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.


Last edited by LordDowlais on Thu 31 Aug 2017, 10:26 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 11:40 am

mikey_dragon wrote: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.

I know Scarlets fans who don't want Halfpenny if it means moving McNicholl from full back. But you'd think the WRU would insist on him playing there.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 11:44 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote: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.

I know Scarlets fans who don't want Halfpenny if it means moving McNicholl from full back. But you'd think the WRU would insist on him playing there.

It will be a very fluid backline with players interchanging I feel.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 11:51 am

Yeah they'll probably interchange, but I imagine Pivac would want Halfpenny to be playing a similar role to Evans on the other wing, which is why it's promising that he might end up at Scarlets. Pivac seems headstrong so I can't see him doing anything the WRU insists, and he's got the Scarlets going very well at the moment.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 11:52 am

munkian wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote: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.

I know Scarlets fans who don't want Halfpenny if it means moving McNicholl from full back. But you'd think the WRU would insist on him playing there.

It will be a very fluid backline with players interchanging I feel.

It gives Scarlets options that's for sure, there'll be games where Scarlets can't play how they'd like and just need to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Halfpenny offers that option on the rare occasions he'd be available

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 11:57 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah they'll probably interchange, but I imagine Pivac would want Halfpenny to be playing a similar role to Evans on the other wing, which is why it's promising that he might end up at Scarlets. Pivac seems headstrong so I can't see him doing anything the WRU insists

He can be as headstrong as he likes, but they can't afford him without the Union's help.

The WRU are going to have to live with Saracens playing Liam Williams on the wing, but they're not going to want both of their Test full backs playing on the wing at club / regional level.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by munkian on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 12:00 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah they'll probably interchange, but I imagine Pivac would want Halfpenny to be playing a similar role to Evans on the other wing, which is why it's promising that he might end up at Scarlets. Pivac seems headstrong so I can't see him doing anything the WRU insists

He can be as headstrong as he likes, but they can't afford him without the Union's help.

The WRU are going to have to live with Saracens playing Liam Williams on the wing, but they're not going to want both of their Test full backs playing on the wing at club / regional level.

Reckon Amos will be on the wing for the Dragons too ?
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 12:12 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah they'll probably interchange, but I imagine Pivac would want Halfpenny to be playing a similar role to Evans on the other wing, which is why it's promising that he might end up at Scarlets. Pivac seems headstrong so I can't see him doing anything the WRU insists

He can be as headstrong as he likes, but they can't afford him without the Union's help.

The WRU are going to have to live with Saracens playing Liam Williams on the wing, but they're not going to want both of their Test full backs playing on the wing at club / regional level.

I can't imagine his contract being cancelled during the season just because Pivac would prefer him to mostly play on the wing. Both Halfpenny and Williams can slot in anywhere in the back 3, I can't see it being a major issue.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 12:17 pm

If he comes he will be wing.  If Sanjay was put in the wing to have Jonny Mac at 15, and we were happy to not sign Halfpenny, then it's a sign it's wing or nothing.

It's worth remembering though that Steff is a natural fullback, Jonny Mac is basically a utility back, and Halfpenny is a wing/fullback, so there will more likely be a case of Left, Centre, and Right fullback (like Henry used to call them) with different players dropping back to cover different plays
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 12:27 pm

munkian wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah they'll probably interchange, but I imagine Pivac would want Halfpenny to be playing a similar role to Evans on the other wing, which is why it's promising that he might end up at Scarlets. Pivac seems headstrong so I can't see him doing anything the WRU insists

He can be as headstrong as he likes, but they can't afford him without the Union's help.

The WRU are going to have to live with Saracens playing Liam Williams on the wing, but they're not going to want both of their Test full backs playing on the wing at club / regional level.

Reckon Amos will be on the wing for the Dragons too ?

I know they see Amos as a full back, but he's on the fringes of the Test side so I don't think they'll mind as much if he plays on the wing for the Dragons.

I just think the WRU will want more of a say over where Halfpenny plays seeing as they'll have next to no say over where Liam Williams plays. They're not chipping in for NDCs just to be nice.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Stone Motif on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 1:43 pm

marty2086 wrote:
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

40% of a massive wedge that could better be spent elsewhere, regardless pittance you get for winning he PrO'12. You cannot be dull enough to think that the TV revenue will not be eaten up by wage inflation.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 1:56 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
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

40% of a massive wedge that could better be spent elsewhere, regardless pittance you get for winning he PrO'12. You cannot be dull enough to think that the TV revenue will not be eaten up by wage inflation.

