Eastmond would wreak havoc in Oz

Kyle Eastmond would be a real hit Down Under if he becomes the latest in a long list of Lions bolters this summer according to a man who helped halt the tourists last time out. [more]

Eastmond would wreak havoc in Oz

Kyle Eastmond would be a real hit Down Under if he becomes the latest in a long list of Lions bolters this summer according to a man who helped halt the tourists last time out.

The former rugby league half back was in sensational form for Bath at the weekend and his club coach Gary Gold believes he has what it takes to shine on the hard grounds of Australia.

Eastmond has yet to win a senior England cap in the 15-man version of the sport but he showed signs that an international debut may not be too far away after he set up two of Bath’s five tries in their win over Worcester.

The 22-year-old has impressed at inside centre, outside centre, wing and fly-half this term and, even though former South Africa assistant Gold admits a call up is highly unlikely given his relative inexperience, the Bath boss is convinced he would be a risk worth taking.

“Kyle will create havoc if you take him there,” said Gold, who was Peter de Villiers’ right-hand man when the Boks beat the Lions 2-1 four years ago.

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“With his league background, his passing skills and his pace on the hard grounds of Australia, it would be a great call.

"He's a prestigious talent. He passes off both hands beautifully and, when he needs to, he kicks well. And he's obviously got electric feet.

“In 2009 I coached against the Lions and they brought Keith Earls along as the wildcard.

“He’ll create havoc down in Australia if you wanted to give him that position, but I’m not sure that the Lions coaches are bold enough to want to go with him, though.”

Eastmond showed his class when his beautifully-timed and perfectly-executed flat pass created the space for Tom Biggs to race home from 35 metres in Bath’s 32-9 win over the Warriors and he was at it again to set up Horacio Augulla after an hour.

While the 22-year-old's superb step and pass for the first of the Argentine’s two tries wasn't quite in the same league as Brian O'Driscoll's moment of magic in creating Simon Zebo's score against Wales a week ago, it wasn't far off the great man's individual excellence. Eastmond showed his game understanding has improved dramatically after an injury-ravaged first season in the 15-man version of the sport as he drew three defenders to ensure Bath bagged all five points.

“Kyle was outstanding,” added Gold.

“We want the ball in Kyle’s hands, and ideally on the front foot.

“We’re playing around with a couple of ideas at the moment, switching him and Banners (Matt Banahan) around, maybe letting Banners defend at 12 and Kyle attack at 12.

“It’s just about who the first receiver is going to be after nine and 10 have made the first pass.”

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