While the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour might still seem a long way away - it pays to keep an eye out for who is turning in the big performances in the here and now. [more]


While the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour might still seem a long way away – it pays to keep an eye out for who is turning in the big performances in the here and now.

As part of a new weekly feature on the site – we wrap up the action across Europe this weekend and pick out some stand-out performances across the four countries for you to consider.

He may have the likes of Jonathan Sexton and Ian Madigan ahead of him in the pecking order for the Ireland No.10 shirt, but if Connacht’s Jack Carty keeps on going he may yet be in the reckoning for Lions selection in 2017.

The 23-year-old fly-half has been instrumental in guiding Connacht into contention near the top of the Pro12, and his 20-point haul – which included six penalties and a conversion in tricky conditions in Galway – saw his side past Newcastle on Friday.

Welshman Dan Biggar was not far behind as he scored all 19 of Ospreys points against Bordeaux-Begles.
Having hauled Wales' injury-ravaged side into the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, the No.10 proved he is still on top form by converting his own try and nailing four penalties in the 19-16 triumph.

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Biggar’s compatriot Rhys Patchell also claimed 17 points for Cardiff Blues, while 2013 Lions tourist Owen Farrell was very impressive for his 13 points in Saracens’ win at Oyonnax.

Andy Fenby seized his chance to lead the try-scorers in Europe this weekend, with the 30-year-old Welshman scoring a hat-trick on a rare start for London Irish.

England’s Thomas Waldrom was back in the tries after a hat-trick last weekend with a double to help Exeter Chiefs sweep aside European giants Clermont Auvergne, while Toulon’s Steffon Armitage underlined his international credentials once again with two tries of his own against Leinster.

Three former Lions did manage to get on the scoresheets however, with Ben Youngs, Billy Twelvetrees and Alex Cuthbert touching down for a try each, with the latter also making 90 metres in Cardiff Blues’ win over Montpellier.

Youngster Josh Van Der Flier boasted the best tackling statistics of the weekend, making an impressive 19 hits as Leinster’s defences were stretched at Toulon.

Tom Youngs was also influential in Leicester Tigers’ win at Munster making 17 tackles, while fellow Lions Jamie Heaslip (14), Alun Wyn Jones (12) and Dan Lydiate (9) also impressed defensively.

England’s Graham Kitchener backed up Youngs with 16 tackles of his own for the Tigers, while compatriots Matt Garvey (19) and George Ford (17) put in huge performances for Bath in their last-gasp win at Wasps.

As well as making his way into the week’s top-scorers, Patchell led the way in terms of metres made with a whopping 137 against Montpellier.

Englishman Alex Goode was not far behind, gaining 130 metres in total for Saracens while former Wales winger Tom James progressed 126.

Anthony Watson is another star whose light continues to shine brighter and brighter, and his 106 metres made was accompanied by a match-winning try for Bath at Wasps.

Alex Cuthbert’s 90 metres were matched by fellow 2013 Lions tourist Stuart Hogg, while another back for the Sea of Red, Simon Zebo, managed 68 in total.

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