How is your strongest 23 looking?

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How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:21 pm

First topic message reminder :

Well there are several weeks yet until the season starts, so I'm bored and thought I would set up a thread to list what you think your club's strongest 23 will be this season.  You can also assess the strength and weaknesses as you see fit.  It can either be your preferred 23 or what you think the coaches will pick (what do they know eh?)

Edinburgh (this is what I think the coaches will go for)

1 Al Dickinson
2 Ross Ford (I’d prefer McInally)
3 WP Nel
4 Anton Bresler
5 Grant Gilchrist (although he’ll probably be injured – Ben Toolis if he is)
6 Cornell Du Preez
7 John Hardie
8 Nasi Manu

9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
10 Duncan Weir
11 Rory Scholes
12 Phil Burleigh
13 Michael Allan
14 Damien Hoyland
15 Blair Kinghorn

Subs – Rory Sutherland, Stuart McInally, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson, Sean Kennedy, Jason Tovey, Junior Rosalea

Strengths

An easy one – the pack. For all our other failings we have tended to have one of the top packs in the league, particularly in the set piece where we’ve often had the upper hand in the scrums. The front row and backrow are particularly menacing.  I am looking forward to hopefully getting a full season out of Nasi Manu (Super Rugby winning captain) – he will be like a new signing given how long he was injured last season.  Plenty competition in the 2nd row too.

Weaknesses

Another easy one – the backs! One of the main reasons we’ve struggled is that although our pack wins us lots of ball, we tend to do bugger all with it. This is mainly down to Solomons’ tactics but also some fairly negative selection choices in the backline.  We have a few new backs this year that I don’t think represent a huge stepup in quality from last year, but there were signs at the tail end of last season that Solomons had finally realised that there are 7 blokes standout outside the forwards looking for something to do.

Another point of note is that having had 0 standoffs last year we now have 2! Weir and Tovey will give each other good competition and should give us more direction than we have had of late – putting our pack in the right parts of the pitch to cause damage.

Bit of a worry at tighthead – WP Nel is a top international prop now but our backup options are very much unproven at pro level.  There is promise there so hopefully one or two players come through.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by BamBam on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:15 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I thought Burger retired??

Its Schalk ..

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:02 pm

I completely forgot he'd signed up.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:06 pm

That is a ridiculously strong Northampton team.

Like Ulster it is strange they haven't won more! Although I suspect that is down to the presence of Saracans as much as anything.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:10 pm

And getting humped off us last season Very Happy Yahoo

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:21 pm

Can't wait to see Schalk in the Premiership!

Any Super rugby fans here? How's Schalk been getting on with the Stormers?

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:57 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Well Past It.

Whats your view on Clarks hopes this season. Will he be injury free? He had such potential...

I believe he is back in training, how long for, who know?

I think he will struggle to get ahead of Harrison though and with Wood as skipper the 6 spot is occupied, good bench option as he can play 6 or 7 and Harrison can cover 8, likewise Dickinson can cover 5 so there are a number of options. Gibson, one of our best players last year may suffer as he is a 6 and that is all, he can cover 7 in an emergency, but not to the same standard as the others.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 4:00 pm

Well Past it who is your back up 10?

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 4:39 pm

Hanrahan, or Wilson or HRH. I would have Wilson, quality player in the Aus mould (I know he is a Kiwi). Can play across the backline to a good standard.

Hanrahan has never inspired me with confidence, runs and kicks like a backrow forward, then has a blinder of a game.

I would like to see Prince Harry given a couple of opportunities for the last 10 minutes, one to rest Myler and two, to give him a bit more experience there. I don't see that as his future position, but knowledge of how the game is played from 10, can only help him understand what is required and when of a 12.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by HongKongCherry on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 12:50 pm

As I wasn't born in Gloucester I don't possess natural pessimism, however, I have managed to cultivate this over the years and go into the new season full of very low expectations. We have strengthened our squad, but not our starting XV. Our only chance of improving is if we finally iron out our inconsistency and some of our bigger name players find some long lost form.

