On the back of a week, which saw eight players selected to represent England and Wales in the Autumn Internationals, we caught up with Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder to talk about the call-ups.
“I think on behalf of the Club we’re really proud of all the guys that have been selected for their international teams. We want to be a Club that develops players to higher honours and it’s great to see so many young guys coming through. We know we’ve got some world-class players like Toby Faletau and just the example he sets here is fantastic to watch. It’s good to see him and the others achieve the ultimate accolade and that’s to be selected for your country - we’re really proud of them.
“Rhys to me is a great story too. This season he’s taken every opportunity and he’s really stood up as a leader and led this team. It’s fantastic and he’s our success story. I’m so pleased for him on a personal level.
“It’s great to see so many young guys come through too. We’ve got an amazing amount of young talent here. Our squad profile is really young and it’s good to see that we’ve got a core group of players and I’ve got no doubt the likes of Jack Walker could definitely play for England one day and if Tom Ellis was fit, he would be right there up there too. It’s also great to see Zach Mercer get the recognition that I think he thoroughly deserves.
“I think it’s often a reflection of the hard work that’s gone in from the whole group. We’re making a huge amount of progress, we’re learning and while we’re by no means the finished article, we’re developing. It’s only on the back of a collective effort that individuals get the chance to shine, so I think it’s a credit to the team and the squad.”