After a two-week European break, the Aviva Premiership was back in full flow this weekend. Leicester, Saracens and Wasps picked up convincing wins over Newcastle, London Irish and Northampton, while Chiefs and Harlequins were made to work a little harder for their victories over Sale and Worcester respectively.
To cap the weekend off, a last-minute Owen Williams conversion helped Gloucester seal a famous win over Bath at the Rec in the game of the weekend. It is never easy to pick just 3 stand-out players but we’ve given it a go.
Wasps are going through a bit of an injury crisis in the back-row at the moment, so much so that they’ve had to bring Nizaam Carr over from Western Province for three months as cover, but Dai Young will be feeling positive after watching his back-row step up on Saturday. Not normally at 8 for Wasps, Thompson did everything he could to fill the massive hole left by Nathan Hughes with a man of the match performance in his sides 38-22 victory over Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens. The big man ran for 73 metres and was fantastic in defence, making 10 tackles and 1 turnover.
Care’s great run of form continued with another stand-out performance from the England scrum-half. Once again, he was at the heart of everything good in his teams try-fest against Worcester and whether he was snipping or taking a quick tap, he was always keeping the defence guessing. Care ran for 58 metres, scored a try, made 6 tackles and completed a turn-over. Eddie Jones has used Care as an impact sub in the past, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the nod ahead of Ben Youngs this autumn due to his rich run of form in this year’s Premiership.
Goode not being involved in the England squad for the Autumn Tests completely baffles us. The fullback has consistently been one of the best players in the Premiership over the past 5 years and can be justifiably upset to have only won 21 caps for his country. That aside, like most weeks, Goode was one of the stand-out performers this weekend in Saracens dominant display against London Irish. Running for 136 metres, although he didn’t get over the white wash himself he played a part in both the Owen Farrell and Liam Williams tries with some slick hands as well as the Chris Wyles try with a filthy counter and chip.