London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

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London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue 11 Aug 2015, 1:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

  Welcome to this seasons thread for talking about all things London Irish. 

Senior Squad (39)

Technical Director: Brendan Venter
Director of Rugby: Nick Kennedy
Assistant Coach: Clark Laidlaw
Forwards Coach: George Skivington
Defence Coach: Declan Danaher
Skills Coach: Paul Hodgson

Hooker: David Paice, Gerard Ellis, David Porecki, Jason Harris-Wright, Todd Gleave (dual registered with Rosslyn Park).
Prop: Tom Court, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Tom Smallbone, Ben Franks, Richard Palframan, Ollie Hoskins.
Second Row: Sebastien de Chaves, Jerry Sexton, Jebb Sinclair, George Robson, Will Lloyd.
Back Row: Blair Cowan, Ofisa Treviranus, Luke Narraway, Connor Gilsenen, Joe Trayfoot, Mike Coman, Max Northcote-Green, Senitiki Nayalo.
Scrum Half: Brendan McKibbin, Scott Steele, Darren Allinson (on loan to Bath).
Fly Half: Greig Tonks, Tommy Bell, Theo Brophy-Clews.
Centre: Johnny Williams, Fergus Mulchrone, Ciaran Hearn, Tom Fowlie
Back Three: Topsy Ojo, Alex Lewington, Aseli Tikoirotuama, James Marshall, Ben Ransom


Senior Academy Squad (12)

Hooker: Matt Kouris (dual registered with Esher)
Prop: Harry Elrington (dual registered with Rosslyn Park), Austin Hay (Academy Plus)
Back Row: Isaac Curtis-Harris (dual registered with Esher), Jack Cooke (Academy Plus)
Scrum Half: Conor Murphy, Rory Brand (dual registered with Rosslyn Park)
Fly Half: Tom Parton
Centre: Ross Neal, Matt Williams
Wing: Joe Cokanasiga, Jacob Atkins


Fixture List

Date Time Opponents H/A Venue Competition Result Scorers 







Sat 13th Aug15:00 HarlequinsAThe Stoop FriendlyW 28-12 T: Cowan, Neal, Nayolo, Atkins  C: Bell 3, Tonks.
Fri 19th Aug19:30NottinghamHHazelwood FriendlyW 43-14
Fri 26th Aug19:30Loughborough StudentsHHazelwoodFriendlyW 46-21
Sat 3rd Sep15:00Doncaster KnightsHMadStadChampionship W 19-0T: Fowlie, Tikoroituma  P: Bell 3.
Sat 10th Sep15:00RichmondHMadStadChampionshipW 36-12T: Paice, Cowan 2, Ellis, McKibbin, Elrington. C: Bell 3.
Sat 17th Sep15:00Bedford BluesAGoldington RoadChampionshipW 30-23T: Franks, Williams, Ojo, Northcote-Green. C: Bell 2. P: Bell 2.
Sun 25th Sep15:00Ealing TrailfindersHMadStadChampionshipW 32-12T: Ransom, Trayfoot, Marshall, Steele C:Bell, Marshall 2 P:Bell 2.
Fri 30th Sep19:45NottinghamALadyBay SportsChampionshipW 29-7T: Steele Tikoroituma Northcote-Green Mulchrone C:Bell 3 P:Bell. 
Sat 8th Oct15:00London WelshHMadStadChampionshipW 35-12T: Mulchrone, Paice, de Chaves, McKibbin. C: Bell. 3 P: Bell 3.
Sat 15th Oct15:00Ospreys Prem SelectAThe GnollB & I CupW 25-14T: Neal, Ransom, Nayalo, Palframan.  C: Tonks.  P: Tonks.
Sat 22nd Oct15:00Connacht EaglesHMadStadB & I CupW 34-3T: Elrington, Hoskins, Harris-Wright, Parton, Cokanasiga.  C: Tonks 3 P: Tonks.
Sat 29th Oct15:00London ScottishARAGChampionshipW 62-12T: Paice, McKibbin, Cokanasiga, Bell 2, Tikoirotuma, Steele, Cowan C: Bell 8, P: Bell 2.
Sat 5th Nov15:00Yorkshire CarnegieHMadStadChampionshipW 41-17T: Ransom 2, Tikoirotuma, Marshall 2. C: Bell 5. P: Bell 2.
Sat 19th Nov13:00Cornish PiratesAMennaye FieldChampionshipW 35-24T: Ransom 2, Franks 2, Northcote-Green  C: Marshall 2.  P: Tonks 2.
Sun 27th Nov15:00Jersey RedsHMadStadChampionshipW 42-29
T: Ransom, Paice 2, Palframan, Fowlie  C: Bell 4  P: Bell 2  DG: Bell.
Sat 3rd Dec14:00Rotherham TitansAClifton LaneChampionshipW 38-10T: Cokanasiga 2, Bell 2, Steele.  C: Bell 5  P: Bell.
Sun 11th Dec
15:00
Cornish Pirates
H
MadStad
B & I Cup


