WQ players in England (and elsewhere)

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:34 pm

I recently did one of these for South African players after being astonished at the amount of quality Saffa's in every team in every top-flight league. The number of our guys in England could be on the rise again so I'm going to comprise a list as best as I can. If I've missed a few then please comment. I'm also aware that some of these guys have been in EP academies since age 18.

Leicester Tigers;
Joe Thomas (centre), Tommy Reffell (back-row), Sam Costelow (fly-half), Jonah Holmes (wing/full-back).

Worcester Warriors:
Ashley Beck (centre), Sam Lewis (back-row).

Bristol Bears:
Ioan Lloyd (fly-half), Dan Thomas (back-row), Ryan Edwards (wing), Mat Protheroe (fly-half), potentially welsh Calum Sheedy (fly-half), Nicky Thomas (prop).

Saracens: Liam Williams (wing/full-back), Rhys Carre (prop), Sam Wainwright (prop).

Exeter: Tomas Francis (prop), Phil Dollman (full-back), WQ Tom Price (lock).

Gloucester: Owen Williams (fly-half), Louis Rees-Zammit (wing).

Sale Sharks: Willgriff John (prop), Joe Jones (prop).

Northampton Saints: Dan Biggar (fly-half).

Bath: Jamie Roberts (centre), Taulupe Faletau (No.8), Aled Brew (wing), Rhys Priestland (fly-half).

Wasps: Thomas Young (back-row).

Nottingham: Llewelyn Jones (lock).


France - Vannes: Carwyn Jones (lock).

Japan - Toyota Verblitz: Dom Day (lock).


So it's a worrying time given the state of our teams. We only have 4; Scarlets play in the challenge cup and are our best team but they are not as good as Sarries, Exeter or Leinster right now. If the WRU is to get an injection of cash then could it be used to strengthen the regions? A number of these players could be targeted to strengthen the overall squad depth of each team, which is probably where we are the most lacking. I would welcome more NWQ players into the fray, but I'm unable to tell who is available and willing to join any of our teams.

What do you think?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:29 pm

I just added in another one, I noticed that he's playing for Glaws today.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:04 pm

There are probably quite a few more in EP with a Welsh grandparent. After all 12 months ago (ish) no-one knew Jonah Holmes was Welsh qualified.

Not sure we have any more than those you mention at Leicester, although it should be noted that until he is capped or moves back to Wales Reffell is also EQP Smile

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:20 pm

Yeah that's probably true but I'm not sure who.

Reffell might be given a cap to save losing him. The other youngsters that look really good and should be a priority are Lloyd, Rees-Zammit, Carre. Older and more experienced players that could make a positive difference to a Welsh team are John, Francis, Faletau, Priestland, Roberts, Williams. I completely forgot about Webb at Toulon, him too.

If Ospreys lose Tips they could bring in Young. If they can't afford him then perhaps Lewis or Thomas will be cheap. They might choose not to, Cracknell looks good at 6 and 7. Cross doesn't look that good.

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Post by Stone Motif on Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:44 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah that's probably true but I'm not sure who.

Reffell might be given a cap to save losing him. The other youngsters that look really good and should be a priority are Lloyd, Rees-Zammit, Carre. Older and more experienced players that could make a positive difference to a Welsh team are John, Francis, Faletau, Priestland, Roberts, Williams. I completely forgot about Webb at Toulon, him too.

If Ospreys lose Tips they could bring in Young. If they can't afford him then perhaps Lewis or Thomas will be cheap. They might choose not to, Cracknell looks good at 6 and 7. Cross doesn't look that good.

No value in any region signing the likes of Francis or Faletau, or fighting to keep a Tipuric
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Post by LondonTiger on Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:48 pm

Lloyd Evans who played at 10 for Glaws today must have some Welsh blood.

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:26 am

LondonTiger wrote:Lloyd Evans who played at 10 for Glaws today must have some Welsh blood.

You might well say that Tom O'Flaherty of Exeter must have Irish blood but by all accounts doesn't - or not in last two generations anyway.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:29 am

Not sure about Lloyd but I guess he could have the grandparent at least.

