, always looking for work, running great support lines and his finishing abilities are superb. Undoubtedly England’s number 1 winger and let’s hope he continues this form for the rest of the season and for longer.
The best 40-minute cameo you will see this season. Strets looks as though he’s settling in to his new club, and the fresh start might revive his international career as well. If he continues putting in these types of performances you can’t rule him out.
Plenty of competition for the England 7 jersey, not least from the current captain, but Fourie is on the radar and put in a strong performance against Gloucester to get noticed by Martin Johnson. He won crucial turnovers, was all over the park and he was unlucky to be on the losing side.
Scrum-half is one of the most competitive areas in England and Wiggy wants to get back in the set up. He took on his former colleague Dwayne Peel and outshone him completely. Good passing, good offloading skills and excellent off the tee. A few England scrum-halves seem to be on the wane, but this stock could be rising.
Let us know if anyone has caught your eye.
Photo: Paler Images