16/17/18 Dec

Cornish Pirates
A
Mennaye Field
B & I Cup


Sat 24th Dec
15:00
Richmond
A
RAG
Championship


Sat 31st Dec
15:00
Bedford Blues
H
MadStad
Championship


13/14/15 Jan

Connacht Eagles
A

B & I Cup


Sat 21st Jan
15:00
Ospreys Prem Select
H
MadStad
B & I Cup


Sat 28th Jan
15:00
Ealing Trailfinders
A
Vallis Way
Championship


Sun 5th Feb
14:00
Nottingham
H
MadStad
Championship


Sat 18th Feb
14:00
London Welsh
A
Old Deer Park
Championship


Sat 25th Feb
15:00
London Scottish
H
MadStad
Championship


Sun 5th Mar
15:00
Yorkshire Carnegie
A
Headingley
Championship


Sat 18th Mar
14:00
Cornish Pirates
H
MadStad
Championship


Sat 25th Mar
14:00
Jersey Reds
A
St Peter
Championship


Sat 8th Apr
15:00
Rotherham Titans
H
MadStad
Championship


Sat 15th Apr
15:00
Doncaster Knights
A
Castle Park
Championship

Season Preview

Well it's been an interesting summer in the aftermath of relegation.  It was clear from the outset that we would lose some players and would have to cut our cloth accordingly.  Initially it appeared that Tom Coventry was staying, but a late u-turn from him meant a new coaching set up was required.  New coaches, loss of big names, new players to integrate, sounds like a recipe for disaster, and we've certainly been there many times over the past few years.  This however, does not feel like that at all.  Perhaps it's because we are a league down, but there is real optimism around, primarily because of those things.  The holy trinity of Nick Kennedy, Declan Danaher and Paul Hodgson have been promoted to the first team after overseeing a successful academy season last year, and have Brendan Venter overseeing them as technical director.  This is exciting.  A proven winner overseeing a young, hungry and exciting coaching team.  On the playing side, the main losses being Matt Symons and Sean Maitland are more than offset by the likes of George Robson, James Marshall and Tommy Bell coming in.  If anything it feels as if we may have a stronger squad this year than we've had for the past 4 or 5.

Two games into pre season and things look positive.  Comfortably beating an admittedly understrength Quins, and a high scoring win against Nottingham have given plenty of optimism for the season ahead.  There were still defensive lapses, which will need to be ironed out, but barring complacency or an absolute stinker in terms of form, we should have more than enough to comfortably make the dreaded play offs, where it then becomes a test of mental strength rather than ability.



Ozzy'sprediction: Champions


Last edited by Ozzy3213 on Mon 05 Dec 2016, 11:37 am; edited 26 times in total

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 10:27 am

And/or Bath away at the moment Pooly - especially as they will still be without their 6 Nations contingent.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 11:07 am

Possibly SB, our away form hasn't been as good but we nearly beat Wasps a few weeks back. I'd be more confident with Sinoti and Latu back.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 12:58 pm

How is LI's recruitment for next season going? I am assuming they are waiting to find out if they are going down.

Everyone in the premiership it feels are adding to their squads. I know LI need time to bed in the players from this season who have largely gotten injured. I would have thought fly half is a given, a centre, a wing, a big lump of a lock to partner Symons and a fetcher 7 (Cowan being more of a 6.5) would have been on the shopping list.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 1:15 pm

I rate Cowan as an out and out 7 if he is deployed in that way as he was in 2013/14. He basically just pilfered ball all season. Since then he has been used slightly differently. Otherwise, agree with where we will be looking to strengthen. Probably a loosehead as well and it is also looking like we should strengthen at hooker.

