Running man: Northampton’s Luther Burrell has been breaking open defences with pace and power all seasonBy Katie FieldWho is the man of the moment?Luther Burrell, the 25-year-old Northampton centre who is hoping to secure a place in England’s matchday squad by playing the game of his life for his club against Saracens at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, 25 October (kick-off 3.15pm).Why is he in the spotlight?Burrell has been grabbing the headlines all season, shredding defences in the Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup to set up tries for his team-mates. He credits Northampton’s new assistant coach Alex King with helping him hit top form, although he had already impressed the club’s coaches last spring after joining from Sale in 2012.Slick and quick: Burrell showcases some of his handling skills for England against a Consur XV in ArgentinaHe toured with England last summer but didn’t get capped and has now been promoted from the Saxons squad to the Elite squad as injury cover. Burrell spent the first three days this week training with the November Test squad before being named in a group of ten players released back to their clubs to play this weekend.It doesn’t mean he is out of the frame for a Test cap and a big performance this weekend could just make all the difference. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Luther Burell (L) of England is marked by eandro Leivas of a South American collective team during a friendly rugby match on June 2, 2013 in Montevideo. AFP PHOTO/MIGUEL ROJO (Photo credit should read MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/Getty Images) What’s Burrell got to say about it?“I am absolutely chuffed to be part of the England squad, which has some of the greatest players in it. It’s something I have always dreamed of. I hope I can put a marker down in this game [v Saracens] and try to push for a starting slot.“It was fantastic to get a starting spot with Saints towards the end of last season and I built on that over the summer and have been fairly consistent throughout this campaign so far.”Will he be whooping or weeping this weekend?Saracens haven’t lost yet in the Premiership this season but Northampton have suffered just the one defeat, which came in controversial circumstances at Gloucester. The Saints haven’t lost at Franklin’s Gardens in any competition this term and should manage a narrow victory against the table-toppers. Watch Burrell and Northampton take on Saracens at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, 25 October, kick-off 3.15pm.
Recently the name Billy McCool was mentioned during a Reds ball game. The Lawrenceburg, Indiana, native was a star reliever for the Reds for several seasons. He was the original bullet throwing lefthander before Aroldis Chapman came along. I don’t know if Bill ever reached 100mph on the gun which was very new in his heyday. Until arm problems caused him to abandon baseball, he was quite a reliever. On all baseball archives he is listed as being born in Batesville as Lawrenceburg did not have a hospital in those days. Bill is now residing in the Dayton area and was recently inducted in the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. He was active in the Reds pitching corps in the mid 1960’s. It does not seem possible that it was 50 years ago. Can you imagine facing him in high school? Fortunately, I was out of school before he pitched for the Tigers. Aurora was the big power in the EIAC when I was in high school. The Slaybacks and the Satchwells were tough enough. Today we are waiting to see if Alex Meyer of Greensburg makes his mark in the Major Leagues. Time will tell. I understand he is in Double A.