The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

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The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:24 am

This is a thread to discuss the 4 Welsh regions for next season. What are we expecting ? Whilst our rivals have been signing the likes of Scott Fardy and James Lowe (Leinster), Robbie Fruaen(Edinburgh), Callum Gibbins, Lelia Masaga, Huw Jones(Glasgow) to name but a few, the Welsh regions seemed to be operating a little more shrewdly:-

Scarlets

Ins: Tom Prydie (Dragons), Rhys Jones (Dragons), Tom Grabham (Ospreys), Morgan Williams (Wales 7s), Paul Asquith (Greater Sydney Rams), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon).

Outs: Liam Williams (Saracens), DTH van der Merwe (Newcastle), Gareth Owen (Leicester Tigers), Morgan Allen (Bedwas), Aled Thomas (Carmarthen Quins), Richard Smith (Neath), Peter Edwards (Merthyr), Rynier Bernardo (released), Matthew Owen (Carmarthen Quins).

Ospreys

Ins: James Hook (Gloucester), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Guy Mercer (Bath).

Outs: Sam Underhill (Bath), Tyler Ardron (Chiefs), Josh Matavesi (Newcastle), Jonathan Spratt (retired), Joe Bearman (Merthyr), Tom Grabham (Scarlets), Dan Suter (released).

CARDIFF BLUES

Ins: Jack Roberts (Leicester Tigers), Franco van der Merwe (Ulster), Damian Welch (Exeter)

Outs: Cory Allen (Ospreys), Jarrad Hoeata (North Harbour), Cam Dolan, Marc Thomas, Pele Cowley (released), James Sheekey (Cardiff), Liam Belcher (Pontypridd).

DRAGONS

Ins: Gavin Henson (Bristol), Zane Kirchner (Leinster).

Outs: Nick Crosswell (released), Tom Prydie (Scarlets), Geraint Rhys Jones (Scarlets), Darran Harris (released), Craig Mitchell (released).


So, what do we all reckon ? Ospreys have a big hole in the center to fill with the loss of Matavesi, but will Owen Watkin step up ? Or Can Cory Allen do a job ?

Scarlets have a big hole to fill with Liam Williams going, but can Paul Asquith cover, or is he just a squad filler to replace Gareth Owen ?

Cardiff Blues have not really lost any stand out first teamers, but have recruited well with Jack Roberts, and Jarad Hoeata seems to have been replaced with Franco van der Merwe.

Dragons see the return of the perma tanned one, the prodigal son. Can Gavin Henson add some much needed va va voom to the Dragons play, and they are now in the control of the WRU, so we could expect to see improvements.

In a nutshell I would like to see us finishing the next season, with Scarlets and Ospreys challenging for the playoffs, Cardiff Blues finishing in the top 6 and Dragons going for that 7th spot.


Last edited by LordDowlais on Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:26 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:45 am

Asquith was signed to be a Gareth Owen replacement. I saw in interview with him from Australia, and he said something along the lines of how he was looking to get a SuperRugby contract and wasn't overly looking futher afeild but the Scarlets contacted him after letting a centre leave and it was about three weeks from initial contact to being announced.

I believe that the plan is for Jonny Mac to be our front line full back, with Steff Evans and one of the Toms (Williams, Prydie and Grabham) on the wing until one of Conbeer, Baldwin or Nicholas step up. And in the fullback shirt we have Steff Evs, Prydie, Tom Williams, Asquith and if we need to Patchell.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:48 am

LordDowlais wrote:This is a thread to discuss the 4 Welsh regions for next season. What are we expecting ? Whilst our rivals have been signing the likes of Scott Fardy and James Lowe (Leinster), Robbie Fruaen(Edinburgh), Callum Gibbins, Lelia Masaga, Huw Jones(Glasgow) to name but a few, the Welsh regions seemed to be operating a little more shrewdly:-

Scarlets

Ins: Tom Prydie (Dragons), Rhys Jones (Dragons), Tom Grabham (Ospreys), Morgan Williams (Wales 7s), Paul Asquith (Greater Sydney Rams).

