Silly Season Transfer Rumours 19/20

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 7:13 pm

First topic message reminder :

New year, new thread, new scuttlebutt, rumour and misdirection.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 10:09 am

Falcons have signed flanker Josh Basham...with immediate effect.

Wow we're getting top heavy with back rowers! Maybe we're just going to put out a team of flankers

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 10:24 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Falcons have signed flanker Josh Basham...with immediate effect.

Wow we're getting top heavy with back rowers! Maybe we're just going to put out a team of flankers

I thought you'd got him already. He left LI to go to Durham University so was practically in your doorstep. Maybe he'll convert to the second row and help cover your leavers.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 10:38 am

Nah nothing has been announced Sam until now.

I wouldn't have thought he'll move to second row. I think Dean has plans there. Besides hes quoted as saying he is a top class talented back rower in the making so cant see why he would then shift him to lock.

We have a canny back row stable...

Jon Hardie
Mark Wilson
Will Welch
Gary Graham
Nemani Negusa
Calum Chick

Simon Uzokwe
Conner Collett
Guy Graham
Tom Marshall
Rob Farrar
Josh Basham

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Post by SirBurger on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 11:33 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Nah nothing has been announced Sam until now.

I wouldn't have thought he'll move to second row. I think Dean has plans there. Besides hes quoted as saying he is a top class talented back rower in the making so cant see why he would then shift him to lock.

We have a canny back row stable...

Jon Hardie
Mark Wilson
Will Welch
Gary Graham
Nemani Negusa
Calum Chick

Simon Uzokwe
Conner Collett
Guy Graham
Tom Marshall
Rob Farrar
Josh Basham

Hmmm...wonder why nothing announced until now steam .

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 12:17 pm

SirBurger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Nah nothing has been announced Sam until now.

I wouldn't have thought he'll move to second row. I think Dean has plans there. Besides hes quoted as saying he is a top class talented back rower in the making so cant see why he would then shift him to lock.

We have a canny back row stable...

Jon Hardie
Mark Wilson
Will Welch
Gary Graham
Nemani Negusa
Calum Chick

Simon Uzokwe
Conner Collett
Guy Graham
Tom Marshall
Rob Farrar
Josh Basham

Hmmm...wonder why nothing announced until now steam .

To avoid a payout to LI?

That's a lot of backrow players. How many will you keep?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 12:35 pm

Jack McGrath to join Ulster post RWC. Hell of a signing for Ulster, Jordi Murphy was a good raid from Leinster and this looks to be another. I'm sure the Leinster conveyor belt will replace him though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 1:07 pm

Im not sure Sam, but it certainly is a lot.

And the second group are all youngsters of huge potential.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 5:26 pm

Lock forward Sam Lousi from Hurricanes to Scarlets. Looks like a good carrier who would fit their style of play. I would assume they're losing Steve Cummins, otherwise they'll be over the NWQ limit.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 02 Apr 2019, 9:51 pm

Steve Cummins any relation to Nick Cummins?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:21 am

Both Aussies but not related.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:22 am

Francis has activated an extension clause in his contract, keeping him at Exeter until 2021. He’s still eligible for Wales as it’s a ‘clause.’

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 9:04 am

I'm sure he has some sort of rolling extension clause in his contract. Stay in the South West indefinitely.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 9:29 am

I liked Baxter's comments that they were tipped off about how to structure the contract when the negotiations were first held a few years back.

This makes sense for Wales, Exeter and Francis. While I understand that WRU wish to keep the standard of the regions as high as they can, and have more control over player availability/welfare etc, allowing players like Francis who have never played in Wales to remain outside of the country seems an eminently sensible compromise.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 11:13 am

Especially when he is at a club that likes to rotate their props and who developed him from a Championship player to an international. So far it's been a positive relationship between the WRU and Exeter.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 11:25 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Especially when he is at a club that likes to rotate their props and who developed him from a Championship player to an international. So far it's been a positive relationship between the WRU and Exeter.

Id love to know Exeters secret....

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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 11:45 am

LondonTiger wrote:I liked Baxter's comments that they were tipped off about how to structure the contract when the negotiations were first held a few years back.

This makes sense for Wales, Exeter and Francis. While I understand that WRU wish to keep the standard of the regions as high as they can, and have more control over player availability/welfare etc, allowing players like Francis who have never played in Wales to remain outside of the country seems an eminently sensible compromise.

Looks to me as if another loophole is being exploited. Resigning an already signed contract is surely just resigning a new contract. If you're going to let technicalities like this through you may as well start selecting Webb again as well. To be honest if the WRU are serious about keeping players at home for test duty then he should now not be selected by Wales.

For me the rules in Wales should have been more black and white from the off. No 60 cap loopholes. No playing outside of any sort. No Free Agency.

I appreciate players have a short window but Wales does not need to pander to its players. They are replaceable. Stick to the rules like everyone else. If you want to go for more money, then go do that but don't expect to represent wales as well.

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Post by Rinsure on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 11:55 am

Where does the benefit of strong internal teams / regions etc. due to selecting "home based" players only cross over the benefit of players gathering experience in different cultures and leagues around the World?

Should a player have to take a sabbatical from international rugby to play a season abroad to broaden his / her rugby knowledge, or should unions work with players and encourage wider experience in the global game?


