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Tom Willis Retires

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Post by Impossible Standards Mon 09 Jan 2012, 9:53 am

Thanks for your efforts Tom. Best of luck. Looks like he's sticking around helping Burns refine his technique and the Gus to hooker conversion.

http://www.newportgwentdragons.com/newsarticle.aspx?n=20115
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Post by pioden gorllewin Mon 09 Jan 2012, 10:42 am

impossible standards:

is Hugh Gustafson getting converted to hooker? has he been injured this season? was pushing for inclusion in the welsh squad a few season ago. like how edwards is exposing a lot of young front rower players to regional rugby - front frow might be struggling this season. but should benefit in few seasons with the like of buck,way,buckly, gustafson,williams,price,burn etc adding some depth.
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Post by Impossible Standards Mon 09 Jan 2012, 11:49 am

Pioden

Yeah the management team are experimenting with him.

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sport/dragons/9394452.Gustafson_could_switch_to_hooker/

I agree in regards to developing our front row Price, Way, Buck are all really young in terms of props. My concern is if we spend too much time and money in developing them by giving them game time in which the Dragons are sacrificing a solid platform (our scrum usually isn't great) then other teams come along and offer them contracts we can't match.
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Post by pioden gorllewin Mon 09 Jan 2012, 1:08 pm

Impossible:

Guess that's always the risk when developing your own players. That's why I was pleased when we (Scarlet's) signed 21 odd players to new contracts last season. Shame none of the regions have the finances to secure the services of TH's like Craig Mitchell, so I guess they have little option but to develop from within. But I think the Dragons are heading in the right direction in developing it's own front rowers, rather going down the McKenzie, Castle, Hall (cheaper short term options)route. Although I do agree an experienced TH is needed down at Rodney Parade to help bring the youngsters through. Maybe the freed wages of Willis will allow this? What the chances that Rhys Thomas makes his way back to the Dragons this summer? His contract is up with us, and he always mentions the friendships he's maintained down in Newport.
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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 09 Jan 2012, 1:35 pm

pioden,

If you had offered me Roller skates for nothing I wouldn't have taken him BUT he has impressed me of late and I think deserves a training squad call up if nothing else.

Lewis Roberts is supposed to be heading home from France but can't see us being able to afford him.
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Post by Impossible Standards Mon 09 Jan 2012, 1:54 pm

Pioden

I think Thomas regretted leaving at first according to the ol grave vine, but I think he would want to stay at the Scarlet's. They are developing into a good side. Agree it would be a shame for you to lose Presland, JD2 etc. after the work they put in to get them to where they are.

I would take rollerskates back though, TH is very much needed down at Dave Parade.
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Post by pioden gorllewin Mon 09 Jan 2012, 3:03 pm

Impossible:

Not sure if Rhys Thomas return to form coincides with him needing to earn a new contract with the region/abroad. He has been in really good form for us this year, but his career with the scarlet's hasn't been all plain sailing. At the early part of his career there were alleged incidents where he refused to take the bench for us, and apparently turned away from training for being under the inflence of alcohol. But it does seem this year he's knuckled down and been a real asset to the squad.

Bedford:

Eifion Lewis Roberts must be on a fair salary at Toulon, but surely the freed wages from Willis, Castle(?) and Chateris must equate to the Dragons being in a position to offer ELR a competitive offer? Didn't ex Harlequin Ceri Jones state he wanted to come back to his region last summer? Shame he signed for Worcester instead, cause he would have been a useful signing for the Dragons.
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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 10 Jan 2012, 9:04 am

pioden,

You would like to think but unfortunately the other factor against us is that we will be in the Amlin again next season so won't be able to offer him the top level competition he may be after either.
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