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Scotland's strength in depth

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caz
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Post by 123456789 Fri 26 Oct 2012, 6:52 pm

Currently Scotland have players in their squad who don't play top division rugby, others in the squad aren't anywhere near good enough for international rugby however there are also players like Denton, Hogg, Visser etc. and soon Sean Maitland who are some of the top players in Europe. I know that the often a lack of depth is the reason cited for not investing in more pro teams but do two teams provide enough players for the international side to compete with the top teams? In my opinion it is time to risk short term failure by investing in two new pro teams providing 80+ Scottish players to pro rugby as well as players playing outside of Scotland. Look at Wales and Ireland, they have three or four top players in each position whereas we have areas of the team that are quality and others which simply aren't good enough. If there were four teams then Edinburgh and Glasgow could buy top class players so that the best players in Scotland can compete with the best European players at heineken cup level and then lots more could play week in week out in the RaboDirect Pro12.
On the face of it money is a big problem but there are probably people willing to invest and with the right management and none of this mucking about with coaching staff then the teams would attract fans.

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Post by alive555 Fri 26 Oct 2012, 7:45 pm

great idea unfortunately no way that's going to happen in the short term

For me I'd much rather they set a goal and achieve it of say getting double the number of comprehensive schools playing rugby

Imho - That would have a much better and more importantly, beneficially sustainable long term effect than 2 new teams strapped for cash all the time.

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Post by 123456789 Fri 26 Oct 2012, 7:50 pm

To be honest if they could get someone in to sort out rugby i.e a development officer. To sort out rugby from top to bottom setting up grass roots tournaments with cash incentives to the winners and academies as well as more teams.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Fri 26 Oct 2012, 7:52 pm

alive is smack on, no point having more pro teams if the numbers at the grass root arent there aspiring to play for them.

I wouldnt look to Ireland and Wales as success stories though, although a step ahead of Scotland at present I don't beleive 4 professional clubs is enough either.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Fri 26 Oct 2012, 7:54 pm

123456789

Does the pro teams in scotland not have dev officers?? I'm sure they must do, all of the UK are working off a UKCC training manual kinda thing, surely there are a few guys there creating junior tournaments, organising selection and development programmes etc...

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Post by 123456789 Fri 26 Oct 2012, 7:58 pm

thebluesmancometh wrote:123456789

Does the pro teams in scotland not have dev officers?? I'm sure they must do, all of the UK are working off a UKCC training manual kinda thing, surely there are a few guys there creating junior tournaments, organising selection and development programmes etc...

To be honest I've no idea but seeing as guys like Traynor and Murchie are being called up they must be rubbish

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Post by thebluesmancometh Fri 26 Oct 2012, 8:04 pm

Well thats a bit harsh if you know nothing about the whats going on!!

Who are Trayner and Murchie?

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Post by 123456789 Fri 26 Oct 2012, 8:36 pm

Traynor was dropped by Edinburgh at the end of last year and now plays for Bristol, I'm pretty sure he'd struggle to push a door let alone a scrum.
Murchie to be fair is a decent player but not international standard, when everyone is fit then he'd be Glasgow's third choice full back.
What I meant was someone to come in and shake up Scotland's grass root policy.

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Post by thebluesmancometh Fri 26 Oct 2012, 8:49 pm

I think it's more of a case of participation numbers rather than shaking up whats already there.

I'm sure there are tons of juniors who don't get a chance due to travel to the academies and costs etc... not to mention the kids already hooked on football, the SPL must be a big pull.

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Post by GLove39 Fri 26 Oct 2012, 11:37 pm

Can't believe that Robbo picked Murchie as opposed to Tonks Doh

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Post by Cryptoyourisan Sat 27 Oct 2012, 1:27 am

GLove39 wrote:Can't believe that Robbo picked Murchie as opposed to Tonks Doh

Why not? He's a track record of being a dodgy selector. I'm surprised he didn't pick Southwell, to be honest.

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Post by GLove39 Sat 27 Oct 2012, 1:32 am

Good point, but given how well Tonks has played I thought even someone prone to selective brain farts like Robbo would have seen that.

A back 3 for the AI's of Tonks, Hogg,Visser would have been great. Ohhh well...

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Sat 27 Oct 2012, 7:16 am

123456789 wrote:To be honest if they could get someone in to sort out rugby i.e a development officer. To sort out rugby from top to bottom setting up grass roots tournaments with cash incentives to the winners and academies as well as more teams.
Top to bottom is what's required, and of course, money (that we don't have, and may not be there)

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Post by 123456789 Sat 27 Oct 2012, 12:17 pm

Funding local tournaments could be relatively simple, if they get local organisations to provide a cash prize for the winners then local schools will enter because currently schools don't have much money, the schools will then get players to play and the chances are several will enjoy it and then join clubs where, in general they'll be exposed to a higher standard of coaching. Then if they created "district teams" made up of the best players from five or six clubs. These districts could compete against each other and their best players could join a regional academy, then the "regions" could compete against each other and at an older age against Regions from England, Wales and Ireland. The "regional academies" could feed into pro teams.

