The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

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The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 10:24 am

First topic message reminder :

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.


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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:35 am

LordDowlais wrote:Wales defence guru Shaun Edwards joins Cardiff Blues on part-time consultancy basis.

Edwards will mentor defence co-ordinator Richard Hodges and the region's captain Gethin Jenkins.

Wales defence guru Shaun Edwards has joined Cardiff Blues on a part-time consultancy basis.

Warren Gatland’s lieutenant will also mentor Blues defence co-ordinator Richard Hodges and the region’s captain, Wales record cap-holder Gethin Jenkins.

Edwards, the most decorated player in British rugby league history, has since been integral to Wales winning three Six Nations titles, two with Grand Slams, since being recruited by head honcho Gatland in nine years ago.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Danny Wilson (head coach) and Cardiff Blues.

There’s a lot of potential here.“For the majority of my time with Wales, Richard has also been the defence coach for Wales Under-20s so it will be great to link-up with him again.”

Wilson said: “Shaun will be a great addition to Cardiff Blues. His record speaks for itself and I am sure he will have a big impact.

“Defence is an area we have to improve if we want to take the next step and qualify for the European Champions Cup.

“Shaun has an invaluable wealth of experience, which will be hugely beneficial, and will play an important role in developing the defensive coaches and leaders of the future.

“I would also like to thank the Welsh Rugby Union for their support in this appointment.”

After moving into coaching rugby union with Gatland’s Wasps, the pair masterminded European Cup final and English Premiership title triumphs.

A WRU spokesman said: “We see this move as a hugely positive step forward with the Cardiff Blues region.

“Shaun will provide regular continuity between the senior national management and the coaching set-up within the Blues, working alongside Danny and his team.

“We will see an impact across the other regions with our national coaches also working with the Dragons, Scarlets and Ospreys at various junctures throughout the coming season.”


So are the Cardiff Blues WRU run lapdogs now too or is that bile just reserved for the Dragons ? Justaskin like
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:36 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:I find it really comical that this story came out minutes after the story where Danny Wilson was whinging about how the NDC system is shafting the East Wales sides in favour of the Welsh, and how the Union is not helping them.

He's right though, before long all Welsh internationals will be at two teams.

I posted this elsewhere on a different forum

"The other way of looking at it is the Scarlets have 4 NDCs and 3 home grown playersand all are first team (definitely match day 23) players, and now we have Halfpenny 'placed' here with the WRU assistance

The Blues have 2, and only one is home grown. The other was brought in with the assistance of the WRU. Only one of their 2 is match day 23 really.

The Ospreys 8 NDC and 6 are home grown, 2 were 'placed' there with the assistance of the WRU. Of their NDCs 4 are first choice 23.

The Dragons have 2 and both are home grown. However neither are of match day 23 standard.

So from my point of view the Dragons can feel agrieved as they have not had WRU assistance to bring a player in from elsewhere. And the Scarlets can feel miffed as our NDC lads are all first 23 international standard, unlike the other regions. However the Blues have no grounds to moan. They have had assistance to bring in as many players as us, and also only half of their NDC lads are up to international standards."
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:40 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:I find it really comical that this story came out minutes after the story where Danny Wilson was whinging about how the NDC system is shafting the East Wales sides in favour of the Welsh, and how the Union is not helping them.

He's right though, before long all Welsh internationals will be at two teams.

I posted this elsewhere on a different forum

"The other way of looking at it is the Scarlets have 4 NDCs and  3 home grown playersand all are first team (definitely match day 23) players, and now we have Halfpenny 'placed' here with the WRU assistance

The Blues have 2, and only one is home grown.  The other was brought in with the assistance of the WRU.  Only one of their 2 is match day 23 really.

The Ospreys 8 NDC and 6 are home grown, 2 were 'placed' there with the assistance of the WRU.  Of their NDCs 4 are first choice 23.

The Dragons have 2 and both are home grown.  However neither are of match day 23 standard.

So from my point of view the Dragons can feel agrieved as they have not had WRU assistance to bring a player in from elsewhere.  And the Scarlets can feel miffed as our NDC lads are all first 23 international standard, unlike the other regions.  However the Blues have no grounds to moan.  They have had assistance to bring in as many players as us, and also only half of their NDC lads are up to international standards."