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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 12:00 pm

Rinsure wrote:Where does the benefit of strong internal teams / regions etc. due to selecting "home based" players only cross over the benefit of players gathering experience in different cultures and leagues around the World?

Should a player have to take a sabbatical from international rugby to play a season abroad to broaden his / her rugby knowledge, or should unions work with players and encourage wider experience in the global game?


All Unions actively discourage "broadening rugby knowledge" by limiting the number of non-nationals allowed to play in their leagues.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 12:02 pm

Rinsure wrote:Where does the benefit of strong internal teams / regions etc. due to selecting "home based" players only cross over the benefit of players gathering experience in different cultures and leagues around the World?

Should a player have to take a sabbatical from international rugby to play a season abroad to broaden his / her rugby knowledge, or should unions work with players and encourage wider experience in the global game?


Yes they should.  The only consideration within your statement is from the players perspective.  From a Union's point of view there is a reason why New Zealand and Ireland both implement this to the letter of the law.

If your best players leave local rugby it has a detrimental effect on all other remaining players.  If standards drop to low then the level the majority of the player base is affected.  

Nobody is saying a player shouldn't get the choice to leave and experience new things but if you make that choice you shouldn't be rewarded for doing so by representing your country.  

There is a reason why at club/regional level both New Zealand and Ireland dominate their peers.  Wales should follow suit.  Yes we may lose a few players here and there but they will be replaceable.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 12:03 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I liked Baxter's comments that they were tipped off about how to structure the contract when the negotiations were first held a few years back.

This makes sense for Wales, Exeter and Francis. While I understand that WRU wish to keep the standard of the regions as high as they can, and have more control over player availability/welfare etc, allowing players like Francis who have never played in Wales to remain outside of the country seems an eminently sensible compromise.

Looks to me as if another loophole is being exploited.  Resigning an already signed contract is surely just resigning a new contract.  If you're going to let technicalities like this through you may as well start selecting Webb again as well.  To be honest if the WRU are serious about keeping players at home for test duty then he should now not be selected by Wales.

For me the rules in Wales should have been more black and white from the off.  No 60 cap loopholes. No playing outside of any sort.  No Free Agency.  

I appreciate players have a short window but Wales does not need to pander to its players.  They are replaceable.  Stick to the rules like everyone else.  If you want to go for more money, then go do that but don't expect to represent wales as well.

Surely by selecting a guy who had never played in Wales or lived in Wales (and who to all intents and purposes, Granny excluded, is English) they had already created the loophole. If you are saying that he should not have been selected in the first place, that is of course your prerogative. However this case is not about keeping a player in Wales as internationals aside he was never there.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 12:08 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I liked Baxter's comments that they were tipped off about how to structure the contract when the negotiations were first held a few years back.

This makes sense for Wales, Exeter and Francis. While I understand that WRU wish to keep the standard of the regions as high as they can, and have more control over player availability/welfare etc, allowing players like Francis who have never played in Wales to remain outside of the country seems an eminently sensible compromise.

Looks to me as if another loophole is being exploited.  Resigning an already signed contract is surely just resigning a new contract.  If you're going to let technicalities like this through you may as well start selecting Webb again as well.  To be honest if the WRU are serious about keeping players at home for test duty then he should now not be selected by Wales.

For me the rules in Wales should have been more black and white from the off.  No 60 cap loopholes. No playing outside of any sort.  No Free Agency.  

I appreciate players have a short window but Wales does not need to pander to its players.  They are replaceable.  Stick to the rules like everyone else.  If you want to go for more money, then go do that but don't expect to represent wales as well.

You don't re-sign a contract that has an extension period. It's the same contract. This is pretty standard.

As for the rest of your point, there's a lot of merit to that but you're basically then asking players to choose Wales over their financial security. That's self defeating. Just ask Harry Robinson and co.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 12:12 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
There is a reason why at club/regional level both New Zealand and Ireland dominate their peers.  Wales should follow suit.  Yes we may lose a few players here and there but they will be replaceable.

There are two crucial facts missing from your analysis of the Irish system:

1. They pay fortunes to players in order to keep them, so there's no monetary advantage in them going
2. They have a huge tax break at the end of their career for tax paid in Ireland, thus incentivising them even more to stay in Ireland.

Plus there's also the issue that Schmidt is on record saying there is no "play outside of Ireland and you won't play for Ireland" explicit policy.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 12:53 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I liked Baxter's comments that they were tipped off about how to structure the contract when the negotiations were first held a few years back.

This makes sense for Wales, Exeter and Francis. While I understand that WRU wish to keep the standard of the regions as high as they can, and have more control over player availability/welfare etc, allowing players like Francis who have never played in Wales to remain outside of the country seems an eminently sensible compromise.

Looks to me as if another loophole is being exploited.  Resigning an already signed contract is surely just resigning a new contract.  If you're going to let technicalities like this through you may as well start selecting Webb again as well.  To be honest if the WRU are serious about keeping players at home for test duty then he should now not be selected by Wales.

For me the rules in Wales should have been more black and white from the off.  No 60 cap loopholes. No playing outside of any sort.  No Free Agency.  

I appreciate players have a short window but Wales does not need to pander to its players.  They are replaceable.  Stick to the rules like everyone else.  If you want to go for more money, then go do that but don't expect to represent wales as well.

