Feb 06, 2017
Saracens International Round-Up
Owen Farrell starred for England in their narrow 19-16 win over France, as Eddie Jones’ side extended their unbeaten run to 15 games in the opening weekend of the RBS Six Nations.
The Saracens fly-half was England’s leading light in a tense game at Twickenham. Starting at inside centre before switching to fly-half, Farrell, who kicked 11-points on the day, provided the assist for Ben T’eo’s match winning try. Maro Itoje started at blindside flanker and produced a strong performance in a makeshift England back-row, whilst Sarries hooker Jamie George replaced skipper Dylan Hartley and enjoyed an impressive half-an-hour cameo for Jones’ side.
England were made to work for their win by a much-improved France team who took a deserved lead half way through the second half through replacement prop Rabah Slimani but Farrell’s deft touch in the build-up to Te’o’s try was the difference.
Earlier on Saturday, Sean Maitland underlined his international pedigree with an assured performance on the wing for Scotland. The Scots defeated Ireland at Murrayfield 27-22, with Glasgow Warriors star full-back Stuart Hogg grabbing the headlines after crossing for a brace of tries. Maitland produced two stunning try-saving efforts as Ireland rallied in the second-half.
In Sunday’s Six Nations clash in Rome, future Sarrie Liam Willams scored a try for Wales as the Dragons battled back from a first half deficit to defeat the Azzurri 33-7.
On Saturday afternoon, some of Saracens’ brightest young players were in representative action, as Ben Earl, Nick Isiekwe, Max Malins and Jack Nay all featured for England U20 with Sarries academy coach Ian Vass at the helm for their opening U20 Six Nations fixture at Sandy Park. Flanker Ben Earl skippered the side and scored a well-taken try in the first-half, but it was fly-half Max Malins who stole the show as he starred in the bonus-point 59-17 victory over France. Malins scored two tries, including a wonderful solo effort. He also kicked seven conversions in the game and was named Man of the Match.