Planet Rugby

Bath defend criticised Eastmond

25th June 2014 12:41


kyle eastmond england new zealand

Under fire: Kyle Eastmond

Bath head coach Mike Ford has stuck up for England centre Kyle Eastmond following criticism over his defensive abilities.

Eastmond was withdrawn at half-time by England in last weekend's third Test against New Zealand, with the tourists trailing 29-6 after conceding four tries in the first half.

Plenty of fingers were pointed at Eastmond's role in the midfield despite a dazzling performance in the narrow first Test defeat.

"What happened in the first half of the final Test wasn't just one man's fault," Ford told the Bath Chronicle.

"As a former England defence coach, I know everyone had their own faults in that system. Kyle was unfortunate in that he was the one who was replaced at half-time.

"Kyle is a fantastic player and things like this make him stronger and hungrier to do even better."

Bath's England contingent performed well overall in New Zealand, with Rob Webber, Davey Wilson and Dave Attwood all doing their England chances no harm ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

"Rob has developed his reputation and has credit in the bank - I think he could be the first-choice hooker for England at the moment," added Ford.

"But who's picked for the Autumn Internationals will depend on who's playing the best club rugby come the end of October.

"Davey Wilson and Anthony Watson also had positive tours and had a chance to show what they can do.

"I feel a bit sorry for Dave Attwood in terms of the game time he had. I think he deserved to start that first Test given his form. That was a tough call on him.

"We've one hand behind our backs a bit with all the England players being away but it's great to have these players playing international rugby."

  • Aviva Prem Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Northampton vs Exeter19:45
Gloucester vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 15
Sale vs London Irish14:00
Bath vs Newcastle17:00
Sunday , November 16
Leicester vs Saracens13:00
Wasps vs London Welsh15:15
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale19:45
Newcastle vs Gloucester20:00
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs Wasps15:00
London Irish vs Bath15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
  • Aviva Prem Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , October 12
Wasps 29 - 22 BathWasps vs Bath Report
Saturday , October 11
London Welsh 3 - 23 NewcastleLondon Welsh vs Newcastle Report
Saracens 28 - 21 GloucesterSaracens vs Gloucester Report
Exeter 44 - 24 London IrishExeter vs London Irish Report
Northampton 43 - 10 Sale SharksNorthampton vs Sale Sharks Report
Friday , October 10
Leicester 22 - 16 HarlequinsLeicester vs Harlequins Report
Sunday , October 5
Sale 25 - 14 Wasps
Newcastle 29 - 24 Exeter
Saturday , October 4
Harlequins 52 - 0 London Welsh
London Irish 12 - 19 Northampton
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Aviva Prem Table
Aviva Premiership Table