You don't re-sign a contract that has an extension period. It's the same contract. This is pretty standard.

As for the rest of your point, there's a lot of merit to that but you're basically then asking players to choose Wales over their financial security. That's self defeating. Just ask Harry Robinson and co.

I am aware it's technically the same contract. The issue here isn't that there is a extension for a defined term. This particular contract has the loophole that the extension period is not stated. Therefore they can keep rolling this contract over unless the player is permanently injured - at which point I'm sure they wouldn't extend the contract under those conditions. I have already stated previously if a player's sole focus in earn the most possible money they are free to leave.

As for the self defeating point. No it's not. Welsh players are already massively compensated for representing wales via appearance and tournament bonuses. It's not like these players are on the bread line. There will always be players who leave the system to secure themselves once they have peaked. New Zealand players have been doing this for decades.

What I am saying is that in order for the game in Wales to stay healthy you cant endorse playing outside of Wales. It diminishes the quality of their domestic tournaments and hurts all welsh players in the long term (See south Africa and Australia as perfect examples of what happens when domestic standards start falling). It could potentially damage the long term viability of the game in wales.

So is my stance a little tough on the individual player - sure. But you cannot deny my view is one taken for the improvement of both domestic and international rugby alike. The last thing we want to see is rolling contracts such as these being given to our promising youngsters and once capped by Wales, no intention of returning to wales in order to maximize income. If that happens it will probably destroy professional rugby in Wales. We are already seeing youngsters being poached at young ages as is. If the WRU don't make a stand on these sort of contracts how long before this practice becomes the norm?

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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 1:00 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
There is a reason why at club/regional level both New Zealand and Ireland dominate their peers.  Wales should follow suit.  Yes we may lose a few players here and there but they will be replaceable.

There are two crucial facts missing from your analysis of the Irish system:

1. They pay fortunes to players in order to keep them, so there's no monetary advantage in them going
2. They have a huge tax break at the end of their career for tax paid in Ireland, thus incentivising them even more to stay in Ireland.

Plus there's also the issue that Schmidt is on record saying there is no "play outside of Ireland and you won't play for Ireland" explicit policy.

1 - simply not true - there are plenty of occasions French club offers have been better (Hence why Sexton left). Even London Irish's offer for Sean O'Brien was substantially larger than the offer that Leinster tabled for him. Also the case for Zebo to Racing.

2 - Everyone is aware of the pension tax breaks. However in some cases this still does not make up the difference of what is being tabled by French clubs.

Also Schmidt's comments are probably more down to the fact they cant legally enforce the rule. However - when was the last time Ireland selected anyone outside of Ireland? Your going back a long way in the history books to answer that one. So the actions of the Irish union do seem to indicate playing outside of Ireland does harm your selection chances.


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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 1:50 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:I am aware it's technically the same contract.  The issue here isn't that there is a extension for a defined term.  This particular contract has the loophole that the extension period is not stated.  

It is. It's to the end of 2021
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 1:56 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:

As for the self defeating point.  No it's not.  Welsh players are already massively compensated for representing wales via appearance and tournament bonuses.  It's not like these players are on the bread line.  There will always be players who leave the system to secure themselves once they have peaked.  New Zealand players have been doing this for decades.  

What I am saying is that in order for the game in Wales to stay healthy you cant endorse playing outside of Wales.  It diminishes the quality of their domestic tournaments and hurts all welsh players in the long term (See south Africa and Australia as perfect examples of what happens when domestic standards start falling).  It could potentially damage the long term viability of the game in wales.  

So is my stance a little tough on the individual player - sure.  But you cannot deny my view is one taken for the improvement of both domestic and international rugby alike.  The last thing we want to see is rolling contracts such as these being given to our promising youngsters and once capped by Wales, no intention of returning to wales in order to maximize income.  If that happens it will probably destroy professional rugby in Wales.  We are already seeing youngsters being poached at young ages as is.  If the WRU don't make a stand on these sort of contracts how long before this practice becomes the norm?

I think that your point is a little confused.

Firstly, the standards in SA and Australia dropped because players left to play rugby elsewhere in the knowledge they were giving up their international careers. The Aussies introduced the 60 cap rule in order to bring some back to playing international rugby, in order to up their international standards.

Secondly, the argument goes that it's ok to let a 60+ cap player leave as it will create a space for a younger player to develop. Think Biggar and Sam Davies. If Biggar stays, Davies doesn't develop. Davies is good enough to play first team rugby as he's learned for long enough from Biggar, but he won't get the chance because Biggar is the better player.

Thirdly, the breadline comment is misplaced. Sure, these guys are well rewarded but they have a very short career and many won't have the ability to earn at those levels post retirement. And, as we are seeing more and more with concussions, that retirement can come at any minute, hence me mentioning Harry Robinson. So why should we not discourage our talent pool from growing by keeping our players relatively worse off? All that happens is the best players will leave anyway.

So I don't think your view results in a better domestic rugby environment.

As for the rolling contract, this scenario won't happen as the norm because it would only apply to those who haven't come through the Welsh system. It's an anomaly.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 1:59 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:I am aware it's technically the same contract.  The issue here isn't that there is a extension for a defined term.  This particular contract has the loophole that the extension period is not stated.  

