County and Country: Will Freeman’s Rugby Round-Up

Gloucester’s 19-13 defeat to Northampton Saints in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at the weekend continued a disappointing start to their domestic season.

However, with international action also taking place this weekend it was an opportunity for some members of the squad to prove themselves.

Parklife Sport takes a look at how the Cherry and Whites’ squad got on while away playing for their countries.

Jonny May

The electric winger was a starting member of England’s 2015 World Cup squad. A disappointing group stage exit preceded a long-term injury absence which will have left the 26-year-old sweating on his place in the international set-up.

Injuries to Jack Nowell and Anthony Watson gave May his chance to start against South Africa and he took it, scoring a try in a comprehensive 37-21 defeat of the Springboks.

May’s excellent try, England’s first of the match, showed that long-term injury has not hampered his electric pace. He faded out of the match as the clock wore on but his finishing skills are undoubted and will have left Eddie Jones impressed.

Grieg Laidlaw

So near yet so far once again for the Gloucester and Scotland captain against Australia. A last gasp converted try saw Australia defeat Laidlaw’s side 23-22 in painfully similar fashion to Scotland’s World Cup Quarter Final defeat to the Wallabies last autumn.

It wasn’t for the want of trying from the departing skipper as he scored two conversions and a penalty for the hosts. His leadership skills were also on show at Murrayfield, dictating the tempo while marshalling the defence with aplomb.

The Clermont-bound scrum-half will feel desperately unlucky to have found himself on a losing side once more in a Scotland shirt.

Ross Moriarty

Wales’ best player in last weekend’s disappointing defeat to Australia was on form once more this weekend, finding himself on the winning side on this occasion as Wales beat Argentina 24-20.

Playing as a Number 8, he made 14 tackles as Wales saw off the Pumas. The 22-year old’s powerful carrying was also on show as he continues to stake his claim for injured Toby Faletau’s position in the back row.

David Halaifonua

The Tongan started at full-back as Tonga defeated European minnows Spain 28-13 in Madrid on Saturday.

The 29-year-old could not get himself on the scoresheet during the match but Cherry and Whites fans will be hoping he brings his winning touch back to Kingsholm on his return.

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