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:34 am

There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:37 am

Pot Hale wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Lloyd Evans who played at 10 for Glaws today must have some Welsh blood.

You might well say that Tom O'Flaherty of Exeter must have Irish blood but by all accounts doesn't - or not in last two generations anyway.

True, but it was due to the welshness of both forename and surname. Born in Gloucester so just maybe, or maybe not Very Happy

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:39 am

I alluded to Webb in the comments actually. The only Welsh player left in the Top14 as far as I know. Would be a good addition to any region as most would have a good back-up to him.

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:45 am

Must have skimmed that. I'd be amazed if there aren't a few in the ProD2.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:00 am

miaow wrote:There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

It's a massive chunk of their budget and they don't even get to play him in the Champions Cup when they need him most. Wonderful player but economic reality has spoken.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:15 am

Tips is probably next in line to captain the Ospreys, I think he's a valuable player for them. I see the worth in him moving on as well; there is no shortage of 7's around Wales and the money could be spent on halfback recruitment.

I don't get this "internationals aren't worth it because they miss a chunk of the season" chat either. Wasn't it Phil who started all that? We'd have no internationals left if that was the case. In the Pro14 most teams have an abundance of international players, they seem to do alright on international weekends. Leinster win it almost every year through having a large chunk of the Ireland team.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:17 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Tips is probably next in line to captain the Ospreys, I think he's a valuable player for them. I see the worth in him moving on as well; there is no shortage of 7's around Wales and the money could be spent on halfback recruitment.

I don't get this "internationals aren't worth it because they miss a chunk of the season" chat either. Wasn't it Phil who started all that? We'd have no internationals left if that was the case. In the Pro14 most teams have an abundance of international players, they seem to do alright on international weekends. Leinster win it almost every year through having a large chunk of the Ireland team.

All very well if your union funds you to the tune Leinster are funded and resourced. Phil's right as far as the Welsh pro teams are concerned.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:53 pm

But Leinster is just one example. There are several others and not all are Irish teams, one is in fact Welsh. The union providing better funding, or getting extra from private backers, are some of the points I was making.

Is the salary cap still at 3.5M? I imagine it's more now. If it's increased then why wouldn't you want more internationals at your team?

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:16 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:But Leinster is just one example. There are several others and not all are Irish teams, one is in fact Welsh. The union providing better funding, or getting extra from private backers, are some of the points I was making.

Is the salary cap still at 3.5M? I imagine it's more now. If it's increased then why wouldn't you want more internationals at your team?

Our union isn't providing better funding. It's given a little more to the Scarlett who are spending wisely in fairness by bringing in fringe WQ and decent NWQ rather than wasting cash on vanity signings of current internationals like the other three have done.

TW players are rocking in around half a mil a season and play half the games of another signing. They're toxic assets.
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Post by chris_501 on Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:34 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Lloyd Evans who played at 10 for Glaws today must have some Welsh blood.

You might well say that Tom O'Flaherty of Exeter must have Irish blood but by all accounts doesn't - or not in last two generations anyway.

True, but it was due to the welshness of both forename and surname. Born in Gloucester so just maybe, or maybe not Very Happy

He is indeed Welsh, his old man is Huw Evans, former Scarlets chairman.

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Post by chris_501 on Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:40 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:But Leinster is just one example. There are several others and not all are Irish teams, one is in fact Welsh. The union providing better funding, or getting extra from private backers, are some of the points I was making.

Is the salary cap still at 3.5M? I imagine it's more now. If it's increased then why wouldn't you want more internationals at your team?

Our union isn't providing better funding. It's given a little more to the Scarlett who are spending wisely in fairness by bringing in fringe WQ and decent NWQ rather than wasting cash on vanity signings of current internationals like the other three have done.

TW players are rocking in around half a mil a season and play half the games of another signing. They're toxic assets.

That's a slightly extreme comment. I get that gametime wise you could argue that non-international players are better value for money. But the issue we have at regional level within Wales is the commitment of striving for total professionalism every day. For me, the reason Wales have been so successful over the last decade is that the players have been genuinely world class in their pursuit of excellence. If you stripped all those players out of the regions, the day to day training will miss those driving up the quality of others.