It is. It's to the end of 2021

Nope - that's just the extension rolling period. By 2021 providing the player and club meet the provisions again it will be extended further again - Basically a permanent rolling contract which is only negated by the provisions inside it not being met. Hence a undefined period length.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:04 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:

1 - simply not true - there are plenty of occasions French club offers have been better (Hence why Sexton left). Even London Irish's offer for Sean O'Brien was substantially larger than the offer that Leinster tabled for him.  Also the case for Zebo to Racing.  

2 - Everyone is aware of the pension tax breaks.  However in some cases this still does not make up the difference of what is being tabled by French clubs.

Also Schmidt's comments are probably more down to the fact they cant legally enforce the rule. However - when was the last time Ireland selected anyone outside of Ireland?  Your going back a long way in the history books to answer that one.  So the actions of the Irish union do seem to indicate playing outside of Ireland does harm your selection chances.  


1. It simply is true, which is why only Zebo is playing outside of Ireland. Sexton left many years ago and now has a comparable salary in Ireland (before tax break) with what he earned in Paris, without the need to actually play much rugby. Look at the IRFU Annual Report to see the eye watering figures spent on the domestic game. It's all in there to see.

2. You'll struggle to find a player whose tax break for 10 years will be greater than what's on offer in France, especially under the new JIFF rules.

It's also a complete nonsense to claim "they cannot legally enforce the rule". Of course they can! International rugby is a select team. It has nothing to do with employment law. As for the last time they selected somebody, it's only Zebo they could select playing outside of Ireland. That's my point. It's only him because they pay everybody else so well and then they get that tax break.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:05 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:I am aware it's technically the same contract.  The issue here isn't that there is a extension for a defined term.  This particular contract has the loophole that the extension period is not stated.  

It is. It's to the end of 2021

Nope - that's just the extension rolling period.  By 2021 providing the player and club meet the provisions again it will be extended further again - Basically a permanent rolling contract which is only negated by the provisions inside it not being met.  Hence a undefined period length.

You wrote: "The issue here isn't that there is a extension for a defined term"

Yet you've just acknowledged that the term is until 2021.

At that stage, it's up to both parties to agree for it to roll over. And it would roll for another defined period length, just like this one's defined period length is until 2021
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:19 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:

As for the self defeating point.  No it's not.  Welsh players are already massively compensated for representing wales via appearance and tournament bonuses.  It's not like these players are on the bread line.  There will always be players who leave the system to secure themselves once they have peaked.  New Zealand players have been doing this for decades.  

What I am saying is that in order for the game in Wales to stay healthy you cant endorse playing outside of Wales.  It diminishes the quality of their domestic tournaments and hurts all welsh players in the long term (See south Africa and Australia as perfect examples of what happens when domestic standards start falling).  It could potentially damage the long term viability of the game in wales.  

So is my stance a little tough on the individual player - sure.  But you cannot deny my view is one taken for the improvement of both domestic and international rugby alike.  The last thing we want to see is rolling contracts such as these being given to our promising youngsters and once capped by Wales, no intention of returning to wales in order to maximize income.  If that happens it will probably destroy professional rugby in Wales.  We are already seeing youngsters being poached at young ages as is.  If the WRU don't make a stand on these sort of contracts how long before this practice becomes the norm?

I think that your point is a little confused.

Firstly, the standards in SA and Australia dropped because players left to play rugby elsewhere in the knowledge they were giving up their international careers. The Aussies introduced the 60 cap rule in order to bring some back to playing international rugby, in order to up their international standards.

Secondly, the argument goes that it's ok to let a 60+ cap player leave as it will create a space for a younger player to develop. Think Biggar and Sam Davies. If Biggar stays, Davies doesn't develop. Davies is good enough to play first team rugby as he's learned for long enough from Biggar, but he won't get the chance because Biggar is the better player.

Thirdly, the breadline comment is misplaced. Sure, these guys are well rewarded but they have a very short career and many won't have the ability to earn at those levels post retirement. And, as we are seeing more and more with concussions, that retirement can come at any minute, hence me mentioning Harry Robinson. So why should we not discourage our talent pool from growing by keeping our players relatively worse off? All that happens is the best players will leave anyway.

So I don't think your view results in a better domestic rugby environment.

As for the rolling contract, this scenario won't happen as the norm because it would only apply to those who haven't come through the Welsh system. It's an anomaly.

"Firstly, the standards in SA and Australia dropped because players left to play rugby elsewhere in the knowledge they were giving up their international careers. The Aussies introduced the 60 cap rule in order to bring some back to playing international rugby, in order to up their international standards."

Very simplistic viewpoint here Phill. Ask any South African or Australian on this. The standards of your domestic drop when not only your first team internationals leave. Its when a wider influx of players go thus weakening the experience within the clubs and league. Its not a simple case of replacing them with youngsters. They still need a level of players to compete against in order to maintain the playing standards. If a youngster is playing against opposition that are also inexperienced - that is when you have problems and its at that point standards drop. South Africa and Australia have seen even their second string and third string professionals depleted. Its actually what currently is happening to New Zealand at the moment which is why they are complaining about this issue. It basically completely destroys their professional setups.


"Secondly, the argument goes that it's ok to let a 60+ cap player leave as it will create a space for a younger player to develop. Think Biggar and Sam Davies. If Biggar stays, Davies doesn't develop. Davies is good enough to play first team rugby as he's learned for long enough from Biggar, but he won't get the chance because Biggar is the better player."

