International Scout Notes – 9th Oct

Ben Morgan

Ben Morgan – Gloucester
The weekend’s derby provided an exciting encounter as Bath roared into an early lead before Gloucester fought back with number 8 Ben Morgan at his unrelenting best. The 23 year-old was at the heart of everything good for Gloucester, big hits in the breakdown and good offloads out of the tackle meant the cherry and whites were able to maintain their run of form and secure a narrow victory. Morgan has just 7 England caps to his name but is looking very impressive and should be involved in the Autumn. With competition coming from the likes of Faletau, Heaslip and Barclay it is up for debate whether he will he will be in contention for the Lions tour.

George Ford – Leicester Tigers
Being in competition with Toby Flood seems to be no bad thing for young George Ford. The fly-half continued to catch the eye this weekend as his strong kicking display reinforced his sid’es resilience. The competition for number 10 within the England squad is heating up with several impressive displays across the league. However, the question is raised of whether it is it too soon for Ford or should he given a chance? In my mind, the 19 year old is certainly one for the future. He is clearly learning very fast and bene?ting from the squad’s rotation policy, yet it may prove too soon to throw him into the international set-up.

Topsy Ojo – London Irish
London Irish’s form so far has been up and down and a number of players are struggling to impose themselves. Commentator Martin Gillingham summed up Topsy Ojo’s fortunes of late, following his well-taken try, describing him as “one of England’s forgotten men”. The 27 year-old has failed to live up to expectations. After a brief spell on the fringes of the England squad, the ?ying winger has seemingly been cast aside, but his performance in this match served as a timely reminder of his ability as he linked up brilliantly with another England prospect Jonathan Joseph. If London Irish can build on this win and are able to ?nd some momentum, there is reason to believe Ojo can ?nd his way back into international reckoning.

Dan Biggar – Ospreys
The Ospreys notched their third win in a row this weekend, beating Zebre 34 – 16. Dan Biggar claimed an impressive haul of 24 points kicking impressively and scoring a well-taken try. At 22 and with 8 international caps to his name, he is certainly hot on the heels of Preistland and co. The number 10’s early season comments regarding Ospreys poor start seemed to have paid dividend as they are building some impressive momentum. Biggar stated himself to Walesonline, “rugby is all about con?dence” and the ?y-half is playing with a panache that will surely see him involved in the international setup when Wales take on Argentina on the 10th of November.

Peter Horne – Glasgow Warriors
The are some exciting aspects developing in Scottish rugby at the moment. Along with Tim Visser’s try-scoring exploits comes the impressive form of Glasgow Warriors. This weekend saw Glasgow’s Peter Horne take the plaudits as he produced a ?ne all-round display and kicked all 18 of his team’s points. Gregor Townsend was quick to praise his team after their fourth win a row, and he was also quick to praise Horne stating, “he showed his ability in a lot of other facets”. Scotland certainly have some exciting young talent emerging and following their recent 9-6 win over Australia, they will be looking to see if they can claim a few more scalps when the Autumn Internationals roll around.

By Jono Frank

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

4 thoughts on “International Scout Notes – 9th Oct

  1. Oh no, I hope Biggar isn’t involved. Yes, he has been known to play some fine games, but he is like a mouth Nicky Robinson – when he is bad (and he often is) he is very, very bad and he compounds this by slating and harassing all of his team mates around him. However, his worst crime is a complete lack of patience. Are in near the oppo 22? Is it third phase? Do you have the ball? Then up and under it is… so dispiriting to watch. I don’t just want a metronomic goal kicker, I want someone who’ll make me feel like my eighty quid ticket was worth the money.

    1. Brightly
      Was he over hyped when he first sprung up and has that caused his attitude problems? I remember on the old bbc 606 forum many Welsh fans hailing him as the next big thing but have been really taken aback by how unpopular he has become. I would say there are parallels with Cipriani but I think he was always unpopular with certain sections of England fandom.

  2. Yes, I think the hype was part of it. He did have that look as if once he had his first cap he thought he had arrived. I think he took the idea of a midfield general too strictly and became this shouty little kid screaming at the far better and far more experienced players around him. Then he started playing really badly but kept the attitude. Whenever he has played for Wales he has failed to develop at all. His game is ok if the team around him is motoring but on the back foot he is clueless and petulant. A shame really.

  3. The old adage is always “if you are good enough you are old enough” when fans are urging young players to be selected as they do down under. Yet as important as skill and form is, temprement and maturity is often over looked. Someone like George North is a very good example of a talented young player who has not let the hype go to his head.

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