The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

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The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 9:52 am

Remember a time when we were scouring around for players to fill our teams, and national team in Wales, during the late 80's early 90's where, whenever a decent player emerged we were dreading reading the papers as within a week that player would be reported to be signing pro contracts with league teams up north.

Remember record thumpings from South Africa in Pretoria, thrashings in the 6N, wooden spoons aplenty. Well, I do not want to worry people, but it looks as though they may be returning:-

Remarkable Welsh revolution sees 17 of Wales' best teenage talents signed up by major Rugby LEAGUE clubs.

Could it be the most serious challenge rugby union in Wales has faced from league in more than 20 years?

Rugby Union in Wales could face a renewed challenge from rugby league with 17 of the country’s teenage stars having been snapped up by Super League clubs.

The figure includes 11 of the Wales team which recently beat England for the first time in 15 attempts at under-16 level, with a stunning 18-10 triumph in Cardiff earlier this month.


It could be the first serious challenge union has faced from league in more than 20 years. It had been largely snuffed out when union went open in August 1995, allowing the payment of players and the onset of professionlism.

That prompted the return of Welsh greats Jonathan Davies, Scott Gibbs, Scott Quinnell, along with a host of other stars, from the paid 13-a-side code.

The two biggest names to have headed north since then were former Wales and Lions captain Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas and Wales and Lions back-rower Andy Powell, when they were at the end of their top-level union careers.

But league has been putting down roots in Wales for a number of years at school and community club level and is now reaping rewards.

“Welsh talent is shining at the moment,” declared Wales Rugby League chief executive Chris Thair.

“We began the season with Ben Flower (Wigan Warriors) and Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves) helping their clubs beat their National Rugby League counterparts (Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla-Sutherleand Sharks) in the World Club Challenge games, showing that we have world class players.

“Young Welshman Regan Grace then made one of the most impressive Super League debuts ever for his club St Helens.

“Those three players along with many other professionals started their rugby league in Wales and we urge clubs to continue to take the chance on recruiting Welsh talent, for the good of the club and the international game.”

And Thair’s advice has been heeded with twins Ewan and Ieuan Badham (West Wales Raiders and Milford Haven Comprehensive School) being joined at the City of Hull Academy by Raiders teammate Iestyn Hopkins (Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera).

Five under-15 players from the Raiders have also signed at Hull: Morgan Chell (Ysgol Dyffryn Taf), Trystan Rawlings, Keiron Lewis and Alex Jones (all Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera) and Joe Hawkins (Cwmtawe Community School).

The signings have resulted from the partnership Raiders have with Hull, coupled with the players’ performances for Wales Under-16 or the West Wales regional side in the recent Origin games.

Aber Valley Wolves trio Ewan Challenger (Lewis School Pengam), Kyle Huish and Jacob Lee (both Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni) have signed scholarship forms for Wigan Warriors, after being scouted by the league giants during the Wales Under-16 programme, which also included two wins over Ireland and a joint training session against Wigan’s scholarship side.

And Matthew Jones (Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, Anglesey), has signed for Salford Red Devils following his performances for Wales Under-16s.

They join five north of England-based Welsh-qualified players who were already on the books of Super League clubs.

Wales Under-16 coach Jason Seddon said: “Having so many players in these set-ups is a great statement from our point of view.

“We always knew we had the talent here, we just needed it to be recognised. Super League clubs focusing on talent in Wales has been a contentious issue in the past as we’ve had kids more than capable to be in Super League academies but have not been picked up.

“The exposure wasn’t there. Now it is. Following results in recent weeks, people have picked up on it.”Cardiff’s Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, which is also a famous school for producing Wales union internationals like Jamie Roberts, brothers Jamie and Nicky Robinson, and Rhys Patchell, was again crowned UK Champion Schools winners after last month beating Mirfield School in the year nine final. Glantaf have only been beaten once in three years of playing league.

