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England Watch: Which Players Are Pushing For International Honours?

As England continue on their undefeated run since the tail end of 2015, coach Eddie Jones has quickly built up a core of players to take on the best teams in the world.

However, the Premiership is continuing to provide the Australian with a conveyor belt of talent for him to choose from. So which players stood out in last weekend’s action? We take a look at the stats once more.

Wasps v Sale Sharks - Aviva Premiership

Top EQP Tacklers

Matt Symons Wasps 20
Calum Clark Northampton 19
Calum Green Newcastle 17
Tommy Taylor Wasps 17
Alex Rieder Wasps 16

Wasps lock Matt Symons continues to impress for his club and must surely be pushing for a spot in England’s summer tour squad to Argentina with several big name second rows likely to be away with the Lions. Indeed, clubmates Tommy Taylor and Alex Rieder also feature despite their team going down 34 – 28 to a resurgent Sale Sharks side.

Newcastle’s much improved form should also not go ignored, with second row Calum Green the third best English tackler last weekend as his club stormed past Northampton Saints 46 – 31.

Top EQP Carries

James Short Exeter 21
Brad Barritt Saracens 17
Mako Vunipola Saracens 16
Jackson Wray Saracens 16
Mike Williams Leicester 16
Teimana Harrison Northampton 16

It seems Exeter Chiefs’ James Short is desperate to get into the England team and has been putting in some impressive performances for his club in recent weeks. In terms of attacking ability the winger is currently second to none in the Premiership and must be pushing the likes of Marland Yarde and Semesa Rokoduguni for a spot in England’s squad come the summer.

Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs - Aviva Premiership

Even though Saracens went down 31 – 23 to Gloucester in a second successive defeat, they still included some of the best carriers in the league with three players featuring here, including the fit-again Mako Vunipola. Leicester Tigers’ back rower Mike Williams’ domestic form has now been rewarded with a spot in England’s 28 man squad to take on Italy.

Top EQP Metres Made

James Short Exeter 152
Jason Woodward Bristol 101
Aaron Morris Harlequins 91
Ben Foden Northampton 81
Semesa Rokoduguni Bath 78

New Zealand-born England-qualified back Jason Woodward makes a couple of appearances this week and has brought his form from his homeland to his adopted nation. This is all the more impressive given how his team has struggled in recent weeks, with Bristol going down to Leicester 50 – 17 last weekend.

Northampton Saints v Bristol Rugby - Aviva Premiership

Top EQP Lineouts Won

Geoff Parling Exeter 8
Charlie Ewels Bath 5
Charlie Matthews Harlequins 5
Christian Day Northampton 5
Matt Symons Wasps 4

England squad member Charlie Ewels continues to prove his worth for his club Bath as they thwarted Harlequins 22 – 12. Yet it is old head Geoff Parling that stole the show with 8 lineouts taken for his club as they defeated Worcester 32 – 48 at Sixways.

Exeter Chiefs Media Session

Top EQP Defenders Beaten

James Short Exeter 9
Semesa Rokoduguni Bath 7
Alex Rieder Wasps 5
Sam Simmons Exeter 4
Gareth Steenson Exeter 4
Aaron Morris Harlequins 4
Tom Homer Bath 4
Joe Marchant Harlequins 4
Adam Thompstone Leicester 4

Watch out for Harlequins fullback Aaron Morris who is quickly making a name for himself down at The Stoop. Could he be challenging Mike Haley for an England squad spot soon?

Top EQP Offloaders

Mako Vunipola Saracens 2
Matt Mullan Wasps 2
Semesa Rokoduguni Bath 2
Thomas Waldrom Exeter 2
Will Addison Sale 2
Jason Woodward Bristol 2
Max Clark Bath 2
Magnus Lund Sale 2

It’s no real surprise to see Mako lead the stats here, but keep one eye on Welsh-born but England-qualified centre Max Clark, who scored his team’s only try in their win over Quins.

Gloucester Rugby v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Top EQP Turnovers Won

Mark Wilson Newcastle 2
Charlie Ewels Bath 2
Ryan Mills Worcester 2
Alex Waller Northampton 2
Dave Ward Harlequins 2
Nathan Catt Bath 2

Forgotten man Mark Wilson is at the back of the England number eight queue behind Vunipola, Hughes, Beaumont and even Ben Morgan, but the man deserves his chance. He has made the most tackles of any player in the league this year (180), has made 128 carries and won 13 turnovers.

Top EQP Clean Breaks

James Short Exeter 5
Jason Woodward Bristol 4
Adam Thompstone Leicester 4
Denny Solomona Sale 4
Max Clark Bath 3

Finally, a mention must go for soon-to-be England-qualified winger Denny Solomona. The rugby league convert is making waves for Sale and rightly so: his hat trick against Wasps was simply outstanding and Solomona is already one of the best finishers in the league.

All data is provided by Opta on behalf of Premiership Rugby.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena


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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.