Hows Amos not 23 International standard ?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:43 am

Munk, probably because the first choice welsh backline is Sanj, North and Halfpenny. And the general first choice bench (backs) would be Cawdor, Sam, and Roberts/Scott. I do like Amos, but I can't seeing in many fans first choice match day 23. (probably should have worded it that way to begin with).
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:44 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Munk, probably because the first choice welsh backline is Sanj, North and Halfpenny.  And the general first choice bench (backs) would be Cawdor, Sam, and Roberts/Scott.  I do like Amos, but I can't seeing in many fans first choice match day 23. (probably should have worded it that way to begin with).

Blyddi one eyed Turk Wink
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:47 am

munkian wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:Munk, probably because the first choice welsh backline is Sanj, North and Halfpenny.  And the general first choice bench (backs) would be Cawdor, Sam, and Roberts/Scott.  I do like Amos, but I can't seeing in many fans first choice match day 23. (probably should have worded it that way to begin with).

Blyddi one eyed Turk Wink

Well it was for a Terks site. I was good and didn't say he was behind Steff Evs in the pecking order (and obviously Prydie now too) Run
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:56 am

SS
Whether they are match day 23 standard or not is dependent on form, in which case Amos is better than Cuthbert! It's a shame we couldn't agree a deal with Faletau though. Ideally, and I'm dreaming here, but I'd love to see Moriarty, Faletau and Francis come to play for Dragons on NDCs - that would certainly address a few issues we have.

On the currents NDC, I was more referring to the likes of Ospreys. There was Lydiate and Davies who came back to Wales and both to the Ospreys with the help of the WRU. There's also the likes of Baldwin, James King! and Thornton - none of them really on any French radar as they're not that good, so why they were signed up I don't know. Were Baker and Rhodri Jones ever on a NDC? Scarlets NDCs are all frontline players so I'm okay with that. I'm not entirely okay with Halfpenny joining Scarlets but a deal for whatever reason could not be agreed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by wayne on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 12:23 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:SS
Whether they are match day 23 standard or not is dependent on form, in which case Amos is better than Cuthbert! It's a shame we couldn't agree a deal with Faletau though. Ideally, and I'm dreaming here, but I'd love to see Moriarty, Faletau and Francis come to play for Dragons on NDCs - that would certainly address a few issues we have.

On the currents NDC, I was more referring to the likes of Ospreys. There was Lydiate and Davies who came back to Wales and both to the Ospreys with the help of the WRU. There's also the likes of Baldwin, James King! and Thornton - none of them really on any French radar as they're not that good, so why they were signed up I don't know. Were Baker and Rhodri Jones ever on a NDC? Scarlets NDCs are all frontline players so I'm okay with that. I'm not entirely okay with Halfpenny joining Scarlets but a deal for whatever reason could not be agreed.

Mikey for your information Baker was given an NDC at the same time as Baldwin, King and Thornton, and I said it at the time and a number of times since the only one to warrant it then was Baldwin, some might not think so but at least he was Welsh hooker at the time, as far as Rhodri Jones was concerned he was on an NDC when at the Scarlets, when he joined us he had just come off it. The cases for Lydiate and BBBD was that when they joined us they were more or less first choices in their positions (in Gatlands eye) whether they are in the majority of Welsh posters especially on here is highly depatable, I wouldn't put up much of an argument. What I think has got up the nose of especially a number on here and the same applies to Halfpenny now is them deciding not to go back to their original teams. That is the choice of the original player, that cannot be the fault of the Ospreys. Would the Dragons turn down the choice of a Welsh International if they had the money and only had to pay 40% of his wages? I don't think so.

Let me finally add, what have we (Ospreys) done in the competitions that we play in since the NDCs have come into play? SFA is what, many on our Forum have wanted Tandy gone especially since the end of season debacle. To really exacerbate matters in a Q&A session on our website yesterday Roger Blyth and Andrew Millward slipped in on the 2nd part that Tandy has had his contract extended until 2020. This type of information is normally in the News section of the website, sorry but it defies logic. Rant over.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Mon 21 Aug 2017, 4:10 pm

Hi wayne, an interesting article here regarding Steve Tandy's new contract, or for anybody else who wants to read:-

Ospreys' show of faith in Steve Tandy is extraordinary but they don't do bulls**t and have their reasons.

Steve Tandy looked like a man under pressure until the Ospreys made a surprise announcement.