I would guess that actually rather than being poor value for money with the amount of minutes they play, some need to provide better value for money with regards to the culture they are being looked at by other players to create. My worry is that there will be some drop-off in the new Pivac era, compared to the Gatland/ Edwards era.

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:16 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

It's a massive chunk of their budget and they don't even get to play him in the Champions Cup when they need him most. Wonderful player but economic reality has spoken.

He's genuinely world class (one of only 3 Welsh players), local boy, mentally strong and driver of standards, club captain, versatile and skillful, and near his peak.

You seem to be judging him on the fact he's on a break from the RWC to deem him a waste of money. Weird.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:11 pm

miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

It's a massive chunk of their budget and they don't even get to play him in the Champions Cup when they need him most. Wonderful player but economic reality has spoken.

He's genuinely world class (one of only 3 Welsh players), local boy, mentally strong and driver of standards, club captain, versatile and skillful, and near his peak.

You seem to be judging him on the fact he's on a break from the RWC to deem him a waste of money. Weird.

You seem to be judging what is and isn't a waste of money outside of the context of the Welsh regions being underfunded in comparison to the other teams that would all obviously like such an excellent player. Weirder.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:19 pm

I am surprised that Willgriff John isn't on any radar, he seems to have improved a lot since his Cardiff days.

"Signed in the summer (2017), John steps up to the Premiership after three seasons with Doncaster Knights. He started his playing career at Pontypridd, moved on to Cardiff Blues, then spent two seasons in New Zealand playing for Northland in the ITM Cup. A Wales international through the age groups, he was part of their U20 World Cup squad in 2012. Speaking after signing him, Steve Diamond said: "WillGriff is a great signing and I look forward to working with him. He has been one of the most consistent performers in the Championship and is a good ball carrier who works hard in defence."...."

He could be lured in with the offer of caps should he want to come home. He might not necessarily make it as a top international, but he would be a very good addition to Dragons or Cardiff. He's also massive.

EDIT

I'm posting a link from the WOL: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/huge-welsh-rugby-player-whose-16262802

He is contracted to Sale until 2021. We should think about capping him in the 6N. My guess is that he is also EQ through being born in Plymouth. He is a TH, I think he's also played LH. It's certainly something to consider seeing as Lewis didn't help himself during the RWC.

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:11 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

It's a massive chunk of their budget and they don't even get to play him in the Champions Cup when they need him most. Wonderful player but economic reality has spoken.

He's genuinely world class (one of only 3 Welsh players), local boy, mentally strong and driver of standards, club captain, versatile and skillful, and near his peak.

You seem to be judging him on the fact he's on a break from the RWC to deem him a waste of money. Weird.

You seem to be judging what is and isn't a waste of money outside of the context of the Welsh regions being underfunded in comparison to the other teams that would all obviously like such an excellent player. Weirder.

Nope. It's a case of weighing up having him v not having. They could lose practically every other player other than AWJ before Tipuric and it would be better 'value' than getting rid of Tipuric. You don't seem to get how important it is to have world class players and how that impacts the team, even whne theyre not playing.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:19 pm

miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

It's a massive chunk of their budget and they don't even get to play him in the Champions Cup when they need him most. Wonderful player but economic reality has spoken.

He's genuinely world class (one of only 3 Welsh players), local boy, mentally strong and driver of standards, club captain, versatile and skillful, and near his peak.

You seem to be judging him on the fact he's on a break from the RWC to deem him a waste of money. Weird.

You seem to be judging what is and isn't a waste of money outside of the context of the Welsh regions being underfunded in comparison to the other teams that would all obviously like such an excellent player. Weirder.

Nope. It's a case of weighing up having him v not having. They could lose practically every other player other than AWJ before Tipuric and it would be better 'value' than getting rid of Tipuric. You don't seem to get how important it is to have world class players and how that impacts the team, even whne theyre not playing.

Except when it's a luxury said team can't afford, or even control when they receive the benefits of.

