Planet Rugby



Exeter back Johnson for England

27th October 2013 07:56


tom johnson exeter cardiff blues

In form: Tom Johnson

Exeter Chiefs coach Ali Hepher has backed flanker Tom Johnson to show what he can do in the November Internationals for England.

Johnson, who has five caps, has been recalled to the national squad on the back of some excellent early-season form for the Devon club.

"(Johnson) has been right on form and also the good thing is that we are an in-form side so hopefully it gives TJ that platform to push on in the international scene," said Hepher.

"As far as I am concerned he has been going fantastically well - he's been carrying well, got good pace about him and he has been aggressive in defence, which goes towards a good all-round performance."

Johnson was part of a convincing victory for the Chiefs over Premiership stragglers Worcester Warriors on Saturday, with the home side running in six tries at Sandy Park to win 40-6.

Reflecting on the convincing victory, in which Exeter scored six tries, Hepher pointed out the good work carried out by the squad in training on their defence and was delighted to secure a first try bonus point of the season.

"The defensive display in that first half was absolutely vital, into that wind, when you couldn't clear line from inside the 22," added Hepher.

"To hold them out to no tries was a phenomenal effort. Rob (Baxter, head coach) had been putting a lot of time into the defence and it is coming through really well. We have an exciting attack.

"We are pleased with where our game is at but we still have to keep pushing on and tidying up certain situations and areas of our game - we certainly saw that in the second half with the quality attack.

"That was our first bonus point of any sort in the league so that is pleasing. The guys stuck to their task and the subs, when they came on, kept pushing and putting the pressure on.

"The forwards as a whole drove well and set up the first try of the game, which was important. It is the unseen work that we have really been banging on about and if we create quick ball we are a good side."

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