Flexible Furbank continues to show his worth at Saints

Time after time since Chris Boyd arrived at Saints, George Furbank has shown his immense value to the club.

By Tom Vickers
Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 12:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 12:10 pm
George Furbank shone against Gloucester
George Furbank shone against Gloucester

From flying displays at full-back to assured cameos at fly-half, Furbank has delivered in some style.

He had only made one first-team appearance before Boyd came to town, but Furbank now has a total of 29 under his belt.

And if he gets some better luck with injuries, he will look forward to making many more.

Last weekend, Furbank was at it again, starting at full-back before moving into No.10.

He stepped up after Dan Biggar was forced off at the break, steering the Saints ship through some choppy second-half waters as Gloucester were sunk at Franklin’s Gardens.

As ever, Furbank found space that didn’t seem to be there in attack and showed his defiance in defence.

His try-saving tackle on Danny Cipriani helped to keep Saints in front at a crucial moment and ensured Gloucester wouldn’t have the time they needed to get the win.

But though many will expect him to come into the England reckoning soon, Furbank is refusing to get carried away, smiling his way through interviews while shrugging off praise like it’s a defender coming towards him.

“I’m pleased with how things have been going,” said the likeable back.

“I’m always looking to improve my game though and I’ve got lads I can learn from here.

“Mal (Harry Mallinder) is coming back again now so it adds to the competition, which I’m looking forward to.

“He’s a class player and if both of us are on form then it helps the team out.”

Since Mallinder has been out of first-team action - he suffered a serious knee injury in October 2018 - Furbank has come in and taken his chance with both hands.

And the 23-year-old did it once again against Gloucester, ensuring Saints would not miss Wales star Biggar too much after the break.

“It’s always tough filling the shoes of Biggs, but the boys helped me out massively,” Furbank said.

“We were glad to come away with four points.

“We always felt in control, we just kept giving away soft tries and letting them back into the game.

“But we knew once we took control of it again, we’d be alright and we’re happy.

“It was massively important to get back on track, especially in tight games like that.

“To come away with a win gives you confidence and we’ll take this into Sunday against Wasps.”

While Saints are now switching their focus to this weekend’s trip to the Ricoh Arena, there is no doubt they have home hopes in mind, too.

Boyd’s boys are the only team still able to boast an unbeaten home record in this season’s Gallagher Premiership.

And Furbank said: “We want to stay unbeaten at home all season and then pick up some points away as well.

“If we can keep that up it would be perfect.”

Key to that will be Saints’ ability to adapt to all sorts of different challenges and overcome many sizeable hurdles.

They certainly did that last weekend, especially when you consider they had to change most of their backline during the second half due to injuries.

“It’s really important (to be adaptable) because when we lose players in all sorts of positions we’ve got lads who can step in and cover that,” Furbank said.

“Boydy is pretty big on that and you take your skillset into any position so it’s important.”