There is a page on the Ospreys website devoted to explaining the organisation’s vision. Nothing contained in it suggests anyone at the Liberty Stadium is trying to reinvent the wheel.

Sustainable success on and off the field is held up as the prime goal, and you’d imagine the Ospreys are joined in their pursuit of that by every other rugby set-up in the UK, from Saracens to the Rose and Crown.


Interestingly though, there is then listed a set of behaviours expected of everybody from the chairman to the match-day programme sellers.

‘Pursue excellence’ is one exhortation. ‘No bulls**t’, rather amusingly, is another. Again, these are presumably things their rivals aspire to as well, but the fact the Ospreys have taken the trouble to spell it all out online is an indication of how important culture and legacy building has always been to their day-to-day operation.

It is this section of ospreysrugby.com that probably provides the biggest clue as to why, last week, chairman Roger Blyth saw fit to announce the retention of Steve Tandy as head coach, not until the end of this coming campaign but until 2020.

By any standards – and particularly those of modern professional sport – to publicly confirm that degree of confidence in the head coach of a team was extraordinary. It’s nothing new to hear of people being handed three-year contracts, but the Ospreys appeared to be indicating Tandy will be in charge until the start of the next decade come what may.

Is this blind faith or 2020 vision on the part of his paymasters?

Well, Tandy is a Welsh rugby figure who deserves respect. He also comes across as a perfectly clubbable sort of fellow, someone who reciprocates that respect to everyone he encounters unless they give him a reason to do otherwise.

But the former Neath flanker was supposed to be entering the start of the new Guinness PRO14 next month as a boss under pressure after the Ospreys’ almost inexplicable loss of form when it mattered most last season.

They looked a great bet to go all the way in the European Challenge Cup after finishing their pool with a maximum points haul from six wins out of six. But then they were mugged at home by Stade Francais in the quarter-final.

And what looked like being a stroll to the PRO12 play-offs became a fraught quest to cling onto fourth place before they were brushed aside by Munster at Thomond Park in their semi-final.

The reaction from the boardroom? You’ve got another three years. Guaranteed.

In football we all know what tends to follow the dreaded vote of confidence. In rugby though, particularly Welsh rugby, it often seems far harder to lose a coaching job than to get one in the first place.

Critics of the Ospreys’ decision have claimed, not without justification, that it’s all a bit too comfortable. Unaccountable even. But go back to that vision statement on the Region’s website and one of the first sentences you will see is about ‘development from within’.

From day one of their existence the Ospreys have backed up those words with deeds when it comes to coaching personnel, showing loyalty and patience when others have demanded change.

Lyn Jones was there for their first five seasons after the 2003 formation, his assistant Sean Holley stayed almost a decade.

Jonathan Humphreys enjoyed a seven-season stint as forwards coach and now Tandy, who took charge in February 2012, will have been in the hot-seat for seven and a half seasons if he does indeed go through to 2020.

The Ospreys’ detractors insist they’ve underachieved in the context of their 14-year history. If there is any substance in that it’s not been down to chopping and changing those in charge of team affairs.

Has Tandy been a success thus far? It’s a subjective issue.

The Ospreys won the Guinness PRO12 in 2012 just two and a half months into his tenure. But while opinion will therefore be divided as to how responsible he was for the success, it is is worth noting that Tandy engineered eight wins from his team’s last 10 games that term, including the memorable 31-30 victory against Leinster in Dublin in the Grand Final.

Nothing since though. In five full seasons under Tandy’s leadership the Ospreys have finished fifth, fifth, third, eighth and fourth in the PRO12 table, losing two semi-finals away to Munster in 2015 and earlier this year.

They have failed four times to get out of their Heineken/Champions Cup pool before squandering a great position with that loss to Stade last April in the Challenge Cup.

Any proper assessment of Tandy’s record needs to consider a range of external factors, not least a climate of financial constraint and some of the most fractious and bitter political unrest in the history of the professional game.

But for the record, his win ratio is 58%. Of the 153 PRO12 and European games he has presided over, the Ospreys have won 89, lost 58 and drawn six.

How does that compare to his peers?

Well, most Scarlets fans – and neutrals for that matter – would class Wayne Pivac’s three-year period in charge as a success, especially just now with the PRO12 trophy gleaming in the cabinet. So, Pivac’s win percentage? 57%.

