WQ players in England (and elsewhere)

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

First topic message reminder :

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 Tue 26 Nov 2019, 2:56 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
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.

That's probably what is required at Ospreys. You wouldn't chop and change that team much at all. If it were possible I would invest in the coaching staff, make sure they're good - kiwi's in other words. They could do with a 9 and 10; McKenzie is an ideal signing but it's only temp, perm would make more sense. A back 3 player is needed too but given funds are tight then Liam Williams doesn't make much sense. Holmes would probably be cheaper and is down the pecking order for Wales so would have more availability.

They could do with cutting Allen, Aubrey, Cross, Aled Davies, Hook, Price and Volpi. That would free up some cash to bring in two or three decent players. If Tipuric goes then they could find a 7 in the prem for cheaper. It's only worth keeping Tipuric if you have a new coaching team who can bring the whole team forward, then the likes of Tips would be a good captain.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 2:59 pm

Whilst trying to find out about player in the university teams I came across James Merriman who is Welsh and has represented Wales 7's who is currently playing for Bristol.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 2:59 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
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.

He's a big lad. Like Moore he might feel affiliation to Wales through his dad and uncle or grandfather having played for Wales - another Moriarty, sort of. Probably less so the case with Heyes who might never have step foot in Wales unless it was playing for an English team. I was surprised to see him on the list, the link to Wales seems a bit of a tenuous one as were a few others. I guess that's what you get with WOL.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Whilst trying to find out about player in the university teams I came across James Merriman who is Welsh and has represented Wales 7's who is currently playing for Bristol.

That surname is familiar. He's a flanker, and aged 35. Back-row is a position of strength for every team.

It might be worth looking at the Exiles age grade team, and seeing who's been picked up from there. Scarlets used it to pick up a Wales U20 lock who came from the Tigers academy.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:16 pm

Hi Mikey is this the list from WOL you were talking about ? They reckon there will be 89 Welsh players in England this season:-

AMPTHILL

Syd Blackmore - Son of former Wales prop Steve Blackmore. A flanker who played his junior rugby with Llandaff RFC, went on to captain Hartpury College and was on the books of Bath.

Henri Williams - A 24-year-old second row who has been on loan at Paul Turner's team from the Dragons. He’s the son of former Bridgend and Cardiff favourite Owain Williams.

Gavin Williams - North Walian scrum-half, once on the books of Wasps. His brother Rhys plays rugby league for London Broncos and his sister Sian was Wales’ first professional female rugby player.

BATH

Taulupe Faletau - The Wales and Lions No 8 was signed from the Dragons in 2016, but his time at The Rec has been hampered by a series of injuries. He’s missed the bulk of this season through two arm breaks.

Jamie Roberts - Has been plying his trade outside of Wales since 2013, with spells at Racing 92 and Harlequins followed by last summer’s move to Bath. The 94-cap centre has been a midfield regular this term.

Rhys Priestland - Back in January, it looked as the 48-cap former Scarlets outside-half would be leaving Bath at the end of the season. But then, in April, he agreed a new two-year deal.

Aled Brew - After a tough two years at the Dragons, the international wing joined Bath on a short-term deal in September 2016 and went on to revive his career in the west country.

Jack Davies - The 23-year-old former Cowbridge comprehensive pupil was previously with the Cardiff Blues Academy and then Bristol. A back-five forward, he has represented Wales Students, as well as Spain U18s!

Max Clark - Born in Bridgend, but has represented England at U16, U17, U18 and U20s levels. The 23-year-old centre signed a new contract with the club in March.

Archie Griffin - Part of the Exiles programme, prop Griffin appeared for Wales U18s last year while representing Marlborough College. He’s moving up to the senior Bath Academy this summer.

Rhys Davies - The 6ft 6ins Swansea-born second row has appeared for Wales at U18 and U20 level.

BEDFORD

Huw Worthington - The 24-year-old back rower from farming stock in Montgomeryshire attracted the attentions of a number of clubs with his performances for RGC, but it was Bedford he chose a year or so ago.

Lewis Robling - Made 39 appearances for the Dragons at centre and fly-half. The Newport-born 27-year-old spent three seasons with Jersey and one with Ealing Trailfinders before joining Bedford.

Ed Taylor - The elder brother of the Dragons’ Huw Taylor and, like him, a back-five forward. They qualify for Wales through a grandparent.

Scott Jenkins - Signed for next season from the Scarlets, the 21-year-old prop has represented Wales at U16s, U18s and U20s level.

