Exeter Chiefs have defeated Saracens at Sandy Park in a spectacular game in the Anglo Welsh Cup. The Chiefs put up a brilliant display to overcome Saracens 43-20. After Harlequins lost to Northampton Saints, Chiefs were expected to put up a spirited performance against the Saracens to earn a bonus point. Exeter Chiefs did not disappoint as they won the game.
The back to back runners up started the game very well with Tom O’Flaherty, Ollie Devoto, Moray Low and Jack Maunder all impressing in the first half of the tie. Saracens responded through Tom Whiteley, RotimiSegun and Max Malins but Exeter kept on scoring to push the margin wider. Despite a late Tom Lindsay try, Saracens still lost by a mile.
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The thought of Charlie Hodgson in an England jersey is not a new one. But every time the Sarries fly half was given the chance during his time at Sale, he seemingly choked on the big stage.
This season he has, along with the rest of his Saracens team mates, impressed regularly. Saracens sit second in the league and are closing the gap of Harlequins each week.
Hodgson is one of a number of players to have given a good enough account of himself playing for Saracens to warrant a call up to England’s team, and is already one of the favourites to captain England on the Betfair Six Nations Betting markets. If Hodgson is called up, he is confident of performing in a much more convincing manner to his previous appearances for England.
Since being exposed defensively against New Zealand in 2008 he has seemingly not had a look in for England, very much being at best third choice behind Wilkinson and Flood in the running for the number 10 jersey. But Wilkinson’s retirement and Flood’s injury worries have opened the door to an invigorated Hodgson.
He has settled well at Saracens and the chance to be called up alongside his club teammates for England would surely help him to finally flourish for England. It would be hoped he could replicate the moments of magic he and (former Sale team mate) Mark Cueto managed when linking up for England with his new back partner at Saracens, Owen Farrell. Both have impressed so far in the Betfair Heineken Cup 2012, and are expected to do great things together.
Farrell is seen as having a huge part to play in the future of English Rugby and surely the familiar sight of Charlie Hodgson inside him will help him to settle in the set up.
This would appear to be the role Hodgson could play. At 31 he is unlikely to be around in 2015 but in this transitional period for England he could play a significant role, starting with Scotland in February.