The Kiwi has overseen 50 wins, four draws and 33 defeats since taking the helm at Parc y Scarlets, the difference being that if you don’t grant Tandy full ownership of the Ospreys’ 2012 league crown his rival across the Loughor Bridge has delivered silverware sooner.

Yet however you want to massage the stats, coaching longevity more often than not is also down to more intangible considerations.

As a no-nonsense openside flanker with Neath and then the Ospreys, Tandy was not the most celebrated figure. He played second fiddle in his time to people like Brett Sinkinson, Marty Holah and more latterly Justin Tipuric.

But his work ethic, his commitment, his humility and his readiness to question and analyse elements of a game-plan earned him a level of admiration among other players that he took with him into coaching.

Tandy is revered by those who matter inside the Ospreys dressing room not simply for his passion but for his tactical astuteness too. He is a tracksuit coach, hands on, his favourite place is in the thick of it on the training paddock.

The package Tandy offers has not spawned the prizes the Ospreys hoped for yet, but he bleeds the Region and those in charge believe he has earned the leeway he has been offered. They believe that, in the next three years, he will only grow as a leader and possibly wrestle back from the Scarlets the unofficial tag of being Wales’ No.1.

We’ll see. While Tandy has been given such job security by Blyth and the board, if what he’s doing with the Ospreys starts turning to dust and he feels he cannot change it, he is honest enough to walk himself.

He’ll be his own harshest critic. No bulls**t.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by wayne on Mon 21 Aug 2017, 4:50 pm

Lord thanks for that, but if you bothered to watch his post match press conference yesterday,(no criticism intended to you) you'll find that he hasn't recently got that extension, it was granted to him in the tenure of Andrew Hore, what he accomplished in his first couple of years to warrant a 5 year extension is beyond me. Look I'm no fairweather fan, I'll probably kick my bucket before I relinquish ST status, but I believe we can do so much better than him. Just for how good Andrew Hore is, go and have a look where the team that he left us for are doing in the main SH competition, compared to where they were when he left us.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:38 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:I find it really comical that this story came out minutes after the story where Danny Wilson was whinging about how the NDC system is shafting the East Wales sides in favour of the Welsh, and how the Union is not helping them.

He's right though, before long all Welsh internationals will be at two teams.

I posted this elsewhere on a different forum

"The other way of looking at it is the Scarlets have 4 NDCs and  3 home grown playersand all are first team (definitely match day 23) players, and now we have Halfpenny 'placed' here with the WRU assistance

The Blues have 2, and only one is home grown.  The other was brought in with the assistance of the WRU.  Only one of their 2 is match day 23 really.

The Ospreys 8 NDC and 6 are home grown, 2 were 'placed' there with the assistance of the WRU.  Of their NDCs 4 are first choice 23.

The Dragons have 2 and both are home grown.  However neither are of match day 23 standard.

So from my point of view the Dragons can feel agrieved as they have not had WRU assistance to bring a player in from elsewhere.  And the Scarlets can feel miffed as our NDC lads are all first 23 international standard, unlike the other regions.  However the Blues have no grounds to moan.  They have had assistance to bring in as many players as us, and also only half of their NDC lads are up to international standards."

For that to make sense, you'd have to argue that King, Thornton and Baker are worthy of NDCs. And Tyler Morgan.

Whenever you're ready.....
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:39 pm

wayne wrote:Lord thanks for that, but if you bothered to watch his post match press conference yesterday,(no criticism intended to you) you'll find that he hasn't recently got that extension, it was granted to him in the tenure of Andrew Hore, what he accomplished in his first couple of years to warrant a 5 year extension is beyond me. Look I'm no fairweather fan, I'll probably kick my bucket before I relinquish ST status, but I believe we can do so much better than him. Just for how good Andrew Hore is, go and have a look where the team that he left us for are doing in the main SH competition, compared to where they were when he left us.  

Bloody hell. That wasn't Hore, that was Robert Davies spending money.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:42 pm

munkian wrote:

Hows Amos not 23 International standard ?

Because there are better alternatives.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:43 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:I find it really comical that this story came out minutes after the story where Danny Wilson was whinging about how the NDC system is shafting the East Wales sides in favour of the Welsh, and how the Union is not helping them.

He's right though, before long all Welsh internationals will be at two teams.