BRISTOL

Callum Sheedy - Born and bred in Cardiff, he moved to the west country to attend Millfield School and signed for Bristol in 2014. Has really impressed at fly-half in the Premiership this season. You can read an interview with him here

Ryan Edwards - Only had the one game for the Dragons prior to joining Bristol in 2012. The 28-year-old Newport-born wing has made 82 appearances for them, scoring 25 tries.

Toby Fricker - The winger made a surprise move from Ebbw Vale in March after shining in the Welsh Premiership. The 23-year-old former Southampton University student had been one of the most consistent performers in the semi-pro game after Ebbw Vale spotted him playing for the Welsh Academicals.

Harry Randall - Grew up in the Amman Valley and captained Wales U16s. But was born in Slough and switched allegiance to the land of his birth, playing for England U20s. The 21-year-old scrum-half has made 17 Premiership appearances this season, having joined from Gloucester.

Dan Thomas - The former Wales U20s flanker has been in the west country since leaving the Scarlets in 2014. Made the move from Gloucester in 2017 and has gone from strength to strength at Bristol.

Matt Protheroe - Born in Swansea, the full-back represented England at U18s and U20s level. Another who arrived from Gloucester. Had a year out with knee ligament damage, but made his full Premiership debut in last month’s win over Saracens.

Jack Capon - Part of the Welsh Exiles programme, 21-year-old back rower joined Bristol in 2016. Has been playing BUCS rugby for Exeter University.

Nick English - The tight-head prop from Caldicot has been named in the Wales U20s squad for next month’s World Junior Championship in Argentina.

Ioan Lloyd - Has signed a four-year deal with Bristol. Born and bred in Cardiff, he’s a richly gifted teenage fly-half who starred for Wales in the recent Six Nations U18s festival.

CORNISH PIRATES

Rhodri Davies - From Crymych in Pembrokeshire, the 27-year-old scrum-half has been signed from the Dragons, having had previous spells with the Scarlets and Rotherham.

Alex Schwarz - Bodelwyddan-born, he played his early rugby at Mold RFC and then linked up with RGC, winning honours for Wales U18s. The 26-year-old scrum-half has also played for Italian side Rugby Colorno, joining the Pirates last year.

COVENTRY

Gerard Ellis - English-born, but eligible for Wales through his father and was capped at age-grade level. Now 26, the loose-head prop joined from the Dragons in February,

Will Owen - The centre was previously a member of the Dragons academy during which time he also appeared for Ebbw Vale and Cross Keys in the Welsh Premiership.

DONCASTER

Rory Pitman - Now 29, the Bridgend-born back rower had spells with the Ospreys and the Scarlets, as well as playing for Swansea and his home-town club. Joined Doncaster on a short term deal last year and has impressed enough to be handed a further contract for next season.

Jack Roberts - His time at Cardiff Blues was plagued by injuries following his arrival from Leicester. The north Walian centre will be hoping for better luck in Yorkshire.

Lloyd Hayes - Hails from Flintshire and played his junior rugby with Mold RFC before catching the eye as a hard-running centre with Chester, earning a move to Rotherham and then switching to the Knights.

Joe Sproston - This north Walian prop spent five years with Paul Turner’s current club Ampthill before moving to Doncaster in 2015. A strong carrier who can pack down either side.

Owen Evans - Son of former Wales prop Ricky Evans, the Cardigan-born loosehead, now 30, has had previous stints with the Scarlets, Dragons and Harlequins.

Kyle Evans - Named the Welsh Principality Premiership Player of the Season in 2017/18, the winger has signed with the Knights on a two-year deal after an impressive three years with Merthyr RFC.

EALING TRAILFINDERS

Steve Shingler - Left Cardiff Blues in March to join French Division Two side Stade Montois on a short-team deal and then secured a deal with Ealing for next season.

Kieran Murphy - Made 41 appearances in the Scarlets back row before arriving at Ealing via Brive and London Welsh. Born in Aberdeen, but moved to Swansea when he was two.

Will Harries - The ex-Dragons winger made his Wales debut against New Zealand in June 2010, winning three caps. Born in Cardiff, studied at Millfield.

James Cordy-Redden - Has Welsh grandparents and played on the wing for the Welsh Academicals and Welsh Students, as well as Cross Keys.

EXETER

Tomas Francis - Qualifies for Wales through his Abercrave-born grandmother and now has 40 caps. Able to stay with Exeter through repeat renewal oprions in his contract. York-born, he had earlier spells with Doncaster and London Scottish.