Yes when an experienced player leaves it does give an opportunity to a youngster. That youngster we can only find out about once they get regular game time. In Sam Davies case it was clear he wasn't good enough but only due to how he has performed this last season playing against international 10's within the league. If the standard of fly halves in the league was poor he might have looked like a world beater but that wouldn't have really shown if he was up to international rugby. My point here is simple. Yes you need an element of moving players to give opportunities. But you still need to retain key players and experience in a squad in order for the youngsters to learn.

The reason I'm against the 60 cap rule and other loophole clauses is because it simply isn't fair. Are you really telling me that both Tom Francis & Dan Biggar have more of a right to exploit clauses and continue to play for Wales than someone like Rhys Webb? My personal preference here is don't single people out. Play in Wales represent Wales at international level. If you leave - you don't. Simple really.

Granted they could abolish the rule but I fear that will have a detrimental effect on pro rugby in wales in about 5-10 years.


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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:24 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:

"Firstly, the standards in SA and Australia dropped because players left to play rugby elsewhere in the knowledge they were giving up their international careers. The Aussies introduced the 60 cap rule in order to bring some back to playing international rugby, in order to up their international standards."

Very simplistic viewpoint here Phill.  Ask any South African or Australian on this.  The standards of your domestic drop when not only your first team internationals leave.  Its when a wider influx of players go thus weakening the experience within the clubs and league.  Its not a simple case of replacing them with youngsters.  They still need a level of players to compete against in order to maintain the playing standards.  If a youngster is playing against opposition that are also inexperienced - that is when you have problems and its at that point standards drop.  South Africa and Australia have seen even their second string and third string professionals depleted.  Its actually what currently is happening to New Zealand at the moment which is why they are complaining about this issue. It basically completely destroys their professional setups.  
 

You've misread. I've bolded the bit that you misread. I know full well what happens to domestic standards with a player drain as that is the reason for the present 60 cap ruling - to prevent it happening again in Wales. I wrote that the introduced the 60 cap rule to "up their international standards" - NOT domestic standards.

You went on to describe domestic standards.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:27 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
"Secondly, the argument goes that it's ok to let a 60+ cap player leave as it will create a space for a younger player to develop. Think Biggar and Sam Davies. If Biggar stays, Davies doesn't develop. Davies is good enough to play first team rugby as he's learned for long enough from Biggar, but he won't get the chance because Biggar is the better player."

Yes when an experienced player leaves it does give an opportunity to a youngster.  That youngster we can only find out about once they get regular game time.  In Sam Davies case it was clear he wasn't good enough but only due to how he has performed this last season playing against international 10's within the league.  If the standard of fly halves in the league was poor he might have looked like a world beater but that wouldn't have really shown if he was up to international rugby.  My point here is simple.  Yes you need an element of moving players to give opportunities.  But you still need to retain key players and experience in a squad in order for the youngsters to learn.

The reason I'm against the 60 cap rule and other loophole clauses is because it simply isn't fair.  Are you really telling me that both Tom Francis & Dan Biggar have more of a right to exploit clauses and continue to play for Wales than someone like Rhys Webb?  My personal preference here is don't single people out.  Play in Wales represent Wales at international level.  If you leave - you don't. Simple really.

Granted they could abolish the rule but I fear that will have a detrimental effect on pro rugby in wales in about 5-10 years.
 

I think that you're being over simplistic in your analysis of Davies. This is his first season under Sherratt and it's a season where the Ospreys have had serious midfield injury issues. They also lack a carrying pack, so Davies is left to play a kicking game that he's not comfortable with. None of that makes him clearly "not good enough".

Webb had no clause to exploit. All players are equally able to exploit the clauses available to them. There is no segregation or double standard at play.

What you're encouraging by your opinion is the effect on the domestic game that you've already noted happened in South Africa and Australia. In effect, your own stated opinion will cause what you don't want to happen.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:32 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:

1 - simply not true - there are plenty of occasions French club offers have been better (Hence why Sexton left). Even London Irish's offer for Sean O'Brien was substantially larger than the offer that Leinster tabled for him.  Also the case for Zebo to Racing.  

2 - Everyone is aware of the pension tax breaks.  However in some cases this still does not make up the difference of what is being tabled by French clubs.

Also Schmidt's comments are probably more down to the fact they cant legally enforce the rule. However - when was the last time Ireland selected anyone outside of Ireland?  Your going back a long way in the history books to answer that one.  So the actions of the Irish union do seem to indicate playing outside of Ireland does harm your selection chances.  


1. It simply is true, which is why only Zebo is playing outside of Ireland. Sexton left many years ago and now has a comparable salary in Ireland (before tax break) with what he earned in Paris, without the need to actually play much rugby. Look at the IRFU Annual Report to see the eye watering figures spent on the domestic game. It's all in there to see.

2. You'll struggle to find a player whose tax break for 10 years will be greater than what's on offer in France, especially under the new JIFF rules.

It's also a complete nonsense to claim "they cannot legally enforce the rule". Of course they can! International rugby is a select team. It has nothing to do with employment law. As for the last time they selected somebody, it's only Zebo they could select playing outside of Ireland. That's my point. It's only him because they pay everybody else so well and then they get that tax break.