“Wales is small in size but large in heart and even bigger when it comes to sporting talent,” said Thair.

“The sports authorities and elite clubs must now take note that Wales remains an outstanding player pool for the sport of rugby league.

“Investment is now the key to making this succeed. Super League clubs must invest by taking chances on young Welsh players and the sporting authorities must invest in Wales to ensure this young talent continues to come through the system.

“Young players in Wales are now enjoying playing more rugby league than ever before. However, our school and club programmes only begin at under-12s, where as in England it is under-7s.

“England (Under-16) had players of honed talent whereas Wales had raw talent in terms of playing rugby league. This makes it so exciting for all the scouts.

“A player of honed talent will improve at marginal levels but clubs are more likely to see significant jumps in performance levels after taking someone of raw talent.”

Seddon believes more Welsh players will be signed by Super League clubs with Glantaf pupils being high on the list of potential targets.

“We’ve the Glantaf lads qualifying for the under-16 side for next year, plus there are more on our radar from all around Wales, north and south.

“It’s only going to keep rolling and get bigger and better. We at Wales Rugby League have to not only keep this momentum going but make it grow so we can build successful sides right throughout the international set-up.”

Wales’ senior team have qualified for the World Cup, facing Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on October 28, Fiji in Townsville, Australia on November 5 and Ireland in Perth a week later in their final group match.

Salford Red Devils prop Craig Kopczak will captain it after Wales to European Championship success in 2015 and World Cup qualification last autumn.

The 17 recent Welsh signings by Super League club academy sides

Ewan Badham , Ieuan Badham (West Wales Raiders / Milford Haven Comprehensive School, City of Hull Academy). Iestyn Hopkins , Kieron Lewis, Alex Jones, Trystan Rawlings (West Wales Raiders / Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, City of Hull Academy). Morgan Chell (West Wales Raiders / Ysgol Dyffryn Taf, City of Hull Academy). Joe Hawkins (West Wales Raiders / Cwmtawe Community School, City of Hull Academy), Jacob Lee, Kyle Huish (Aber Valley Wolves / Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni , Wigan Warriors), Ewen Challenger (Aber Valley Wolves / Lewis School Pengam, Wigan Warriors), Matthew Jones (Leigh Miners Rangers / Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, Anglesey, Salford Red Devils), Harvey McDaid, Keenan McDaid (Halton Farnworth Hornets / St Peter and Paul Catholic School, St Helens), Billy Glover (Halton Farnworth Hornets / Wade Deacon High School, Widnes Vikings), James Machin, Lewis Hall (Crosfields ARLFC / Great Sankey High School, Warrington Wolves).

This could be very worrying for Wales, also, if any show any promise, by the time they are adults, they might be English qualified. For my liking, I really think the WRU should be doing a lot more to keep these kids out of the clutches of rugby league, and mostly English clubs. That is a lot of players being lost to the regions in my books, and alarm bells should be ringing.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 10:24 am

They are already rugby league players though. They haven't been poached from union as such. Being from Milford Haven, I can say I have never heard of the Badham twins in terms of rugby before.
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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 10:27 am

Dowlais, no offence, but if you didn't write that yourself, you should quote the source or provide a link. OK

On the subject of the article, I wouldn't worry too much. Rugby union is still bigger in terms of profile than rugby league, so unless the money being offered is ridiculous, I don't see budding union players tempted to switch to league. If a player chooses league early on then good luck to him, he's not obliged to choose union.

This is actually a good-news article - Wales is clearly producing good league players.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 10:39 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Dowlais, no offence, but if you didn't write that yourself, you should quote the source or provide a link. OK

On the subject of the article, I wouldn't worry too much. Rugby union is still bigger in terms of profile than rugby league, so unless the money being offered is ridiculous, I don't see budding union players tempted to switch to league. If a player chooses league early on then good luck to him, he's not obliged to choose union.

This is actually a good-news article - Wales is clearly producing good league players.