Halfpenny had an offer of £420k on the table earlier this year for an NDC and to return to Cardiff. Reports suggest the new offer is significantly less, lets say £400k, that leaves Scarlets with an extra £240k on their wage bill.

Now the new tv deal is said to be worth £500k each to the teams.

Now are you telling me that the rest of the contracts have suddenly inflated to over £260k due to a tv deal that will only come into affect after those players contracts were signed?


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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 5:19 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:If he comes he will be wing.  If Sanjay was put in the wing to have Jonny Mac at 15, and we were happy to not sign Halfpenny, then it's a sign it's wing or nothing.

It's worth remembering though that Steff is a natural fullback, Jonny Mac is basically a utility back, and Halfpenny is a wing/fullback, so there will more likely be a case of Left, Centre, and Right fullback (like Henry used to call them) with different players dropping back to cover different plays

Didn't JMac start on the wing, then during 6N time and once Sanjay announced he was leaving, he moved to fullback?

He didn't always seem too confident under the high ball, during international breaks, could you see Patch moving to 15 and Dan Jones coming in at 10? In which case it would make sense to keep JMac on the wing.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 5:44 pm

chris_501 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:If he comes he will be wing.  If Sanjay was put in the wing to have Jonny Mac at 15, and we were happy to not sign Halfpenny, then it's a sign it's wing or nothing.

It's worth remembering though that Steff is a natural fullback, Jonny Mac is basically a utility back, and Halfpenny is a wing/fullback, so there will more likely be a case of Left, Centre, and Right fullback (like Henry used to call them) with different players dropping back to cover different plays

Didn't JMac start on the wing, then during 6N time and once Sanjay announced he was leaving, he moved to fullback?

He didn't always seem too confident under the high ball, during international breaks, could you see Patch moving to 15 and Dan Jones coming in at 10? In which case it would make sense to keep JMac on the wing.

From what I can remember he came over as 'back 3 cover', but was seen as Sanjay's potential replacement should he leave. He played his first game of two on the wing before moving. He seemed hit and miss, to start off at fullback but seemed to grow into it. Although that said I've seen him interviewed and he said he is a centre, but happy to play wherever.

Also there's not too much point fretting about who plays where, as realistically we are looking at 1/2p being available (if he does come) for the euro matches and last handful of games. By then Jonny Mac will have either proven himself, or we would have reshuffled. As for Patch to fifteen, I doubt it, we signed Asquith and Prydie so I'd expect them to cover fullback before him.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 9:33 pm

Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:11 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:12 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:12 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:13 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:13 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:14 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:14 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 10:15 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Franco Van De Merwe has apparently been reased by the Blues, with financials and development being used as the reason, according to the fail

I didn't realise they'd signed Welch from Exeter, he was great at the Scarlets and had a good couple of seasons with the Chiefs. If he can play another couple of years at that level, FVDM won't be needed.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Guest on Tue 01 Aug 2017, 8:02 am

Not sure I got that, Chris. Can you repeat it! Haha! Wink

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 01 Aug 2017, 9:35 am

Except than Franco was a bit younger and better than Welch; more idiotic management at the Blues.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by chris_501 on Tue 01 Aug 2017, 5:14 pm

Griff wrote:Not sure I got that, Chris. Can you repeat it! Haha! Wink

Whoops, still not learned how to use a computer properly. You get my point....

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by international198 on Thu 03 Aug 2017, 8:34 pm

Will the Scarlets go on to achieve bigger and better things this season or will they stumble and fall?

Was last season just a one off or will they win silverware again this season?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 8:53 am

Edited my original post to include Leigh Halfpenny on Scarlets ins.

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

Leigh Halfpenny: Wales full-back joins Scarlets on dual contract

Leigh Halfpenny has signed a three-year contract with Scarlets in a deal partly funded by the Welsh Rugby Union.

The Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back, who has 75 international caps, was out of contract after spending three seasons with Toulon.

"I'm delighted to be coming back to play in Wales," said the 28-year-old.

"I would like to thank the Scarlets and the WRU for giving me the opportunity to sign a National Dual Contract [NDC] and can't wait to get started."

Halfpenny's deal at Scarlets, who won the Pro12 last season, is likely to see 60% of his salary paid by the WRU.