As it stands our best 23 would be:
1. McAllister 2. Hibbard 3. Afoa 4. Savage 5. Thrush 6. Moriarty 7. Kvesic 8. Morgan 9. Laidlaw 10. Hook 11. May 12. Twelvetrees 13. Scott 14. Sharples 15. Marshall 16. Matu'u 17. Hohneck 18. Doran-Jones 19. Galarza 20. Kalamafoni 21. Heinz 22. Burns 23. Purdy

Hook and 36 really need to step up this year. We were simply unable to break down teams last year, despite often having the lion's share of possession. From memory only Irish scored less than us last year which resulted in Nick Walshe paying the price as backs coach. We've replaced him internally with Tim Taylor, which will be his first backs coach role; it could be a master stroke, or it could see us continue in last season's vein.

Despite my doom and gloom I simply cannot wait for the season to start. Whilst my pessimism has grown, there is still a small chink of optimistic light in my body that believes this year could finally be the year that we have jam...

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 12:57 pm

HKC - if you want to get the best out of Matt Scott he needs to play 12. To us Scottish posters he is known as Matt Scott (12) because he is regularly shunted out to 13 to accommodate someone else but he's so much better at 12!

I'm a huge fan of his and think he's a genuine international class 12 when fit (he's had a few niggles, particularly shoulder), but struggles positionally at 13. Saying that, he is very good in the wider channels with ball in hand. I know we're biased but I genuinely think he had a chance of being an injury replacement for the last Lions tour but the coaches went for their tried and tested Barritt and Twelvetrees instead - Scott's form was sensational at the time. He's struggled with injuries and consistent form since then though.

What is your backup option at 13 like? Is it better for you to use Matt Scott less effectively if it means 36 starting at 12?

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by HongKongCherry on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 1:06 pm

My understanding was that he was signed as direct competition for 36 at 12. However, Trinder has another significant injury which will probably keep him out for the whole season and Bill Meakes has left to join Western Force. We have signed Andy Symons and we also have Mark Atkinson, but essentially without Trinder we just have 12s who can cover 13. 36 has been pretty poor for the last 2 years, so I do genuinely hope Scott either forces him to up his game or he replaces him.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 1:26 pm

Well from a Scotland PoV I certainly hope he does a Laidlaw and it makes him a better player - he's got competition in the centres now from Dunbar, Taylor, Horne and Bennett.

Although there was chat at the time of signing for you guys that he was concerned his shoulder injury will ultimately call his career short and he wants to earn as much as he can before that happens - hopefully there's a few years left in him yet!

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 10:36 am

Dear me is Trinder out again? The lad has missed some rugby since he came on the scene!

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by HongKongCherry on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 12:52 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Dear me is Trinder out again? The lad has missed some rugby since he came on the scene!

I know. Sadly it is a recurrence of the ACL injury that kept him out for most of last year. Given the severity of these types of injuries I fear we may have seen the last of him, which would be a crying shame given the undoubted ability he possesses.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 12:55 pm

Yeah its not looking good.

ACl are not pleasant things. Ive had it done.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 6:19 pm

Jack McGrath
Sean Cronin
Tadhg Furlong

Devin Toner
Ross Molony

Josh Van Der Flier
Sean O'Brien
Jamie Heaslip

Luke McGrath
Johnny Sexton

Zane Kirchner
Robbie Henshaw
Gary Ringrose
Isa Nacewa

Rob Kearney

Bench - Healy, Tracey, Ross, (Mick) Kearney, Ruddock, ?scrumhalf?, Marsh, McFadden

The back 3 are getting old, will be nice to see some pace coming through from the academy maybe this season. Dardis maybe steps up.
The academy is producing good options in the pack. Boss and Reddan no longer on the sheet feels wierd but about time.  I have Tracey ahead of Strauss on form ending last season. Tom Daly, Adam Byrne and Dan Leavy really need to kick on to another level this season.  It's an alright side, should hold it's own but could be embarrassed in european fixtures this coming year.
Dave Kearney to cover Rob on injuries.
Trigg and Nagle both behind Molony for me starting the year, but Nagle could get in there by the international break.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by yappysnap on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 9:11 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Spare moment at work - so for Quins I would think something like this (fellow Quins supporters - feel free to disagree).
Easter is a recent loss that will hurt!