Anyway, so far we have brought in James Marshall and Tommy Bell to cover 10 and 15 as well as Mike Coman to play in the back row. Rumours are we have secured Andy Symons as a centre. Not sure who else we will be able to convince to come while our fate is up in the air.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 2:16 pm

Marshall should be a reasonable first choice 10 and Tommy Bell will provide back up to Maitland I assume? Coman will do a job, but looking at it you seem short a fetcher. Whenever I see London Irish, it feels like they are missing a fast back row forward who can connect play with the backs and can track any line breaks. Not great at supporting at the ruck after even a small line break; if they do make a break, I am waiting for a penalty against them or the ball to be slowed to the point even the props are back onside.

I guess this is the problem with relegation battles for Newcastle and LI (Wuss seem to have avoided it). If you do stay up at the last minute, you have little opportunity to sign better players other than competing for the relegated team's best players (who are not usually that excellent as they got relegated and if they are, go to a team unlikely to suffer the same fate).

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 2:19 pm

Very true Hazel - recruitment will be difficult. However, there are lots of Pacific Islander 8s out there looking to make a name for themselves. We don't need anyone spectacular, just someone to get us over the gainline. As for 7, I hope Conor Gilsenan gets a chance next season as he is very quick around the paddock. In terms of a partner for Symons, we just need someone who can be steady at the scrum and take a bit of pressure off him at line-out. Again, doesn't need to be anyone spectacular.

Looking forward to seeing what Marshall can do and yes, we are assuming that Bell will be back-up 15 to Maitland unless Maitland departs if we go down.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 3:51 pm

I am not so sure you need a wrecking ball of a carrier with Trev's, McCusker, Paice and Court. Cowan can carry a little bit and Coman carries (averagely). It would be handy, but I feel the bigger issue is connecting play rather than gainline success and the countries that do that well tend to be Australia and NZ. A Hooper rather than a Palu (not that you would say no to Palu).

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 6:02 pm

Trev is the only truly decent carrier in that list. Would prioritise that above pretty much anything else in the pack.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Tue 23 Feb 2016, 6:10 pm

Agree. Paice and McCusker have games where they look like good carriers, but not every week. Court definitely not. I'm not convinced it is where we are looking to strengthen though...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 01 Mar 2016, 9:44 am

So, Greig Tonks eh?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue 01 Mar 2016, 9:50 am

It would appear so LT. Noakes is injured, Geraghty is not rated by the coaches and is carrying a knock,and TBC is clearly not ready yet. Whilst I'm not 100% convinced tonks is the answer, I'm crossing everything that his signing works out for us.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by yappysnap on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 10:13 am

How are Irish fans feeling about the ECC semi final game against Quins in a month? Do you think you'll put out a strong team to properly contest it or focus on the Prem? Would be a very odd situation if you could get through to the final of the Challenge Cup while fighting relegation at the same time.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 10:18 am

Unless we string a few wins together in the next few weeks, I can't think that it will be much more than a sideshow.

I'm guessing, but would expect to see key players rested as I doubt we could risk any more injuries before the Falcons game the following week.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 10:38 am

Only a quarter btw yappy...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by yappysnap on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 2:41 pm

Yea I got a bit ahead of myself there...

Good to hear you guys may not take this too seriously, I'm not sure how Quins will look at it either. A month ago I'd have said we'd play the first team. Injuries and Poopie Prem form now mean that we may want to rotate a bit more.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 2:34 pm

There is a bit of talk down our neck of the woods of Andy Fenby returning to the Scarlets this summer, although he is one of those players that is mentioned as coming back every summer since he left. Is there any news of this from any of you London Irish boys?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 3:11 pm

Could happen I guess. Assume he's off somewhere as I believe he's out of contract with no sign of a new deal.

Still a decent player. In and out of the team, but has an uncanny knack of scoring tries when he does play.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 3:15 pm

Almost certainly off so wouldn't surprise me.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 3:27 pm

Cheers, I didn't want to get my hopes up without checking first.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 13 Mar 2016, 11:32 am

Oh well, another week, another loss. And the Worcester win putting them pretty much out of danger now.

In a season of disappointing losses, that was probably the hardest one to take. We really should have got something out of that game. Have probably said it before but this season has been by a distance the least enjoyable I can remember and I can't wait for it to be over.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sun 13 Mar 2016, 2:45 pm

Very frustrating, but the best we have played for a while (in the first half at least). Tonks looks like he brings structure and leadership which is important.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 21 Mar 2016, 6:19 am

Why oh why oh why did we not sign Greig Tonks earlier. He has made a real difference to us in his two starts so far.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Mon 21 Mar 2016, 8:15 am

Yes. Far from the complete 10, but a huge step up in terms of quality. In fact, he probably isn't even as good a player as Geraghty, but he plays with confidence and knows what he wants from those around him. He has been a great signing so far. Yesterday gives me a lot of confidence. I still worry that we have left it too late, but at least we are still in it!