The player's return to Wales has delighted Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

"It is great news for Welsh rugby that Leigh Halfpenny is returning to play his rugby in Wales," said Gatland.

"The NDC system helps us to bring these players back and I look forward to seeing him play for the Scarlets."

Halfpenny, who has 71 Wales caps to add to his four for the Lions, has opted for Scarlets over Cardiff Blues, the region he left for France in the summer of 2014.

The world-class kicker was expected to stay in France for another season, but Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal announced in June that the club would not renew his contract.

Boudjellal said Halfpenny had missed too many matches because of injuries and international commitments.

The player was absent for Toulon's Top 14 final defeat by Clermont Auvergne in June when he was on Lions duty in New Zealand.

Talks with the Blues earlier this year came to nothing, with chief executive Richard Holland saying the deal had foundered over the length of the contract on offer.

Instead Halfpenny will bolster the Scarlets backline, which has lost fellow Lions selection Liam Williams to English side Saracens.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 9:28 am

Turks online already saying their backline is the best in Europe, pretty sure they've been saying that for a few seasons now. Ah well.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 10:28 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Turks online already saying their backline is the best in Europe, pretty sure they've been saying that for a few seasons now. Ah well.

Don't you think their backline is any good then?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 10:43 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Turks online already saying their backline is the best in Europe, pretty sure they've been saying that for a few seasons now. Ah well.

Don't you think their backline is any good then?

I'm not saying it isn't good, you completely misunderstand what I've just said.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 10:46 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Turks online already saying their backline is the best in Europe, pretty sure they've been saying that for a few seasons now. Ah well.

Don't you think their backline is any good then?

I'm not saying it isn't good, you completely misunderstand what I've just said.

On paper it looks like one of the best backlines in the Rugby Champions Cup tournament. Is that what you're referring to? The discrepancy between "the best" and "one of the best"?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 11:13 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Turks online already saying their backline is the best in Europe, pretty sure they've been saying that for a few seasons now. Ah well.

Don't you think their backline is any good then?

I'm not saying it isn't good, you completely misunderstand what I've just said.

On paper it looks like one of the best backlines in the Rugby Champions Cup tournament. Is that what you're referring to? The discrepancy between "the best" and "one of the best"?

No. I said Turks have been saying that for years now, and the backline has not proved to be the best in Europe to date. They're pretty good on paper yeah but they certainly haven't been the best in Europe. In the latter half of last season the backline come good, as did their back-row, so they could kick on. I'm not sure if they will. I think people are underestimating the loss of VDM and Williams.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 11:47 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Turks online already saying their backline is the best in Europe, pretty sure they've been saying that for a few seasons now. Ah well.

Don't you think their backline is any good then?

I'm not saying it isn't good, you completely misunderstand what I've just said.

On paper it looks like one of the best backlines in the Rugby Champions Cup tournament. Is that what you're referring to? The discrepancy between "the best" and "one of the best"?

No. I said Turks have been saying that for years now, and the backline has not proved to be the best in Europe to date. They're pretty good on paper yeah but they certainly haven't been the best in Europe. In the latter half of last season the backline come good, as did their back-row, so they could kick on. I'm not sure if they will. I think people are underestimating the loss of VDM and Williams.

How does anyone measure who the "best backline" is?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:02 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Turks online already saying their backline is the best in Europe, pretty sure they've been saying that for a few seasons now. Ah well.

Don't you think their backline is any good then?

I'm not saying it isn't good, you completely misunderstand what I've just said.

On paper it looks like one of the best backlines in the Rugby Champions Cup tournament. Is that what you're referring to? The discrepancy between "the best" and "one of the best"?

No. I said Turks have been saying that for years now, and the backline has not proved to be the best in Europe to date. They're pretty good on paper yeah but they certainly haven't been the best in Europe. In the latter half of last season the backline come good, as did their back-row, so they could kick on. I'm not sure if they will. I think people are underestimating the loss of VDM and Williams.

How does anyone measure who the "best backline" is?

The Turks measure it by how many Scarlets players are in that backline.

I'd say it's probably Leinster who have one of the top backlines in Europe, and possibly Toulon.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:12 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:

The Turks measure it by how many Scarlets players are in that backline.

I'd say it's probably Leinster who have one of the top backlines in Europe, and possibly Toulon.

Toulon are way ahead as the best with maybe a few other French teams there too. Scarlets aren't far behind though.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by BamBam on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:17 pm

Losing Williams and adding Halfpenny doesn't make them any closer to being the best backline in Europe, moves them further away if anything

Scarlets, Glasgow, Leinster, and Wasps could all make a good case for being the best backlines around.