Alex Cuthbert - Has made 14 appearances for the club, scoring two tries, since arriving from Cardiff Blues last summer. Born in Gloucester, he won 47 caps for Wales, qualifying through his Wrexham-born mother.

Phil Dollman - The Caerphilly-born full-back been a fantastic servant for Exeter since joining them from the Dragons in 2009, making 231 appearances.

Sean Lonsdale - Went to school in Colwyn Bay and caught the eye at lock for RGC before making the move to Sandy Park in 2016. Figures mainly in the back row for the Chiefs.

Tom Price - Born in Leamington Spa and represented England at U20s, but Welsh qualified and has been with the Scarlets for the past three years. But from next season he will be adding to Exeter’s second row contingent.

GLOUCESTER

Owen Williams - Faces a lengthy lay-off after picking up a knee injury in March. The former Scarlets fly-half moved to Kingsholm in 2017 after four successful years with Leicester. Last Wales cap was 18 months ago.

Gareth Evans - The 27-year-old back rower was born in Swindon, but has a Welsh father. Has made 84 appearances for the Cherry & Whites since debuting in 2011.

Louis Rees-Zammit - A product of Llandaff RFC, the 18-year-old winger became the youngest Gloucester player to appear in a league match when he faced Bath last month. There are hopes for him and, happily, he is committed to Wales.

Lewis Ludlow - Qualifies for Wales through his grandfather and trained with the U18s squad, but the Bedford-born back rower went on to represent England at age group.

Harry Fry - Schooled in Radyr and started out at Pentyrch RFC, but made his debut at prop for England U18s earlier this year having gone down the well-trodden Hartpury/Gloucester Academy path.

Stephen Varney - Born and bred in Pembokeshire, yet has played at scrum-half for Italy U18s, who he qualifies for through his mother. He's the son of former Neath flanker Adrian Varney.

Alex Morgan - The Cardiff-born winger was in the Wales U20s Six Nations squad this year. Has made one senior appearance for Gloucester.

Lloyd Evans - Born in Gloucester and has played for England at U18s and U20s, but the 23-year-old fly-half’s father is Welsh.

Tommy Mathews - The centre played alongside Rees-Zammit - and against Varney - for Wales U18s in the recent Six Nations festival.

HARLEQUINS

Scott Baldwin - After the best part of a decade with the Ospreys and 34 caps for Wales, the 30-year-old Bridgend-born hooker has decided to head for pastures new at The Stoop.

Joe Marchant - Born in Hampshire and won the U20s World Cup with England, but the 22-year-old is thought to have a Welsh family background.

Harry Barlow - A centre who helped England beat Wales in an U19s international in Bridgend last month, but also Welsh-qualified through a grandparent.

HARTPURY RFC

Jordan Liney - A former Wales U18s hooker who was previously with the Bristol Academy, having studied at Hartpury College

JERSEY

Tom Williams - The younger brother of international scrum-half Lloyd Williams, winger Tom is heading for island life after spells with the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues.

Luc Jones - The son of ex-Dragons boss Lyn Jones, who he played under at Rodney Parade, this 24-year-old Neath-born scrum-half has also been at Harlequins and Richmond.

Rory Bartle - Withdrew from the U20s squad in March 2015, so as not to tie himself to Wales. The Pontypridd-born back rower was previously skipper at London Scottish.

LEICESTER

Jonah Holmes - The back three man made his Wales debut last November and was part of the recent Six Nations squad. Qualifies through his grandparents and signed a new Leicester contract just before his first Wales call-up.

Tommy Reffell - Has captained Wales U18s and U20s. The flanker played his junior rugby at Pencoed RFC and was part of the Ospreys U16s set-up. Joined Leicester in 2017.

Sam Costelow - Another product of Pencoed RFC, who his father and grandfather also both played for. The gifted fly-half is part of Wales’ Junior World Championship squad.



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.

LONDON SCOTTISH

Joe Luca Smith - Comfortable at both full back and wing, Smith arrived from Newcastle University on trial and was then signed up. Eligible for Wales through his grandfather

NEWCASTLE

Gareth Owen - After two years with Leicester, the Bridgend-born centre is heading for pastures new, having signed for relegated Newcastle. Made more than 100 regional appearances in Wales, during spells with the Ospreys and Scarlets.