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Jimpy on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 10:42 am

For what it's worth, I was at the game v Glaws on Sunday and my feeling is that LI are not a Championship side - yet.

For me, they look more likely to stay up than Falcons if they continue in this manner. Worcester are probably safe - Hougard (Sp) has been a great signing for them.


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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 3:41 pm

To be fair, Newcastle don't look like a Championship team either, but one of us will go down barring a disaster for Worcester.

In other news Palf signs a two year extension. Obviously got a very ropey injury record, but if he can get fit he has huge potential. Happy he's sticking around.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 8:38 pm

Great news on Palf. I had a hunch that he would be off, but am relieved he is staying. He was top drawer last season and probably an even better prospect than Smallbone. I wonder whether it means we will see more of Franks in the loosehead shirt, or whether the rumours of Aulika going to France are true.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 9:00 pm

Yeah, was was a real revelation for those games at the end of last season. Good to be keeping hold of academy guys like Smallbone and him (although his injury obviously helped keep him under the radar a little) and agree that he probably has the higher ceiling of the two. Important to keep that continuity and core whether we are in the AP or Championship.

I thought at the start of this season we may have seen Franks at LH and Palf at TH, but obviously that theory never got the chance to be tested in the end.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 11:22 pm

Jimpy wrote:For what it's worth, I was at the game v Glaws on Sunday and my feeling is that LI are not a Championship side - yet.

For me, they look more likely to stay up than Falcons if they continue in this manner. Worcester are probably safe - Hougard (Sp) has been a great signing for them.


Sadly Jimpy, we have looked at times this season distinctly like a Championship side, hence we are where we are in the table. The past 3 weeks have seen a noticeable improvement in form, which has got us all thinking we may pull off the great escape, but I do worry we have left it too late, as we really are in the last chance saloon now, and defeat in any of the next 3 league games could prove fatal.


Regarding Palf re-signing I have mixed feelings. He looked a fantastic prospect at the end of last season, but and it is a big BUT, he has spent the large majority of his 4 years here injured. He is only of use if we can get him on the pitch, and the evidence so far points away from that being likely. I also keep hearing rumours that Aulika is going, and Palfs resigning concerns me in that regard, as I had heard that he was going back to South Africa from a very reliable source. This turnaround makes me suspect that Halani is off. I also believe that Geoff Cross and Leo Halavatau are out of contract at the end of the season, which will leave us very short in what is a key position.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 12:10 pm

What a frustrating performance. We played with a lot of determination and were fairly solid in defence, but were just so wasteful in attack. It is incredibly disappointing, as we probably blew three clear cut try scoring opportunities. We put those away and people would be talking about the best performance of the season. Instead we blow them and relegation looks increasingly likely. Have to hope Wasps do us a favour today and that we stay in it for another week. Can't wait for this season to be over one way or another to be honest...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Driver on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 1:48 pm

I can't believe with 4 games left this is where Irish have found themselves after some hefty recruitment.

We sign an out of shape retiree and it keeps us safe so far....

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Heaf on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 1:51 pm

You couldn't make it up could you?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sun 27 Mar 2016, 4:13 pm

Although there were some positives yesterday, we are just a bit of a shambles. Injury enforced or otherwise, we have never settled on a strongest XV. It is probably the darkest period of my time supporting the club.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Mon 28 Mar 2016, 5:04 pm

Eggchasers Podcast saying Aulika to Sale is a done deal...

Literally the only positive I can think of is that we must be convinced that Franks is sticking with us if that is true.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by exileray on Mon 28 Mar 2016, 5:40 pm

I think you will find something like this might happen.

Aulika          worc/sale
Symonds      saints
Cowan          Newcastle
franks          Newport dragons
Lewington     Saracens
Maitland       France ?
Trev             japan
Williams        bath
cruise           wasps ...... confirmed.
Fenby           Scarlet's
Leo H , Stevens, Cross, Rouse, McCusker, Allinson, Geraghty, Noakes ,Griffin , and may be a few others not required thank you.  and that leaves us (Irish) with not a lot.    Sad

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 28 Mar 2016, 8:04 pm

Sadly my understanding is that Aulika to Sale is correct. I don't believe it has anything to do with whether we are staying up or going down, nor is it linked to whether Franks is staying or not if we do go down.

