International Scout Notes – 5th Oct

The Autumn Internationals are now just a month away, and our various scouts have been out and about again as form becomes even more important.

Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall
Having been dropped by Bryan Redpath a couple of weeks ago, Tindall has responded in emphatic fashion, suggesting that he needed that kick up the backside. Since then he’s been a star of Gloucester’s midfield, not just tackling well but also getting up like a flanker to compete for the ball at the breakdown. He’s also made a couple of good breaks in attack, and has made a very strong case for an England starting berth.

Nick Easter
Another England stalwart that is finding form in a timely fashion. We’ve always been a fan of his offloading ability, and he’s been adding a dynamic edge to his game, running threatening lines in attack and always making yards over the gainline. Has offered Quins a strong lineout option at the back, and Johnno could consider playing him at second row – he’d hate it, but it might make for a mobile back five.

Stephen Jones
Did not deserve to be on the losing side for the Scarlets against the Ospreys after a dominant first-half display. Kicked all 18 points and ran the game effectively to demonstrate that he still deserves to be a part of Warren Gatland’s side over the next 12 months.

Fionn Carr
Despite being the top try scorer in the Magners League in 08/09 season and 4th top try scorer in 09/10, Carr is yet to make his senior debut. The Connacht winger bagged a hat-trick of tries against the Scarlets two weeks ago, and brings his season total to 4. Carr offers pace that is unmatched in the senior setup, he has a fantastic step, and is a natural finisher. Thursday night’s game saw him matched up with Leigh Halfpenny and Carr seemed to have the edge on him. Declan Kidney will have to sit up and take notice this Autumn.

Sean O’Brien
The Leinster flanker had a storming man-of-the-match performance on Saturday night at Lansdowne road and was the stand-out player in the Leinster pack. His probing run on the blindside and sublime offload to Brian O’Driscoll in the 70th minute set up the winning try. O’Brien’s form is even more remarkable since he missed most of last season with a broken leg. If O’Brien can maintain this performance he will definitely be in Kidney’s plans for the Autumn internationals and potentially a spot on the plane to New Zealand in September.

Thanks to Conor Buckley, this week’s Irish scout

Photo: Patrick Khachfe/Onside Images

3 thoughts on “International Scout Notes – 5th Oct

  1. Would just like to point out that Easter mainly, but also Tindall never really seem to take their club form onto the international stage! Tindall is very reliable, but then so was Jamie Noon!!!

  2. Tindall has a slightly better record on the International stage, and I think Easter does too – although your point is a fair one.

    There are plenty of examples of players that have looked great at club level and then disappointed for England – and that’s one of the reasons we usually get so excited before the Autumn and so disappointed afterwards!

    The coaching setup is still a concern, and they have to take some of the blame for turning good players into crap ones, but hopefully the promising performance in Australia this summer will set us on a roll for the next 12 months…

  3. I like Easter but currently he’s our only No. 8 with any depth of experience. It would be a bit controversial but I’d give Dan Ward-Smith a run in the Autumn Internationals, going back to Easter for 6N (if he still looks like the best player). Same goes for Tindall, we need to get a pecking order established although I must say I appreciated Tindall’s offload in the build up to one of the Gloucester tries. That’s the one element of the game that he needs to develop and it looks like he is heading in the right direction.

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