The Welsh Flyhalf debate

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Who should be flyhalf for wales

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 09 Feb 2019, 9:01 am

First topic message reminder :

I'll tell you all a story, 'tis a strange and a weird tale:
Of a factory in my valley, not fed by road or rail.
It's built beneath the mountain, beneath the coal and clay.
It's where we make the outside-halves, that'll play for Wales one day.



Since The Autumn internationals 2017 Wales have won played 17 tests lost 4. Five flyhalves have taken the field starting or from the bench.

Dan Biggar will be up to seven starts when he takes the field against Italy this afternoon, Gareth Anscombe has started six, Rhys Patchell four and Rhys Priestland started against Georgia in November 2017. There is also young Jarrod Evans in the mix, who received his first cap in the Doddie Weir Cup last Autumn

Not one of those fly halves has begun three consecutive Tests in that period.

Competition for the 10 shirt has always been immense in Wales, there has always been a contentious debate over who is the right man to guide Wales. The debate rumbles on.

.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 12:06 pm

Apparently Bath are looking at offering a 500K a year contract if project reset goes jubblies up.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 12:39 pm

Interesting.

Saw this yesterday from ospreys website

http://www.ospreysrugby.com/News/Article/54233

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 1:31 pm

The regions will be funded to the tune of their Welsh players, both in the academies and the first team.

Dragons and Blues only have one NDC player each, Hallam Amos and Gareth Anscombe, it could seriously effect their funding.

Gareth Anscombe is currently on 350K, if Bath rock up with 500K, do you honestly think Blues would match it ?

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 1:36 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/46765786

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 6:09 pm

If Anscombe doesn't want an International career, he'd probably go with a Bath offer. But I'd assume that should be the condition. If players want the serious money...go for it. But their place should then be taken by a player helping to sustain professional rugby in Wales itself.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 6:32 pm

SecretFly wrote:If Anscombe doesn't want an International career, he'd probably go with a Bath offer.  But I'd assume that should be the condition.  If players want the serious money...go for it.  But their place should then be taken by a player helping to sustain professional rugby in Wales itself.

That’s the rule so far as I can understand it. Going abroad after 60 caps is ok but not before

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 6:35 pm

500k for someone who should be third choice (a good one at that) is a bit ridiculous. I don’t feel Blues would be that badly effected with Evans coming through at 10, but I worry that Priestland will come back and clog up a place with more mediocrity.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 8:17 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:500k for someone who should be third choice (a good one at that) is a bit ridiculous. I don’t feel Blues would be that badly effected with Evans coming through at 10, but I worry that Priestland will come back and clog up a place with more mediocrity.

Evans I can see priestland has less chance than me

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Post by Eejit on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 8:40 pm

I’ve always liked Rhys Patchell and still get a bit nervous when he’s on the Scarlets teamsheet vs Glasgow. He seems capable of anything and I really hope he gets a good run in a Wales jersey at some stage.

That said, having Biggar coming off the bench and pinging balls behind tired defences looks to be working.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 3:21 am

Eejit wrote:I’ve always liked Rhys Patchell and still get a bit nervous when he’s on the Scarlets teamsheet vs Glasgow. He seems capable of anything and I really hope he gets a good run in a Wales jersey at some stage.

That said, having Biggar coming off the bench and pinging balls behind tired defences looks to be working.

Patchell and Evans both in recovery from recent injuries so not really up to speed or gametime at the moment, both seem to have hardly played all season.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 4:11 am

Andy Bull for The Guardian wrote:In the run-up to the 2011 World Cup, the All Blacks held a series of “What if?” meetings. “We talked about worst-case scenarios,” Jerome Kaino remembered, “and Kieran Read said: ‘The worst would be if Dan Carter and Richie McCaw get injured.’” The head coach, Graham Henry, didn’t really think that would happen – “surely not possible” he told himself – but he wanted to plan for it anyway. After New Zealand were knocked out by France in 2007, Henry had spent a lot of time thinking about what went wrong. He decided his team had been caught short when everything took a turn for the worse. So he became a doomsday prepper.

In their 2007 quarter-final in Cardiff, the All Blacks were thrown by the referee, yes, who hardly gave a decision their way, but by some critical injuries, too. Carter went off after 56 minutes, his replacement, Nick Evans, after 71. Henry felt that, without either of their two first‑choice fly-halves, his team had become like “a possum in the headlights”. So for 2011, Henry’s philosophy was to expect the unexpected. He wanted his coaches and players to feel ready for anything. “Say McCaw breaks his leg in the first minute of the final, what happens then?” Henry said. “How do you handle that?”