Outs: Liam Williams (Saracens), DTH van der Merwe (Newcastle), Gareth Owen (Leicester Tigers), Morgan Allen (Bedwas), Aled Thomas (Carmarthen Quins), Richard Smith (Neath), Peter Edwards (Merthyr), Rynier Bernardo (released), Matthew Owen (Carmarthen Quins).

Ospreys

Ins: James Hook (Gloucester), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues).

Outs: Sam Underhill (Bath), Tyler Ardron (Chiefs), Josh Matavesi (Newcastle), Jonathan Spratt (retired), Joe Bearman (Merthyr), Tom Grabham (Scarlets), Dan Suter (released).

CARDIFF BLUES

Ins: Jack Roberts (Leicester Tigers), Franco van der Merwe (Ulster), Damian Welch (Exeter)

Outs: Cory Allen (Ospreys), Jarrad Hoeata (North Harbour), Cam Dolan, Marc Thomas, Pele Cowley (released), James Sheekey (Cardiff), Liam Belcher (Pontypridd).

DRAGONS

Ins: Gavin Henson (Bristol), Zane Kirchner (Leinster).

Outs: Nick Crosswell (released), Tom Prydie (Scarlets), Geraint Rhys Jones (Scarlets), Darran Harris (released), Craig Mitchell (released).


So, what do we all reckon ? Ospreys have a big hole in the center to fill with the loss of Matavesi, but will Owen Watkin step up ? Or Can Cory Allen do a job ?

Scarlets have a big hole to fill with Liam Williams going, but can Paul Asquith cover, or is he just a squad filler to replace Gareth Owen ?

Cardiff Blues have not really lost any stand out first teamers, but have recruited well with Jack Roberts, and Jarad Hoeata seems to have been replaced with Franco van der Merwe.

Dragons see the return of the perma tanned one, the prodigal son. Can Gavin Henson add some much needed va va voom to the Dragons play, and they are now in the control of the WRU, so we could expect to see improvements.

In a nutshell I would like to see us finishing the next season, with Scarlets and Ospreys challenging for the playoffs, Cardiff Blues finishing in the top 6 and Dragons going for that 7th spot.

Dragons don't need 'va va voom' - its a stable forward platform, we already have some exciting young backs. Henson will certainly add a lot of much need experience though.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Kingshu on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:06 pm

I wonder with the regions getting an extra unexpected £500,000 this year, from SA sides joining the Pro 12 and Western Force/Rebels being dropped will we see a number of these players being signed? Both have a number of non-Australian players that will be looking for new teams, the better Australians most likely moving to other Australian sides.

Scarlets had a great season in winning the Pro 12 and themselves and Ospreys will be eyeing play off spots, Cardiff Blues will have a tough time, and most likely be mid table, they have improved, but so have the teams around them.

Dragons look to be building towards getting better, but are unlikely to break out of the bottom 3 this year, but hopefully lay foundations for the season after.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:08 pm

Kingshu wrote:I wonder with the regions getting an extra unexpected £500,000 this year, from SA sides joining the Pro 12 and Western Force/Rebels being dropped will we see a number of these players being signed? Both have a number of non-Australian players that will be looking for new teams, the better Australians most likely moving to other Australian sides.

Scarlets had a great season in winning the Pro 12 and themselves and Ospreys will be eyeing play off spots, Cardiff Blues will have a tough time, and most likely be mid table, they have improved, but so have the teams around them.

Dragons look to be building towards getting better, but are unlikely to break out of the bottom 3 this year, but hopefully lay foundations for the season after.

Each or between us ?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:16 pm

munkian wrote:Dragons don't need 'va va voom' - its a stable forward platform, we already have some exciting young backs. Henson will certainly add a lot of much need experience though.

