Normal service was resumed at the weekend in the Aviva Premiership with the majority of players having returned from the Rugby World Cup. Saracens ended Gloucesters unbeaten run with a late score on Saturday evening whilst London Irish lost at home to Bath thanks to a penalty conceded by former Bath player Shontayne Hape.
With the Rugby World Cup now over, it is time to look towards the future for England. Lewis Moody has retired from International rugby and many other older players are expected to do the same. We therefore have to start looking at some of the younger players on the scene who can come in and fill their boots. The players that feature in this weeks boot spotting are those that we see as the future for England starting off with captain candidate Tom Croft in a pair of Adidas Predators. Also featured are London Irish pair Jon Joseph and Tom Homer in Adidas RS7’s and Nike Mercurial Vapor Superflys respectively. Owen Farrell of Saracens in Nike Legends and Charlie Sharples in white/red Adidas RS7’s make up this weeks boot spotting.
With a World Cup and Lions tour to his name, Croft is one of the players that could be looked at as the successor to Bath’s Lewis Moody. He has captained the Tigers on a few occasions so knows what to say and when to say it.
Either a centre or winger, Joseph has started the season in exceptional form. The potential for a midfield combination with Manu Tualagi would bring an even balance between power and pace which England have been missing in recent years.
Homer has already managed to rack up over 100 points this season thanks to his reliability in front of goal. He can play between 11 and 15 which makes him versatile whilst his kicking game is solid and is therefore Irish’s go to man. He will struggle to cement a place in the England side at present but could be in the mix for the future.
An almost ‘dead cert’ for the England squad over the next 12 months. The fact that he has not been playing at fly half as much as last season due to the arrival of Charlie Hodgson from Sale hasn’t seemed to bother the ex-England Rugby League players son. His kick through on Saturday to set-up the winning try was one his father would have been proud of.
Unlucky not to make it on the plane to New Zealand having had a solid campaign last time around for the Cherry and Whites. He has continued his form into this season and is an ideal replacement for Mark Cueto in the England squad.