1. Yes I am aware of the money they spend to retain players. They don't however match French offers. The IRFU have even made statements to this effect in the past. They offer the best possible packages they can afford. I think you are seriously underestimating the amount of money flying around in France at the moment Phil. I'm not saying they don't get close to the offers but Ireland as a Union have less commercial/sales revenue than Wales. Its not like they are loaded Phil. The reason they retain as many players as they do is because when a player works out his base salary contract, including extra bonuses for international duty. They do end up better off. But that's only because of the international appearance and bonus scheme (which is not a given) and that would be paid no matter where they are located (assuming Ireland didn't only select from Ireland which they do despite your comments on the matter).

2. You do understand that an Irish player who leaves still gets his tax breaks in Ireland when he returns right after he has retired? Sean O'Brien will still be able to get his tax breaks on the 10+ years service despite him taking an offer abroad. Zebo is the same. They don't automatically lose their contributions by leaving the country. It just freezes it until they return.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:40 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
1.  Yes I am aware of the money they spend to retain players.  They don't however match French offers.  The IRFU have even made statements to this effect in the past.  They offer the best possible packages they can afford.  I think you are seriously underestimating the amount of money flying around in France at the moment Phil. I'm not saying they don't get close to the offers but Ireland as a Union have less commercial/sales revenue than Wales.  Its not like they are loaded Phil.  The reason they retain as many players as they do is because when a player works out his base salary contract, including extra bonuses for international duty.  They do end up better off.  But that's only because of the international appearance and bonus scheme (which is not a given) and that would be paid no matter where they are located (assuming Ireland didn't only select from Ireland which they do despite your comments on the matter).

2.  You do understand that an Irish player who leaves still gets his tax breaks in Ireland when he returns right after he has retired?  Sean O'Brien will still be able to get his tax breaks on the 10+ years service despite him taking an offer abroad.  Zebo is the same.  They don't automatically lose their contributions by leaving the country.  It just freezes it until they return.  

It is within the interests of the IRFU to make those statements yet they have lost just one player to France and that player has always been open in saying he wished to play in France. The proof is in the pudding.

The French salary cap is just over €10.5m and it's obvious that Leinster will be pushing that limit, before tax breaks. The average Top14 salary bill was €9.2m in season 16/17 (page 55 DNACG report). Leinster and Munster will match that. Ulster will be a little short of it.

The IRFU, if you review the respective Annual Reports, has significantly more disposable income than does the WRU. It spends comfortably €7m+ a year more on its professional game than does the WRU. The IRFU also pays very little in international appearance fees and bonuses: https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/international-rugby/revealed-the-bonus-payment-irish-players-will-receive-if-they-retain-the-grand-slam-37739696.html less than Wales.

2. Yes, I know. They get to claim agains their 10 best years which, typically, will be the last 10 years of their working life in Ireland.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:40 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
"Secondly, the argument goes that it's ok to let a 60+ cap player leave as it will create a space for a younger player to develop. Think Biggar and Sam Davies. If Biggar stays, Davies doesn't develop. Davies is good enough to play first team rugby as he's learned for long enough from Biggar, but he won't get the chance because Biggar is the better player."

Yes when an experienced player leaves it does give an opportunity to a youngster.  That youngster we can only find out about once they get regular game time.  In Sam Davies case it was clear he wasn't good enough but only due to how he has performed this last season playing against international 10's within the league.  If the standard of fly halves in the league was poor he might have looked like a world beater but that wouldn't have really shown if he was up to international rugby.  My point here is simple.  Yes you need an element of moving players to give opportunities.  But you still need to retain key players and experience in a squad in order for the youngsters to learn.

The reason I'm against the 60 cap rule and other loophole clauses is because it simply isn't fair.  Are you really telling me that both Tom Francis & Dan Biggar have more of a right to exploit clauses and continue to play for Wales than someone like Rhys Webb?  My personal preference here is don't single people out.  Play in Wales represent Wales at international level.  If you leave - you don't. Simple really.

Granted they could abolish the rule but I fear that will have a detrimental effect on pro rugby in wales in about 5-10 years.
 

I think that you're being over simplistic in your analysis of Davies. This is his first season under Sherratt and it's a season where the Ospreys have had serious midfield injury issues. They also lack a carrying pack, so Davies is left to play a kicking game that he's not comfortable with. None of that makes him clearly "not good enough".

Webb had no clause to exploit. All players are equally able to exploit the clauses available to them. There is no segregation or double standard at play.

What you're encouraging by your opinion is the effect on the domestic game that you've already noted happened in South Africa and Australia. In effect, your own stated opinion will cause what you don't want to happen.

Not at all. I've already stated that wales shouldn't select anyone playing abroad regardless caps or contract loopholes. Enough fringe players will leave wales to naturally boost their incomes in order to create pathways for the next generation of youngsters. It will however keep the domestic competition strong which in turn will produce us with better internationals. Sure occasionally we will lose a household name but they are replaceable.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:41 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:

Not at all.  I've already stated that wales shouldn't select anyone playing abroad regardless caps or contract loopholes.  Enough fringe players will leave wales to naturally boost their incomes in order to create pathways for the next generation of youngsters.  It will however keep the domestic competition strong which in turn will produce us with better internationals.  Sure occasionally we will lose a household name but they are replaceable.

Not selecting those players will create the situation seen in Australia and South African that you bemoaned!