Johnny Williams - Born in Reading and has represented England at U17s, U18s and U20s. But his father, Gareth, is from North Wales. A stylish centre, he joined the Falcons from London Irish.

Jack Payne - He was born in Darwin, Australia, and now plays his rugby in the north east of England. But he’s Welsh qualified, being brought over from Queensland Reds by the Scarlets as a flanker in 2014. Now packs down at prop.

NORTHAMPTON

Dan Biggar - The Wales fly-half has made it clear he is really enjoying life in the English Premiership following his move from the Ospreys and he has played a big part in the Saints’ push for the play-offs.

NOTTINGHAM

Llewellyn Jones - Came up through the ranks at Haverfordwest and made four appearances for the Scarlets, while also packing down at lock for Carmarthen Quins. Previously with Ealing Trailfindeers.

David Williams - The winger scored two tries in Ebbw Vale’s Premiership final victory over Pontypridd in 2016 before heading for Robin Hood country for his studies.

SALE

WillGriff John - On the books of Cardiff Blues for a spell, the tight-head prop from Ferndale spent two seasons with Northlands in New Zealand before joining Doncaster. Moved to Sale in 2017 and has become a regular fixture, making 51 appearances in the past two seasons and earning a new contract through until 2021.

George Nott - Born in Llandudno and educated in Chester, the 23-year-old is primarily a lock who can also cover the flank. Has represented England at U18s and U20s.

Joe Jones - The 23-year-old former Cardiff Blues prop was signed from Perpignan and has been involved with the first team quite a lot this season. He's from Mold, in north Wales.

Sam Moore - Has represented England, but has been wanted by Wales. Born in Cardiff, the 20-year-old No 8 is the son of former international second row Steve Moore.

SARACENS

Liam Williams - Became just the 11th Welshman to win the European Cup on the weekend. Made the move from the Scarlets in 2017 and has established himself as one of the most potent attackers in the English Premiership.

Rhys Carre - Hit the headlines when it was revealed he was leaving Cardiff Blues for Saracens and then again when he was named in Wales’ World Cup training squad. The 21-year-old prop is a former Cowbridge Comprehensive pupil.

Tom Griffiths - Played under Mike Rayer at Bedford before joining Saracens. The 23-year-old centre joined London Scottish on loan in January.

WASPS

Thomas Young - The Aberdare flanker has excelled under his father Dai at Wasps, having arrived via Gloucester after being released by Cardiff Blues. Unlucky to have won just three Wales caps.

WORCESTER

Ashley Beck - Won seven caps in the centre for Wales between 2012 and 2013. Moved from the Ospreys last summer, but had only made four appearances when a broken leg sustained in October ended his season.

Sam Lewis - The former Ospreys openside flanker moved to the Sixways Stadium in 2015 and has proved a real hit, with his tackling and turnover work. Has made 67 appearances for Worcester, scoring 11 tries.

Luke Scully - A fly-half who has represented Wales U18s. Joined the Warriors Senior Academy last year having come through the Ospreys age group and studied at Neath Port Talbot College. Started well in the A league before injury struck.

Callum Morris - Played at scrum-half for Wales U18s and was previously with the Dragons Academy. Studied at Lymm High School and joined the Warriors Senior Academy last year.

YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE

Marc Thomas - Born in Merthyr Tydfil, he played 40 games on the loosehead for the Ospreys over four seasons before moving, first to Jersey, and then to Leeds.

George Watkins - Had a brief spell at Cardiff Blues before returning to Bristol where he was a prolific try-scorer on the wing. Another to arrive at Headingley via Jersey.

Trystan Lloyd - From Carmarthen, this back rower spent three years with Llanelli before moving to Leeds to go to university, gaining a chance to continue his rugby career with Yorkshire Carnegie.

Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier - The Cardiffian scrum-half is a former Saracens academy player who had two spells in France, with Le Pays d’Aix and Nevers, as well as a stint at Worcester.

I do not know how up to date that list is, but it was published in May 2019.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:16 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Side point, if you're Welsh qualified through birth place of father who represented another country does that still make you welsh qualified?

Yes. Cannot think of any examples atm, John and Martin Leslie qualified for Scotland through their paternal grandpa is the closest with their dad being an AB great.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:19 pm

Yeah that's the one LD. Quite a few tenuous links and a few in championship teams that may or may not make a positive difference. Championship players coming up an excelling isn't unheard of.