I've recently started trying to take an interest in league again (need something to keep me going over the summer lol). And talking to a few fans they reckon that the players in union are paid far more than those in league. So it is unlikely anyone is going to do what the lads did in the 80s, unless it is a case of wanting to have a different challenge/experience.

Also, after watching it, I have also got to say the old impression that league boys are bigger, stronger and fitter, than our lads is well off the mark. I dont think too many of the players there would last in union without spending a huge amount of time on the medics table. The big hits just dont seem to be that big.
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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 10:44 am

RL in Wales has always got most of their players from Union. The reason being they were better at league than union. What a strange article.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Welly on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 10:54 am

i could understand being worried if they where U18 Wales union internationals but they are not so not sure what the point of this article is (Other than to get views i guess).

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:00 am

This isn't a problem is it? It just shows that a sport that is not rugby union is flourishing in Wales. And good on it.

If those players were cherry picked from union academies then it would be a problem.

To be perfectly honest, rugby league gets the short straw in the UK in terms of players defecting from one code to another. Far more of the top players have moved from league to union for the money in recent years than vice versa.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by BamBam on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:15 am

Seems like standard Dowlais form for an "article"

Wales Online nonsense followed by "waaa waaa waaa the English" in some form

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:17 am

'The 17 recent Welsh signings by Super League club academy sides

Ewan Badham , Ieuan Badham (West Wales Raiders / Milford Haven Comprehensive School, City of Hull Academy). Iestyn Hopkins , Kieron Lewis, Alex Jones, Trystan Rawlings (West Wales Raiders / Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, City of Hull Academy). Morgan Chell (West Wales Raiders / Ysgol Dyffryn Taf, City of Hull Academy). Joe Hawkins (West Wales Raiders / Cwmtawe Community School, City of Hull Academy), Jacob Lee, Kyle Huish (Aber Valley Wolves / Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni , Wigan Warriors), Ewen Challenger (Aber Valley Wolves / Lewis School Pengam, Wigan Warriors), Matthew Jones (Leigh Miners Rangers / Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, Anglesey, Salford Red Devils), Harvey McDaid, Keenan McDaid (Halton Farnworth Hornets / St Peter and Paul Catholic School, St Helens), Billy Glover (Halton Farnworth Hornets / Wade Deacon High School, Widnes Vikings), James Machin, Lewis Hall (Crosfields ARLFC / Great Sankey High School, Warrington Wolves).'

How have those last few been 'poached' if they (apparently) never even went to school in Wales? Would I be right in guessing they're Welsh through parentage, and grew up in rugby league-playing areas anyway?

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:18 am

BamBam wrote:Seems like standard Dowlais form for an "article"

Wales Online nonsense followed by "waaa waaa waaa the English" in some form

Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:22 am

The usual trolls are out in force again.

mikey, BamBam. You do not have to read it. Bugger off.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:29 am

Give him his dues as this is nicely written. Well done. Think the only place it goes astray is the last paragraph.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:32 am

I doubt he wrote the main body of it. The last paragraph, yes.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:34 am

Got WOL written all over it. May as well just post the link and get it over with.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:35 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Got WOL written all over it. May as well just post the link and get it over with.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/remarkable-welsh-revolution-sees-17-13615294

Copying the entire article is poor form. Not citing your source even more so.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:36 am

At least I am putting articles on here to generate a discussion.

Certain members on this cite just jump onto the article and make derogatory comments, they add absolutely nothing.

Let's all be honest on here, when was the last time any of you created an article ?

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:38 am

Scottrf wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Got WOL written all over it. May as well just post the link and get it over with.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/remarkable-welsh-revolution-sees-17-13615294

Copying the entire article is poor form. Not citing your source even more so.

I admit I got it off WOL.

Whenever I post links to WOL I get battered in here. So I just copied the article so that nobody had to click onto their cite.