Finances will dictate otherwise.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 4:37 pm

Champions Cup

15/10/2017

Toulon v Scarlets 16:15
Ospreys v Clermont 17:30

20/10/2017

Scarlets v Bath 19:45

21/10/2017

Saracens v Ospreys 19:45

09/12/2017

Scarlets v Treviso 13:00
Northampton v Ospreys 17:30

15/12/2017

Treviso v Scarlets 14:00

17/12/2017

Ospreys v Northampton 15:15

12/13/14 January 2018

Ospreys v Saracens
Bath v Scarlets

19/20/21 January 2018

Clermont v Ospreys
Scarlets v Toulon


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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 4:41 pm

Challenge Cup

13/10/2017

Cardiff Blues v Lyon 19:00

14/10/2017

Newcastle v Dragons 15:00

20/10/2017

Toulouse v Cardiff Blues 21:00

21/10/2017

Enisei v Dragons (TBC)

08/12/2017

Dragons v Enisei 19:30

09/12/2017

Sale Sharks v Cardiff Blues 15:00

15/12/2017

Dragons v Newcastle 19:30

17/12/2017

Cardiff Blues v Sale Sharks 15:15

11/12/13/14 January 2018

Bordeaux v Dragons
Cardiff Blues v Toulouse

18/19/20/21 January 2018

Dragons v Bordeaux
Lyon v Cardiff Blues


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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 4:42 pm

Has anyone noticed how Scarlets always have to play Toulon away before playing them at home?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 4:44 pm

There you go guys, some juicy fixtures in Europe this year, depending how serious the French take the second tier comp this year, but it could make for some decent games for Dragons and Blues, although what is that 9pm kick off time all about for Toulouse V Blues ?

Two very tough openers for Scarlets and Ospreys in Europe this year, would be very surprised if either got out if their respective groups. Sad

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 7:51 pm

PhilBB wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:I find it really comical that this story came out minutes after the story where Danny Wilson was whinging about how the NDC system is shafting the East Wales sides in favour of the Welsh, and how the Union is not helping them.

He's right though, before long all Welsh internationals will be at two teams.

I posted this elsewhere on a different forum

"The other way of looking at it is the Scarlets have 4 NDCs and  3 home grown playersand all are first team (definitely match day 23) players, and now we have Halfpenny 'placed' here with the WRU assistance

The Blues have 2, and only one is home grown.  The other was brought in with the assistance of the WRU.  Only one of their 2 is match day 23 really.

The Ospreys 8 NDC and 6 are home grown, 2 were 'placed' there with the assistance of the WRU.  Of their NDCs 4 are first choice 23.

The Dragons have 2 and both are home grown.  However neither are of match day 23 standard.

So from my point of view the Dragons can feel agrieved as they have not had WRU assistance to bring a player in from elsewhere.  And the Scarlets can feel miffed as our NDC lads are all first 23 international standard, unlike the other regions.  However the Blues have no grounds to moan.  They have had assistance to bring in as many players as us, and also only half of their NDC lads are up to international standards."

For that to make sense, you'd have to argue that King, Thornton and Baker are worthy of NDCs. And Tyler Morgan.

Whenever you're ready.....

Why?  Didn't I say that the Blues, Dragons and Ospreys all have non-match day squad players on ndc?


Last edited by ScarletSpiderman on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 7:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Auto correct changed non to no)
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 2:15 pm

So the the Pro14 season is 3 days away. We see our four Welsh fixtures this weekend after a long off season, with only the Lions series to keep us going.

Cardiff Blues V Edinburgh
Ospreys V Zebre
Scarlets V Southern Kings
Dragons V Leinster

I am expecting 3 wins out of four for the opening weekend, with Dragons putting up a spirited effort against Leinster but falling short.

What do you think ?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 9:04 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Has anyone noticed how Scarlets always have to play Toulon away before playing them at home?

Can twice be considered always Headscratch

I actually think Scarlets have a chance.

Get 14 points from first 4 games and they are in with a real shout

Obviously beating Bath at home in Round 2 and doing a December double over Treviso is a must.
They are capable of those results

Unlike Ospreys who haven't a hope - Saracens and Clermont - ouch !

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 10:13 am

Justin Tipuric: Ospreys flanker set for early post-Lions return v Zebre

Justin Tipuric is set to feature in Ospreys' opening match of the new Pro14 season despite touring with the British and Irish Lions in the summer.

Flanker Tipuric played in five matches during the tour of New Zealand, but did not figure in the Tests.

Ospreys' other Lions - Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb - will not appear until mid September or later.

