The Daily Telegraph - Business

Lon­don Ir­ish Worces­ter

- By Gary Fitzger­ald at Twick­en­ham Stoop Sports · Rugby · London Irish RFC · London · Worcester · England · England national football team · Eddie Jones · Alan Solomons · Patrick Jackson · Melani Nanai

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.”

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