The Daily Telegraph - Business
London Irish Worcester
Ollie Lawrence was hailed as having the “X-factor” to force himself into the England team, after displaying his impressive physical credentials with two tries against London Irish yesterday.
The Worcester youngster has already been noticed by Eddie Jones, having played outstandingly well for England’s junior teams and being rewarded with a call-up to the senior training squad.
Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons praised his exciting centre who made an impact as a halftime replacement, and said: “Ollie has tremendous ability. His genetics are outstanding and give him a real point of difference. He has that bit of special X-factor about him.”
Lawrence made a huge difference with his muscular presence, good running brain and desire to break the Irish defence, after Warriors had dominated the first half but trailed 8-7 at the break.
Duncan Weir’s penalty was followed by scrum-half Francois Hougaard waltzing over for the Warriors’ first try, after Irish had struck through Ben Loader’s try.
Irish lost flanker Isaac CurtisHarris to the sin-bin for a high tackle, but led at the break thanks to a Paddy Jackson penalty.
The arrival of Lawrence changed the direction of the game, as he scythed through for his first try.
Irish centre Terrence Hepetema was then sent to the sin-bin for a shoulder charge on Ethan Waller, before Worcester wing Melani Nanai powered his way across for a try.
The final stages saw a plethora of points as Irish No8 Albert Tuisue and replacement Ben Meehan crossed to clinch a bonus point for the hosts, while Lawrence and Tom Howe went over for Warriors, who jumped above Irish into ninth spot.
Solomons said: “Irish were under the pump and I felt they would crack and I was pleased with that second half.”
Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney said: “It was disappointing that we faded so much in the second half, after producing such a courageous display to half-time. We were right in the fight, but they had too much for us in the end.”