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Premiership Players to Watch 2012 - 2013?

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Post by Geordie Wed 20 Jun 2012, 11:25 am

I know its early days yet as preseason training has pretty much only just began.

Which players will you be keeping a close eye on their development...bid to regain form or form after returning from injury etc

From a Newcastle start...aside from looking forward to seeing what division we'll actually be in...im looking at:

FH/Fb - Catterick. See if he can really bring out his undoubted ability. i hope to see him at Fh.
Sh/FH - Hodgson - Where will we utilize his creativity and skills...but light frame (or will deano bulk him up a bit and use him at 10 with Catterick)
LH Prop - Shiels - can he continue his developement as a strong LH prop...surely under Wells / Deano its a massive yes.

Back row: Huge changes here...Lipman and York having been brought in. Will York provide a powerful ball carrying presence at the back of the scrum. No.8 is a position Deano knows a bit about. Will Lipman give us some extra breakdown aggresion.
I also hope Welch, and Wilsons devlopement is continued. They played ALOT of rugby last season...maybe too much for young lads. Welch could be a real quality 7, and Wilson had some blinding games from 6 /8. I'd like to see him put a stone on.
Then there is Joe Robinson...at 18/19 a man mountain of a cumbrian at 6. Got a few games last season...how will Deano utilise his talents...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 20 Jun 2012, 11:35 am

As a Tigers fan it's quite an interesting season coming up.

There's the battle of the second rows, Parling vs Kitchener in the lineout technicians and Deacon vs Slater for the enforcer role with massive SA lock Rob Andrew on the scene as well.

Mafi vs Croft, Newby vs Salvi and Waldrom vs Crane in the backrow. Not to mention Flood vs Ford at 10.

However, my ones to watch are:

1. Ford at 10 - we're all desperate to see how he develops over the course of this season. His kicking from hand is very classy and his passing abilities are probably the best in the AP. All will hinge on this off seasons conditioning work as he needs to bulk up to deal with the physicality of top flight rugby and of course generate more power for his kicking off the tee.

2. Thompstone on the wing - Benjamin and Goneva are probably going to be the initially favoured options as Benjamin is the big wing signing and Goneva the experienced international. However, Thompstone is big, quick and potentially explosive which could make him a real fan favourite.

3. Tom Youngs at hooker - big battle to try and get hold of the starting jersey. He'll only take his place in the starting lineup if his throwing is up to scratch. The rest of his game is top quality (as several bruised South Africans will testify to) but his season will all hinge on this progression in the lineout. Potential England hooker and maybe even a Lions bolter.

Honourable mentions to Matt Tait coming back from injury (will he ever play a full game?) and the young guns of Lewington, Forsyth and Harrison all of whom looked good last season on the way to the LV Cup victory.

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Post by Bathite Wed 20 Jun 2012, 11:37 am

For Bath

Fearns - A full pre-season and fully fit, following a good winter tour and he'll be back to the form that got him noticed whilst at Sale

Kane Palmer Newport - Young TH, that has already accrued some good experience at Bath and out on loan at Leeds. Strong lad, good scrummager and pretty mobile, with Bell and Barnes retried, he is now 2/3rd choice.

Guy Mercer - Been around for a while now, this could be a make or break season. With such a shortage of out and out 7s, he could raise his profile. He's quick, mobile, good hands, great tackler, just a bit over keen at the breakdown and can give away silly pens.

Chris Cook - Former U20s SH, a cool head on young shoulders, with a reliable pass. A proper scrum half, that can pass without taking 2/3 steps which cramp your outside backs - Youngs and Care take note!

Tom Heathcote - Forced his way into the starting shirt for Bath and now for the U20s. Assured performances throughout the season. Tackles well, kicks his goal and isn't afraid of taking responsibilty. I like that he takes it up and presents the ball if nothing is on. Too many fly halves 'shovel the s hit' and pass on poor ball, which results in a turnover, as the player becomes isolated, away from the back row.

