International Scout Notes – 28th Sept

We’ve had our Scouts at the various grounds around the country this weekend, and here’s who caught their eye. Let us know if you spotted anyone else that deserves a mention.

Joe Simpson
Started last year in sublime form, catching the eye with blistering pace and several searing breaks. Was forgotten slightly after the rise of Ben Youngs, the shoulder injury that ruled him out the Six Nations and the hamstring problem that forced his withdrawal from England’s summer tour. However, his performance against Gloucester at the weekend suggests he could be back in the reckoning – outstanding, speedy delivery and always a threat around the fringes.

Topsy Ojo
A hat-trick performance stole the headlines at Kingston Park, and Johnno will have spotted them. There’s talk of him finding his ‘spark’ again, and there’s no denying his pace. His defence wasn’t really tested by Newcastle, so hopes aren’t up yet, but we’ll keep an eye on him in the next few weeks.

Jon Golding
Broke into the England setup last year, but hasn’t been quite as convincing so far this term. His work rate around the park was immense last season, but without Carl Hayman on the other side of the scrum, his performances seem to have dipped. Was in contention for the Autumn Internationals, but needs to up his game to force his way in.

Steve Borthwick
When you are identified by the television analysts as being average for your club, does that spell the end of your England career? Sunday’s conditions should have been ideal for an international lock to step up, but as Austin Healey showed, every time he got the ball, he was only looking to go to ground. There are many more promising talents around, and not much evidence to suggest that Johnno was wrong to drop Borthers.

Stephen Ferris
The heartbeat of Ulster’s side, and has been central to their performances so far this season. A phenomenal player and a shoo-in for Ireland, but latest injury may be yet another set back. He left the field after just 10 minutes of the Connacht match after a blow to the ribs, but fingers crossed that it isn’t serious and that he’ll make a return in time for the Autumn to play a full part in Declan Kidney’s Rugby World Cup preparations.

David Blair
Mike’s younger brother and half-back partner was a key figure in Edinburgh’s victory over Leinster, pressing home the advantage that the pack provided, controlling the game, kicking the points when appropriate, and scoring a try to boot. Would have been an interesting match up with Jonny Sexton had he been fit, and will keep an eye on how he fares when they face Leinster again at the end of October.

We’re looking for more scouts, particularly in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, so if you fancy helping out with the Scout Notes every now and then, please get in touch.

12 thoughts on “International Scout Notes – 28th Sept

  1. England Team for Autumn / world cup?
    we have good batch of forwards but what the hell are we going to do in the centre?
    has anyone seen any decent centres playing well in the AP?

  2. Turning into a problem position for us actually. I was hoping Barkley could become first-choice 12, but he’s massively out of favour.

    Hape’s not exactly world class. Someone suggested Armitage the other day, but can’t see Johnno going for that. Sinbad anyone?

  3. Yes, big fan of Jon Clarke here as well – we’ve been harping on about him for a while now. I still rate Flutey, and I think Waldouck has a lot of potential – although again, he’s in the squad but will Johnno actually pick him?

  4. No, MJ will not pick Waldouck, hes in love with Hapey not sold on him really.
    I think Fltuey and Clarke would be a lovely blend in defense and attack
    what happened to Turner Hall?

    Ben williams @ bath looks good for a young guy – keep and eye on him

  5. I think our best centre pairing in recent years has been Flutey and Tindall, I’d definitely stick with that combo till the world cup.

  6. I can’t remember the last time center wasn’t a problem for us. I wonder how many players we have rotated through those positions since 2003, with little success.

    I hope you’re wrong about Hape Jimmy. Trouble is, we have so few compelling alternatives (how can we have so many quality full backs and wingers but be so weak at 12 and 13?!)

  7. Of course, on reflection I have to concede that the perceived weaknesses are exacerbated by generally crap service over the last few years.

  8. Uncle mat, centres are a rare breed!
    how many players do you know who can combine the defensive abilities of a flanker and the attacking abilities of a fly half (who can sort of kick)?

    thats why our 2009 lions centres were so unbelievably good. Roberts was bigger than most flankers but has the hands and brain (medic) of a back.with BOD….ooh.

    TIndall had Greenwood.

    I think flutey is our answer, but i prefer jon clarke (15+ stone) who can do the passing etc to tindall whos got a bit old.

  9. but weve not got the excuse now of crap forwards as Borthwick “most professional and dedicated but average player” is no longer in contention.

  10. Absolutely Uncle Mat – I was about to respond saying that we’ve made some good centres look very ordinary by shipping them slow ball and seeing what they can do on the back foot.

    With some good ball going forwards, Flutey should look outstanding…

  11. I was at a wedding on sat with toby flood, who is injured.really top guy.
    he taught me a drinking game called “ou est le poisson?” – has anyone else played this game?

Comments are closed.