"Tipuric will feature sooner rather than later," said Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees.

"Maybe this weekend, he's in the mix and doing a lot of good stuff around our training work."

It is customary for players to start their season later after taking part in a Lions tour, but Rees said any decision would take into account Tipuric's quick recovery after the tour which saw the Lions draw the series 1-1 with the All Blacks.

"We'll be looking at his needs. The minutes he had in the summer, the rest he's had already, how he's come back," he added.

"He's someone whose season we could tweak slightly differently, but it could mean he's good to go this week."

Half-backs Biggar and Webb could return in time for the away matches against Treviso (22 September) and Cheetahs (29 September) with Jones expected back possibly a week later when they face reigning champions Scarlets.

Davies on course to face Zebre

Another summer tourist, fly-half Sam Davies, could also feature against Zebre after recovering from a groin strain.

Davies played both Tests for Wales against Tonga and Samoa in June, but has been receiving treatment for the injury which he picked up during the tour.

"Sam has a strong chance of featuring," added Rees.

"He had some groin complication in the summer post tour and we've had to work our way through that but he's done really well in terms of his diligence.

"We're pretty confident we could put him on the park this week and physically as well as mentally he's pretty good to go."

Loose-head prop Paul James will equal Duncan Jones' Ospreys appearance record of 223 matches if he plays against Zebre.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 10:14 am

Gavin Henson fit for Dragons' Pro14 opener v Leinster

Gavin Henson is fit and available for Dragons' Pro14 opener against Leinster in Newport on Saturday.

The Wales back has recovered from a dead leg he suffered in a pre-season training game against Bath.

The 35-year-old joined Dragons from Bristol in the summer having also played for London Welsh, Bath, Saracens, Toulon and Cardiff Blues.

His career began with Swansea, before becoming an Osprey when they were formed in 2003.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 11:24 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Has anyone noticed how Scarlets always have to play Toulon away before playing them at home?

Can twice be considered always Headscratch

I actually think Scarlets have a chance.

Get 14 points from first 4 games and they are in with a real shout

Obviously beating Bath at home in Round 2 and doing a December double over Treviso is a must.
They are capable of those results

Unlike Ospreys who haven't a hope - Saracens and Clermont - ouch !

Yeah twice in the past, and this season will make it 3 on the bounce. That doesn't seem fishy to you? I don't see why they would invite us to the comp if they're just doing things to benefit themselves. You're right about Ospreys not having a hope though, especially in their current form.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 2:42 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Has anyone noticed how Scarlets always have to play Toulon away before playing them at home?

Can twice be considered always Headscratch

Its thrice now, last two seasons and this one coming (and we technically had to play them away only, the one season we were the parachute side into the Amlin).

Still not sure what difference it really makes.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 5:22 pm

Scarlets weren't invited in as a favour they qualified on merit.

TV, not Toulon, call the tune re fixtures.
TV big wigs prefer going there in October rather than December or January.

I think it is in Scarlets favour - the next three are winnable and Toulon wont fancy a horrible day, weather wise, in Llanelli at the height of the winter

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 31 Aug 2017, 10:24 am

Ospreys have signed Guy Mercer from Bath on loan for the season, I will adjust the original post to reflect this:-

Ospreys have signed Bath flanker Guy Mercer on loan for the 2017-18 season.

The 27-year-old has played 123 games since joining the Aviva Premiership team in 2011.

He has been signed in time for the start of the Pro14 season on Saturday, 2 September when Ospreys play Zebre at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

"This is great opportunity for Guy to get some regular rugby under his belt and we'd like to wish him all the best," said Bath coach Todd Blackadder.


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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by international198 on Thu 31 Aug 2017, 6:46 pm

Scarlets
15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. Johnny McNicholl
13. Hadleigh Parkes
12. Scott Williams
11. Steff Evans
10. Rhys Patchell
9. Gareth Davies
1. Rob Evans
2. Ryan Elias
3. Samson Lee
4. Jake Ball
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Aaron Shingler
7. James Davies
8. John Barclay

Scarlets vs. Southern Kings - Saturday 2nd September KO 17:30 Parc-y-Scarlets - live on Sky Sports Action

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

Assistant Referees: Seán Gallagher (Ireland) & Wayne Davies (Wales)

TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

Hopefully the Southern Kings will be competitive and give the Scarlets a good game.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

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