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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Iain Balshaw's nice try for Biarritz against Toulon

Iain Balshaw's nice try for Biarritz against Toulon

Biarritz had a fantastic day in the Top 14 yesterday as they scored ten tries to beat Agen convincingly. That game will no doubt feature over the next few days, so until then, here's a nice try scored by their fullback Iain Balshaw recently.

Over the last few weeks one of the biggest talking points in English rugby has been that the RFU have announced that English players playing abroad won't be in contention for England selection after the World Cup. That means guys such as Balshaw, Jonny Wilkinson, James Haskell, etc won't be considered.

It seemingly hasn't deterred anyone though, as Wilkinson himself has extended his deal with Toulon, and Balshaw this week signed for another three years. While he hasn't played for England for some time and is seemingly not on the radar, good form and tries like this one might have possibly changed that.

With Martin Johnson saying he won't pick players from foreign clubs, no matter what guys like Wilkinson and Balshaw do in France, they won't play for England again, until they move back to their home country.

As we've seen with New Zealand and South Africa though, there does seem to be room to adjust the rules when needed, as the RFU said they'll do ' in exceptional circumstances '.

This try is just a nice example of what Balshaw - who has frustrated England fans in the past with his hot and cold form - can do in a little space with ball in hand. Incidentally, it's actually Wilkinson who he chips in this clip.


Time: 01:28

Posted at 7:11 pm | 17 comments

Viewing 17 comments

Anonymous January 09, 2011 2:21 pm

not that good raelly

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KG January 09, 2011 2:22 pm

It was pretty damn good mate. Perfect chip.

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 2:25 pm

very nice try. but check out ngwenya's one in that same game!

incredible step that has left wulf for dead

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Luxi January 09, 2011 2:26 pm

good try, very nicely weighed chip

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 2:27 pm

Lovely try. Wilkinson had no chance.

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Colombes January 09, 2011 2:56 pm

Ngwenya scored also a pretty impressive try in the same match if u have the highlights

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 3:02 pm

'they won't play for England again, until they move back to their home country.'

Does that mean he will not pick Flutey, Hape or Hartly until they move pack to NZ?
Or what about Barritt, Fourie and Tuilagi. Do they have to move back to SA and Samoa?...

They are afraid that everyone will go to france but the Top 14 is introducing a salary cap soon so I don't think they should.
Can't wait for the European cup next weekend. Scarlets v Leicester will be huge.

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Tom January 09, 2011 3:07 pm

Lovely try, perfect example of a chip.

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cory January 09, 2011 5:32 pm

to anon they are qualified to play for england you plank. stop being a prick and pull your head out of your arse. good try, shame he never carries his form for long

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fry January 09, 2011 5:58 pm

Johnson is an idiot if that's how he feels.

Where should these stars of rugby play in England? Which club is willing to stop bringing in talent from SA, the Pacific Islands, NZ, and have these guys on board?

Besides, the Top 14 is a better tournament for these guys to play in than the GP.

Does Johnson think England are the All Blacks making a statement like that?

He's already dismissed Wilkinson, despite his great form as of late, so I think now he's just making up excuses to justify his benching of the world's best (or second-best) flyhalf.

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Sam January 09, 2011 9:09 pm

I generally try and defend MJ but really I can't see England having any better fly half for this WC than wilkinson, unless MJ is intending on righting off this WC and trying to build young players up during it?!

I didn't think England stood a chance last WC but was surprised when the old boys pulled through, by this WC we have the left over old boys (I think) and generally a lot of new players with no experience and some others with little skill..... I mean really Foden has been the big name in the autumn tests and you can't expect it all to lie on his shoulders....

Aaaalllllll that being said I can see his point. Ireland who generally have a close knit team generally all play for Munster and Leinster...I beleive this brings a team closer rather than creating a baabaa-esque team of players from everywhere.....

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Anonymous January 09, 2011 10:29 pm

Ireland have been doing it for years, it protects the Irfu!! keeps good rugby players in Ireland and in our clubs which brings money we cap our overseas players as well to 5!! except for ulster who seem to have lost this rule?? bob casey for example leo cullen and jennings had to move in to get a look in the team because they weren't by far the best 50/50 calls so the home player got preference!! tommy bowe is playing abroad but still gettin picked because you can't not pick him at the mo!! but if everyone started moving they would tighten up again leinster munster and ulster depend on it!! so do newzealand thats why they have the rule!!!!

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mr. brown January 09, 2011 11:24 pm

Ireland only have four provincial teams to pick from, so players going overseas hurts them a lot more (not that it would happen that often...what are there, two or three? Geordan Murphy, Bowe, and Johne Murphy - but he's now at Munster).

England have a bigger pool to pick from, so there is some basis on the whole "play in England to play for England" thing, but like Sam said, there's really no one who stands out like Wilko at the moment as flyhalf. Toby Flood is not the long-term solution but MJ keeps investing in him as though he is...and as a short-term solution, Wilko is clearly the better choice...it's pretty frustrating all around.

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(u-p)rick January 10, 2011 1:09 am

I think the added bonus about having players in the local teams to the country such as Ireland (previously discussed) is that you get a decent link, Peter stringer and ROG have been playing 9 and 10 for munster for a long time and generally they never seem to fail to work well together, ofcourse we know ROG has a habit of being bumped and stringer isn't exactly the biggest guy on the pitch...but they always seem to work well...not sure who is 9 for Leinster but its sexton at 10 for them isn't it? (wondering if another ire pick plays 9 there...?

As for johnny wilkinson not playing I think it will be quite dire for eng.... He is a bit if a talisman amongst fans and players I'm lead to believe

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Anonymous January 10, 2011 3:54 pm

Why did he never do this for England?!

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Bill January 11, 2011 12:05 am

He never did it for England, because international rugby defences are much stronger and harder to break than T14 defences.
And in regard to only picking home based players, all the 3 nations teams do it and without that rule, it would almost certainly result in the death of domestic rugby in Aus , NZ and SA.
NZ and SA have occaisonally picked NH players, but only in exceptional circumstances, if the players has already rpoved himself in the south in tri-natiosn and Super rugby.
Even then it causes problems, as per South Africa pointing out that all of the guys who've gone north tend to drop their standard and aren't as good players after.
The point is, if you don't do it, players don't have incentive to stay at home, and will go where the money is. It means all the best players would leave the respective countries domestic comp, which kills attendences, sponsership and public interest in thsoe comps, while reducing the level of rugby played in those comps also.
It's a very good idea.

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edward January 13, 2011 5:48 am

He was pretty lucky, even though it worked out okay the chip kick was technically atrocious...the kind of kick you see go off the shin 9 times out of 10. Unfortunately for Balshaw, his career has been much more of the 90% crap than 10% good.

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