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England Watch: Which Players Are Pushing For International Honours?

After another exciting round of Premiership action, we pick out the best England-qualified players from last weekend and look at the key stats across the six fixtures.

Top EQP Tacklers

Brad Barritt Saracens 23
Thomas Waldrom Exeter 21
Dom Barrow Leicester 19
Elliot Stooke Bath 19
Ross Batty Bath 18

Premiership champions Saracens put a disappointing few weeks behind them and earnt an impressive 29-18 victory over Sale Sharks last weekend, with forgotten England man Brad Barritt doing what he does best with 23 tackles to keep the Sharks at bay.

Another national outcast, number eight Thomas Waldrom, put in 21 tackles against Newcastle as his team Exeter Chiefs stormed to a 36 – 14 win over a Falcons side that in recent times had shown some much improved form.

Leicester’s resurgence after parting ways with long-term director of rugby Richard Cockerill continues as they thwarted Harlequins 18-27 at The Stoop. Dom Barrow stood out in defence with 19 tackles, and in Bath’s loss to basement side Bristol, both Stooke and Batty were defensive giants despite their loss.

Top EQP Carriers

Jordan Crane Bristol 18
Phil Dollman Exeter 18
Thomas Waldrom Exeter 17
Teimana Harrison Northampton 17
Ben Morgan Gloucester 17
Alex Tait Newcastle 17

Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby - Aviva Premiership

Former England number eight Jordan Crane proved his worth to Bristol as he carried his team to a surprise but ultimately crucial win over local rivals Bath.

Exeter stalwarts Dollman and Waldrom were at the heart of everything good about the Chiefs’ win, whilst England squad member Harrison, number eight Morgan and Newcastle’s Alex Tait all contributed well in attack for their clubs.

Top EQP Metres Made

James Short Exeter 173
Phil Dollman Exeter 133
Semesa Rokoduguni Bath 128
Tom Homer Bath 116
Josh Bassett Wasps 104

With Exeter dominating the Falcons, it is perhaps not surprising to see two of their backs featuring at the top of the metres made list, but Bath duo Rokoduguni and Homer’s efforts were not enough to avoid defeat.

Wasps’ Josh Bassett was integral to his club’s 35-22 triumph over Gloucester.

Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby - Aviva Premiership

Top EQP Lineouts Won

Charlie Matthews Harlequins 10
Jamie Gibson Northampton 8
Matt Symons Wasps 7
Elliott Stooke Bath 7
Will Spencer Worcester 6
Dom Barrow Leicester 6

Even though Harlequins suffered a home defeat to the Tigers, Matthews’ contributions at the lineout were the best in the Premiership last weekend, with a number of forwards providing timely reminders to coach Eddie Jones of what they can offer in the set-piece.

Wasps v Gloucester Rugby - Aviva Premiership

Top EQP Defenders Beaten

Christian Wade Wasps 8
Callum Chick Newcastle 7
Greg Bateman Leicester 5
Phil Dollman Exeter 4
Chris Harris Newcastle 4
James Short Exeter 4
Alex Rieder Wasps 4
Tom Homer Bath 4
Semesa Rokoduguni Bath 4

It’s easy to forget all of Jones’ options out on the wing with so many quality players available, but it is an embarrassment of riches for any coach when Christian Wade does not even make an extended training squad. The Wasps flyer was the pick of an outstanding bunch here. Moreover, clubmate Alex Rieder continued to justify his new contract with another important performance against Gloucester.

Top EQP Turnovers Won

Jacob Rowan Gloucester 3
Alex Rieder Wasps 2
Jordan Crane Bristol 2
Callum Chick Newcastle 2

Although not victorious this weekend, Gloucester’s Jacob Rowan can be proud of his turnovers stat for Gloucester, whilst Newcastle’s Callum Chick was one of the Falcons’ standout players – featuring heavily in this week’s article.

Top EQP Breaks Made

Chris Ashton Saracens 3
Semesa Rokoduguni Bath 3
Callum Chick Newcastle 2
Tom Homer Bath 2
Aaron Morris Harlequins 2
Josh Bassett Wasps 2
Chris Harris Newcastle 2
Christian Wade Wasps 2
Greg Bateman Leicester 2

Finally, Toulon-bound finisher Chris Ashton reminded his club exactly what they will be missing when he leaves for France at the end of the season, topping the list for breaks made – alongside another prominent England winger: Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni.

All statistics 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. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.