Where do you think he will be playing, 10 or 12 ?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Kingshu on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:20 pm

munkian wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I wonder with the regions getting an extra unexpected £500,000 this year, from SA sides joining the Pro 12 and Western Force/Rebels being dropped will we see a number of these players being signed? Both have a number of non-Australian players that will be looking for new teams, the better Australians most likely moving to other Australian sides.

Scarlets had a great season in winning the Pro 12 and themselves and Ospreys will be eyeing play off spots, Cardiff Blues will have a tough time, and most likely be mid table, they have improved, but so have the teams around them.

Dragons look to be building towards getting better, but are unlikely to break out of the bottom 3 this year, but hopefully lay foundations for the season after.

Each or between us ?

Its being reported as £500,000 - £800,000 per team, in BBC and elsewhere. Which is a nice bonus.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:25 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
munkian wrote:Dragons don't need 'va va voom' - its a stable forward platform, we already have some exciting young backs. Henson will certainly add a lot of much need experience though.

Where do you think he will be playing, 10 or 12 ?

Mixing it up between the two I reckon.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:26 pm

Kingshu wrote:
munkian wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I wonder with the regions getting an extra unexpected £500,000 this year, from SA sides joining the Pro 12 and Western Force/Rebels being dropped will we see a number of these players being signed? Both have a number of non-Australian players that will be looking for new teams, the better Australians most likely moving to other Australian sides.

Scarlets had a great season in winning the Pro 12 and themselves and Ospreys will be eyeing play off spots, Cardiff Blues will have a tough time, and most likely be mid table, they have improved, but so have the teams around them.

Dragons look to be building towards getting better, but are unlikely to break out of the bottom 3 this year, but hopefully lay foundations for the season after.

Each or between us ?

Its being reported as £500,000 - £800,000 per team, in BBC and elsewhere. Which is a nice bonus.

That's 'uge.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:00 pm

Kingshu wrote:I wonder with the regions getting an extra unexpected £500,000 this year, from SA sides joining the Pro 12 and Western Force/Rebels being dropped will we see a number of these players being signed? Both have a number of non-Australian players that will be looking for new teams, the better Australians most likely moving to other Australian sides.

Scarlets had a great season in winning the Pro 12 and themselves and Ospreys will be eyeing play off spots, Cardiff Blues will have a tough time, and most likely be mid table, they have improved, but so have the teams around them.

Dragons look to be building towards getting better, but are unlikely to break out of the bottom 3 this year, but hopefully lay foundations for the season after.

Playoffs are meant to be the top 3 in each conference, which is pretty much any side that makes the RCC. I think the Scarlets and Ospreys will have had poor seasons if they fail to make the playoffs. And to be fair the Blues should be targetting a playoff slot too.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:46 pm

The £500,000 will either go to the WRU loan repayment due in September or to shore up other budgeted deficits.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:56 pm

Cardiff have potential but I can't see them going far. They still don't have the squad required to play the game they want to play - the defence is some of the worst I've seen.

Dragons needed more signings like Cardiff. A lot of the academy boys are expected to step up for us, but that's probably a bit much for them. Hopefully we see an improvement in forward play under Jackman.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Pot Hale on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:06 pm

PhilBB wrote:The £500,000 will either go to the WRU loan repayment due in September or to shore up other budgeted deficits.

Whose 500,000, Phil? Or do you mean all 4 x 500k?

Does that mean the payments are made to the existing 3 union shareholders of Celtic Rugby Ltd?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by exile jack on Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:44 am

Other than success for all the RRW teams I'd like to see:
-less poor and aimless box kicking;
-more effective use of missed passes;
-less aimless 1 up running into opposition forwards;
-hookers who can hook;
-the return of channel 1 scrum ball;
-improved line-out throwing in;
-scrum-halves who do not regard semaphore signalling at the base of the scrum a vital skill;
-better quality hot-dogs and pies.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:25 am

Pot Hale wrote:
PhilBB wrote:The £500,000 will either go to the WRU loan repayment due in September or to shore up other budgeted deficits.

