Prior to their Challenge Cup contest with Agen at the Ricoh Arena over the weekend, Wasps shared an impressive stat about flanker Jack Willis.
The 22-year-old has long been tipped as Wasps’ star for the future, and his haul of 13 turnovers in his last 175 minutes for the club shows that.
That equates to a remarkable one turnover every 13 minutes and 27 seconds of rugby played.
? 13 turnovers in his last 175 minutes of rugby…
That's an average of almost six per game?
Who's coming to see the Turnover King in action this weekend?!
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) November 22, 2019
Willis’ area of expertise has always been the breakdown, and stats like this only show how dangerous he is. It also shows that the anterior cruciate ligament rupture he suffered in May 2018 has not stopped him progressing as a player.
The flanker suffered the injury playing for Wasps two seasons ago in the Premiership semi-final against Saracens. He had only just been named in Eddie Jones’ squad to tour South Africa at the end of that season, but he ended up missing the majority of the following 2018/19 season.
Although he returned towards the end of last campaign for Wasps, his season was again cut short with an ankle injury. This season has also been hampered by injury so far, with what Dai Young described as a “freak” training ground knee injury, but Willis is showing the form that many know he is capable of.
The fact that he was called up to the England squad at such a young age shows that Jones is an admirer of his, as he has always been touted to represent England. However, he is part of a remarkable generation of young flankers in England, which includes Tom Curry, 21, Sam Underhill, 23, and Lewis Ludlam, 23, of the players who have represented their country already, and many more across the Premiership.
Willis undoubtedly has the ability to compete with these players for the six and seven shirt for England over the next decade, and will be on Jones’ radar for the upcoming Six Nations. Players with his ability over the ball are a rare commodity and are in great demand in Test rugby.
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