Feck me, you cannot win on here. Rolling Eyes

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:42 am

Best not to take credit for others work that's all.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:47 am

Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 11:53 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.
It's really not. Who would visit the website if they've read the whole article?

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:02 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.

LP

You know more than most the chit I get when I reference WOL. Come on, now you are telling me to do it ?

Look, I do not care what people think, I read WOL for all my news, not just rugby. Why people have so much issues with people using the media to get news is beyond me.

I chose not to reference them on here to save any trolling from the usual suspects.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.

LP

You know more than most the chit I get when I reference WOL. Come on, now you are telling me to do it ?

Look, I do not care what people think, I read WOL for all my news, not just rugby. Why people have so much issues with people using the media to get news is beyond me.

I chose not to reference them on here to save any trolling from the usual suspects.

'I chose to steal so I didn't get banter for my Primark bag'.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:05 pm

Scottrf wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.
It's really not. Who would visit the website if they've read the whole article?

Well maybe not copying and pasting the whole article.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:08 pm

If I take something from an article then I just post the link, which gives people the option of reading it or not reading it. I tend to stay away from poor sources such as WOL, and BBC Wales seems to be heading that way lately as well. Poor form all round.

LD it's not that we're trolling you. You got the point of the article all wrong when you thought it was union players being poached from the WRU when that isn't the case. Even if they had done that I don't see how it makes this a re-run of the dark days of welsh rugby, so you've also posted a silly thread title.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:09 pm

Scottrf wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.

LP

You know more than most the chit I get when I reference WOL. Come on, now you are telling me to do it ?

Look, I do not care what people think, I read WOL for all my news, not just rugby. Why people have so much issues with people using the media to get news is beyond me.

I chose not to reference them on here to save any trolling from the usual suspects.

'I chose to steal so I didn't get banter for my Primark bag'.

Excuse you. His Lordship only shops at Flannels, Hugo Boss, etc. Not Primark!

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Scottrf on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:09 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.
It's really not. Who would visit the website if they've read the whole article?

Well maybe not copying and pasting the whole article.
Agreed. Of course you can copy and paste a section with a link.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:21 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:If I take something from an article then I just post the link, which gives people the option of reading it or not reading it. I tend to stay away from poor sources such as WOL, and BBC Wales seems to be heading that way lately as well. Poor form all round.

LD it's not that we're trolling you. You got the point of the article all wrong when you thought it was union players being poached from the WRU when that isn't the case. Even if they had done that I don't see how it makes this a re-run of the dark days of welsh rugby, so you've also posted a silly thread title.

In fairness, Walesonline have spun it negatively themselves - for clicks, no doubt. It could have been spun as a good-news story about rugby league instead.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by BamBam on Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:22 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.

LP

You know more than most the chit I get when I reference WOL. Come on, now you are telling me to do it ?

Look, I do not care what people think, I read WOL for all my news, not just rugby. Why people have so much issues with people using the media to get news is beyond me.

I chose not to reference them on here to save any trolling from the usual suspects.

That you get all your news from a hyperbolic tabloid, Daily Mail wannabe newspaper is a real turn up for the books Lord Bluster

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 1:36 am

BamBam wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Copying and pasting is fine in my book, just provide the link at the end as well.

LP

You know more than most the chit I get when I reference WOL. Come on, now you are telling me to do it ?

Look, I do not care what people think, I read WOL for all my news, not just rugby. Why people have so much issues with people using the media to get news is beyond me.

I chose not to reference them on here to save any trolling from the usual suspects.

That you get all your news from a hyperbolic tabloid, Daily Mail wannabe newspaper is a real turn up for the books Lord Bluster

The issue was never that he used WOL as his gospel, it was that he used to force people to add a click to see an article for his own thread. I don't see his posts anymore unless they're quoted, but all I wanted (and I won't pretend to speak for others) was to not give the Wail clicks and so wanted a summary as to what their articles suggested beyond misleading headlines. Personally, I don't see the problem with that.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Griff on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 9:22 am

All he needs to do then is use some " " around the text. Not much to ask, just press a button twice. Even better an opening sentence such as "Here's an interesting article from WOL". But just copying and pasting with no attempt to show the source, or no attempt to let us know that it is not his own words and thoughts, is just copyright infringement.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 9:40 am

FFS

Grif get a life will you. All you want to do on here is follow me around and find ways to have a go at me. Copyright infringement, grow up FFS.