Kyle Eastmond - Rugby league superstar was injured for 99% of his first season in union. He played a handful of minutes, but in those appearances, beat countless defenders and showed his great footwork and pace to burn. One to watch out wide, for sure. Maybe the coaches have plans for him to move inside and that is why Carraro was let go?

Olly Woodburn - Young winger, great under the high ball and a good kick chaser (got plenty of practice last year). Got good pace and deserved to start over Banahan for the season. Wonder if the Agulla rumours are true, where this leaves him?

Ben Mosses - the most inexperienced of the bunch, but maybe the most talented? Might sneak into some 22s with a lack of centre options.

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Post by Bathite Wed 20 Jun 2012, 11:46 am

^^

I've mainly gone for the youngsters. Webber's development and the addition of James at LH could be crucial to us getting some parity up front

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Post by Geordie Wed 20 Jun 2012, 12:30 pm

Sam / Bathite...

The interesting thing is that a couple of who you mention could have a big influience on the international issues we have.

Certainly Fearns & Attwoods getting back to form and Fitness.

Sam - will leicester play both Benjamin and Thompstone...two similiar but potentially explosive wingers?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 20 Jun 2012, 12:45 pm

Possibly Geordie. Depends on what happens pre season to be honest as currently it is wide open. Benjamin and Thompstone are both pretty similar to Goneva who is shorter but stocky so Cockers really has gone for pace and power in his three wing signings. The only other wingers at the club are Tait (constantly injured), Hamilton (very iffy form last season and getting on a bit), Lewington (pacey but rash, great footballing skills and fresh from the academy) and Morris (specialist 15 who can play wing but is solid rather than spectacular).

I would imagine that Goneva will mainly be used as centre/wing cover for the big matches along with Smith. Benjamin and Thompstone are the most likely starting partnership.

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Post by jeffwinger Wed 20 Jun 2012, 12:54 pm

From a Gloucester perspective, a lot of our youngsters have come through in the last few years and are now quite well known, the likes of Burns, Sharples, Trinder, May etc. There are a few more in the pipeline though, some will be known from U20s.

Ryan Mills - probably starts the season as second/third choice 10 and can also play very well in the centres, I'd have him on the bench to cover 10/12 and gain some good experience in the league. A very impressive game for Glos in the LV vs Cardiff last season, and some big performances through the national age groups. He's been on the fringes for a season or 2 now and should hopefully step up. He's a big lad, probably ~15stone already.

Dan Robson - like Mills has impressed for the U20s and been earmarked for quite a while. Hoping the experienced Jimmy Cowan will really help his development as a scrumhalf. Size may cound against him at the top level but he's feisty and very quick. Solid skills, all the basics covered, and a sharp eye for the gap.

Shaun Knight - young tighthead, will hopefully share the role 50/50ish with Rupert Harden this season. Massive guy, known by his fellow players as 'the cube' due to being as wide and deep as he is tall. Matson boy with the right sort of nasty in him, something the Glos pack have been missing. Had a bit of time this season and looks good in the scrum already. Decent all round game otherwise.

Tom Savage - looked very impressive in a few games at 6 in the latter half of this season, can also play in the second row. Already been spoken of as a potential future captain (some even suggesting giving it to him very soon). Big defender, old school style 5/6, may push the ageing Alex Brown for a start sooner than expected. Will have quite a job to win the 6 shirt on a regular basis due to other options, I'd try and tie him into the second row.

Koree Britton - hooker, again lots of experience with the U20s, been known about for a while. Massive in the loose, solid in the set piece so far. Good prospect, but will probably struggle for starts in the league this season unless management decide against replacing Andy Long in the squad. Could come into the equation if a replacement is not signed and the risky Edmunds signing goes bad.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 20 Jun 2012, 1:04 pm

I will tell you one thing guys, one player who will light up the Aviva next year is Paul James, bath have a mighty player there, I rate him higher than Gethin Jenkins, mark my words he will take your league by storm. Ale

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Post by Bathite Wed 20 Jun 2012, 2:18 pm

Good stuff!

