Tom Woolstencroft was the toast of rugby hookers everywhere on Wednesday night after the stand-in Saracens captain bagged a second-half try hat-trick in his team’s 36-20 Gallagher Premiership win over Gloucester. It was quite the feat for the soon-to-be 26-year-old, who is usually the Saracens back-up to England international Jamie George. 

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Having joined the club in 2018 after initial stints at Bath and London Irish, scoring tries have not been the hooker’s forte as prior to Wednesday he had only ever scored twice in his 49-game top-flight professional career.

Those scores came in 2018/19 league appearances versus Leicester and Northampton, but that gave no inkling to the scoring prowess he delivered in the second half at Allianz Park in what was his first Saracens start since the lockdown resumption of the Premiership. 

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Not only did he become just the fifth hooker in Premiership history to bag a hat-trick, joining the likes of Jamie George, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Harry Thacker, he also became just the fourth captain to ever score a league hat-trick, following in the esteemed footsteps of Gary Armstrong (1999), Jeremy Guscott (1999) and Nili Latu (2016).   

No wonder Saracens boss Mark McCall was keen to heap praise on Woolstencroft in the aftermath, saying: “He is a top player and is as competitive as there is. He is brilliant around the field, really good over the ball and carries the ball well. He is someone we want to keep at the club for a long time.

“He’s a very calm player, he leads by example and he showed that today with his performance. The forwards felt at half-time that they had the upper hand in the scrum and the maul and they made that count in the second half, I’m really pleased with our pack.”

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