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England players Aviva Premiership review

26 April 2011

  • A round up of last weekend's Premiership action featuring England players
  • Wins for Bath, Saracens, Northampton, Harlequins, Leicester and Exeter
Matt Banahan touches down for Bath against Wasps

Photo: Getty Images

Easter weekend brought about a few treats for rugby fans across the land, as 33 tries and 278 points were scored in the six Aviva Premiership games up and down the country.

Bath Rugby got the better of London Wasps in the St. Georges Day game at Twickenham on Saturday, scoring six tries in a one sided 43-10 win.

England's centre-cum-wing Matt Banahan touched down twice for West Country side, while Lewis Moody lasted 50 minutes into his competitive rugby comeback.

Wasps fielded a youthful side, with England Under 20 starlets Elliot Daly and Joe Launchbury starting alongside the more seasoned Simon Shaw and England Saxon Joe Simpson, who touched down for Wasps’ solitary try.

Saracens made it nine straight wins to move within a point of Leicester at the top of the Premiership table after a four-try 35-12 win against Gloucester at Vicarage Road.

Former England prop Matt Stevens and current wing David Strettle both touched down for the home side, while England Saxon James Simpson-Daniel was on the score sheet for Gloucester.

Premiership debut for England U20s Mills

Saracens and England U20 player Owen Farrell tackles U20 teammate, Gloucester's Ryan Mills

Photo: Getty Images

England U20 centre Ryan Mills made his Premiership debut for Gloucester, coming face-to-face with international colleague, Saracens' Owen Farrell, after he came off the bench after 41 minutes. The 18-year-old centre also got his first Premiership points, converting a Henry Trinder try.

England wing Chris Ashton's two tries for Northampton Saints away at London Irish all but secured Saints' Premiership play-off place, as they ended The Exiles’ chances in a 26-20 win at the Madejski Stadium.

Ben Foden, Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes all started for Jim Mallinder’s side, while London Irish full back Delon Armitage played 80 minutes for Irish.

Leicester secured a home Premiership play-off semi-final and extended Newcastle's relegation worries with a 24-13 win at Kingston Park.

Tigers secure home play-off semi-final

Tom Croft tackles Tom Catterick in the Leicester versus Newcastle game

Photo: Getty Images

England regulars Tom Croft and Dan Cole both featured for the Tigers, while Saxons pair Billy Twelvetrees and Manu Tuilagi also played. England U20 captain and No. 8 Alex Gray came on as a 62nd substitute for the Falcons, who now have their Premiership destiny in their own hands.

Steve Thompson and Hendre Fourie’s Leeds Carnegie slipped closer to relegation after shipping five tries in a heavy home defeat by Harlequins.

England scrum-half Danny Care, who also kicked a drop goal, started the rot by crossing for Quins' first try, before No. 8 Nick Easter and England Saxon Mike Brown crossed after the break.

Leeds now need at least a bonus point at Franklin's Gardens. And, even then, they would require Newcastle to not take anything from their two remaining games, both against Bath

Sale Sharks snatched a losing bonus point as Exeter ended a run of four Premiership defeats with a 30-24 victory at Edgeley Park.

England fly half Charlie Hodgson kicked 9-points for Sale in his last home match for the Northern club, while England U20 prop Henry Thomas also played for the Sharks.

A League success for Leicester and Sale

George Ford with the ball in hand for Leicester against Harlequins A


Elsewhere, both Leicester Tigers and Sale Jets secured spots in the Aviva Premiership A League final after semi-final wins on Bank Holiday Monday.

A strong Tigers side, featuring Dan Hipkiss, Billy Twelvetrees and England U20 players George Ford, Matt Everard and Ryan Bower, beat Harlequins 19-15 at The Stoop. Fellow England U20 starters Charlie Matthews, Rob Buchanan and Will Collier all featured for the home side.

In the other semi, Sale Jets beat Southern Conference runners-up Saracens Storm 30-29 at Heywood Road in a tense game. Fresh off the back of representing England U18 on Saturday, Sale centre Mark Jennings started for the home side, while the Sarries side featured England U20 full back Ben Ransom who started, and England U18 flanker Matt Hankin who came off the bench.