In the end, McCaw didn’t break his leg but his foot, and he played on anyway. Carter, who tore a tendon in his thigh while he was practising his kicking, wasn’t so lucky. When he dropped out of the tournament, Henry moved Carter’s understudy Colin Slade into the first team and brought his first reserve Aaron Cruden into the squad. Then, when Slade tore a muscle in his groin playing against Argentina, Henry promoted Cruden into the first team and called up Stephen Donald. And when Cruden twisted his knee half an hour into the final, Donald came on and eventually won the game, 8-7 against France.



Henry doesn’t claim he had all this exactly mapped out but all that contingency planning meant they were in the best position to cope with this Job’s lot of bad luck. Henry was criticised for the way he had rotated his squad in 2009 and 2010 but the policy meant that by the end of 2011 he had four fly-halves who all had experience playing Test rugby. Donald already had 23 caps. “If he hadn’t had that All Black experience, he wouldn’t have been able to do what he did,” Henry said later. “It didn’t make it easy but thank God we had a strategy for it.”

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 28 Feb 2019, 8:20 am

maestegmafia wrote:
SecretFly wrote:If Anscombe doesn't want an International career, he'd probably go with a Bath offer.  But I'd assume that should be the condition.  If players want the serious money...go for it.  But their place should then be taken by a player helping to sustain professional rugby in Wales itself.

That’s the rule so far as I can understand it. Going abroad after 60 caps is ok but not before

The irony of complaining about a NZ under 20s player "going abroad" not withstanding one thing to remember is that post world cup Wales will have a new coach and potentially a new "law". I doubt very much that Gatland will overlook him for the world cup if he remains first/second choice especially as he seems determined to build the side around him currently.

Biggar is clearly trying very hard to make the case for him to go back to being number one, but they keep winning with Anscombe. The others will need to make a case in the Regional game before they have a chance of dislodging those two, especially if Wales complete the slam.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 11:02 am

Anyone's thoughts changed on this?

It seems to me that Anscombe has really proved a point including his goal kicking.

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 1:08 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Anyone's thoughts changed on this?

It seems to me that Anscombe has really proved a point including his goal kicking.


Has he proved a point at 10 though? I'd say there's still question marks about him at 10 at this level. And his best performance, and man of the match, was against Ireland where he played nearly the whole game at fullback.
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 1:19 pm

Anscombe had a good Six Nations. How much of it was all him and how much of it was Welsh players in unison putting in one seismic shift?
Who did Wales rush to when I think it was against Scotland? A game supposedly then living on the edge and Biggar appears. When dominant it's easish to look slick.

I don't know but if I was a Welsh fan and they were set to play New Zealand in their pomp, I'd choose the wild lad Biggar.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 3:31 am

Anscombe had a great 6 Nations and couldn’t have done more than what was asked of him. We’re all pretty grateful for the poaching job on that one. Is he our best fly-half? Right now I don’t think so and nor do I think he ever has been. Biggar is still No.1 and Patchell looks like he could have the most potential out of all of them. Why do kickers get MOTM awards for slotting kicks?

Jarrod Evans is already looking like a seasoned pro at Blues and is capable of keeping Anscombe out of the 10 jersey as he has done already since picking up a contract. The next season or two we’ll see where he fits in unless he breaks in before then.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 3:34 am

The Oracle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:Anyone's thoughts changed on this?

It seems to me that Anscombe has really proved a point including his goal kicking.


Has he proved a point at 10 though?  I'd say there's still question marks about him at 10 at this level.  And his best performance, and man of the match, was against Ireland where he played nearly the whole game at fullback.  

Danny Wilson often shifted him to fullback and started Jarrod Evans at fly-half. At Chiefs it was Cruden that usurped him for that jersey. It’s food for thought but either way, Anscombe is a good 10 and 15.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 8:27 am

Anyone think that when Pivac is in charge he will go with Patchell, a player he is very familiar with from Scarlets ?

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 10:44 am

It's interesting what Edward's said in relation to his future plans. He said he'd go where he gets a contract but the only place he's ruling out is Wales (i.e. Staying). Now that's all understandable, he's done his time and is looking for new horizons... but he related that comment to Pivac. He said Pivac wants to take Wales in a different direction now.