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Post by profitius Wed 20 Jun 2012, 2:23 pm

Are the clubs allowed to sign a big name player outside the salary cap this coming season or the 2013/14 season?
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 20 Jun 2012, 2:28 pm

It is this season Profitius, though I think only Gloucester and Sale have signed star names to make use of that particular ruling with Jimmy Cowan going to Gloucester and one of Cipriani and Gray taking the marquee spot in the wage cap for Sale.

Most clubs are just shuffling an existing player into the marquee spot. Quins will shove Evans as their marquee player and Tigers will have Castro or Cole.

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Post by Bathite Wed 20 Jun 2012, 2:38 pm

and I think Bath are putting Donald in there

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Post by jeffwinger Wed 20 Jun 2012, 2:45 pm

When Donald signed the rumours were that his salary was about half a million. Firstly, does anyone know if this is true? Secondly, I believe that the marquee allowance has a cap 250k-300k ish, so does the remainder of his salary come from the regular cap? Or is the marquee allowance cap incorrect?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 20 Jun 2012, 3:02 pm

Jeffwinger the rest of the salary would then come from the cap as normal if a the maquee signing was worth more than £300k a year.

I thought the £500k uber wages were in connection with Bismark du Plessis who Bath also tried to bring in and then decided not to once they found out just how much he wanted in terms of cash.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Wed 20 Jun 2012, 3:13 pm

At Quins we had some first teamers who are rather young and will continue to develop, I hope, particularly Gray, Marler and Smith. (Brown and Care and Robshaw and Lowe and JTH have a lot of potential to improve too, and are all surprisingly young)

Then there are fringe players like Hopper, Casson, Clegg, Stegmann, Brooker and Wallace too.

Casson could be an excellent allround IC given gametime, even though that type of centre is out of fashion. He's young and will get his chance.

If Hopper can wise up defensively, he is a great attacking option at OC, fantastic hands, instincts and some pace and he's a really keen tackler, just not always in the right place at the right time and not strong enough to make up for that physically.

Clegg obviously hasn't kicked on as hoped, but it's difficult with Nev in the team. I think he will play more this season and needs a kicker (like Botica, who could Qualify for England) somewhere outside him to do so. He can run a backline beautifully but isn't great at the posts and can go missing under pressure. We need to rest Nev but if we have Nev on the bench it might take the pressure off Clegg knowing that a game-manager is there to back him up if need be and hopefully he'll get back on track.

Brooker is quite old but young (26?) for a Hooker and will kick on if uninjured. Grey will only get better too, and needs to show that he can make up for his perceived smallness. He is very energetic on the field. Both Hookers can work on throwing.

Wallace could eventually be the answer as a linkman 7. Very fast, hardworking in the field, decent in the breakdown and great in attack. A little naive but he'll grow out of that.

Stegmann is just behind Smith and is a very good finisher. Smith is hardworking with nice feet but not THAT pacey for a wing. Seb has had some injury problems but when he has played for us he has scored plenty and will hopefully be an eventual first teamer.

The key fringe player for me, though, is Ross Chisholm, who will play now that Brown is going to hopefully be playing for England a bit next season. He has serious pace, more than Mike for sure, but defensive frailties. Brown and O'Shea are great people to teach him how to work on his weaknesses though and exposure in the AP and Europe will hopefully make him a WG/FB prospect for a few years' time.


As for other prospects, not yet fixtures at the Club:

Kyle Sinckler at tight head is a fantastic young prospect and a big lad, Charlie Walker at OC or the wing is another potential star, Jack Clifford is Easter's long-term replacement at 8 and 1 of Merrick and Matthews are hopefully going to answer our long-standing lock problems. Buchanan also looked well-adjusted to the senior game when he stepped up for our injured Hookers

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 20 Jun 2012, 3:16 pm

Martyn Thomas could be one to watch at Glaws, he reminds me of a young Geordan Murphy in style.
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Post by Bathite Wed 20 Jun 2012, 3:18 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Jeffwinger the rest of the salary would then come from the cap as normal if a the maquee signing was worth more than £300k a year.

