Ready-made Robbo Replacement
By Ben Blackmore. Last Updated: September 25, 2005 6:56pm
In the wake of Jason Robinson's decision to retire from the England setup, a new shining light continued to build on his reputation at the Causeway Stadium.
Mark van Gisbergen has been outstanding at full back for Wasps this season, a position that Robinson occupied on many occasions during his international career.
And if anybody needs an indicator of the quality that Van Gisbergen can offer after qualifying for English citizenship, the New Zealand-born player now shares a record with none other than Jonny Wilkinson.
The Wasps man took his tally of consecutive successful kicks to 28 before finally missing one - the only kick he has missed this season.
Shaun Edwards knows more about Van Gisbergen than most, and he was once again full of praise for the 28-year-old.
"Mark has played in three grand finals and in the Heineken Cup final and these games prepare people for Test rugby," said Edwards.
"In the last three years he's worked very hard at many aspects of his game - he wasn't a goalkicker when he came here.
"But what sticks in my mind is his work ethic. You don't have to tell him to do anything."
Worcester coach John Brain will have been less impressed with the impact of Van Gisbergen, after the Wasps man's tally of 15 points proved to be the difference between the two sides.
However, Brain was able to see the bright side after a good start to the Premiership campaign.
"We need to improve as an all-round team, which we're working hard to do," conceded Brain.
"Credit to Wasps - they're not champions for nothing. They've got a good set of forwards and their backs can play but we troubled them a bit today.
"We made some errors in execution but we can't be too disappointed. We've had two good wins, a draw against Gloucester and I thought we had opportunities to win this one."