Wasps and Jack Willis catch eye with impressive Premiership return

Jack Willis scores a try for Wasps
Jack Willis scored one of Wasps' four tries in Sunday's win at Northampton

Among the teams to impress when the Premiership season resumed last weekend were Wasps, whose "growth potential" is "massive" according to former England and Lions wing Ugo Monye.

They returned to action with a 34-21 victory at Northampton on Sunday, with flanker Jack Willis particularly impressive in front of watching England head coach Eddie Jones.

The 23-year-old was selected for England's summer trip of South Africa in 2018, but sustained a serious knee injury in that year's Premiership semi-final against Saracens and was unable to tour.

"Jack Willis was my player of the weekend," said Monye on the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly podcast.

"He was so unlucky a couple of years ago with his knee injury, but to come back in the way in which he has - not just him, but the team - they're flying.

"There's been a lot of change, Lee Blackett has come in (as head coach), but the Wasps machine charges on."

Harlequins' England international wing Chris Ashton believes more performances of a similar level could see Willis called up to the national team once more.

He added: "I don't think Eddie will give a second's thought about swapping people out and putting him in. The type of coach he is, he doesn't mind. If he sees it's progress, they're in."

The victory at Northampton, Wasps' fourth Premiership win in succession either side of the five-month suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic, left them fourth in the table, four points below second-placed Sale.

"I think the growth potential in Wasps is massive," added Monye.

"Dan Robson was excellent, Jacob Umaga played really well, and then having Jimmy Gopperth as another playmaker outside of him works really well. They've got a powerful runner in Malakai Fekitoa - it's just a really nice balance.

"More than anything, they look like they're really enjoying what they're doing and it shows through their attack."

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