I know that this would be quite expensive but surely no more expensive than employing Taylor Paris, Mike Penn and Ben Atiga for a year. I also firmly believe that if you invest at the bottom level then it will improve rugby at every level. Also when these pro teams are created then surely they should be given more autonomy then more people will come to watch, if also they had the sense to say that if the pro team from the area is playing on a Saturday then all club games will be on a Friday or Sunday.

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Post by bsando Sat 27 Oct 2012, 3:38 pm

GLove39 wrote:Good point, but given how well Tonks has played I thought even someone prone to selective brain farts like Robbo would have seen that.

A back 3 for the AI's of Tonks, Hogg,Visser would have been great. Ohhh well...

As a big fan of AR I too found the exclusion of Tonks very odd, I only hope he gets included in the squad for the 6 nations because he is a fantastic player.

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Post by KickAndChase Sat 27 Oct 2012, 3:56 pm

123456789 wrote:Funding local tournaments could be relatively simple, if they get local organisations to provide a cash prize for the winners then local schools will enter because currently schools don't have much money, the schools will then get players to play and the chances are several will enjoy it and then join clubs where, in general they'll be exposed to a higher standard of coaching. Then if they created "district teams" made up of the best players from five or six clubs. These districts could compete against each other and their best players could join a regional academy, then the "regions" could compete against each other and at an older age against Regions from England, Wales and Ireland. The "regional academies" could feed into pro teams.

I know that this would be quite expensive but surely no more expensive than employing Taylor Paris, Mike Penn and Ben Atiga for a year. I also firmly believe that if you invest at the bottom level then it will improve rugby at every level. Also when these pro teams are created then surely they should be given more autonomy then more people will come to watch, if also they had the sense to say that if the pro team from the area is playing on a Saturday then all club games will be on a Friday or Sunday.

Really good point. But it will never happen. Politically what you're saying is "lower the budgets of the only two pro sides in Scotland and allow them to wallow in terrible results for a decade" (even if that's a very biased way of putting it.) People aren't very clever regarding thinking in the long term.

Also let's give Ben Atiga time ... he was one of the biggest signings of the summer for a reason. (Although, 12, really?)

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Post by caz Tue 30 Oct 2012, 2:36 pm

Local clubs organise tournaments at grass roots level (ages 5-11). The kids at my sons club have a full fixtures calendar from August to June, mostly 2 clubs visiting a 3rd. About 3 or 4 times a year clubs will host a full scale tournament.

DO's run coaching sessions in schools, encourage kids to join their local clubs and run after school clubs in state secondaries.

Grass roots is alive and kicking up and down the country every Sunday morning.

Hopefully investment in coaching and the pro teams will bring success and encourage more kids to take up the sport, failing underfunded pro teams wont inspire anyone.

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Post by 123456789 Tue 30 Oct 2012, 3:02 pm

To be honest I don't think that they should reduce the pro team budget however I think players should be signed that will improve the teams, Angus MacDonald and Ben Atiga are probably on bigger contracts than Rob Harley and Matt Scott but aren't Scottish, they're worse players and they're a lot older. When there supposedly isn't a lot of money why are they signing players who can't add anything; I'm all for signing top qualityforeign players like Maitland and Strauss but paying for mediocre players to fill squad spaces that could otherwise be filled by Scots is stupid.

We have enough depth to produce four teams already, and if they sign top quality players for Glasgow and Edinburgh then our very best players will regularly get important club rugby matches i.e Knockout stages and play-offs.
Another important thing would be players playing for their local pro side so locals can relate to the team.


We could have:

Glasgow:

1. Welsh
2. MacArthur
3. Murray (if they could convince him to re-sign)
4. Gray (if they could convince him to re-sign)
4. Kellock
6. Harley
7. Fusaro
8. Strauss
9. Pyrgos
10. Weir
11. Maitland
12. Horne
13. Dunbar
14. Van de Merwe
15. Rory Lamont

16. Grant
17. Gillies
18. Fainga-anuku
19. Campbell
20. MacDonald
21. Matawulu
22. Wight
23. S.Lamont

Edinburgh:

1. Jacobsen
2. Titterell
3. Cross
4. Gilchrist
5. Cox
6. MacInally
7. Rennie
8. Denton
9. Rees / Blair (if they convinced him to re-sign)
10. Leonard
11. Visser
12. Scott
13. De Luca
14. Brown
15. Tonks

16. Yapp
17. Lawrie
18. Nel
19. MacAlpine
20. Grant
21. Leck
22. Hunter
23. Atiga
Borders:
1. Shiells
2. Ford
3. Bruce Douglas
4. MacLeod
5. Hines (Currently playing abroad)
6. Brown (if he could be convinced to re-sign)
7. Barclay
8. Beattie
9. Lawson
10. Laidlaw
11. