For rugby enthusiasts around the world, the announcement of any squad from which a national coach – in yesterday’s case, Stuart Lancaster of England – will be making his next few weeks’ team selections is always a cause of anticipation and excitement.
However, almost invariably, when the announcement actually occurs, as happened yesterday, the overriding reaction is one of deflation tinged with disappointment.
Because, inevitably, 99.5% of the names duly posted were entirely as expected. The few points of controversy or excitement were confined to the margins – specifically the two newbie, uncapped, players included and/or those candidates who some considered had serious chances but who have been left out.
I’m not going to list the squad, or even discuss the various selection options and issues that its composition has given Lancaster and his fellow coaches.
Instead I simply wish to record here my pleasure at the inclusion of the Saracens’ back rower/lock George Kruis. He’s consistently impressed me ever since I first set eyes on him and registered him as a potential future international five years ago as a 19 year old. He’s a big unit, a hard-working aggressive man and he’s a real rugby player – like Joe Launchbury is – rather than just one of those forwards who does a specialist job and then little else around the park.
Hopefully he’ll get some on-pitch time next month.