Sale Sharks was the club where Jason Robinson found his feet in union after switching from league. 16 years on, Sale have found the closest thing to the legendary England back.
His name is Paolo Odogwu and he crossed the whitewash against Toulon in the European Champions Cup. See Odogwu’s 25-metre finish below.
Sale’s director of rugby Steve Diamond mentored Robinson during his transition to the 15-man code, and he spoke to the BBC about Odogwu’s likeness to the former England international:
“He’s probably the nearest player I have seen to Robbo. He’s a bit stockier, but his feet are fast and he’s learning by the day.”
Diamond’s description is spot on. In this video, Odogwu’s movement is almost identical to Robinson’s:
It’s not hard to see where the comparison comes from. He shimmies just like the man they used to call ‘Billy Whizz’ after the character from the Beano.
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Make sure to check the latest episode of our weekly rugby podcast, The Oval Office, where we pay tribute to the late Anthony Foley, talk all things European Champions Cup and catch up with Leo Cullen, Josh Van Der Flier and Rory Kockett.
Listen here on SoundCloud or subscribe on iTunes.
Finally, here’s a reminder of the England World Cup-winner in action with that try for the Lions in 2001:
Emulating Robinson’s 51 England and five Lions caps would be no mean feat, but Odogwu has the raw potential to be a star.
Daniel Rey, Pundit Arena
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