With regards to the list you've posted exileray, I would say that Cowan and Maitlandwould both likely be off, with Lewington and Symons possibly away as well. Franks I suspect will stay, as he does not have international ambitions and we are paying for him to complete a degree course. Big Trev I also suspect would stay, as playing in the Championship would not impact on Samoa selection, and Williams has signed a contract extension and would be almost guaranteed the 12 jersey so I think will also stay.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 10:41 am

Relegation is an odd thing. When Saints went through it, the club publicly stated they would continue to operate as a Premiership club and set aggressive sights to return and become competitive. And they got through National 1 (as the Championship was called then) with a perfect record and were instantly competitive in their first season back in the Premiership. The weird thing is that although it happened quite a few seasons back (2007/8), it still feels recent.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 11:20 am

The game between us is going to be massive now.

I would even say the loser is down. And I fancy you to beat us. Our basics are just so poor at times.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 11:26 am

If we played like we did for 80% of the game against Wasps we'll win. It's the ability to switch off completley that's worrying.

Irish got a lot of joy against our scrum, possibly 10+ points came from it indirectly. That won't happen again imo

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Welly on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 12:34 pm

Can't see Lewington going to Saracens considering there depth and young talent like Earle.

Reckon either Wasps (what with CP going I could see him being looked at 15) or Exeter is more likely.

Symons Quins and Saints IMO.

Williams should stay IMO academy lad, and with your other youngsters like Steele and Brophy Clews could really benefit from the game time in the Championships could also see Fenby staying.

The likes of
Steele
Brophy Clews
Williams
Cokanasiga
Curries
Could really benefit from the championship.

TBH if you were to get relegated now would prob be the best time with your academy looking very very strong.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Heaf on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 1:16 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:The game between us is going to be massive now.

I would even say the loser is down. And I fancy you to beat us. Our basics are just so poor at times.

Did you watch the way we threw the game against Wuss GF?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 2:25 pm

Well yes it wasnt brilliant either. Two poor teams who despite having the ability to play well....invariably DONT!

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Jimpy on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 12:38 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Well yes it wasnt brilliant either. Two poor teams who despite having the ability to play well....invariably DONT!

Worcester are pretty much home and dry I would think. They've made some good signings and their bonus points have been the difference.

Tough call for me as to who is going down. My heart says Falcons but my head says Irish this time. Teams that go down do generally end up straight back in the mix, but as Falcons have shown, there's a big difference between the likes of Saints/Quins and Falcons when it comes to the ability to be promoted and do it sustainably. Were it not for London Welsh last year, we'd not be having this debate regarding either Falcons or Irish now.

FWIW relegation can be a useful tool to rebuild a team, and it shouldn't be feared.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 8:25 am

A day of announcements. All in all fairly pleased with the signings. They will add depth if we stay up, but look likely to be around in the unfortunate event that we go down. Really impressed with the prop whenever I have seen him and I think he will push hard for a starting berth and Leicester fans are disappointed De Chaves is off. He sounds like a perfect partner for Symons in the second row. Northcote-Green also meant to be a top prospect. I must admit I know next to nothing about Porecki but he might end up being a good signing. All in all, I think the squad is basically there now whatever division we end up being in. Another ball carrier in the pack and a winger would be welcome, but I imagine that will be dependent on what league we are in.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 9:19 am

Jimpy wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Well yes it wasnt brilliant either. Two poor teams who despite having the ability to play well....invariably DONT!

Worcester are pretty much home and dry I would think. They've made some good signings and their bonus points have been the difference.

Tough call for me as to who is going down. My heart says Falcons but my head says Irish this time. Teams that go down do generally end up straight back in the mix, but as Falcons have shown, there's a big difference between the likes of Saints/Quins and Falcons when it comes to the ability to be promoted and do it sustainably. Were it not for London Welsh last year, we'd not be having this debate regarding either Falcons or Irish now.

FWIW relegation can be a useful tool to rebuild a team, and it shouldn't be feared.
Morning boys.  Just had a thought about relegation as I was reading your comment.  I agree relegation is an opportunity, but has to be used properly.  It is now a long time since Saints and Quins went down, re-established themselves, and came back up stronger than before.  Since then we haven't had a team do what they did, get promoted and then challenge for championships.  If I remember, both teams changed coaches and took the season to rebuild their rosters, but continued to recruit and run their operations as if they were still in the Premiership.  They had no fear about further relegation and flew through their National 1 (now Championship) seasons, Saints, I recall,  averaging over 40 points per game.  