Whose 500,000, Phil?  Or do you mean all 4 x 500k?

Does that mean the payments are made to the existing 3 union shareholders of Celtic Rugby Ltd?

All competition income generated by PRW is due directly to its members, so the £500,000 (the figure mentioned in this thread) belongs to each of the (presently 3) members of PRW.

What WRU Dragons do is anybody's guess.

The Italians are under the impression that they are shareholders, too, aren't they?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Griff on Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:28 pm

Dan Suter (Ospreys) is on trial at the Dragons accord in the SW Argus.  Can anyone comment on him?  Any good?  Good potential?  Guessing not otherwise he'd be staying at Ospreys!

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by wayne on Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:41 pm

Griff wrote:Dan Suter (Ospreys) is on trial at the Dragons accord in the SW Argus.  Can anyone comment on him?  Any good?  Good potential?  Guessing not otherwise he'd be staying at Ospreys!

Griff, most on our Forum wanted Sausage (Dan Suter), playing for us rather than Rhodri Jones, he was very small height wise, the only facet that Rhodri was better than him, was around the park.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:10 pm

Griff wrote:Dan Suter (Ospreys) is on trial at the Dragons accord in the SW Argus.  Can anyone comment on him?  Any good?  Good potential?  Guessing not otherwise he'd be staying at Ospreys!


picard

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Griff on Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:21 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Griff wrote:Dan Suter (Ospreys) is on trial at the Dragons accord in the SW Argus.  Can anyone comment on him?  Any good?  Good potential?  Guessing not otherwise he'd be staying at Ospreys!


picard



???

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:55 pm

Griff wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Griff wrote:Dan Suter (Ospreys) is on trial at the Dragons accord in the SW Argus.  Can anyone comment on him?  Any good?  Good potential?  Guessing not otherwise he'd be staying at Ospreys!


picard



???

I'd hoped that we were past signing rejects from other teams and that the recent changes may herald a new era at the Dragons. The fact that we're even considering another sub-standard prop who can't scrum to me indicates that nothing has changed. The Tavis Knoyles of the rugby world will always find their way to our team, I'm a bit fed up of it now.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Welshmushroom on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:34 pm

Well looking at the in's and out's I would say the following:-

Scarlets look weaker from last year with Liam and DTH going.  From those signings I can only see Prydie replacing Liam on the right wing.  Grabham and Rhys Jones being particularly poor signings.  That said in my opinion the strongest 23 in Wales and with the best coaching team.  Injuries are probably going to be a concern.

Ospreys signings are strange to me.  Hook coming in as a third choice stand off (maybe Tandy has bought him as full back cover).  Allen is a bit wasted as well.  I always rated Ben John and with Beck/Fonotia/Watkin challenging for spaces I just don't see Allen having been needed either.  Tandy probably has access to the biggest and strongest squad.  That said I think the Ospreys are actually weaker in the starting 15 and for me have some weaknesses in certain positions that Tandy didn't want address.  Loosehead isn't great with Paul James not the player he was and for me Nicky Smith not having fully proved himself either yet.  Would have thought a second specialist full back should also have been up there to cover Dan Evans.  All of Tandy's full back experiments with Davies didn't work.  I'd expect Ospreys to finish behind the Scarlets.

Blues baffle me.  Roberts is a decent signing but both Locks well past their best.  That said I think Wilson is a good coach.  Totally over rated squad but they could be a bit of a Dark Horse.  The real travesty though will be that some of the really talented youngsters they have there will see very limited game time.

