"Making it Count" - 5 England Hopefuls Who Impressed In Round Seven of the Gallagher Premiership - Page 3 of 3 - Ruck

“Making it Count” – 5 England Hopefuls Who Impressed In Round Seven of the Gallagher Premiership

4. Jamie Blamire – Newcastle Falcons

Jamie Blamire of Newcastle Falcons during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Newcastle Falcons at the Recreation Ground on 31 December 2022. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Despite coming out on the losing side of the score-line, Newcastle Falcons hooker Jamie Blamire had another strong performance for his club. After impressing Borthwick throughout the 2022/23 season, Blamire was awarded with an England call-up last Summer but was released after the wider-training squad was reduced down to a 33-man contingent for France. Blamire started against Wales in the opening Summer Nations defeat, and has kicked through to top gear with his Falcons side.

Despite the fact that Newcastle are still searching for their first win of the Premiership season, Blamire has been top class in the Falcons front-row. Consistently amongst his side’s top performers week after week, the seven-capped England hooker certainly knows his way to the try-line. Blamire has scored four tries in seven games in 2023/24 (including the Premiership Rugby Cup), and added his latest score in style against Exeter Chiefs.

Jamie Blamire of England during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Blamire charged on to Pedro Rubiolo’s off-load, and set off through a gap that opened up on Exeter’s 10m line. Blamire showed nimble feet to step away from Jack Yeandle’s grasp, and motored down-field like a tank with a Ferrari’s engine. He skipped passed the outstretched arms of Tommy Wyatt, leaving the Exeter fullback in a spin. Blamire then ignited the afterburners, and showed a great burst of pace to beat Immanuel Feyi-Waboso to the try-line, as the winger was hot on the hooker’s heels at the finish.

5. Joe Batley – Bristol Bears

Joe Batley of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears at the Recreation Ground on 17 November 2023. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Bristol Bears second row Joe Batley is our pick for the fifth impressive England hopeful from the weekend. Going toe-to-toe with the Premiership’s best locks, Batley rose to the occasion and marked the match with a stunning solo score. The 27-year-old lock is a former graduate of the England U18s and U20s set-up, but a full test match cap has since avoided the Bristol Bears man. Batley battled hard throughout the contest, yet his starring moment came in his try after 20 minutes.

The move began with Callum Sheedy’s neat change of direction, that sent Batley through a gap on the Saracens 10m line. However, the lock still had plenty to do, and charged away down-field with a pair of Saracens defenders lining up the big shot. Batley battened down the hatches, and battered his way through the covering players sending the two black shirts spiralling to the deck. Batley then extended out his arm to reach over for the try, and wrap up a stunning score that presented his power game.

Joe Batley of Worcester Warriors during a training session at Sixways Stadium, Worcester on August 3, 2020 in Worcester, England. Worcester Warriors training under the Premiership Rugby Return to Play protocol as Rugby looks to return after the COVID-19 lockdown. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Despite the calbire of international opponent that Batley faced up against, he was not phased by the likes of Maro Itoje in the Saracens second row. The Bristol Bears man took the fight straight to the England international, and battled Itoje as Bristol scored a first half try from the driving maul. Itoje too had an impressive run out on Saturday, however that is in part due to Batley’s persistent pressure on the England lock, which brought the best out of him. Batley could well progress into Borthwick’s wider training squad before too long, and continue to bring the best out of Itoje, albeit as a positional rival.

Quiz! Can you name every club that has played in the Premiership?

London Welsh were the last new team to play in the Gallagher Premiership back in 2011 – can you name the others?

You have five minutes to name every club to have played in the Gallagher Premiership, all 28 of them, since the division was established back in 1987.

It’s more difficult than it sounds.

Good luck, and let us know how you do