International Scout Notes – 19th Dec
Whilst the Six Nations may come a bit too soon, the 20 year old Ospreys winger is definitely worth a mention. The youngster secured a much needed win over Toulouse with a superb individual effort, lifting not only for his team but for Welsh Rugby itself which has been going through a worrying phase. It was a victory that left a flicker of hope in the Ospreys’ chances of qualifying, whilst providing a genuine reminder that Wales will be a force when the Six Nations rolls around – especially with the rousing return of the much missed Adam Jones.
British rugby players plying their trade in France are often subjected to a mixed response. This is often borne out of frustration that they aren’t at home doing what they do best. One such player is Johnnie Beattie, who is viewing his time at Montpellier as, “the perfect springboard to get back into the Scottish set-up”. The number 8 did no harm to his chances of playing in the Six Nations with a solid, try-scoring performance. The 26 year old dropped out of the Glasgow team following a number of serious and niggling injuries, followed by a loss in form, but this “fresh start” may well be the perfect tonic in terms of rejuvenating and recapturing the form that saw him in the international side.
The Autumn Internationals came too soon for young George Ford. However, Flood’s understudy at Leicester is certainly building on some consistent performances and displaying a cool head that belies his 19 years – another assured performance at the weekend against Treviso that saw Leicester top the group is testament to this. Playing with the likes of Tuilagi, the Youngs brothers and Dan Cole will undoubtedly help his bid to be in the frame for selection for the Six Nations, but with Freddie Burns and Owen Farrell for competition he will have to show something extra special in the coming months.
By Jono Frank