Dragons obviously have the lowest budget of them all.  Henson and Kirchner are both past their best but at least have good experience.  Kinsley going is the major positive.  Never really rated him as a head coach.  Not sure what Jackman will bring but hopefully he can provide a steely edge to the pack to give them a platform to play some rugby on.  Think he will need a couple of seasons to really stamp his mark on the squad in terms of players staying and leaving.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:39 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
Blues baffle me.  Roberts is a decent signing but both Locks well past their best.  That said I think Wilson is a good coach.  Totally over rated squad but they could be a bit of a Dark Horse.  The real travesty though will be that some of the really talented youngsters they have there will see very limited game time.

Nice crystal ball.

A few questions from this:

Who over rates the squad? How has this rating manifested itself - by league table predictions or what?
Which really talented youngsters will see very limited game time and why?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:45 pm

With regards to locks I imagine Blues will be promoting Seb Davies, he was one of a few to come back from the pacific with an enhanced reputation. I hope Ospreys work on bringing through Adam Beard too.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Welshmushroom on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:55 pm

Well for me the Blues youngsters (besides Seb and Dillon who showed up well on tour with Wales) who I rate are Rhun Williams, Aled Summerhill, Harri Millard and that Domachowski. I know Rhun played a bit towards the tail end last year but i'm not sure with Fish back how much game time he will actually see this year.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:59 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Well for me the Blues youngsters (besides Seb and Dillon who showed up well on tour with Wales) who I rate are Rhun Williams, Aled Summerhill, Harri Millard and that Domachowski.  I know Rhun played a bit towards the tail end last year but i'm not sure with Fish back how much game time he will actually see this year.

Thanks for the post. Any chance of answers to the questions?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Griff on Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:16 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Griff wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Griff wrote:Dan Suter (Ospreys) is on trial at the Dragons accord in the SW Argus.  Can anyone comment on him?  Any good?  Good potential?  Guessing not otherwise he'd be staying at Ospreys!


picard



???

I'd hoped that we were past signing rejects from other teams and that the recent changes may herald a new era at the Dragons. The fact that we're even considering another sub-standard prop who can't scrum to me indicates that nothing has changed. The Tavis Knoyles of the rugby world will always find their way to our team, I'm a bit fed up of it now.

Ah, gotcha! Thought you meant picard at me not knowing much about Dan Suter!

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by wayne on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:35 pm

[quote="Welshmushroom"]Well looking at the in's and out's I would say the following:-


Ospreys signings are strange to me.  Hook coming in as a third choice stand off (maybe Tandy has bought him as full back cover).  Allen is a bit wasted as well.  I always rated Ben John and with Beck/Fonotia/Watkin challenging for spaces I just don't see Allen having been needed either.  Tandy probably has access to the biggest and strongest squad.  That said I think the Ospreys are actually weaker in the starting 15 and for me have some weaknesses in certain positions that Tandy didn't want address.  Loosehead isn't great with Paul James not the player he was and for me Nicky Smith not having fully proved himself either yet.  Would have thought a second specialist full back should also have been up there to cover Dan Evans.  All of Tandy's full back experiments with Davies didn't work.  I'd expect Ospreys to finish behind the Scarlets.

Welshmushroom, I would think that Hook has been brought in as cover for 10, 12 and 15, primarily out of the International windows he would be shadowing 15, only in the windows would he battle with Luke Price for 10. I would assume, both Allen and Hook being brought in because of our horrendous injury lists in the centre of the past few years. With his performances in the summer, Allen could also be a decent addition for another problem position, Dirksen, Walker and Hassler have missed loads of playing time in the past couple of seasons in the wing position

I don't agree with you about the loosehead position, our scrum has been fine when we've had proper boilerhouse personnel behind Paul and Nicky, and Rhodri Jones is nowhere near the Team, if they came to the only sensible conclusion and only played Rhodri as a loosehead we'd be killing two birds with one stone.
I don't how we're going to fill the 7 position when Tip's not around, that is a real concern. I agree with you we will finish behind the Scarlets and wouldn't be surprised if the Blues finished above us as well. IMO we've not recruited very well, and if the Ulster boys on here are correct and Clarke is not up to scratch, it could be a very long and hard season.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Welshmushroom on Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:25 am

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
Blues baffle me.  Roberts is a decent signing but both Locks well past their best.  That said I think Wilson is a good coach.  Totally over rated squad but they could be a bit of a Dark Horse.  The real travesty though will be that some of the really talented youngsters they have there will see very limited game time.