Not at one time have I insinuated that what I have put on the post is my word. Now bugger off. OK

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Scottrf on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 9:42 am

LordDowlais wrote:FFS

Grif get a life will you. All you want to do on here is follow me around and find ways to have a go at me. Copyright infringement, grow up FFS.

Not at one time have I insinuated that what I have put on the post is my word. Now bugger off. OK
It's just a fact. It is copyright infringement.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 9:45 am

Guys, to be honest have any of you expressed an opinion of the article or is this just a thread to put the boot in to Lord?
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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 9:46 am

LordDowlais wrote:FFS

Grif get a life will you. All you want to do on here is follow me around and find ways to have a go at me. Copyright infringement, grow up FFS.

Not at one time have I insinuated that what I have put on the post is my word. Now bugger off. OK

I do think there are posters making a little much about another poster doing a little cutting and pasting. It's hardly the crime of the century and nowhere near as bad as constantly picking on one poster like playground bullies.

That being said LD you're a target of your own creation to some extent, not entirely, just some.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by Griff on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:05 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Guys, to be honest have any of you expressed an opinion of the article or is this just a thread to put the boot in to Lord?

Ok, here we go:

In my opinion this is fake news designed to stir things up and paint a picture of something that is not happening and is not a problem. These players are not being 'leached' from union. It is not comparable to the player drain of the professional (league)/amateur (union) era. So the WRU, IMO, does not need to be doing a lot more to keep kids out of the clutches of rugby league and English clubs, as LD suggests. It's just lads playing league, loving league and getting on in league. We should be celebrating Welsh success in another sport, and not looking to pick a fight that isn't there. If we get some awesome youth golfers, archers, hurlers, etc. do the WRU need to do more about that as they're 'being lost to union'? No, instead we should be celebrating the fact that we've produced some excellent sportsmen/women across a range of sports and not just throw all of our eggs into the union basket because rugby union is not the be all and end all of life and sport in Wales.

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Re: The dark days of Welsh rugby could be returning

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 11:06 am

Griff wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:Guys, to be honest have any of you expressed an opinion of the article or is this just a thread to put the boot in to Lord?

Ok, here we go:

In my opinion this is fake news designed to stir things up and paint a picture of something that is not happening and is not a problem.  These players are not being 'leached' from union.  It is not comparable to the player drain of the professional (league)/amateur (union) era.  So the WRU, IMO, does not need to be doing a lot more to keep kids out of the clutches of rugby league and English clubs, as LD suggests.  It's just lads playing league, loving league and getting on in league.  We should be celebrating Welsh success in another sport, and not looking to pick a fight that isn't there.  If we get some awesome youth golfers, archers, hurlers, etc. do the WRU need to do more about that as they're 'being lost to union'?  No, instead we should be celebrating the fact that we've produced some excellent sportsmen/women across a range of sports and not just throw all of our eggs into the union basket because rugby union is not the be all and end all of life and sport in Wales.  

Cheers.

Yep I agree to be honest.

League is a different animal. When the player drain was reversed, and we got the likes of Jiffy and Co. back, people thought it was League that turned them in to good players. We even did the poaching ourslves with mixed Iestyn Harris, Anthony Sullivan and a handful of others coming to union. The fact they turned out to be flops, and most the League converts that the English bring in have too, shows that whilst they are big strong/fit lads, the skill sets and mind sets for the two games are so different.

So long story short, these lads could be decent league players, but may well be/have been, average in union. So is it a loss, nah.
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ScarletSpiderman

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