You've obviously forgotten the years when PRW ran a £3.5m salary cap because of the antics of Roger Lewis. It didn't produce us better internationals, by the way.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:50 pm

PhilBB wrote:The IRFU, if you review the respective Annual Reports, has significantly more disposable income than does the WRU. It spends comfortably €7m+ a year more on its professional game than does the WRU. The IRFU also pays very little in international appearance fees and bonuses: https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/international-rugby/revealed-the-bonus-payment-irish-players-will-receive-if-they-retain-the-grand-slam-37739696.html less than Wales.

Phil, my statement was that the IRFU generates less Revenue/Sales than the WRU. Unless they publish another set of accounts I'm unaware of that has been the case over the last 10 years (minus the occasional year where the IRFU did outperform the WRU).

Yes they do fund more of their Revenue to the Pro Teams under their current structures. The WRU choose to spend a fair bit on grassroots and the semi pro community level. I'm not saying its a sensible investment. But your statement that the IRFU is somehow wealthier than the WRU is simply not the case based on actual sales numbers.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:54 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:

Not at all.  I've already stated that wales shouldn't select anyone playing abroad regardless caps or contract loopholes.  Enough fringe players will leave wales to naturally boost their incomes in order to create pathways for the next generation of youngsters.  It will however keep the domestic competition strong which in turn will produce us with better internationals.  Sure occasionally we will lose a household name but they are replaceable.

Not selecting those players will create the situation seen in Australia and South African that you bemoaned!

You've obviously forgotten the years when PRW ran a £3.5m salary cap because of the antics of Roger Lewis. It didn't produce us better internationals, by the way.

Last time I check Wales has never had a "Stay at home policy" - what your stating above was a period where we did have current internationals leave who continued to play for wales so nothing like what I am proposing.

As for the it didn't produce better internationals comment last time I checked we were ranked 2nd in the World. We never hit those heights prior to the introduction of regional rugby.


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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:55 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:

Not at all.  I've already stated that wales shouldn't select anyone playing abroad regardless caps or contract loopholes.  Enough fringe players will leave wales to naturally boost their incomes in order to create pathways for the next generation of youngsters.  It will however keep the domestic competition strong which in turn will produce us with better internationals.  Sure occasionally we will lose a household name but they are replaceable.

Which if it is your opinion is fine. I would argue that with just 4 pro teams (assuming we include the Dragons Run) you would then have to outlaw NWQ players in key positions to ensure there is not a repeat of the situation a few years ago where it seemed that all the regions first choice No 8 was NWQ.

It would also mean that capping of people like Francis would have to wait until they signed their first pro contracts in Wales. That Gatland felt he needed to look outside of the regions to bring in a Yorkshire man with a dodgy barnet does suggest that the regional pathway does not always provide sufficient depth of quality in specialist positions.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:00 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:


Phil, my statement was that the IRFU generates less Revenue/Sales than the WRU.  Unless they publish another set of accounts I'm unaware of that has been the case over the last 10 years (minus the occasional year where the IRFU did outperform the WRU).

Yes they do fund more of their Revenue to the Pro Teams under their current structures.  The WRU choose to spend a fair bit on grassroots and the semi pro community level.  I'm not saying its a sensible investment.  But your statement that the IRFU is somehow wealthier than the WRU is simply not the case based on actual sales numbers.

Revenue is irrelevant. What is relevant is disposable income / gross profit. There's no point turning over £100m if it costs you £101m to do so, is there? You have no income to reinvest.

Because of their deal with the FAI, the IRFU's costs on running the Aviva are a fraction of the costs of the PS to the WRU. That's why the IRFU has more money to spend. That's why revenue is irrelevant here.

The IRFU spends as much on the grassroots as does the WRU.

Honestly, sales numbers are irrelevant. Income that can be spent is what counts. And the IRFU have more disposable income.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:02 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:

Last time I check Wales has never had a "Stay at home policy" - what your stating above was a period where we did have current internationals leave who continued to play for wales so nothing like what I am proposing.

As for the it didn't produce better internationals comment last time I checked we were ranked 2nd in the World.  We never hit those heights prior to the introduction of regional rugby.

You're missing the point. If you have a situation whereby its only "stay in Wales to play for Wales" there is insufficient income in the game in Wales to keep its best players, so we'll return to where we were under Roger Lewis.

Your timescale is all over the place judging by that second period. For the third time, I'm referencing the period under Lewis.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:04 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Which if it is your opinion is fine. I would argue that with just 4 pro teams (assuming we include the Dragons Run) you would then have to outlaw NWQ players in key positions to ensure there is not a repeat of the situation a few years ago where it seemed that all the regions first choice No 8 was NWQ.

It would also mean that capping of people like Francis would have to wait until they signed their first pro contracts in Wales. That Gatland felt he needed to look outside of the regions to bring in a Yorkshire man with a dodgy barnet does suggest that the regional pathway does not always provide sufficient depth of quality in specialist positions.

Exactly. Wales has a rugby "playing" population of, basically, 2 million people (although the north does produce the odd player). There's no way such a small population base can wholly supply an international team that wishes to be competitive.