Nice crystal ball.

A few questions from this:

Who over rates the squad? How has this rating manifested itself - by league table predictions or what?
Which really talented youngsters will see very limited game time and why?

No Worries Phil. I thought I did answer this in my earlier post regarding promising youngsters. Not sure that it needs to be clarified as the why is pretty obvious. There are more experienced players that will probably limit their game time. I think the experienced players are past their best though.

With regards to the other part of your question. Early pundit reviews I've read are not particularly mounting a strong case for the Blues to do well this year (most have them as the third best team in Wales). As I said though I think Wilson is a good coach and may surprise a few people along the way.

All that said with the new format that hasn't been announced yet, who knows who will finish above who or if its even possible to work out if split conferences are applied.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:37 pm

Cheers, mushroom.

I wondered who had over rated the squad and your explanation noted that you've not read a pundit who has made a strong case, so it seems that nobody is over rating the squad.

Summerhill will never be a top player so I'm not sure why you mentioned him. He's a tidy squad player, too good for the Welsh Premiership but not a top line player. I've seen Millard play Anglo-Welsh rugby and I wasn't that excited, so he looks to be behind Owen Lane as the next cab off the rank centre / wing.

Rhun Williams should get lots of game time as he's a class player. It will be a travesty if Wilson continues to select the awful Morgan over him. Domachowski has a real chance to over take Thyer to move into third choice loose head. I think the lesson with young props is to not over expose them too early.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Breadvan on Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:17 pm

Yeh I'm as optimistic as you are Wayne lol. No doubt it'll be the same pattern as usual. Struggle without our internationals, knock over the usual teams at home for a Bp's, but even the Dragons and Edinburgh have appointed go ahead coaches so that's not a given anymore, and then fail to beat the likes of Munster, Lienster etc.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Welshmushroom on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:20 am

PhilBB wrote:Cheers, mushroom.

I wondered who had over rated the squad and your explanation noted that you've not read a pundit who has made a strong case, so it seems that nobody is over rating the squad.

Summerhill will never be a top player so I'm not sure why you mentioned him. He's a tidy squad player, too good for the Welsh Premiership but not a top line player. I've seen Millard play Anglo-Welsh rugby and I wasn't that excited, so he looks to be behind Owen Lane as the next cab off the rank centre / wing.

Rhun Williams should get lots of game time as he's a class player. It will be a travesty if Wilson continues to select the awful Morgan over him. Domachowski has a real chance to over take Thyer to move into third choice loose head. I think the lesson with young props is to not over expose them too early.

I shouldn't have used the phrase over rated without putting it into context. I believe the last accounts for the Blues had them at a playing budget of over 5 million. I would suggest given the squad they have some Agents certainly did a good job for their players. They have a good backline potentially (depending on selections). But in the forwards they don't look particularly great. I'm just saying that given their salary spends you would imagine they would either have a better all round squad (like the Ospreys) or a stronger 22 (like the Scarlets). All that said if Wilson can keep key players injury free and gets his tactics and selections right I can see them pass the Ospreys (but partly because I'm not sure Tandy will get it right on his side).

We probably will disagree on Summerhill. I rate him but game time is the only real substitute for development so we may never find out.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:52 am

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:Cheers, mushroom.

I wondered who had over rated the squad and your explanation noted that you've not read a pundit who has made a strong case, so it seems that nobody is over rating the squad.

Summerhill will never be a top player so I'm not sure why you mentioned him. He's a tidy squad player, too good for the Welsh Premiership but not a top line player. I've seen Millard play Anglo-Welsh rugby and I wasn't that excited, so he looks to be behind Owen Lane as the next cab off the rank centre / wing.