They could ship Tipuric on and bring in Young and be better off over the season both financially and from a playing perspective.
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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:20 pm

I'm of the belief Welsh props in particular, but forwards in general (particularly tight/front row) should play in England. It's a massively higher standard than the Pro14. Sorts the wheat from the chaff. Learn the basics of forward play in England, fitness an mobility can be worked on after the fact, as we've seen with Francis, who went from a 30-40 minute test player in 2015 to a genuine 80 minute player in 2 and a bit years.

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:24 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

It's a massive chunk of their budget and they don't even get to play him in the Champions Cup when they need him most. Wonderful player but economic reality has spoken.

He's genuinely world class (one of only 3 Welsh players), local boy, mentally strong and driver of standards, club captain, versatile and skillful, and near his peak.

You seem to be judging him on the fact he's on a break from the RWC to deem him a waste of money. Weird.

You seem to be judging what is and isn't a waste of money outside of the context of the Welsh regions being underfunded in comparison to the other teams that would all obviously like such an excellent player. Weirder.

Nope. It's a case of weighing up having him v not having. They could lose practically every other player other than AWJ before Tipuric and it would be better 'value' than getting rid of Tipuric. You don't seem to get how important it is to have world class players and how that impacts the team, even whne theyre not playing.

Except when it's a luxury said team can't afford, or even control when they receive the benefits of.

They could ship Tipuric on and bring in Young and be better off over the season both financially and from a playing perspective.

You don't get it. He's not a 'luxury'. You really, truly don't get it. It's not just a case of looking to 'money costed' v 'games played'. It's so much more. You don't let go of your club captain and one of the natural leaders because you save £100k a year, tops. You don't let go of world class ability and pretend you're a competitive team. You don't let go of local born and bred talent.

The Ospreys should let go of North, Aled Davies, Lydiate, stop chasing Liam Williams etc. before they allow Tipuric to leave.

My understanding is it will all be down to the competitiveness of the Ospreys. If they're still a shambles with no sign of recovery, he stands a good chance of leaving. Wales caps aren't under threat by leaving, nor is Lions chances. If the Os aren't competitive in Europe and the league then he'll be gone.

Which says it all for where the region is. It's not about being underfunded. They spent badly on Welsh players they didn't really need, and if it means they justify letting go of Tipuric 'because of the money' then that's both insane and inept.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:37 pm

I’m also of the opinion that most of our players, in particular forwards should play for a premiership team (in the top 8) rather than 3 of the regions right now. But with that attitude we’ll never get better. The front-row is certainly bread and butter for the premiership so they’re good at developing front row players, I think someone John can come back home sooner. Carre, Wainwright and Jones can stay for a couple more seasons. Thomas I’m not so sure about. He’s bounced around a bit and I’ve consistently read complaints about fitness. He was very dominant at u20 level but hasn’t really progressed. Should they progress, which is likely, they’d make a fine addition. 

Perhaps it’s unlikely to happen with the current funding model, but a region wanting to improve drastically would need to target a few good players rather than the odd prop. Looking at the Ospreys, they perhaps only needed one or two signings (and a new coaching team).. Dragons and Cardiff probably need about 10 each... Ospreys have an enviable squad and it was vital they brought in sufficient coaching staff around the time they re-signed Tandy before firing him and giving the role to Clarke. Sadly I think it’s too late. I can’t imagine Tipuric and others wanting to stay part of that now.

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Post by Welly on Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:32 pm

Tigers have another Welsh player from the academy Winger Leo Gilliland was in the Wales U18 team this year.
Playing for the A team tonight.

In reality I reckon Wales only have a real chance of getting back 3 or 4 of those players currently and even then some are iffy thinking more Faletau, Priestland and Williams.

I don't see many youngster going currently and I also don't see many non international welsh players going purely because the English clubs will pay more because of their availability all year round.

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:36 pm

Depends on the player. Probably a 50:50 split would be useful for front rowers between England and Wales. We have heiffers like Eifion Lewis Roberts who carve out a decent career in the more attritional, boring, mid table English clubs, but then a player like Dillon Lewis wouldn't get near starting for any of the 12 clubs, and his mobility is well suited to the Pro14 and he'll learn the basics the hard way with games like against Saracens in Europe last season.