Marler,
Ward
A.Jones
Merrick
Horwell
Robshaw
Wallace
Clifford
Care
NEv
T.Visser
Jamie Roberts
George Lowe
M.Yarde
Mike Brown

Lambert (Solid Club man)
Grey or Buchannan (interchangeable depending on form)
Sinkler (good impact over Collier)
Twomey-  cant think of other 2nd row cover (not Charlie Matthews)
Matt Loumanu (James Chisholm is knocking on the door)
R. Jackson (Covers 10 and 15)
K.Dickson (Or Mulchrone if he is any good)
Harry Sloan



I'd probably either bench Clifford or have him at 7 with Wallace on the bench. Luamanu would be my starter

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by yappysnap on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 9:12 pm

Oh and Walker at 23

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by George Carlin on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 6:42 am

munkian wrote:I don't wanna picard
Laugh

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by RDW_Scotland on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 8:39 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Zane Kirchner
Isa Nacewa
Rob Kearney

Experienced, solid, dependable, fairly uninspiring! Words that can describe McFadden as well as backup. All 3 are natural fullbacks too.

Surely Leinster have some rapid young wingers coming through??

Seems strange that the IRFU let Rory Scholes to Edinburgh when Leinster's wing options are Kirchiner, Nacewa and McFadden - none of which are natural wingers.

Solid looking Leinster team though who I'm sure will be there or there abouts in the Pro 12. I suspect they are few big name singings away from making an impact in Europe though.


Last edited by RDW_Scotland on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 8:51 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 8:39 am

Mullan
Taylor
Cooper-Woolley
Gaskell
Launchbury
Haskell
Young
Hughes
Robson
Cips
Halai
Eastmond
Daly
Wade
Leroux

McIntyre
Johnson
Moore
Myall
Thompson
Simpson
Gopperth
Beale

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:05 am

Symons instead of Gaskell?

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by beshocked on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:39 am

Bigtrevsbigmac would you not worry about having Cipriani and Eastmond in the same backline defensively?

In terms of attack looks a very exciting potential backline though.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:43 am

beshocked wrote:Bigtrevsbigmac would you not worry about having Cipriani and Eastmond in the same backline defensively?

In terms of attack looks a very exciting potential backline though.

I'd throw Wade and Daly into that too.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by propdavid_london on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:51 am

Bradley Davies is going to be missed at Wasps. Gaskell is a useful player but lacks grunt in the pack.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by beshocked on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:57 am

Very true Sgt Pooly

Should be fun to watch. I am personally surprised Wasps haven't recruited a big strong ball carrier in the backline who can defend well and suck in defenders but each to their own I guess.

It's funny how when Cipriani won the HC final in 2007 he was a safe pair of hands at 15, fast forward 9 years and he has a reputation for poor defending.

Opposition Sides will need to kick well or they could be punished with counterattacks though.

Robson impressed me last season, I think if he stays fit he could well challenge Youngs and Care at international level.

propdavid london agree about lack of grunt. I've said it a few times now but I am very surprised Wasps have thrown their budget at high profile backs like Beale and Le roux neither who are big ball carriers but not strengthening their pack.

Not as if the backline really needed that much augmenting as it was strong last season.

I think it's good in a way that they are trusting some less high profile forwards to become key players but it's a risk.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 11:12 am

In general that whole 15 looks lightweight. Now that doesn't mean its weak..

And Haskell is out for quite a while also.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by BamBam on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 12:38 pm

Safe pair of hands? Danny Cipriani?

Are you sure?!

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 1:31 pm

Matt Symonds & Guy Armitage are pretty good ball carriers & will provide options depending on conditions & alternative options.

There are also rumours of a further signing..........

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 1:36 pm

In terms of defence having watched Wade & Daly last season I have no issues with their defending at all.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by beshocked on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 1:59 pm

BamBam wrote:Safe pair of hands? Danny Cipriani?

Are you sure?!

Talking about Cipriani 9 years ago when Wasps won the HC final. Cipriani was full back.

Not talking about current Cipriani.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 3:07 pm

Both Daly and Wade struggle with straight runners, Wade a worry against the high ball too. I guess you can hide them somewhat with strong defensive players around, but Cips and Eastmond......I'm not so sure.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 4:28 pm

I would normally agree Sgt but Wades performance against the SA A team has made me think hes turning the corner. He was fine defensively on tour.

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Re: How is your strongest 23 looking?

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