Rhun Williams should get lots of game time as he's a class player. It will be a travesty if Wilson continues to select the awful Morgan over him. Domachowski has a real chance to over take Thyer to move into third choice loose head. I think the lesson with young props is to not over expose them too early.

I shouldn't have used the phrase over rated without putting it into context.  I believe the last accounts for the Blues had them at a playing budget of over 5 million.  I would suggest given the squad they have some Agents certainly did a good job for their players.  They have a good backline potentially (depending on selections). But in the forwards they don't look particularly great.  I'm just saying that given their salary spends you would imagine they would either have a better all round squad (like the Ospreys) or a stronger 22 (like the Scarlets).  All that said if Wilson can keep key players injury free and gets his tactics and selections right I can see them pass the Ospreys (but partly because I'm not sure Tandy will get it right on his side).  

We probably will disagree on Summerhill.  I rate him but game time is the only real substitute for development so we may never find out.  

Its really going to be an odd season to gauge who is where really with the two conferences though. Theoretically both the Ospreys, and Blues should be looking at playoff spots (top 3 in each conference).
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Welshmushroom on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:00 pm

That's a good point. I'm not sure how Europe will be decided either.

Would have thought top 4 in each group to bring in Quarter finals (last 8 scenario) or top 2 for the current semi final setup. How they work out which 7 qualify on merit for Champions rugby is beyond me.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:33 pm

Blues pack is potentially good, but yeah really old too. Wilson didn't get the best out of them last season and to play the type of game he's looking to play then you require mobile locks who can slot in without giving away any power. So guys similar to Lawes, Kruis, Itoje, etc. and they just aren't available to you.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:33 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:That's a good point.  I'm not sure how Europe will be decided either.  

Would have thought top 4 in each group to bring in Quarter finals (last 8 scenario) or top 2 for the current semi final setup.  How they work out which 7 qualify on merit for Champions rugby is beyond me.  

Read in a few places it would be top 3 in each into playoffs, so maybe the two fourths play off for the RCC? But the SA lot could reall fudge that if they finish top 4 in either conference.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:22 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
I shouldn't have used the phrase over rated without putting it into context.  I believe the last accounts for the Blues had them at a playing budget of over 5 million.  I would suggest given the squad they have some Agents certainly did a good job for their players.  They have a good backline potentially (depending on selections). But in the forwards they don't look particularly great.  I'm just saying that given their salary spends you would imagine they would either have a better all round squad (like the Ospreys) or a stronger 22 (like the Scarlets).  All that said if Wilson can keep key players injury free and gets his tactics and selections right I can see them pass the Ospreys (but partly because I'm not sure Tandy will get it right on his side).  

We probably will disagree on Summerhill.  I rate him but game time is the only real substitute for development so we may never find out.  

The last accounts didn't specify a salary spend. The year ended 2015 accounts showed, pro rata for 12 months and a staff of 97, a combined salary bill of £6.6m. That's for all staff.

The salary spend would put them in the lower half of the PrO'12, at best in 6th place.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:31 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Blues pack is potentially good, but yeah really old too. Wilson didn't get the best out of them last season and to play the type of game he's looking to play then you require mobile locks who can slot in without giving away any power. So guys similar to Lawes, Kruis, Itoje, etc. and they just aren't available to you.

Fish 26, Cuthbert 27, Halaholo 27, Lee Lo 30, James 30, Anscombe 26, Tom Williams 22
Jenkins 36, Dacey 28, Lewis 21, Earle 30, van der Merwe 34, Jenkins 24, Warburton 28, Williams 33

Gill 30, Myhill 25, Peikrishvilli 29, Davies 21, Turnbull 29, Williams 27, Shingler 26, Morgan 25

Average age 27 and a half. The pack is an interesting mix for a team playing more than half its games on a plastic pitch. The average age could easily come down if Cook is preferred to Earle, Assirati / Thyer / Domachowski push on this season etc.