Don't think Gethin would have been better than he was if he played in England - went to France and was given about 2 weeks before being tossed away. For the less talented forwards I'd say tougher opposition would be ideal. Wonder how Samson would get on at somewhere like Exeter, for instance. The best approach is play in both at different times in a career. Josh Adams' stint in Worcester couldn't have prepared him much better for the player he is for Wales.

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Post by Welly on Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:37 pm

Also Tigers Prop Greg Bateman is Welsh qualified BUT highly doubt he will ever play for Wales because being a EQP is worth more in the longer run, similar to why I don't think Willgriff John will play for Wales.

so 6 out of Tigers 64 man squad is Welsh qualified.
Joe Thomas (centre), Tommy Reffell (back-row), Sam Costelow (fly-half), Jonah Holmes (wing/full-back), Leo Gililand(Wing), Greg Bateman (Loosehead Prop)

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:21 pm

I'd be surprised to see Priestland back. Doubt he wants to return to Wales tbh, and can't see him joining any club apart from the Scarlets. Could be room for him if O'Brien leaves and with Lamb going soon (great temp signing). Think he'd be more likely to accept a reduced wage at Bath or possibly drop down the leagu a bit.

Liam and Faletau seem more likely, but it'll be interesting to see how Pivac approaches things. Honestly have to say I'm not enthused with Haloholo and McNicholl being called up so readily - less so the latter as he has kids here and there's no one of his class other than Liam in the position, but even so, that's splitting hairs.

Wonder if the system the WRU/Gatland had in place of spotting WQ talent like Francis, Holmes etc. will just keep ticking over. Apparently loads more money is being pumped in to the youth exiles programme, which can only be good in the medium ter, but short term, we might see a few more like Lewis, Young etc. get call ups and the incentive to come back. Have to think the time is now or never for someone like Owen Williams, who is basically WOL's white whale with how good he is in absentia. He last played in 2017 (v ABs i think) but that seems ages ago. Would be good to test him as a 12 somewhere like the Dragons or Ospreys (can't see him getting picked ahead of Haloholo) and seeing if he stands out - my guess would be he wouldn't.

There's also Ashley Beck at Worcester who we all seem to have forgotten about. I feel like Watkin hasn't really kicked on over the last 6-12 months - barely got the opportunity for Wales, admittedly, but didn't seem to be what I initially thought he was. Wouldn't be averse to Pivac calling on Beck in a pinch.

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Post by Welly on Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:25 pm

Owen could move cause no one else will pay his current wage at Gloucester so if he is taking a pay cuy could see him going to Wales again.

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Post by Stone Motif on Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:56 pm

miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:There's definitely value in the O's fighting to keep Tipuric, that's insane to suggest otherwise. He's worth his weight in gold. Crazy to get that so wrong.

There's also definitely more than one Welsh player in France. Rhys Webb for starters.

It's a massive chunk of their budget and they don't even get to play him in the Champions Cup when they need him most. Wonderful player but economic reality has spoken.

He's genuinely world class (one of only 3 Welsh players), local boy, mentally strong and driver of standards, club captain, versatile and skillful, and near his peak.

You seem to be judging him on the fact he's on a break from the RWC to deem him a waste of money. Weird.

You seem to be judging what is and isn't a waste of money outside of the context of the Welsh regions being underfunded in comparison to the other teams that would all obviously like such an excellent player. Weirder.

Nope. It's a case of weighing up having him v not having. They could lose practically every other player other than AWJ before Tipuric and it would be better 'value' than getting rid of Tipuric. You don't seem to get how important it is to have world class players and how that impacts the team, even whne theyre not playing.

Except when it's a luxury said team can't afford, or even control when they receive the benefits of.

They could ship Tipuric on and bring in Young and be better off over the season both financially and from a playing perspective.

