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England Watch: Who’s Been The Best In The Premiership This Year?

After another weekend of exciting Aviva Premiership action, we look at the England players making the most of the opportunities for their clubs over the course of the season.

Although Eddie Jones has already announced his 33 man squad to take on South Africa, Argentina, Fiji and Australia this year, a number of players who didn’t make the squad are showing the Australian exactly what he is missing out on.

Top 5 EQP Tacklers This Season

Tom Savage Gloucester 87
Brad Barritt Saracens 86
Ben Morgan Gloucester 85
Will Welch Newcastle Falcons 82
Luke Wallace Harlequins 80

The top tacklers from the last round of the Aviva Premiership are all EQPs, but Tom Savage leads the way with 87. England’s forgotten centre Brad Barritt is in second on 86 in a list dominated by forwards – showing the impact the warrior-like Saracens player has in defence.

Recently recalled England number eight Ben Morgan continues his good form, but Will Welch and Luke Wallace deserve a Saxons place in the near future given their recent performances.

Top EQP Carriers This Season

Thomas Waldrom Exeter Chiefs 124
Billy Vunipola Saracens 115
Cameron Neild Sale Sharks 99
Ben Morgan Gloucester 85
Simon Hammersley Newcastle Falcons 83

Although it appears Waldrom’s England career is now over, he continues to be the best carrier in the Premiership, ahead of number eight rival Billy Vunipola. Sale Sharks’ Cameron Neild is one to watch out for, whilst Simon Hammersley continues to make a name for himself up in Newcastle.

Top EQP ‘Metres Made’ This Season

Semesa Rokoduguni Bath Rugby 541
Alex Goode Saracens 457
Simon Hammersley Newcastle Falcons 442
Olly Woodburn Exeter Chiefs 420
Christian Wade Wasps 407

Rokoduguni’s inclusion in England’s most recent squad is justified by the stats with the Bath winger topping the metres made count. Alex Goode is in second place and Exeter Chiefs’ unsung hero Olly Woodburn makes the top five, as well as Red Rose outcast Christian Wade.

Top EQP Lineouts Won This Season

Josh Beaumont Sale Sharks 41
Graham Kitchener Leicester Tigers 40
Calum Green Newcastle Falcons 32
Maro Itoje Saracens 28
Darren Barry Worcester 26

Beaumont was a late inclusion in England’s training squad in Portugal after Courtney Lawes picked up an injury. The Sale Sharks number eight continually proves his value at the lineout by topping the stats for the number won this season, ahead of the likes of Maro Itoje.

Top EQP Defenders Beaten This Season

Semesa Rokoduguni Bath Rugby 26
Mike Brown Harlequins 22
Will Hurrell Bristol 19
Charlie Sharples Gloucester 19
Olly Woodburn Exeter Chiefs 18

Alex Goode’s main England rival Mike Brown follows quickly on the heels of the aforementioned Rokoduguni, with 22 defenders beaten this season.

Despite Bristol’s woes this season, Will Hurrell continues to show he is worth his weight in gold in attack, along with Charlie Sharples and Olly Woodburn.

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Top EQP Offloaders This Season

Billy Vunipola Saracens 21
Sam James Sale Sharks 11
Nathan Hughes Wasps 10
Matt Banahan Bath Rugby 10
Thomas Waldrom Exeter Chiefs 9

Saracens’ Vunipola is way out in front of his rivals in terms of offloads, showing the type of game he brings to both his club and the England side.

Top EQP Turnovers Won This Season

Val Rapava Ruskin Worcester Warriors 9
Will Hurrell Bristol 9
Maro Itoje Saracens 9
Luke Wallace Harlequins 9
Billy Vunipola Saracens 9

Young Georgian-born prop Ruskin is certainly leading the way in the turnover stats, along with the rest of the names in the list here.

Overall verdict: Although Eddie Jones has named a squad with a good balance of youth and experience, there are certainly a number of players in excellent form that have been very unlucky to lose out.

All statistics provided by Premiership Rugby.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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