Anglo-Welsh Cup: Five players who’ve shone
After two rounds and a bucket-load of tries we’ve seen plenty of new heroes and a fair share of well-established ones.
The competition always sees a blend of youth and experience and here we take a look at five players who’ve grabbed the headlines so far.
Adam Radwan – Newcastle Falcons
Dean Richards’ Falcons sit atop their pool with ten points from two games, six ahead of Leicester Tigers, with a glut of tries scored in the process.
19-year-old winger Adam Radwan has played a huge part in that success with three tries in two weeks – all of them very easy on the eye.
Radwan has been a star of the last two Singha Premiership Rugby 7s tournaments and is now transferring that form to a highly-competitive Falcons first team.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) October 14, 2017
The youngster possesses enough gas to trouble any defence and in team-mates Sinoti Sinoti and Vereniki Goneva he has two of the best wingers in the game to learn his trade from.
Freddie Burns – Bath Rugby
Bath fly-half Freddie Burns has already accrued an astonishing 37 points in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup, with a pair of assured displays in his team’s 26-22 win over London Irish in Round One and 33-31 victory over Leicester Tigers in Round Two.
The 27-year-old playmaker has had to compete with an in-form Rhys Priestland for Bath’s 10 shirt so far this season, but if he continues in this vein of form he’ll be a difficult man to ignore.
Burns’ 16 points against the Exiles was the result of a flawless kicking display, in a game where he also sent up a sublime cross-field kick for winger Levi Davis to touch down.
The stand-off bagged a try of his own against former club Leicester on Friday, producing a moment of brilliance to collect his own deft chip to cross the whitewash.
“Freddie Burns, take a bow!” – @AndyGoode10
What a piece of individual brilliance from the Bath fly-half 🙌 pic.twitter.com/3QkhkukQmU
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) November 10, 2017
Max Malins – Saracens
20-year-old fly-half Max Malins has been an England Under-20s star for a while now, but the youngster is starting to catch the eye for the Saracens first team in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Malins struck 14 points with the boot in his side’s last-ditch 30-29 defeat to Harlequins in the competition’s opening round – also displaying excellent control of the game in front of over 9000 people at Allianz Park.
And the future star was in even better form at the AJ Bell Stadium in Round Two, with a perfect kicking performance that yielded 17 points.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) November 10, 2017
Mark McCall’s squad don’t exactly lack in the fly-half department but Malins certainly looks to continue an extraordinary production line of talent.
Jonah Holmes – Leicester Tigers
Before the Tiger’s Anglo-Welsh opener against Gloucester Rugby, winger Jonah Holmes had not appeared for the first team since his summer move from Yorkshire Carnegie.
Fast-forward two weeks and the speedster has grabbed three tries and plenty of limelight in a pair of eye-catching performances.
The 25-year-old ran a superb line to register a five-pointer against Gloucester and made sure Bath had to work for their 33-31 win over Tigers on Friday night at the Rec – scoring two excellent tries.
The Stockport-born wideman has already played for London Welsh, Henley Hawks and Wasps, but has been given a chance by Leicester director of rugby Matt O’Connor and is grabbing the bull by the horns.
Tom Hudson – Gloucester
The Anglo-Welsh Cup always produces plenty of future stars and one that looks to be coming out of Gloucester this season is 23-year-old centre Tom Hudson.
The powerful midfielder learnt his trade at Leicester but scored a try against them in the narrow 26-24 defeat in Round One – hitting a wonderful line off scrum-half Ben Vellacott to force his way over from 20 metres out.
In Round Two’s resounding 47-7 win over London Irish at Kingsholm, Hudson was deployed at full-back, but again got himself over the tryline following Billy Twelvetrees’ pass.
The versatile back has come into a Gloucester side that are clicking into gear under Johan Ackermann, and looks to be in the right place at the right time.