Toby Booth backs Paice for England spotBy Matthew Sadler
December 30, 2009
Toby Booth backed David Paice’s England claims after watching the hooker star in front of the national side’s selectors in the win over Guinness Premiership pacesetters Saracens.
Despite being born in Darwin, Australia, Paice made his England debut against New Zealand in June 2008 and Booth expects him to be in the running for Martin Johnson’s Six Nations squad.
The Exiles coach said: “It was one of those team efforts. Everyone contributed to the tussle and if I was to single anyone out then I think David Paice at hooker was excellent.
“He was carrying and everyone talks about how Dylan Hartley carries the ball, but David Paice put his hand up today.
“His throwing was excellent and he scrummed well.
“He has really put his hand up to say ‘come and have a look at what I can do.’
“I know the England selectors were here today to have a look at our offerings on show and I thought Paicey was excellent.”
Skipper Bob Casey also praised the outstanding Paice.
He said: “David’s form in the last few weeks has been outstanding. His throwing in, his physicality and his scrummaging have all been excellent.
“He really has to be in the shake-up for the Six Nations.”
Delon Armitage continued his recovery from a dislocated shoulder by making his first start since September.
The 26-year-old sustained the injury in the 40-10 win over Gloucester and stepped up his comeback after having an 11-minute run-out in 34-13 win over Brive
Booth added: “He is blowing a little bit, but you would expect that. He has come through and adrenaline is making up for a bit of match fitness.
“It was quite a stop-start affair so that will have helped him and he will get better for every bit of game time he gets.
“I was delighted with the whole of our back three.
“I thought they worked much better than they had done in relation to a kicking game which is what they were selected to do.”