1 from each of the home nations, how politically correct of me.  

The French sides don't look as strong in the backs as they once did, although Montpellier signing Pienaar, Cruden and Serfontein added to the likes of Nadolo and Nagusa could be a bit tasty.

Toulon's backs don't look great to me. Other than the newly signed Fekitoa, they are all past their prime imo (Nonu, Pietersen, Habana, Clerc, Basteauread, McAlister all fall into that category)

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:19 pm

BamBam wrote:Losing Williams and adding Halfpenny doesn't make them any closer to being the best backline in Europe, moves them further away if anything

Scarlets, Glasgow, Leinster, and Wasps could all make a good case for being the best backlines around.

1 from each of the home nations, how politically correct of me.  

The French sides don't look as strong in the backs as they once did, although Montpellier signing Pienaar, Cruden and Serfontein added to the likes of Nadolo and Nagusa could be a bit tasty.

Toulon's backs don't look great to me. Other than the newly signed Fekitoa, they are all past their prime imo (Nonu, Pietersen, Habana, Clerc, Basteauread, McAlister all fall into that category)

I'm not sure how you can say a 28 year old current international is past his prime. But there you go.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:20 pm

If Blues strengthened their back 3 then their backline would be one of the best - that midfield is very good in attack. Ospreys backline with Beck and Fonotia starting doesn't look bad either.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by BamBam on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:22 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
BamBam wrote:Losing Williams and adding Halfpenny doesn't make them any closer to being the best backline in Europe, moves them further away if anything

Scarlets, Glasgow, Leinster, and Wasps could all make a good case for being the best backlines around.

1 from each of the home nations, how politically correct of me.  

The French sides don't look as strong in the backs as they once did, although Montpellier signing Pienaar, Cruden and Serfontein added to the likes of Nadolo and Nagusa could be a bit tasty.

Toulon's backs don't look great to me. Other than the newly signed Fekitoa, they are all past their prime imo (Nonu, Pietersen, Habana, Clerc, Basteauread, McAlister all fall into that category)

I'm not sure how you can say a 28 year old current international is past his prime. But there you go.

Assume you mean Bastereaud? Has he ever been any good? I did think he was older than that though

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Welshmushroom on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:24 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

The Turks measure it by how many Scarlets players are in that backline.

I'd say it's probably Leinster who have one of the top backlines in Europe, and possibly Toulon.

Toulon are way ahead as the best with maybe a few other French teams there too. Scarlets aren't far behind though.

Surely that is based on reputation alone. Because to me this Toulon backline isn't anywhere as impressive as teams they have fielded in previous years. For that matter most of those players with the exception of Placid (Unproven), Fekitoa & Ashton are on the decline and are nowhere near their prime. For me the best French club backline is Montpellier. Personally its not the French backlines that are particularly daunting. It's the forwards where those teams really excel. On paper though I don't think there is a backline in Europe that Scarlets has to worry about if they keep up last season form. But as the saying goes Forwards win games, Backs decide by how much.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:32 pm

BamBam wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
BamBam wrote:Losing Williams and adding Halfpenny doesn't make them any closer to being the best backline in Europe, moves them further away if anything

Scarlets, Glasgow, Leinster, and Wasps could all make a good case for being the best backlines around.

1 from each of the home nations, how politically correct of me.  

The French sides don't look as strong in the backs as they once did, although Montpellier signing Pienaar, Cruden and Serfontein added to the likes of Nadolo and Nagusa could be a bit tasty.

Toulon's backs don't look great to me. Other than the newly signed Fekitoa, they are all past their prime imo (Nonu, Pietersen, Habana, Clerc, Basteauread, McAlister all fall into that category)

I'm not sure how you can say a 28 year old current international is past his prime. But there you go.

Assume you mean Bastereaud? Has he ever been any good? I did think he was older than that though

He is useful. Had some huge moments last season. Does get lazy but hardly past his prime.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:33 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

The Turks measure it by how many Scarlets players are in that backline.

I'd say it's probably Leinster who have one of the top backlines in Europe, and possibly Toulon.

Toulon are way ahead as the best with maybe a few other French teams there too. Scarlets aren't far behind though.

