Ex-Wallaby Toomua stars for Tigers in England
FORMER Wallabies playmaker Matt Toomua showed Australia what they're missing out on over the weekend, as he starred in the English Premiership scoring 23 points, including a fine solo try, to lead Leicester Tigers to a vital win over Harlequins.
In the absence of England star George Ford, not playing ahead of the champions' Six Nations clash away to Scotland next weekend, Toomua moved from inside centre to fly-half for the first time this season.
The positional swap proved to be a masterstroke from Leicester coach Matt O'Connor, as Toomua outplayed opposite Marcus Smith scoring a try and setting up another one with a superb chip kick.
The 15-point win lifted Leicester to seventh spot, five points behind fourth placed Gloucester.
"It's not that difficult for him to move into the number 10 (fly-half) role, he's played a lot of his rugby at that position and is a Test quality 10," said Leicester coach Matt O'Connor of the 31-times capped Toomua.
"For him to play at first receiver when you haven't done it much, he was probably the difference between the sides today and he gave us a little more thrust and potency.
In his second season with the Tigers, Toomua is ineligible for the 2019 World Cup in Japan after re-signing with the English club for another three-years last November.
Toomua missed the majority of his debut season for the Tigers after suffering a knee-injury, after leaving the Brumbies following the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Elsewhere, Rob Horne scored Northampton Saints' second try to help them to a 25-17 comeback win over London Irish.
Wasps extracted some revenge for their final loss last season, edging Exeter 13-7 at home.
Former Wallaby Dave Dennis missed the match as he continues to recover from a long-term bicep injury, while Lachie Turner performed strongly at fullback and Greg Holmes came off the bench in the front-row.
Across the English Channel, Mike Harris starred at fly-half for Lyon leading them to an important 36-10 win over Clermont.
Harris scored a try and kicked nine points from the kicking tee.
The win lifted Lyon into the top six standings.
Former NRL wing sensation Semi Radradra also continued his excellent debut season, setting up two tries for wing partner Chris Ashton.