Catt is top dog

England’s veteran World Cup winning centre Mike Catt capped a terrific season by being named Premiership player of the season.

The South African-born 34-year-old had an outstanding season for London Irish, inspiring them to the play-offs, and earned himself a recall to the England squad for the tour of Australia.

The former Bath stalwart beat off rivals, Northampton’s ex-All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer, Wasps’ back Tom Voyce, Sale lock Jason White and Bristol scrumhalf Shaun Perry.

While most of Catt’s fellow World Cup winning team-mates have faded from the scene head coach Andy Robinson believes he could make it through to the 2007 World Cup.

“If he is managed correctly then he can make it. London Irish have managed him very well this year and that is why he has performed at the level he has,” said Robinson when he called him up
for the two-Test tour.

“He has been re-enthused – he was a world class centre for England and very much part of England winning the World Cup with his performances against Wales, France and coming off the bench in the final. He is a quality operator.”

“He’s coming on tour for two games and some of the older players can’t train every day and as long as we manage him correctly I don’t doubt that he can challenge for a place in the World Cup squad.”