Rugby league convert and new England recruit Ben Te’o had a poor finish to his two year rugby union apprenticeship after his side were resoundingly beaten by provincial rivals Connacht in the Guiness Pro 12 final.
Te’o, who was recently called up to Eddie Jones’ England touring squad qualifies through his English mother, however the New Zealand born Samoan rugby league international failed to make much of a mark in the Pro 12 final until the game was out of his sides reach.
Te’o has now spent two years playing rugby union after swapping codes from NRL side Sydney Rabbitohs and has forty games of experience under his belt.
Standing at 6′ 2″ with a weight of 16 st 10 lb, Te’o is certainly a unit in the midfield and when played to his strengths certainly can be a wrecking ball.
However if his performance in last weekend’s Pro 12 final is anything to go by it is hard to see how much use he will be to Eddie Jones as they prepare to take on Australia in a three-match test series down under.
On numerous occasions the Kiwi was found wanting in defence as Connacht speedsters Matt Healy and Tiernan O’ Halloran ran rings around Leinster as they continously ran devastating lines cutting the Leinster defence to shreds.
On this particular occasion Te’o was left for dead by the superb footing of Matt Healy who ran the ball from his own twenty two and in the process set up the ruck which eventually led to Tiernan O’ Hallorans’s try.
Te’o will have to put a lot of time into his defending over the next couple of weeks if he is to start and have any hope of combating the world-class talent that is Isreal Folau.
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