I agree with the parallel to last year in the Premiership when the presence of London Welsh basically created the same opportunity for Newcastle and London Irish since they had no fears about relegation - certainly by Christmas they knew they were safe.  Newcastle supporters talked about how their team played a more attractive brand of Rugby.  For whatever reason, it didn't seem to have a positive impact carrying over into this season.  I suppose I am wondering if Newcastle and London Irish didn't use last season as a freebie season to get stronger, why would we expect them to do it if relegated?  And especially now when it is harder to get promoted with the Championship playoff process (Bristol, for example).    Not disagreeing at all about relegation as opportunity, but wondering if London Irish and Newcastle are organised properly to take advantage.

Do both teams need a shake-up from bottom to top?  Or just a trim around the edges?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 9:40 am

Yep, happy with that as a group of signings SirB. All young guys which is the important thing. Lots still up in the air though in our current predicament.

Dr Grey - One important difference that makes life a little harder after relegation than it was for Saints and Quins is the playoffs. They were in a position half way through the season where they could recruit properly for the premiership as they were pretty certain of going up. Now it's very possible, as Bris have shown, to finish top and mess it up at the final hurdle. Just adds an extra level of uncertainty.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Welly on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 9:47 am

Imagine if Irish could keep a core 23 of say
1) Hobbs-Awoyemi
2)
3) Franks I'm starting to think he will stay TBH, Will be on alot with Irish owns Irish a bit if he dosn't play this season and has kiwi connection with Coventry.
4) De Chaves
5) Symons
6)
7) Northcote-Green
8)
9) Steele (Maybe McKibben will stay though)
10) Bell
11) Lewington
12) Williams
13)
14)
15) Marshall

16)
17) Smallbone
18)
19) Sheriff
20)
21) Allinson
22) Brophy Clews
23)

Don't know enough about Irish squad to fill in the rest TBH.

But with the likes of the Curries and Cokanasiga in the academy, could really develop together.

Bristol will hopefully be up, but as said the play-offs make things very uncertain.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Heaf on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 9:56 am

Dr-G I think on paper you would say LI did do a lot of the things you mention last season e.g. new coaching setup, some strong signings, new facilities etc but everyone has got stronger and also just about everything that could go wrong has done this season so the results just haven't reflected the changes made ...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by doctor_grey on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 3:45 pm

Heaf wrote:Dr-G I think on paper you would say LI did do a lot of the things you mention last season e.g. new coaching setup, some strong signings, new facilities etc but everyone has got stronger and also just about everything that could go wrong has done this season so the results just haven't reflected the changes made ...
Fair enough. Goes to show that even good work is no guarantee. Things in the Premierhsip are really tight from the big picture point of view..........

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 5:11 pm

Didn't have time to reply earlier Welly, but it's actually an interesting exercise. In a hypothetical world where we are relegated and of the players contracted for next season Maitland, Cowan, Lewington and Aulika leave (may well be a few more, but they would perhaps be the most likely of those not out of contract in the summer anyway), we could see something like this:

1) Smallbone
2) Paice
3) Franks
4) de Chaves
5) Symons
6) Coman
7) Gilsenan
8) Treviranus
9) Steele
10) Bell
11) Tikoirotuama
12) Williams
13) Hearn
14) Ojo
15) Marshall

16) Hobbs-Awoyemi
17) Ellis (possibly Porecki, but he's a bit of an unknown for me)
18) Palframan
19) Skivington
20) Northcote-Green
21) McKibben
22) Tonks
23) Fowlie

Even accounting for losing a few more of those, it's still a pretty strong looking Championship line up. Ironically Brophy Clews will perhaps have a more difficult pathway next year than he has this time round.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 5:21 pm

So is that us done then? Struggle to see us pulling off a miracle now and I think we have to use the Quins game to try something new as what we are currently doing just isn't work. If we go down and don't have the resources to sign a Number 8 that can complement what Treviranus does then we need to really make that priority number one in terms of recruitment for the 17/18 season as we struggle so much without him. Really hope we can keep Williams as well as he is just pure class. Looks like the long term successor to Maps.

I did wonder whether the reason we actually didn't kick for goals last week was because we don't really trust Tonks' goal-kicking and yesterday confirmed that he isn't really the top end kicker we need. However, he probably does bring more control than any other options and could see him at 10 with Bell at 15 and possibly Marshall popping up at 12 where he has played a lot for Taranaki.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

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