Planet Rugby

Bath defend criticised Eastmond

25th June 2014 12:41

Share:

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Eastmond was withdrawn at half-time by England in last weekend's third Test against New Zealand, with the tourists trailing 29-6 after conceding four tries in the first half.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
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
  • Aviva Prem Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
Saturday , September 13
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Aviva Prem Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38