You don't get it. He's not a 'luxury'. You really, truly don't get it. It's not just a case of looking to 'money costed' v 'games played'. It's so much more. You don't let go of your club captain and one of the natural leaders because you save £100k a year, tops. You don't let go of world class ability and pretend you're a competitive team. You don't let go of local born and bred talent.

The Ospreys should let go of North, Aled Davies, Lydiate, stop chasing Liam Williams etc. before they allow Tipuric to leave.

My understanding is it will all be down to the competitiveness of the Ospreys. If they're still a shambles with no sign of recovery, he stands a good chance of leaving. Wales caps aren't under threat by leaving, nor is Lions chances. If the Os aren't competitive in Europe and the league then he'll be gone.

Which says it all for where the region is. It's not about being underfunded. They spent badly on Welsh players they didn't really need, and if it means they justify letting go of Tipuric 'because of the money' then that's both insane and inept.

And if they spent crazy money keeping a player they'd just be repeating the same mistake. Think it's you that doesn't get it - or you're incredibly naive. The Ospreys need to gut their squad and start again, not pin all their hopes on one player dragging them out of the mire.

Same with the Dragons, Cory Hill is out of contract but if it means we end up in this "insane and inept" bidding war on WQ players our WRU overlords have foisted on us, I'd rather say goodbye and see which two, Dragons first and available all season long players we might get to replace him.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:59 pm

Owen would be a good addition at any of the 4, 2nd choice fly-half worthy though unless he proves otherwise.

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Post by miaow on Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:24 pm

Gut their squad and start again? It's not a house. Why on earth would that work...

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:53 am

If you're going to gut a team and start again you need an awful lot of vision and commitment to a culture. Sarries did it controversially releasing 16 players in a day and rebuilding from there. It can be done but it's not a simple answer especially when you are talking about a region that is expected to produce players for the national team as opposed to a club who for a short period of time went very overseas based and created an environment to bring through a lot of bright academy players. Might be a tough sell to the WRU that type of long term thinking.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:31 am

miaow wrote:Gut their squad and start again? It's not a house. Why on earth would that work...

It's not a house - but if it were, Tipuric would be the pricey extension they just stuck on a dilapidated sh7t tip.
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Post by Stone Motif on Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:40 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:If you're going to gut a team and start again you need an awful lot of vision and commitment to a culture. Sarries did it controversially releasing 16 players in a day and rebuilding from there. It can be done but it's not a simple answer especially when you are talking about a region that is expected to produce players for the national team as opposed to a club who for a short period of time went very overseas based and created an environment to bring through a lot of bright academy players. Might be a tough sell to the WRU that type of long term thinking.

This 'culture' nonsense is exactly what got the Ospreys into the mess they're in now.

I happen to believe the Welsh teams should be allowed to pursue their own success first and foremost rather than just being holding pens for the next big event at the Principality.

The starting point should be securing coaches able to build a game plan and recruit the players they need to implement it, not repatriating overpriced WQ players or fighting to keep them here irrespective of market forces.
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Post by miaow on Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:17 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
miaow wrote:Gut their squad and start again? It's not a house. Why on earth would that work...

It's not a house - but if it were, Tipuric would be the pricey extension they just stuck on a dilapidated sh7t tip.

Lol. More like the staircase.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:37 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:If you're going to gut a team and start again you need an awful lot of vision and commitment to a culture. Sarries did it controversially releasing 16 players in a day and rebuilding from there. It can be done but it's not a simple answer especially when you are talking about a region that is expected to produce players for the national team as opposed to a club who for a short period of time went very overseas based and created an environment to bring through a lot of bright academy players. Might be a tough sell to the WRU that type of long term thinking.

Their situation might be similar to what Northampton's was. That Saints team had to have been bad, it lost twice (convincingly) to Ospreys not long before Tandy was shown the door. Saints are a different team now yet Ospreys seem to have got worse. What do you know, good coaches can make a difference. Internationals increase the overall quality of a squad, I don't get why you wouldn't want them. When Scarlets were winning the league they happened to provide most of the Wales team, so it's more of a mutual partnership, rather than one just feed the other which is what's being alluded to.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:43 pm

Also, Jackman gutted our team (Dragons) but brought in more guff. It could have worked but he just didn't implement it well.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:56 pm

https://www.bathrugby.com/academy/rhys-davies/

Just spotted this Welsh youngster who was on the bench for Bath on the weekend. Lock forward who has represented Wales U18.

Also, rather shockingly, WOL has comprised a much better list of our players in England.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/78-welsh-qualified-rugby-players-16257798

What's interesting is that we don't have many locks or hookers playing in English first teams, so it's clear to see where we are lacking on the production line.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:13 pm

LT, interesting laughing

Joe Heyes - An intriguing one this. The 20-year-old prop was born in Nottingham and has starred for England U20s. But he's the son of Swansea-born professional football goalkeeper Darren Heyes and the grandson of former Swansea City goalkeeper, George Heyes.

Greg Bateman - Born in Surrey and represented England at age group, but the front rower is believed to be Welsh qualified through his grandmother.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:28 pm

Stone Motif wrote:I happen to believe the Welsh teams should be allowed to pursue their own success first and foremost rather than just being holding pens for the next big event at the Principality

Yet you are all moaning about lack of investment by the WRU, guess how they make their money ?

Both should work symbiotically with each other, not to the detriment of each other, without the WRU there would not be a Dragons team to support.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:31 pm

Anyway, back on topic, as this is a very interesting one.

I would like to try and find out as well, how many Welsh players or Welsh qualified players are currently at schools and colleges in England, I know Hartpury had about 20 Welsh youngsters on their books at one time.

Also, Millfield, Oakham, Clifton and Filton have a long history of taking on Welsh players from academies in Wales. I will try and find out and add it to the debate.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:48 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:I happen to believe the Welsh teams should be allowed to pursue their own success first and foremost rather than just being holding pens for the next big event at the Principality

Yet you are all moaning about lack of investment by the WRU, guess how they make their money ?

Both should work symbiotically with each other, not to the detriment of each other, without the WRU there would not be a Dragons team to support.

I know how the regions make their money. You don't.
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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:07 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:If you're going to gut a team and start again you need an awful lot of vision and commitment to a culture. Sarries did it controversially releasing 16 players in a day and rebuilding from there. It can be done but it's not a simple answer especially when you are talking about a region that is expected to produce players for the national team as opposed to a club who for a short period of time went very overseas based and created an environment to bring through a lot of bright academy players. Might be a tough sell to the WRU that type of long term thinking.

Their situation might be similar to what Northampton's was. That Saints team had to have been bad, it lost twice (convincingly) to Ospreys not long before Tandy was shown the door. Saints are a different team now yet Ospreys seem to have got worse. What do you know, good coaches can make a difference. Internationals increase the overall quality of a squad, I don't get why you wouldn't want them. When Scarlets were winning the league they happened to provide most of the Wales team, so it's more of a mutual partnership, rather than one just feed the other which is what's being alluded to.

Northampton invested too much money in the wrong areas and had a coaching team that had gone stale. When one of your marquee signings is a winger that's only for 50% of the time you aren't using the cap wisely.

A little squad rebalancing, little actual turnover in players. Fresh coaches with fresh ideas and continued investment in the academy.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:10 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:LT, interesting laughing

Joe Heyes - An intriguing one this. The 20-year-old prop was born in Nottingham and has starred for England U20s. But he's the son of Swansea-born professional football goalkeeper Darren Heyes and the grandson of former Swansea City goalkeeper, George Heyes.

Greg Bateman - Born in Surrey and represented England at age group, but the front rower is believed to be Welsh qualified through his grandmother.

Keep your furious hands off of Joe Heyes. That boy is going places. Not many tightheads are heading swiftly towards 50 games in a Tigers shirt at the age of 20.

Interestingly his dad whilst born in Swansea played age grade football for England.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:35 pm

Grandad George played for Leicester City before Swansea. Looks like just an accident of birth. Still makes Joe WQP - but also still makes him English.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:47 pm

Side point, if you're Welsh qualified through birth place of father who represented another country does that still make you welsh qualified?

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