Andy Farrell completed his first full game at inside centre as Saracens, admittedly thanks to Glen Jackson's boot rather than any heroics from the former Great Britain rugby league captain, beat Leicester 22-16 at Vicarage Road yesterday.
Jackson, the former Bay of Plenty fly-half, provided plenty of points, kicking five penalties and the conversion of Richard Haughton's try. Leicester, missing their five England forwards and again choosing to play Paul Burke at fly-half instead of Andy Goode, trailed 16-6 at the break, their points coming from Burke's boot. Goode, on in the second half and no doubt hopeful of a recall to England colours for the forthcoming Tests against South Africa, scored and converted a try and kicked a penalty to earn the Tigers a losing bonus point.
Farrell's first full game in the centre will have been watched by the England management, who pressured Saracens' director of rugby, Alan Gaffney, into starting the Wiganer in the No 12 jersey after three senior appearances on the blind-side flank. Curiously enough, Farrell appeared yesterday in the position vacated by Ben Johnston on his call-up to the England squad last week. Johnston did not feature in the national side's defeat to Argentina on Saturday.
At Adams Park, Ed Thrower scored four tries as Wasps thrashed Bath 47-18. The wing, in as cover for England's Paul Sackey, scored two tries in each half, the first two contributing to a 20-3 half-time lead, to add to scores from Fraser Waters, Mark van Gisbergen and Danny Cipriani, Van Gisbergen kicking a conversion and a penalty and Dave Walder another penalty and two conversions. Bath's points came from tries by Michael Stephenson and James Scaysbrook and two penalties and a conversion from the fly-half Chris Malone.
In slightly more exotic climes than Watford or High Wycombe, Namibia yesterday qualified for the World Cup by beating Morocco 27-8 in Casablanca. The Africans will meet France, Argentina and Ireland in a year's time, having lost 67-14 to the Pumas and 64-7 to the Irish at the 2003 event. Still, at least Australia are elsewhere in the draw - three years ago, the Wallabies won 142-0.Reuse content