In the coming weeks will see Saracens players representing their countries across the world, here Henry Fraser recaps all of last weekends action.
Over the past week, the main focus has been on the players of the future. As the Junior World Championship (JWC) is now in full swing with all the group matches being completed in the next couple of days, we look at their success so far.
Today they made three wins from three in the group and have secured a semi-final spot this Sunday against Ireland. Sarries feature very heavily in this year’s team. Maro Itoje is vice captain and is proving himself to be one of the players of the tournament already. Nathan Earle and Nick Tompkins are setting things on fire in the backs, beating defenders all the time and scoring lots of tries. Biyi Alo, Aaron Morris and Hayden Stringer may not have had the game time they deserve but still impress every time they take to the pitch.
The opening group match against fellow Six Nations rivals, Italy, gave England the opportunity to score a few tries, and that’s exactly what they did. They ran in nine tries, three of which came from Sarries own Nathan Earle.
A second round bonus point win against Australia gave England top spot in the group. This game saw three Sarries boys stand out above the rest. Two more tries from Earle, a great show from Tompkins and a huge captain’s performance from Itoje pushed England over the line.
The final group match against Argentina was too close for comfort as a game dominated by the weather allowed Argentina to grind England down and nearly win. However the experience of England showed and they won 17-16.
In America the USA came up against a tough new look Scotland team. Not for the first time over the weekend Sarries players faced off against each other. Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith started for USA and Duncan Taylor and new signing Jim Hamilton for Scotland. Scotland won the game, convincingly in the end 24-6, however Wyles did score the points for USA.
Finally we venture to South Africa where two more Sarries players featured. South Africa took on a the World XV in a big clash in Cape Town. Schalk Brits made a return to the South African squad after excellent performances for Sarries. He was playing against his club mate Al Hargreaves, who scored the first try of the match. The first half was closely fought however the South African power told in the end as the home team ran out 47-13 winners.
This weekend will see even more Sarries players in action as England face New Zealand in their second test. The under 20’s will have a big test against Ireland in JWC semi-final and Scotland move onto Canada in the hope to make two wins from two.