International Scout Notes – 5th Sept

Our International Scout Notes returns, with Jonathan Frank picking out players that caught the eye this weekend.

Christian Wade

Christian Wade
Whilst there were a number of players that stood out in this incredible match, there was one player who signalled his intent for the rest of the season and for international recognition. The exciting young prospect of Christian Wade is likely to cement a place in the England fold with performances like this. Despite being on the losing side, the flying winger demonstrated his skill opening the scoring, capping off a brilliant move by Wasps with a burst of speed to take him over the line. His selfless act for Varndell’s try was questionable, but the youngster notched his second with a piece of virtuoso wing play, standing up his opposite number with quick feet before stepping on the gas to accelerate away. Wasps lead was extinguished by the class and determination of Harlequins but Wade is certainly one to keep a close eye on.

Freddie Burns
The Gloucester fly-half racked up 15 points with an outstanding kicking display. In a game that lacked real excitement, it was Burns’ consistency that stood out. An intelligent interception saw him break clear of the Northampton backline, but he seemed to lack the pace to add to his tally. Burns also highlighted his footballing skill, noticing a gap behind Northampton, and his clever chip and smart follow-through almost saw Gloucester cross the line. Despite Northampton holding firm for the 4 points, Burns certainly showed his potential for the season ahead.

Chris Ashton
Whilst we all know what he is capable of, Ashton seemed to be back to his best after his revitalising move. His stupid late block which saw him sin-binned is a black mark against his name, but his two tries and sublime assist demonstrated what an excellent signing he may turn out to be for Saracens this season. Nick Mullins’ commentary, “surely not a hat-trick”, summed up Ashton’s excellent performance as he broke through to set up another try. It was a brilliant start for the England winger with only the slightest hint of a swallow dive.

By Jonathan Frank

16 thoughts on “International Scout Notes – 5th Sept

  1. I do like this feature, but I was hoping for a lot more when I opened it. I thought it would be a look at the young guys who may break into the England set up, but with Ashtons inclusion obviously not. Would have been nice to look at Haskell? And many others too.

    1. We’ll be looking at a few players each week, and there is certainly room to expand it. Not sure Haskell would be counted as a young guy that might break into the setup though…

      The plan is to extend to all the home nations (with one eye on the Lions!) as well.

      We also like a bit of discussion, so if someone caught your eye at the weekend, you can share it here and make a case for international inclusion.

      1. My point of Haskell was more if anyone was being analysed then he may well be an interesting one to look at.

        1. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Haskell this season. I thought he had a decent game on Saturday – quietly effective and industrious.

  2. How about, until it is expanded, renaming it to include England in the title? This isn’t a dig, this is a serious suggestion.

    If you are expanding it then Liam Williams and Harry Robinson?

  3. Burns’ ‘consistency’? Did you watch the game?
    He was dreadful! Really struggled to gel with Billy Twelvetrees, which is understandable in their 1st proper game together. His place kicking was great, but his passing was off target and he didn’t get the back line moving well enough with ball in hand. Only try came from a penalty try, the back line blew the other chances.

    1. Effective with the boot but clueless with the ball in hand? Watching Gloucester is frustrating, mainly because of the classy firepower they have behind the scrum. May, sharples and JSD should be lighting up the shed. Still exciting to know that when it clicks, its going to be very, very good.

  4. Good article. I agree that it would be great to expand it particularly when most people won’t get a chance to watch more than one game.

    Interesting to get the different comments on Burns. Definitely an article for comments on the fringe players and maybe those who have lost a bit of form, so we can get an idea of who may be playing themselves into contention for the squads. Most of us know who the reliable core international players are.

  5. I didn’t see Burns play this weekend, but its interesting to see two such contrasting views on the same player from the same game!
    Also, Joe Launchbury? Lions dark horse?

  6. Yeah i noticed launchbury as well. Will have to keep an eye out. Will definitely be looking to expand this article now that the feature is back. Interesting that mine and Tom’s opinion differ, i’ll take it into account, thanks

  7. On a side note, what are people’s thoughts on Flood? Should he be given further opportunity to be England’s first choice 10? Or should we really be giving Ford, Burns etc. a chance. Obviously Farrel is going to be on board.

    1. If he’s playing well enough he should be there – simple as that. What message would it send out if he is the best English FH and gets overlooked for youth. Anyway he’s not that old is he?

      1. I certainly think Flood is the best English 10 right now, therefore he plays. I am certainly all for supporting youth, but only at the expense of older guys past their peak, not over someone relatively near their prime and playing very well!

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