Also, the idea of not being able to pick a Welsh qualified player simply because he's halfway through a contract with an English club is ludicrous.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:07 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:

Not at all.  I've already stated that wales shouldn't select anyone playing abroad regardless caps or contract loopholes.  Enough fringe players will leave wales to naturally boost their incomes in order to create pathways for the next generation of youngsters.  It will however keep the domestic competition strong which in turn will produce us with better internationals.  Sure occasionally we will lose a household name but they are replaceable.

Which if it is your opinion is fine. I would argue that with just 4 pro teams (assuming we include the Dragons Run) you would then have to outlaw NWQ players in key positions to ensure there is not a repeat of the situation a few years ago where it seemed that all the regions first choice No 8 was NWQ.

It would also mean that capping of people like Francis would have to wait until they signed their first pro contracts in Wales. That Gatland felt he needed to look outside of the regions to bring in a Yorkshire man with a dodgy barnet does suggest that the regional pathway does not always provide sufficient depth of quality in specialist positions.

No doubt about that. NWQ would have to completely go. To be fair the Regions have been a shambles for player development. They have constantly thought short term success. Realistically if the WRU would introduce this they probably would have to buyout the regional owners to run the teams with long term player development in mind. But at this point I doubt a stay at home policy let alone half the other things you mentioned being monitored properly they are unlikely to ever introduce this policy.

But I maintain if you don't introduce the policy of selecting stay at home players then you may as well scrap this pretence which seems to exclude some but not others. It's not fair. So my take on it either go the full hog or scrap the whole thing.

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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:09 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Exactly. Wales has a rugby "playing" population of, basically, 2 million people (although the north does produce the odd player). There's no way such a small population base can wholly supply an international team that wishes to be competitive.

What are you talking about? It's not stopped New Zealand and they have been top of the world for over a decade.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:12 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
No doubt about that.  NWQ would have to completely go.  To be fair the Regions have been a shambles for player development.  They have constantly thought short term success.  Realistically if the WRU would introduce this they probably would have to buyout the regional owners to run the teams with long term player development in mind.  But at this point I doubt a stay at home policy let alone half the other things you mentioned being monitored properly they are unlikely to ever introduce this policy.

But I maintain if you don't introduce the policy of selecting stay at home players then you may as well scrap this pretence which seems to exclude some but not others.  It's not fair.  So my take on it either go the full hog or scrap the whole thing.

Losing nWq would be a horrendous backwards step. The osmosis gained from those players is vital to the rest of the squad members and prevents Wales from being an insular cesspit of inward thinking.

As for the "Regions being a shambles" - where do you think the players came from to be ranked 2nd in the World? The facts completely disprove your analysis.

Each of the four teams has strict investment and performance targets to meet under the terms of the new agreement with regards to Academies and player development. Each spends hundreds of thousands of pounds on that level of rugby. It is simply untrue to claim there has been a thought pattern of "short term success". Again, the facts disprove it.

And of course the 60 cap rule is fair. It rewards those who have committed to Wales for a long period of time. It's the definition of fair.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:13 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Exactly. Wales has a rugby "playing" population of, basically, 2 million people (although the north does produce the odd player). There's no way such a small population base can wholly supply an international team that wishes to be competitive.

What are you talking about? It's not stopped New Zealand and they have been top of the world for over a decade.

You mean the New Zealand that is propped up by players of Island heritage? Come on, mate, you know that you're on to a loser with that kind of comment.
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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:26 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Exactly. Wales has a rugby "playing" population of, basically, 2 million people (although the north does produce the odd player). There's no way such a small population base can wholly supply an international team that wishes to be competitive.

What are you talking about? It's not stopped New Zealand and they have been top of the world for over a decade.

You mean the New Zealand that is propped up by players of Island heritage? Come on, mate, you know that you're on to a loser with that kind of comment.

Meanwhile England with their 58 million population are doing the same thing except they are using Tier 1 players to qualify for England. Last time I checked every tier 1 nation is doing it.

What's your point exactly?


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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:28 pm

PhilBB wrote:

Revenue is irrelevant.

In fairness you lost all credibility after this comment.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:29 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Exactly. Wales has a rugby "playing" population of, basically, 2 million people (although the north does produce the odd player). There's no way such a small population base can wholly supply an international team that wishes to be competitive.

What are you talking about? It's not stopped New Zealand and they have been top of the world for over a decade.

You mean the New Zealand that is propped up by players of Island heritage? Come on, mate, you know that you're on to a loser with that kind of comment.

Meanwhile England with their 58 million population are doing the same thing except they are using Tier 1 players to qualify for England.  Last time I checked every tier 1 nation is doing it.

What's your point exactly?


This: "Wales has a rugby "playing" population of, basically, 2 million people (although the north does produce the odd player). There's no way such a small population base can wholly supply an international team that wishes to be competitive". Meaning that the player pathway has to be added to by bringing in Welsh qualified players who are playing outside of Wales. You know? The ones you said that you'd not allow.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:31 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:

Revenue is irrelevant.

In fairness you lost all credibility after this comment.

In which case you don't understand business / accounting / economics.

If your raw materials are £2 and you sell your product for £1, there's no point boasting that your business turns over more than the guy who buys his raw materials for £0.50 and sells his product for £0.90.

He has more disposable income to spend than you do.

I hope that makes the point even clearer for you. Remember the old saying? Turnover is vanity. Profit is sanity.

So, again, I urge you to look at the respective annual reports in order to grasp that example more fully so that you can see why the IRFU has more disposable income.
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