LT, Heyes father and grandfather never played rugby. Might Francis be an example? With that in mind I probably wouldn't rule out Heyes playing for Wales Smile.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:24 pm

Yeah wasnt a response to hayes specifically mikey but something I've never been sure on. Cheers LT.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:27 pm

There are loads of Welsh youngsters in the academies of Hartpury, Millfield, Oakham, Clifton and Filton, there a re also quite a few in others as well.

The list is far too long to put on here, but the question needs to be asked, is how or why are they ending up there ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:28 pm

Better opportunities would be the obvious answer to that.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 3:38 pm

Good access to education on and off the field would be my guess. Apart from Monmouth Boys school I don't think Wales has anything equal to the likes of Hartpury, Millfield, etc. We just don't have a schools rugby system and I don't think we ever have. If you want a good example of schools rugby, look at South Africa.
Was Ioan Lloyd at Filton before being picked up by Bristol and excelling? Filton has never really struck me as some amazing rugby school, but it provides good sports education for 16-18 year olds.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 4:21 pm

Yes, I have no issues with these kids taking up offers that they do not get in Wales, good on them. But when I look at this player drain, and especially when you see how many academy kids are in England, it does worry me that perhaps the regions are losing out on players.

Do the regions do anything to stop these kids going to England ? Can they do anything ? Until you delve into it, you do not really see the significance of it.

Some of those players listed by WOL could really do a job for the regions, that perhaps is being done by a below average NWQ player, wouldn't you agree ?

The regions could be losing future stars. Tommy Reffel and Sam Costelow being two prime examples. I would say the player drain from Wales, is far greater than any other nation, albeit the quality of players might be a little less, but on numbers alone, it is quite alarming.

We do not have the biggest pool of players as it is.

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Post by miaow on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 5:55 pm

Yes. In fact, if you are English, yor father was born in Wales, and then moved to Scotland at 18 and qualified, played for the national team, I believe...though might be wrong...that you would only be eligible for England and Wales, despite your father playing for Scotland. Not sure what consitutes a parent/grandparent's nationality, but as you see in rare civic cases, place of birth is key - you could live somewhere the vast majority of your life, but without citizenship, might not be 'of' that country.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 5:59 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
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.

That's probably what is required at Ospreys. You wouldn't chop and change that team much at all. If it were possible I would invest in the coaching staff, make sure they're good - kiwi's in other words. They could do with a 9 and 10; McKenzie is an ideal signing but it's only temp, perm would make more sense. A back 3 player is needed too but given funds are tight then Liam Williams doesn't make much sense. Holmes would probably be cheaper and is down the pecking order for Wales so would have more availability.

They could do with cutting Allen, Aubrey, Cross, Aled Davies, Hook, Price and Volpi. That would free up some cash to bring in two or three decent players. If Tipuric goes then they could find a 7 in the prem for cheaper. It's only worth keeping Tipuric if you have a new coaching team who can bring the whole team forward, then the likes of Tips would be a good captain.
I'd chop and chop it. Of the team that started against Sarries there are only two that would make a marked improvement on the Dragons side we sent out to Krasnodar.
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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 7:10 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
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.

That's probably what is required at Ospreys. You wouldn't chop and change that team much at all. If it were possible I would invest in the coaching staff, make sure they're good - kiwi's in other words. They could do with a 9 and 10; McKenzie is an ideal signing but it's only temp, perm would make more sense. A back 3 player is needed too but given funds are tight then Liam Williams doesn't make much sense. Holmes would probably be cheaper and is down the pecking order for Wales so would have more availability.

Holmes is unlikely to be cut price. He'd start in a full strength Tigers side and signed a new contract before joining up with Wales for his first cap. Cheaper than Liam Williams I suppose but Tigers wouldn't let him go without a fight. There must be cheaper options in Wales, there's never been a shortage of wingers there previously.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 8:18 pm

At Ospreys there isn't. The ones they have brought on have looked a level below what is required. There was an array of hype about former Sevens player Morgan, I didn't quite get it at the time nor did I understand why he was thrown into the Wales team. He hasn't turned out to be that good. Keelan Giles keeps getting injured, otherwise I imagine he would be pretty good by now.
Rees-Zammit looks promising, could be a future star but will be affordable for now. There's also Cuthbert at Exeter who I forgot to list.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 8:22 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
I'd chop and chop it. Of the team that started against Sarries there are only two that would make a marked improvement on the Dragons side we sent out to Krasnodar.