I thought the £500k uber wages were in connection with Bismark du Plessis who Bath also tried to bring in and then decided not to once they found out just how much he wanted in terms of cash.

Yep, this is true. Donald is on close to £250k, as was our previous WC winning FH, Butch James before him!

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Post by jeffwinger Wed 20 Jun 2012, 3:35 pm

That sounds more reasonable. Always thought £500k for someone who has never really made any impact at international level (RWCF excepted) was ridiculous. £250k is more like a normal premiership overseas signing. Hopefully he'll get fit and start earning that money.

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Post by profitius Wed 20 Jun 2012, 4:30 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:It is this season Profitius, though I think only Gloucester and Sale have signed star names to make use of that particular ruling with Jimmy Cowan going to Gloucester and one of Cipriani and Gray taking the marquee spot in the wage cap for Sale.

Most clubs are just shuffling an existing player into the marquee spot. Quins will shove Evans as their marquee player and Tigers will have Castro or Cole.

It will give the clubs some breathing space. I think they should be allowed to bring in 3 or 4 players outside the salary cap.
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Post by HammerofThunor Wed 20 Jun 2012, 5:24 pm

profitius wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:It is this season Profitius, though I think only Gloucester and Sale have signed star names to make use of that particular ruling with Jimmy Cowan going to Gloucester and one of Cipriani and Gray taking the marquee spot in the wage cap for Sale.

Most clubs are just shuffling an existing player into the marquee spot. Quins will shove Evans as their marquee player and Tigers will have Castro or Cole.

It will give the clubs some breathing space. I think they should be allowed to bring in 3 or 4 players outside the salary cap.

Surely you might as well just increase the cap if you allowed 3 or 4 outside of it. I'd rather it stayed at one 'star' player. One player shouldn't make a massive difference but helps out the bigger clubs (or at least the ones with money)

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Post by beshocked Wed 20 Jun 2012, 6:55 pm

From Saracens:

Mako Vunipola - young loose head prop. Ex England U20s.He's a big unit at 20st+. Could be a big ball carrier. Missed most of last season but could make a big impact.

Lorenzo Romano - have heard positive things about this young 23 year old tight head signed from Aironi. Took part in Italy's summer tests. Could turn into a powerful scrummager which is sorely needed.

Joel Tomkins - the rugby league convert has had little opportunity to shine but should get his chance in pre season. The 13 shirt is up for grabs and he could be the attacking weapon Saracens need.

Chris Ashton - starting to rediscover his mojo. If Saracens develop a more attacking game he could be the lethal finisher to complement a potentially very dangerous backline.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Wed 20 Jun 2012, 7:45 pm

Is Romano a new transfer in or is he in the academy?
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Post by Poorfour Thu 21 Jun 2012, 10:22 am

My Quins players to watch would be James Johnston and Charlie Matthews. Apparently the coaches want JJ to work on his core strength over the summer because his scrummaging isn't yet where they want it to be. Considering how he finished last season, that's quite a frightening prospect, especially if Sinckler begins to get some bench time next season.

Matthews is coming back from a broken ankle but in the games he played last season he looked powerful enough to be Olly Kohn's eventual successor while also being athletic enough to be a lineout threat. He won't hit his peak until he fills out, which will probably take a couple of years, but I expect him to have quite an impact next season all the same.

I also wonder if Charlie Walker will get some game time over the course of the season. He is the quickest player I have seen in quite a while (makes Chisholm look slow) and his acceleration is particularly destructive.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 21 Jun 2012, 10:29 am

Apparently the coaches want JJ to work on his core strength over the summer because his scrummaging isn't yet where they want it to be. Considering how he finished last season, that's quite a frightening prospect, especially if Sinckler begins to get some bench time next season.

Johnston seemed to really pick up once the refs decided his iffy binding was legal. In the first half of the season it was deemed illegal and he was pinged off the park but in the second half of the season it was deemed fine and he looked good. Personally I'd say it was illegal as the way he binds forces away the arm of the opposition loosehead making it nearly impossible to get a bind. Depends whether the armpit it judged as the arm or the body, it's very borderline. I think he'll be overtaken by Sinckler in the next couple of years anyway, he offers the big tighthead role but with better scrummaging technique.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu 21 Jun 2012, 10:42 am

I think a lot of the young ones will have to step up this season at Quins, because we have won the AP and now need to try and compete in Europe too and our senior squad isn't big enough to do that unless we blood kids. We have also had some injuries on tour that might take players out of the beginning of the season (not sure how serious they all are but losing Monye, Robshaw, Lowe, Brown is fairly unfortunate) and I fully expect most of our current England bunch to miss some of the season for Internationals. We are going to be pressed in terms of strength in depth next year!
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Post by Poorfour Thu 21 Jun 2012, 5:54 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:I think a lot of the young ones will have to step up this season at Quins, because we have won the AP and now need to try and compete in Europe too and our senior squad isn't big enough to do that unless we blood kids. We have also had some injuries on tour that might take players out of the beginning of the season (not sure how serious they all are but losing Monye, Robshaw, Lowe, Brown is fairly unfortunate) and I fully expect most of our current England bunch to miss some of the season for Internationals. We are going to be pressed in terms of strength in depth next year!

My feeling is that next year will be tough but if Quins can keep the squad together until 2013/14 the youngsters will start to have enough experience to provide the depth needed for a European campaign. But David Ellis (CEO) was pretty bullish about the squad depth already when we asked him last week!

As for injuries, the current word is that Monye will be fine in a week or so, Robshaw in 4 (he deserves a holiday anyway), Brown has had an op and is out for another few weeks and Lowe there's not much news about but I'd heard 8 weeks. So they will miss bits of preseason but be back around the start of the new season.
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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu 21 Jun 2012, 5:55 pm

That's good
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Post by yappysnap Thu 21 Jun 2012, 7:28 pm

Looking forward to seeing how Marler and JJ develop, I love the fact we've gone from one of the worst scrummaging teams in Europe to one of the strongest in a season and there's still so much room for improvement.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu 21 Jun 2012, 7:34 pm

Plus we've got Sinckler to bring through too. Add in Matthews at 5, our pack is going to improve again, as long as we cN hold it together long enough to get them all experience. We've got (even though I'm not sure we have the nous to do it) to try to press in Europe this year- we can beat Biarritz and if we get a favourable QF match up and get to the semis, I think our best squad always has 2 big games where they can focus and beat anyone . I really doubt we are in a position to win or make the final in the HEC but if we get a good Quarter line up I might change my mind
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Post by Poorfour Thu 21 Jun 2012, 7:44 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Apparently the coaches want JJ to work on his core strength over the summer because his scrummaging isn't yet where they want it to be. Considering how he finished last season, that's quite a frightening prospect, especially if Sinckler begins to get some bench time next season.

Johnston seemed to really pick up once the refs decided his iffy binding was legal. In the first half of the season it was deemed illegal and he was pinged off the park but in the second half of the season it was deemed fine and he looked good. Personally I'd say it was illegal as the way he binds forces away the arm of the opposition loosehead making it nearly impossible to get a bind. Depends whether the armpit it judged as the arm or the body, it's very borderline. I think he'll be overtaken by Sinckler in the next couple of years anyway, he offers the big tighthead role but with better scrummaging technique.

Sam - JJ's binding is borderline, but it's no worse than many other tightheads and better than a lot. Du Plessis was binding on the hem of the sleeve, not even near the armpit, all through Saturday's game and wasn't pinged once IIRC. JJ at least reaches for the shirt but often slips back towards the arm before getting a firm hold.

The Quins coaches have said that they sat down with a number of referees and went through his binding with them. According to them, it looks worse than it is because he hits so hard that many opposing looseheads can't stay straight and he has to grab whatever target they leave him. Whether we think it is legal or not, the refereeing community seems in general to have accepted this interpretation, so there must be some technical merit in it.

