- Try-scoring newcomer enjoying England Saxons challenge
- Scotland A next for Saracens' fast moving flanker Fraser
Photo: RFU Archive
Will Fraser is a fast learner, something he emphasised with the sublime finish that completed the hard-earned England Saxons win over the Ireland Wolfhounds in Galway.
The Saxons trailed 10-6 going into the final 12 minutes at The Sportsground and needed to take some points away from a series of attacks. George Ford and Elliot Daly created the opening, Joel Tomkins slung the pass out of contact in his direction and the Saracens flanker was hugging the touchline to gather and take his chance.
“I’d been in pretty much the same spot for Saracens against Munster in the Heineken Cup a few weeks ago and been tackled into touch,” said Fraser. “That was in the back of my mind and I knew I needed to get airborne to make sure.”
He did just that, flying along the line and getting the ball down inches inside the corner flag despite a heavy aerial challenge from Leinster’s Luke Fitzgerald.
Ford added a third penalty shortly after and the Saxons were homeward bound 14-10 to the good. They now prepare to face Scotland A on Friday night (8pm) at Kingston Park in Newcastle.
Fraser, 23, appears to have come from nowhere – a regular starter in Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup matches for the first time this season and drafted into the Saxons Elite Player Squad in early January.
“I’ve been signed to the club since I was 18 so I’ve actually been there for a while,” he said. “I had quite a few injuries in the beginning of my career so I think a lot is down to being able to stay injury free.
“We’ve got some brilliant back rows at the club in the likes of Andy Saull, Jacques Burger and Kelly Brown, so for a young lad coming through it’s been brilliant to pick their brains. There’s been a lot of contributing factors but the main one is that I’ve stayed injury free and got a good run of games in.”
Even so, the former England Counties flanker had just 18 Premiership starts under his belt when promoted to the Saxons at the start of January, but he enthuses about being given the chance.
“The Saxons has been brilliant,” he said. “When I got the call I was over them moon.
“They’re a brilliant bunch of lads and they’ve been welcoming to the guys who’ve come in for the first time.
“To step up each time asks a bit more of your skill level and your temperament and it’s brilliant to be challenged like that. In this game [against Ireland Wolfhounds] the boys have shown they can step up and push on for further honours.
“The fact that we managed to play the way we did with only a couple of rugby sessions behind us showed how well we gelled as a group and an extra week can only help us.
“We had a very good win against Ireland. We start again this week and the extra time together can only help us. If we can put in the work and add more detail I’m sure we’ll be confident they can settle the score from last year’s game.”
Tickets to England Saxons v Scotland A are priced from £15 for adults and £7.50 for children. Call 0871 226 6060 to book.