Who? That wasn't their full team though and either way I don't think it is quite as good as Saracens squad, but who's is? The Ospreys list of forwards in the whole squad is quite impressive, and a good coach should be able to get better out of them. Their reserve props are good and available all season injuries permitting, so no excuses for them being naff there.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 9:05 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
I'd chop and chop it. Of the team that started against Sarries there are only two that would make a marked improvement on the Dragons side we sent out to Krasnodar.

Who? That wasn't their full team though and either way I don't think it is quite as good as Saracens squad, but who's is? The Ospreys list of forwards in the whole squad is quite impressive, and a good coach should be able to get better out of them. Their reserve props are good and available all season injuries permitting, so no excuses for them being naff there.

They've got two world class forwards they can only access now and again. Of the rest I'd only want Beard, Rhodri Jones and Botha at the Dragons. The rest are gash. All their backs are gash.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 9:24 pm

laughing Of their entire squad I would also take Beard, Rhodri Jones and Botha; but I would also take Gareth Thomas, Parry, Lake, Fia, Bradley Davies, Gareth Evans, Venter and McKenzie. I'm not just talking about starters, it's more like squad depth.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 9:28 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:laughing Of their entire squad I would also take Beard, Rhodri Jones and Botha; but I would also take Gareth Thomas, Parry, Lake, Fia, Bradley Davies, Gareth Evans, Venter and McKenzie. I'm not just talking about starters, it's more like squad depth.

Buying sh7t players doesn't create squad depth - you should know better than anyone as a Dragons fan. Lake might come good granted. The rest - garbage.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 9:31 pm

The thing is I don't think they're all Poopie players... I would add them to the current squad without cutting too many of ours, which should create depth. It was BJ buying sh7t players btw, not I.

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Post by Stone Motif on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 10:02 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:The thing is I don't think they're all Poopie players... I would add them to the current squad without cutting too many of ours, which should create depth. It was BJ buying sh7t players btw, not I.

And yet not even a squad of random odds and sods 'coached' by that charlatan Jackass managed to lose at home to the Kings.
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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 8:59 am

I do not know why the Dragons supporters on here have such an issue with Ospreys, yes they are badly coached, but Dragons have been rubbish for over a decade and you now think you can take the higher ground ? Rolling Eyes

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 9:07 am

Can't beat a nice generalisation, first thing in the morning.

Must have your knickers in a twist from Friday still.

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Post by chris_501 on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 11:08 am

Martyn Williams has always made the point, that while money is tighter within Welsh regional rugby than many other teams in other leagues, that money is much better spent on a great coach than a great player. Getting Dean Ryan in looks to be proving that true, I've always rated him, he was great at getting the most out of Worcester.

£500k for a top class coach will have far more impact on a squad of 40 players than two £250k players. The only problem is, barring Dai Young, where are the proven top class Welsh coaches?

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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 11:10 am

Who are the 5 best players at the Dragons, and who are the 5 best players at the Ospreys.

That's a decent comparison.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 11:23 am

LordDowlais wrote:I do not know why the Dragons supporters on here have such an issue with Ospreys, yes they are badly coached, but Dragons have been rubbish for over a decade and you now think you can take the higher ground ? Rolling Eyes

Weird. I thought you were in agreement?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 11:26 am

chris_501 wrote:£500k for a top class coach will have far more impact on a squad of 40 players than two £250k players. The only problem is, barring Dai Young, where are the proven top class Welsh coaches?

I don't think there are any, hence why I'm always confused when fans say we should bring in a top welsh coach. I even read calls for Huw Bennett to be thrown into the job... It has to be a kiwi coach for me. Scott Robertson? Wink

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 11:59 am

LordDowlais wrote:I do not know why the Dragons supporters on here have such an issue with Ospreys, yes they are badly coached, but Dragons have been rubbish for over a decade and you now think you can take the higher ground ? Rolling Eyes

The whole comprehension thing still giving you problems I see
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:00 pm

miaow wrote:Who are the 5 best players at the Dragons, and who are the 5 best players at the Ospreys.

That's a decent comparison.

Of what, who has the best players they can't play?
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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:07 pm

I'll have a crack at the tops 5s then

Dragons:

1. Ross Moriarty
2. Cory Hil
3. Aaron Wainwright
4. Elliot Dee
5. hmmm...Sam Davies or Rhodri Williams?
6+. Ollie Griffiths, Richard Hibbard, Taine Basham

Ospreys

1. Tipuric
2. AWJ
3. George North
4. Gareth Anscombe
5. Scott Williams
6+. Dan Lydiate, Nicky Smith, Owen Watkin

Let's be honest, it's not particularly close...