Whether he's overtaken by Sinckler is up for debate. From what I have seen, Sinckler is more technical, and faster in the loose, but ultimately likely to be less powerful. It's also a huge step up from U20 to playing regularly in the Prem. Personally, I expect a Castro/Cole situation to develop where they both get a lot of game time. Given that they are respectively young and very, very young in prop terms, if COS can manage the salary cap opposing props could be in for a hard time for a fair few years to come.
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Post by DaveM Thu 21 Jun 2012, 11:36 pm

Quins have another young TH, Will Collier who is two years ahead of Sinkler.

Du Plessis was clearly binding illegally. Everytime Corbisero was allowed to bind he destroyed him.

I think Botica is the most interesting player at Quins - a distributing 12 could move Quins on to another level. Second most interesting is Chisholm - anyone who can burn off Jonny May and has some physical presence is worth watching.


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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu 21 Jun 2012, 11:53 pm

If Botica takes off, it's good to have another optioning the centres. Still need a second row though
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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri 22 Jun 2012, 12:10 am

I am genuinely excited at seeing how Setaimata Sa settles into the AP for London Irish.

Big lad with good hands and could be sensational for us at 12 if he switches codes well.
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Post by Cumbrian Fri 22 Jun 2012, 7:46 am

Geordie has pretty much spoken for me regarding Newcastle, but there are a few players dotted around the league that have caught my attention:

Teimana Harrison (Northampton)- A classic no.7, he was starting to feel his way into the Northampton squad last year.

James Craig (Northampton)- He was developing into a very good athletic second-row/ back-row last season.

Rob Miller (Sale)- Can he kick on and push for an England place? Or will he suffer second season syndrome?

I'd be surprised if some clubs aren't starting to look at Jacob Rowan from Leeds too, another year in the championship might turn his head unfortunately for Carnegie.

Kieran Brookes (Leicester)- Last year was a bit of a write off for him, but he has a lot of talent and could be like a new signing for the Tigers when he comes back in for them.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jun 2012, 9:20 am

The Quins coaches have said that they sat down with a number of referees and went through his binding with them. According to them, it looks worse than it is because he hits so hard that many opposing looseheads can't stay straight and he has to grab whatever target they leave him. Whether we think it is legal or not, the refereeing community seems in general to have accepted this interpretation, so there must be some technical merit in it.

For now. You never know with referee interpretations. Personally I'd like to see him just develop a proper long arm bind and get on with it rather than running the risk. By binding on the armpit he's making his engagement a 50/50 call as to whether the ref deems it arm or body. If adapts to the Marler bind which is much further down then they'll be no doubt and he can just use his strength to drive on.

I know some of the Tigers coaches (and other AP coaches) were less than enthralled by the refs interpretation and Ayerza clearly remonstrated in both the AP League game and the Final. By dragging away the looseheads attempts at a bind Johnston is maximising his hit and then covering against his technical flaws. If you're not getting pinged why bother changing.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Fri 22 Jun 2012, 9:24 am

Joe Ajuwa (London Welsh) - Big soli.........oh hang on better wait and see what happens first.
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Fri 22 Jun 2012, 9:27 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Joe Ajuwa (London Welsh) - Big soli.........oh hang on better wait and see what happens first.
Laugh Ha, ha, nice one, Spidey!

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Post by Pal Joey Fri 22 Jun 2012, 10:38 am

Anyone heard about this one?

Brett Stewart - London Irish Deal

What a coup that would be. Great player. A huge loss for Manly too! Sad
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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri 22 Jun 2012, 10:47 am

Hadn't seen that breaker. I know he is a great league player but do you reckon he would adapt to union?
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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jun 2012, 10:51 am

Those figures can't be correct. $850,000 Aussie Dollars is £550k in real money (Sterling). That would make him comfortably the highest paid player in the AP and the highest paid back (possibly player) in Europe. I don't think even Wilko gets that much. LI have a wage budget of £4.8m for next season inc RFU benefits and marquee signing. That would be a massive layout on a player with no Union guarentee. Can't see it happening unless the £550k includes external commerical deals not linked to the club.

