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Saracens fan Louise Warr explains why centre Brad Barritt is underrated for both the Men in Black and England
There are many overused words when it comes to describing professional sportsman, and rugby players are no exception to this.
Underrated is one of the main culprits, but despite this, I cannot think of a better way to describe the individual who will be the focus of this week’s article, Saracens and England centre Brad Barritt.
Defensively he is a rock for both club and country and is consistently being one of the top performers in any team he plays in.
Barritt is the glue that holds Saracens’ backline together; there are not many occasions when a break is made through the centres when he is on the field.
With international teams spending seemingly decreasing amounts of time together before the start of tournaments, somebody is needed to bring individuals from a variety of different clubs together; a role that I feel Barritt does exceptionally well.
Despite the lack of praise he received, nobody however is debating the work he does in defence; it is his attacking play that comes under scrutiny.
Having carried out his rugby education in South Africa with the Sharks, Barritt should be no stranger to running rugby; the Super rugby competition is famed for being a master class in attacking play.
Despite this, there are seemingly demands for other players to take his place on the international stage.
Yes, I agree, he may not be the flashiest of players, but then again not everybody in the team can be like Schalk Brits, he is unique to say the least.
He carries out a role within the team, to a very high standard, and because of that people often overlook his skills in other areas, with bad passes or dropped catches being a very rare sight indeed for the centre.
Consistency may not win you headlines or man of the match awards but it can go an awful long way to winning trophies.
He will never be championed in the way some of his other international colleagues are, but one thing is for sure that his relentless work rate will make him a hit with those who matter most, his teammates and coaches.
Whether or not we will see Barritt on the plane to Australia with the Lions touring party is a debate for the future, with much rugby and hopefully silverware to come between now and then.
However, one thing is for sure that whatever happens this summer Barritt will remain an integral part of the wolfpack, and will be central in their hunt for trophies.