Jun 21, 2016
Saracens stars enjoy winning weekend
Saracens players were heavily involved in an action packed weekend of international rugby with six Sarries stars helping England secure a historic series win Down Under.
The Sarries sextet of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Mako Vunipola, Billy Vunipola and Jamie George were at the heart of England’s win in Melbourne on Saturday. Owen Farrell once again underlined his test match pedigree with another steely performance from inside centre notching up 18 points in a 23-7 win. Farrell sent over three penalties and two conversions and scored the match clinching try after some fine work from Sarries teammate Jamie George in the build-up in a game where England showed real defensive resolve, the kind of performance that would have delighted former Saracens defensive guru Paul Gustard who is now on the England coaching staff.
Lock pairing Maro Itoje and George Kruis were superb in the second test from lock forward, with the Vunipola siblings immense at both loosehead prop and No8. Hooker Jamie George produced a memorable cameo from the wood, with the Saracens academy product’s hand in Farrell’s try with a deft grubber kick a memory that will rival his 2015 Premiership try against Bath Rugby as his stand out moment of his career so far.
England will look to secure a series whitewash in Sydney on Saturday.
Prior to England’s golden day in Melbourne, Sarries centre Nick Tompkins helped the England Saxons secure a 2-0 series win over South Africa A.
In a thrilling comeback from England’s second string the Saxons snatched a 26-29 win in George, with Tompkins starting at outside centre. He was joined in South Africa by teammate Ben Spencer (who was a late tourist called up as emergency cover at scrumhalf) and Saracens strength and conditioning coach Andy Edwards with club legend Richard Hill the team manager for the Saxons in the successful two match series.
In one of English rugby’s finest weekends across all age groups and teams, the England U20s booked their place in a fourth successive Junior World Championship final with three Saracens involved in the 39-17 win over South Africa in Manchester.
Full-back Max Malins was a try scorer on the night, with Matt Gallagher (wing) and Billy Walker (tighthead prop) also involved. England U20s will face Ireland on Saturday at the AJ Bell Stadium in the final.
Elsewhere, Saracens player’s player of the year Duncan Taylor was in action for Scotland as they toiled to a 26-13 win against Japan in Toyota City. Taylor, who will miss Saturday’s second test in Tokyo with a hamstring complaint, played for over an hour at outside centre whilst Saracens summer recruit Sean Maitland came off the bench after 57 minutes on the left wing in the Scots win.