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:14 pm

Where to begin with that.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:15 pm

miaow wrote:I'll have a crack at the tops 5s then

Dragons:

1. Ross Moriarty
2. Cory Hil
3. Aaron Wainwright
4. Elliot Dee
5. hmmm...Sam Davies or Rhodri Williams?
6+. Ollie Griffiths, Richard Hibbard, Taine Basham

Ospreys

1. Tipuric
2. AWJ
3. George North
4. Gareth Anscombe
5. Scott Williams
6+. Dan Lydiate, Nicky Smith, Owen Watkin

Let's be honest, it's not particularly close...

Genuinely, WTaF?

Let's start with hear gems:

You think Moriarty is the Dragons best player?

You think GN and SW are in the top five Ospreys players?
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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:31 pm

Do your top 5s then boys. Moriarty might not produce his best stuff for the Dragons yet (one season at the club, no?) but he's a Lion in a way Cory Hill isn't, is the most senior Welsh player behind Cory Hill, and not over the hill (...) like Hibbard. The right mix of pedigree, skills, and success to make him the best Dragons player even if he won't win the MVP due to performances yet.

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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:34 pm

And yeah, Norh and Scott Williams are clearly in the top 5 Ospreys players. One's a multiple B&I Lions cap, the other has over 50 caps for Wales and has been a key player for them for years (would have many more under a different coach).

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 12:51 pm

How are we defining top players? Anscombe is yet to feature for Ospreys. Williams wouldn’t be in a top 5 on current form either.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 1:07 pm

Ah so it's based on past achievements then? Excellent metric, Gareth Edwards and Merve the Swerve will be overjoyed. Lucky for the now obviously washed up George North and Scott Williams too.
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 1:10 pm

Top five Os

AWJ
Tipuric
Evans
Lydiate
Beard

Top five Dregs

Wainwright
Griffiths
Dee
Warren
Hill
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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 1:11 pm

So Adam Warren is better than Moriarty, a British and Irish Lion, and Cory Hill, a sort-of Lion and co-Wales captain?

Riiiiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhttttttt...

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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 1:15 pm

Either way, without fixating on the top 5s, the point i the Ospreys clearly have the better 'best' players. All the mocking of the Ospreys is a bit weird from Dragons fans. As LD says, they've been the basement team in the Celtic League for a decade. The Ospreys are a shambles yet are still in the Champions Cup.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 2:07 pm

Weird how this has turned into a region-off; I guess it's no surprise given that LD got involved. He's relentlessly championed Ospreys over the years whilst claiming he doesn't support them. You won't get any BS from me, I know Dragons have been gash and you can see how critical I've been of them. You could also argue the case for Ospreys being just as gash for most of the last decade. The reason being they've had more money and more high quality players than others and failed to do anything of note - they mostly got battered when facing top opposition from another playing nation. You just wouldn't see any other team with that many internationals perform so badly for such a long period. It's unacceptable, and you would have to be utterly gash to consistently fail when given that squad.

I also read a fan on here recently state "Oh well we're the only team in the champs cup and that's good enough for me."... or something along those lines. That's unambitious and delusion of the highest order.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 2:10 pm

You're probably not a B&I Lion unless capped. Top 5 for us would be; Dee, Hill, Griffiths, Wainwright, Basham.
Ospreys; Parry, Beard, Cracknell, Tipuric, Dan Evans. I left out AWJ because of less feature time. Naming the top internationals is a different convo.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 2:18 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Yes, I have no issues with these kids taking up offers that they do not get in Wales, good on them. But when I look at this player drain, and especially when you see how many academy kids are in England, it does worry me that perhaps the regions are losing out on players.

Do the regions do anything to stop these kids going to England ? Can they do anything ? Until you delve into it, you do not really see the significance of it.

Some of those players listed by WOL could really do a job for the regions, that perhaps is being done by a below average NWQ player, wouldn't you agree ?

The regions could be losing future stars. Tommy Reffel and Sam Costelow being two prime examples. I would say the player drain from Wales, is far greater than any other nation, albeit the quality of players might be a little less, but on numbers alone, it is quite alarming.

We do not have the biggest pool of players as it is.

