In-form Furbank showcasing his all-round ability at Saints

When the awards are handed out at Saints come the end of the season, you get the feeling George Furbank won't be too far away from picking up a trophy or two.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 7:00 am
George Furbank started at fly-half against Saracens last Saturday (picture: Sharon Lucey)

The 22-year-old has been nothing short of a revelation at Franklin's Gardens this season, impressing so much that he has grabbed the 15 shirt from Ahsee Tuala.

Tuala has been on the wing in recent weeks, with Furbank occupying the full-back slot after a series of fine displays.

And the youngster has even shown his ability to switch positions, playing for 60 minutes at fly-half in the stunning 67-17 success against Sale Sharks last month.

Furbank was on the move again last weekend, filling the fly-half void after James Grayson was forced to withdraw in the warm-up at Saracens.

And although the game didn't go to plan for Saints, who lost 36-17 at Allianz Park, there were more flashes of Furbank's obvious ability.

"Obviously the boys were disappointed with the result against Saracens because we felt confident going into the game on the back of a lot of wins," said Furbank.

"We let ourselves down in the first half, were just off it physicality wise and they took advantage of that.

"Thankfully we came back a bit in the second half and put a few points on the board.

"It was interesting for me to play at 10 again.

"Obviously I've played at 10 a couple of times now. It was a bit different to the game against Sale!

"It's a learning curve for me and I enjoyed having the opportunity to play there.

"I want to be able to take my opportunity when I do get put in that 10 jersey.

"It benefits me playing at 10 and then going back to full-back.

"It was quite a tough game to switch in, but it's nice knowing the coaches have got the confidence in me to put me at 10.

"Hopefully next time we play Saracens it will be a different result."

And Furbank was treated to some words of wisdom after last weekend's game, as he chatted to Alex Goode, who also usually plays full-back but has been filling in at fly-half for Saracens in the absence of Owen Farrell in recent weeks.

"He (Goode) spoke to me after the game a bit and just said 'keep going, it's tough going to 10' and if he finds it hard, I'm going to find it tough as well!," Furbank said.

"If I could have a career like his, it would be ideal.

"He's been one of the best full-backs in the Prem for a while and I try to pick out as much as I can from the games of those guys."

Furbank has now played 12 matches this season - starting all of them - scoring three tries in the process.

And the Huntingdon-born back, who came through the Saints Academy, is savouring every second of the 2018/19 campaign.

"I'm loving this season," Furbank said.

"It's nice to get some games under my belt, it's nice we're winning games and hopefully we can finish the season well.

"The team is 100 per cent progressing, things are starting to click.

"It's always going to be tough when a new system is put in place, but it's starting to come together and the team is bonding."

Furbank now sets his sights on the battle with Bristol Bears at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday afternoon.

And he takes good memories into the game, having scored a try and kicked a conversion in a victory against the same opponents in a Premiership Rugby Cup clash in October.

"They're a top quality team, very dangerous in attack, as a lot of sides have found out," Furbank said.

"They will play from anywhere so we've got to be on alert in defence but we feel like they will give us opportunities to score as well.

"We back our attack, as we always do, and as long as we score more points than them we'll be fine!"