Man of the match against Northampton, Tom Croft is gradually raising his profile again since his return from a career threatening injury. Although not excelling for England, more performances like this could see the versatile flanker establish himself with Warren Gatland’s plans for the Lions Tour. Several excellent carries and an outstanding work rate typified his performance as Leicester blew away their rivals with consummate ease. Speaking after the game, Croft highlighted the importance for his team of “sticking to what they were doing” as they pulled ahead. This is something the forward exemplified with a consistent and powerful performance.
Verdict: Looking for his passport
Starting to feature quite heavily in Scout Notes is Justin Tipuric, who has to have at least one foot in the door for Lions selection. A fantastic game at the Millenium stadium was underlined by the battle between Warburton and Tipuric. The latter Lions hopeful was at the heart of everything Ospreys produced and cropped up in his usual menacing attacking positions after breaking off the scrum. Not only this but his ability to get around the park is phenomenal, clearing out the opposition at the break down and ensuring the ball comes back on his side. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of competition at 7 but his mobility and dynamism may just see him on that place.
Verdict: Waiting nervously by the phone
Impressive during the six nations the New Zealand born Scottish winger is continuing to turn heads within the RABO Pro 12. He has been an important component in his clubs recent success in topping the league. He chipped in with a relatively simple try by his standards as his team broke away from Munster’s clutches to run riot. However these vital contributions may well see this exciting player in coming into Lions contention. There is only one real certainty on the wing for the tour in the formidable shape of George North so continued displays of finishing prowess will provide the Glasgow flyer with every opportunity of going down under.
Verdict: Looking nervously for his passport
A late arrival onto the scene in the Six Nations for Ireland saw some solid performances from the young fly half. With the injury to Sexton and the loss of form from O’Gara the number 10 has a real opportunity to make a name for himself. Although only an outside chance for Lions Selection, he is worth a mention as injuries have a funny way of forcing people into the limelight. Excellent passing and decision making in the crucial phases saw Jackson instigate the momentum that carried Ulster over the line for their winning try against fierce rivals Leinster at the weekend. They are now in strong contention for the top spot as the Pro 12 nears its conclusion.
Verdict:Planning his summer holidays