After only two rounds of this year’s Six Nations, it’s safe to say we bear witness to perhaps one of the best tournaments thus far.
With even more talking points and controversial moments than we care to imagine and none more so than “that” try for England against Wales on Saturday that kept consecutive grand slam titles alive for Eddie Jones and his men.
But Scotland have been arguably the greatest story so far. Vast improvement that has seen Scottish club rugby back to where it should be. Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh both reaching the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup respectively underlines that.
Both Eddie Jones and Vern Cotter have brought the best out of their play makers. For club and country Owen Farrell and Finn Russell continue to put in shift after shift of match-turning rugby. With a Lions tour just round the corner, it’s inevitable that one of the biggest talking points is who starts at No.10?
At this moment in time, either one of Farrell and Russell could don the red jersey. Farrell and Russell share similarities that would give the Lions team a sack full of attacking options. Playing so close to the line pre-empts gain line advantage on most phates and when you have two attack minded players like these two, you know that their game management and unpredictability could be winning material for Warren Gatland over his countrymen.
They play “heads up” rugby very well – playing what is front of them. They only kick when they really have to. Russell is renowned for his deft chips over the defensive line, knowing where the space is that creates scoring chances. Farrell is more inclined to create the space for his team mate and providing the killer pass at exactly the right time – an area of his game so often seen at Saracens.
Conversely, Dan Biggar and Jonny Sexton aren’t currently at the level Farrell and Russell are. Biggar has struggled to control games and make decisive plays in important games whereas Sexton has become an injury liability that has seen him miss both of the two Six Nations games so far.
With England head coach Jones playing Farrell at 12 to create the axis with George Ford, it’s not only paying dividends for England, it’s also showing a different side to Farrell that should work in his favour come June. His leadership has greatly impacted his team mates at both Saracens and England.