A pack with three 'first teamers' aged 30+ isn't necessary 'really old', is it?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:18 pm

Well considering your bench then yeah it's a pretty old pack. Probably a bit too old unless there's other old packs around who've achieved highly.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Stone Motif on Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:17 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Well considering your bench then yeah it's a pretty old pack. Probably a bit too old unless there's other old packs around who've achieved highly.

Yeah. Nah. Forwards in their prime around that average age.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:45 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Well considering your bench then yeah it's a pretty old pack. Probably a bit too old unless there's other old packs around who've achieved highly.

What's your yardstick of "too old"?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:27 am

PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Well considering your bench then yeah it's a pretty old pack. Probably a bit too old unless there's other old packs around who've achieved highly.

What's your yardstick of "too old"?

I'd say over 30. Your pack relies a lot on Jenkins and he's 36, I don't think there's a candidate who can step up and replace him just yet, albeit not an easy task. Compare to the likes of Saracens' pack; strong, efficient, young so will be spending a few more years playing together. I just see it as a disadvantage for Blues.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:43 am

There's big noise going around that Leigh Halfpenny is signing for Scarlets on a dual contract.

I wonder if ScarletSpiderman can shine any light on this ?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:11 am

BBC are reporting its a done deal

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40773723

As an outsider, I think it will hurt Scarlets as he doesn't seem to fit their style of play

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Stone Motif on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:15 am

marty2086 wrote:BBC are reporting its a done deal

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40773723

As an outsider, I think it will hurt Scarlets as he doesn't seem to fit their style of play

It will hurt the Scarlets as he doesn't seem to fit their style of finance
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 am

Stone Motif wrote:
marty2086 wrote:BBC are reporting its a done deal

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40773723

As an outsider, I think it will hurt Scarlets as he doesn't seem to fit their style of play

It will hurt the Scarlets as he doesn't seem to fit their style of finance

Well considering they only have 40% to cover and are coming off the back of a title winning season and a boost in tv revenue coming their way, it should be within their budget

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:30 am

Also, they will not be paying Liam William's wages or DTH's wages.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:32 am

marty2086 wrote:BBC are reporting its a done deal

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40773723

As an outsider, I think it will hurt Scarlets as he doesn't seem to fit their style of play

People forget what he was like when he was playing for Cardiff, he is a very quick and elusive player, just because he does not play that way for Wales, it does not mean he doe not have it in his locker.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:45 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:BBC are reporting its a done deal

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40773723

As an outsider, I think it will hurt Scarlets as he doesn't seem to fit their style of play

People forget what he was like when he was playing for Cardiff, he is a very quick and elusive player, just because he does not play that way for Wales, it does not mean he doe not have it in his locker.

That was the early days, towards the end it wasn't so much the case and as a player some of his skills have regressed. His decision making and passing close to the try line can be pretty poor for a player of his quality and experience. It's not just for Wales either, its the same for Toulon and Lions

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:56 am

Scarlets board told us at a meet the coaches event a few weeks ago, we were done with our signings. So if this is happening it is something that is exceptionally recent, rushed. And also knowing the way out board operate, it will be pretty cheap too. I can't see us paying £150k as part of his NDC, as even though there is more money coming in, and DTH/Sanjs wages freed up, I have heard we wouldn't have been able to financially meet his original wage demands (even as part of an NDC).

Also, we are still without a shirt sponsor after Astin Martin pulled out late on, so that's a fair chunk of cash we are down too.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:01 am

I think it would be a good signing for Scarlets as they needed strength in the back 3 to cope with the loss of San and VDM. Maybe he'll slot in on the wing as McNicholl seems to be first choice 15. His place-kicking will also come in handy as Dan Jones and Patchell can be a little flaky. If Halfpenny does go to Scarlets then hopefully under the guidance of Pivac and Jones he can rediscover some attacking prowess he showed early in his career.

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