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RUGBY: Robinson praises potential of Bath's Eastmond
9:00am Saturday 9th March 2013 in Sport News
BY his own admission Kyle Eastmond is loathe to comparisons with Jason Robinson – but the World Cup winner admits he’d love to play a leading role in moulding the Bath flyer into an international superstar.
After a slow start to life in the 15-man format, with much of the work done behind the scenes, Eastmond is thriving in his first full season with Bath, having found his home at outside centre.
His explosive pace and pint-sized predatory skills have led to inevitable comparisons with Robinson, who by contrast made a breathtaking start to life in union romping in a try for the Lions against Australia in 2001.
Eastmond remains a work in progress but already Stuart Lancaster and his resurgent England have been keeping a watchful eye on the 23-year-old, who featured in both the recent Saxons internationals.
And while Eastmond shies away from any juxtaposition with Billy Whizz, perhaps mindful of a lengthy list of cross code convert flops such as Lesley Vainikolo, Barrie-Jon Mather and to a lesser extent Andy Farrell, Robinson claims he’d relish the chance to mentor the former St Helens full-back.
“I have spoken to him a few times and it would be nice to speak to him a bit more,” said Robinson, speaking in his role as an ambassador for the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens.
“Because of the style of play in which I used to play and when you see players like him I would certainly go and pay money to watch guys like him play.
“My background is obviously rugby league and I want to see people go and use what they have got and Kyle [Eastmond] has got that in abundance.
“He has got a smile on his face and he is taking people on and as a result he has got a lot of positive press from it and hopefully that will continue and the likes of him, Christian Wade and Jonny May will put pressure on some of the other guys in the mix at the moment.
“It is nice to see his progression with Bath this season in the Premiership. When he came into rugby union he had some injuries and that set him back but it was always going to take time for him to understand the game.
“It is one thing making the change and being an exciting player, I know myself it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make that adjustment and what appears to be the case at the moment is that he is enjoying it.”
2001 British and Irish Lions legend, Jason Robinson is an ambassador for the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens and will be running coaching clinics during the tournament courtesy of HSBC. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk/p/hsbc-coaching-clinics.
Bath Rugby are running a ticket offer of two tickets for £40 for their Aviva Premiership match against London Welsh on Saturday, March 30 (2.15pm). Ring the ticket office on 0844 448 1865 and quote: 2 for £40 Offer.
NEWS FROM BATH'S LV= CUP SEMI FINAL AGAINST HARLEQUINS TODAY AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN NEXT WEEK'S WILTSHIRE TIMES
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