Surely that is based on reputation alone.  Because to me this Toulon backline isn't anywhere as impressive as teams they have fielded in previous years.  For that matter most of those players with the exception of Placid (Unproven), Fekitoa & Ashton are on the decline and are nowhere near their prime.  For me the best French club backline is Montpellier.  Personally its not the French backlines that are particularly daunting. It's the forwards where those teams really excel.  On paper though I don't think there is a backline in Europe that Scarlets has to worry about if they keep up last season form.  But as the saying goes Forwards win games, Backs decide by how much.

Agree about Montpellier, huge investment has meant hugely good squad. Habana is way past his prime but don't discount the Toulon backline as a unit if they get firing.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by BamBam on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 12:41 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
BamBam wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
BamBam wrote:Losing Williams and adding Halfpenny doesn't make them any closer to being the best backline in Europe, moves them further away if anything

Scarlets, Glasgow, Leinster, and Wasps could all make a good case for being the best backlines around.

1 from each of the home nations, how politically correct of me.  

The French sides don't look as strong in the backs as they once did, although Montpellier signing Pienaar, Cruden and Serfontein added to the likes of Nadolo and Nagusa could be a bit tasty.

Toulon's backs don't look great to me. Other than the newly signed Fekitoa, they are all past their prime imo (Nonu, Pietersen, Habana, Clerc, Basteauread, McAlister all fall into that category)

I'm not sure how you can say a 28 year old current international is past his prime. But there you go.

Assume you mean Bastereaud? Has he ever been any good? I did think he was older than that though

He is useful. Had some huge moments last season. Does get lazy but hardly past his prime.

Other than nitpicking, you'd probably agree that the 5 other players mentioned who could all have a decent shout at being part of the first choice backline are past their prime?

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 1:07 pm

BamBam wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
BamBam wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
BamBam wrote:Losing Williams and adding Halfpenny doesn't make them any closer to being the best backline in Europe, moves them further away if anything

Scarlets, Glasgow, Leinster, and Wasps could all make a good case for being the best backlines around.

1 from each of the home nations, how politically correct of me.  

The French sides don't look as strong in the backs as they once did, although Montpellier signing Pienaar, Cruden and Serfontein added to the likes of Nadolo and Nagusa could be a bit tasty.

Toulon's backs don't look great to me. Other than the newly signed Fekitoa, they are all past their prime imo (Nonu, Pietersen, Habana, Clerc, Basteauread, McAlister all fall into that category)

I'm not sure how you can say a 28 year old current international is past his prime. But there you go.

Assume you mean Bastereaud? Has he ever been any good? I did think he was older than that though

He is useful. Had some huge moments last season. Does get lazy but hardly past his prime.

Other than nitpicking, you'd probably agree that the 5 other players mentioned who could all have a decent shout at being part of the first choice backline are past their prime?

Past their prime doesn't really stand without the context. Nonu probably isn't the player he was for the all blacks 5 years ago but he was devastating at points last season.

Clerc, Habana, Mcallister yes. Other squads have better options.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by Welshmushroom on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 1:57 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

The Turks measure it by how many Scarlets players are in that backline.

I'd say it's probably Leinster who have one of the top backlines in Europe, and possibly Toulon.

Toulon are way ahead as the best with maybe a few other French teams there too. Scarlets aren't far behind though.

Surely that is based on reputation alone.  Because to me this Toulon backline isn't anywhere as impressive as teams they have fielded in previous years.  For that matter most of those players with the exception of Placid (Unproven), Fekitoa & Ashton are on the decline and are nowhere near their prime.  For me the best French club backline is Montpellier.  Personally its not the French backlines that are particularly daunting. It's the forwards where those teams really excel.  On paper though I don't think there is a backline in Europe that Scarlets has to worry about if they keep up last season form.  But as the saying goes Forwards win games, Backs decide by how much.

Agree about Montpellier, huge investment has meant hugely good squad. Habana is way past his prime but don't discount the Toulon backline as a unit if they get firing.

Put it this way - I wouldn't bet on them to win the Champions Cup.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 2:05 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:

Put it this way - I wouldn't bet on them to win the Champions Cup.

Toulon? They're not favourites but they'll surely make the knock out stages.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by PhilBB on Wed 09 Aug 2017, 1:01 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Except than Franco was a bit younger and better than Welch; more idiotic management at the Blues.

And more expensive. You forgot the important bit.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:22 am

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.”


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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:30 am

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.
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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 10:32 am

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.

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Re: The 4 Welsh regions 2017-18

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