And I wondered...... is this REALLY the time to completely rebuild or refocus the Welsh blueprint? Breaking something that is running smoothly? Reminds me of McIlroy who when in the youthful form of his life goes and changes his golf club maker, and pretty much has been slow walking back to the pinnacle since. Pivac should be careful

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 10:51 am

SecretFly wrote:It's interesting what Edward's said in relation to his future plans.  He said he'd go where he gets a contract but the only place he's ruling out is Wales (i.e. Staying).  Now that's all understandable, he's done his time and is looking for new horizons... but he related that comment to Pivac.  He said Pivac wants to take Wales in a different direction now.

And I wondered...... is this REALLY the time to completely rebuild or refocus the Welsh blueprint?  Breaking something that is running smoothly?  Reminds me of McIlroy who when in the youthful form of his life goes and changes his golf club maker, and pretty much has been slow walking back to the pinnacle since.  Pivac should be careful

The quote I read from Pivac stated that Edwards was the first person Pivac spoke to. So that sounded like he was keen to keep Edwards. But Edwards had indicated he had agreed to join Wigan and so other people were courted. So I don’t think it was necessarily Pivac wanting to go in a different direction. Why speak to Edwards first out of all of the coaches in the world? Sounds to me like the Wigan thing is falling through a bit and Edwards is getting a bit flustered.
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 11:15 am

Well, I was just communicating what I'd read that Edwards had said. I assume he knows that Pivac can read and might challenge his understanding of the conversation that took place between them.

Anyway..... we'll take Edwards.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 11:55 am

I see too that Anscombe is threatening that he might go to play rugby in England? Is he saying: "and if I do, you better keep picking me and other players who might leave for Wales duty or you'll probably regret it"...... or is he saying: " if I go, thanks for the exposure Wales International that upped my personal asking price. Cheers" ?
I wonder which he's hinting at.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 12:01 pm

I think he’s hinting that he wants a pay rise. If he gets it he stays, if not he goes regardless of the effect on international selection. That’s what I reckon.
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 12:09 pm

I'm sure that's it Oracle. But if I were the WRU I remind him his worth went up playing with Wales International not with his region.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 12:19 pm

SecretFly wrote:I'm sure that's it Oracle.  But if I were the WRU I remind him his worth went up playing with Wales International not with his region.

Very true. Lots of players have left when ‘on a high’ and have been a flop. He’s in a comfortable environment that is getting the best out of him, both at club and international, and he risks going to a new and not so comfortable environment, with no international distractions from the daily grind. Might end up being a flop himself! And that’s a slippery slope down the ranks.
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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 12:20 pm

SecretFly wrote:I see too that Anscombe is threatening that he might go to play rugby in England?  Is he saying: "and if I do, you better keep picking me and other players who might leave for Wales duty or you'll probably regret it"...... or is he saying:  " if I go, thanks for the exposure Wales International that upped my personal asking price.  Cheers" ?
I wonder which he's hinting at.

It might have something to do with the 500K per year salary Bath are supposed to be offering him. Rolling Eyes

He might just be using the current situation as an excuse for ££££££££££'s.

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 12:26 pm

Anscombe is a money grabbing mercenary.

He'll go.
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 12:27 pm

Yeah Lord. But my whole point is that he has the option of leaving for Bath now and pick up a hike but lose his best window for self advancement to date(International) ------- or stay in Wales for a few more seasons and depending on what Wales get up to.... he might be worth a lot more then. The Gamble.
I'm sure it is like you and Oracle say though, talking big to up his salary at home. But I'd still love calling his bluff in an office somewhere, if only for a few seconds to see how resolute he stay: "You're being offered more in England. Away with you. Thanks for your service"

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 12:51 pm

The first thing I thought when I heard Josh Adams was signing for the Blues (apart from it being good for Welsh rugby) was that he’s in the shop window and attracting glances because everything is going well for him NOW. At Worcester he’s obviously in a good place, with good coaching, he’s probably very comfortable, knows everyone from the S&C and physio guys to the canteen staff to the head of the supporters groups, etc. So that has help to create a player in form and confident and this shines through on the pitch for Wales. The risk is that he goes into a new environment cold (less cold because he’ll know a few guys from Wales) but that change of environment might affect performance. We’ve seen it so often with guys going the other way out of Wales - I think the last time we discussed it we could only name a couple of players who’d left and actually improved (Stephen Jones to France, Gareth Thomas to France, Halpenny was solid but not spectacular) - the rest flopped more or less, and to the point of non selection at international level for some.

It’s a risk for Anscombe. Could end up being a short term wages boost over what would have been more money and a longer career at the top in Wales. Impossible for him to know now though so I guess he’s after the best of both worlds (stay in Wales with a Blues and Wales salary that eclipses that offered by Bath).
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