Lack of Lions at big jersey kick-off but plenty to savour

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He is far too laidback to acknowledge it but Jamie George provides the ideal case study to Authentic Seth Jones Youth Jersey best explain the tangled web that is the domestic season – a campaign that kicks off on Friday with its unique blend of annual optimism and unseemly self-interest. The 26-year-old Saracens and British & Irish Lions hooker started all three Tests in New Zealand in a series the All Blacks were expected to waltz through, only for Warren Gatland’s troops to come away with a draw against the odds. More on those odds later, for they are a large part of the problem.George is yet to start for England because Eddie Jones has in his 20 matches in charge not yet seen fit to drop Dylan Hartley and as fate would have it, George’s Saracens face Hartley’s Northampton on the opening Saturday of the Premiership season as part of the double-header at Twickenham.
But George will almost certainly not be playing because he is still in the early stages of his pre-season training, having returned from New Zealand only seven weeks ago. That Twickenham is denied that sort of rivalry does not sit well with the Premiership and it explains Mark McCafferty’s incredulity when the chief executive was asked if his organisation would consider changing its schedule to give the Lions more preparation time. The Lions, for their part, claim they would have won this http://www.officialbluejacketsproshop.com/Seth_Jones_Jersey summer’s series had they been afforded more time by the clubs.
Saracens are not obliged but feel duty-bound to omit George and co. “We are not trying to get our pound of flesh,” says Mark McCall but the director of rugby is only too aware he will be without George for large parts of the season when he is on England duty. This week McCall raised concerns that prized assets such as George, Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell are going to command bigger wages as part of a rising market, in no small part thanks to the Lions tour, but will play fewer matches for Saracens. England and the clubs cooperate but it is rarely convivial.George appreciates the need to sit out the start of the season, even if it counts against him in his duel with Hartley. “I understand the importance of rest,” he said. “It can be a very quick turnaround to get yourself right to play in that game [against Northampton]. Not that I wouldn’t appreciate the opportunity if I was offered it. You want to be given the opportunity to play against the best players and Dylan is one of them.
“I took a huge amount of confidence from the Lions tour – first of all in my own ability and knowing I can start Tests and have an influence on Tests. I Authentic Monta Ellis Youth Jersey have done it in patches for England off the bench and to have the opportunity to start from the beginning was a huge honour.”George also sees tangible benefits for England in the leadup to the 2019 World Cup. “With my England hat on there were times when you look at New Zealand and you think they are unbeatable but I have come back strongly believing that we, as England, can beat that New Zealand team if we get things right.”If English rugby was in the doldrums the various stakeholders would not be bickering quite so loudly but as George points out, it has never been better. The Premiership, now in its 21st season, is also a burgeoning product. BT Sport spend heavily – around £40m a season – for the broadcast rights and have helped to shape a league in ruder health than Super Rugby and on far more assured footing than the recently revamped Pro14.
On the pitch standards are rising and last season’s two thrilling semi-finals and a final linger in the memory – as does Exeter’s rags-to-riches success story. The early absence of most of the 16 Lions who are based in Premiership means the B of this week’s bang will not be quite so loud but there is talent aplenty, and much of it from overseas – the importance of southern hemisphere players who are unlikely to disappear http://www.officialpacershop.com/authentic-11-monta-ellis-jersey.html during international windows is growing.Saracens’ recruitment has been the most eye-catching. The hulking Australian lock Will Skelton impressed during his brief spell at Allianz Park last season and is back for two years while Liam Williams is probably the star arrival, filling the void left by Chris Ashton’s departure to Toulon. Christopher Tolofua, the French hooker, could prove to be the signing of the season and Calum Clark may not be far behind if he stays fit.
Suffice to say Saracens are the team to beat again, even if Exeter are the defending champions. Rob Baxter has a task on his hands maintaining motivation with largely the same squad after last season’s success, so it may be that their best performances occur in Europe.Leicester are shaping up strongly with a mouth-watering backline that – we can but hope – sees Manu Tuilagi back to somewhere near his best.
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