I doubt if the regions have the budget or the capacity to stop players moving to the English public school rugby system, as the lure of reasonably high quality youth rugby combined with the educational aspect - if you don't get a pro/academy contract then you're probably at least on the way to a good university at the end, but they should be able to do some sort of outreach stuff to them, invite them to coaching sessions, to work with the regions own young players, etc. At the least it would let the regions see if any of them were worth a punt on a contract at 18.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 2:23 pm

miaow wrote:Either way, without fixating on the top 5s, the point i the Ospreys clearly have the better 'best' players. All the mocking of the Ospreys is a bit weird from Dragons fans. As LD says, they've been the basement team in the Celtic League for a decade. The Ospreys are a shambles yet are still in the Champions Cup.

Some exaggeration there again.

For the benefit of you and Dowlais, it's not all of the Dragons fans and I wouldn't say there was a great deal of mocking either.

It's also a bit ironic to highlight they're in the Champions Cup, after you yourself have called them a shambles.


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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 2:48 pm

miaow wrote:Either way, without fixating on the top 5s, the point i the Ospreys clearly have the better 'best' players. All the mocking of the Ospreys is a bit weird from Dragons fans. As LD says, they've been the basement team in the Celtic League for a decade. The Ospreys are a shambles yet are still in the Champions Cup.

It's not mocking it's a vague desperation at the parlous state of the pro game, from those that know the depths best. HTH.
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 2:51 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
miaow wrote:Either way, without fixating on the top 5s, the point i the Ospreys clearly have the better 'best' players. All the mocking of the Ospreys is a bit weird from Dragons fans. As LD says, they've been the basement team in the Celtic League for a decade. The Ospreys are a shambles yet are still in the Champions Cup.

Some exaggeration there again.

For the benefit of you and Dowlais, it's not all of the Dragons fans and I wouldn't say there was a great deal of mocking either.

It's also a bit ironic to highlight they're in the Champions Cup, after you yourself have called them a shambles.


I don't get the blame Allen Clarke narrative either. He managed to get a Lyn era Rodney Parade-esque squad of turds with two world class diamonds on the top into the big boys cup, no mean achievement that.
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 2:55 pm

miaow wrote:Either way, without fixating on the top 5s, the point i the Ospreys clearly have the better 'best' players. All the mocking of the Ospreys is a bit weird from Dragons fans. As LD says, they've been the basement team in the Celtic League for a decade. The Ospreys are a shambles yet are still in the Champions Cup.

Still waiting for your workings by the way. AWJ and Tirpuric are once in a generation players, but I think Wainwright is well on his way there too. There's distance between those two and Wainwright, then a big drop off again til you get to anyone else mentioned. Moriarty is a one-trick pony who hasn't repeated said trick since 2018.
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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 3:11 pm

There's clearly a difference between 'top 5 clubmen' and actually 'top 5 players' though. Take those players outside their teams - let them join another team, for instance - and you'll get a very different top 5. Pointless trying to neglect actual international ability and expertise which is clearly a better marker of ability and quality than Pro14, particularly against mid table sides.

The point I'm making is that the Ospreys have better 'best' players than Dragons. Again, I'll reiterate that. Both sides have some promising young talent beneath that, but if you consider Lewis Evans is basically the equivalent of Dan Lydiate, it just shows where the two teams are. The Ospreys need a proper coach and in the short term they could be challenging for the title. Should be challenging for the play offs easily with the talent they have. The Dragons are still some way off that.

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Post by miaow on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 3:43 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
miaow wrote:Either way, without fixating on the top 5s, the point i the Ospreys clearly have the better 'best' players. All the mocking of the Ospreys is a bit weird from Dragons fans. As LD says, they've been the basement team in the Celtic League for a decade. The Ospreys are a shambles yet are still in the Champions Cup.

Some exaggeration there again.

For the benefit of you and Dowlais, it's not all of the Dragons fans and I wouldn't say there was a great deal of mocking either.

It's also a bit ironic to highlight they're in the Champions Cup, after you yourself have called them a shambles.


Geez, you're hard work. If you can't work out that if a team is still in top tier of Europe while in an absolute shambles that it's a sign they're 'better' than the alternative, then you're really struggling. This didn't have to turn in to a tit for tat, jesus, but you seem adamant that it has to. Go for a run or a cold shower or something.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 3:59 pm

Only one person having a hissy fit. Pretty par for the course mind. Considering you seem to be the root cause of most squabbles on here, I am not sure I am the problem.

Just pointing out that the two of you are criticising Dragons supporters, when there only seems to be one really commenting on them negatively. Then he hasn't really said anything worse than calling them a shambles either.

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