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Post by Pal Joey Fri 22 Jun 2012, 10:52 am

I think he would do really well. He's a natural rugby league player and he probably played a bit of union in his early days.
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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri 22 Jun 2012, 10:56 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:Those figures can't be correct. $850,000 Aussie Dollars is £550k in real money (Sterling). That would make him comfortably the highest paid player in the AP and the highest paid back (possibly player) in Europe. I don't think even Wilko gets that much. LI have a wage budget of £4.8m for next season inc RFU benefits and marquee signing. That would be a massive layout on a player with no Union guarentee. Can't see it happening unless the £550k includes external commerical deals not linked to the club.

I know that with current squad wages we are well below the cap at present and have for the first time the ability to spend up to it, so it's not that much of a stretch. I also think that Smith with his former league background likes league convert backs so I would not be surprised at all if this was true.
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Post by Pal Joey Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:00 am

Actually, I don't know if he has played union.

It says West Wollongong juniors but no need to worry. He doesn't live in a league vacuum... league and union cross-pollinate fairly well here. It would be in his blood for sure. More open spaces and less structured line defence in union would suit him more.
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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:04 am

I'd be really happy if we signed him, as we only have 1 senior full back in Tom Homer. After him we would be relying on either Topsy Ojo or Anthony Watson playing there.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:15 am

Ozzy it was only the amount of money that made me doubt it. Paying a fullback £200k a year more than top international tightheads like Cole and Castro is a pretty massive investment, especially when LI could really do with a top tighthead.

Where will Homer and Watson fit in if he does sign up as a fullback? Would be sad to see to home grown talents and future England players resigned to the bench and A League fixtures with sporadic starts in the first team.

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Post by mawhis Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:23 am

It is an unbelievable amount of money. From what I understand the newspaper's journalistic credentials are somewhat suspect as well.

The club has some money to spare, with quite a few top players going, some before their contracts had expired, so we may be able to afford it, depending on whether it comes in under the salary cap, but the question is whether it would be better spent elsewhere.

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Post by Pal Joey Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:23 am

When I say less structured.

In league; it's like a solid line of steel wall and they have to break through the 'doors' or the gaps between players.

In union; it's more like a swinging steel gate defence with different lines & angles of attacking play through the back line.
However when a team is pressing on the 22m line or so, the defence is similar to league... basically flat defensive lines either side of the ruck.

Brett Stewart is a master at running those lines and angles and has had plenty of experience cracking the best flat line RL defences.
He should also adapt to union very well taking advantage of deeper angles of attack as well as running at a more deeper and angled defence.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:39 am

The club has some money to spare, with quite a few top players going

You've shed quite a few this off season haven't you? Rautenbach, Ion, Kennedy, Casey, Armitage (Guy and Delon), Bowden, Jarvis and Hape. That's got to be a quarter of your wage bill or close to it.

Skivington, Sa, Humphries, Geraghty and O'Leary all signed for next season, is there anymore?

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Post by mawhis Fri 22 Jun 2012, 11:46 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
The club has some money to spare, with quite a few top players going

You've shed quite a few this off season haven't you? Rautenbach, Ion, Kennedy, Casey, Armitage (Guy and Delon), Bowden, Jarvis and Hape. That's got to be a quarter of your wage bill or close to it.

Skivington, Sa, Humphries, Geraghty and O'Leary all signed for next season, is there anymore?


Tom Smith, Halani Aulika, Scott Lawson, Jonathan Fisher, Cai Griffiths all in

4 coaches, (Booth, Catt, Hatley & bishop), Paul Hodgson, Kieran Roche, Clarke Dermody, Gary Johnson all out.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jun 2012, 12:11 pm

Wow, it really is all change down at the MadStad. First team something like?

1.Corbs
2.Buckland
3.Griffiths
4.Skivington
5.Garvey
6.Smith
7.Gibson
8.Trevarinus (sp?)
9.O'Leary
10.Humphries
11.Tacki
12.Sa
13.Joseph
14.Ojo
15.Homer

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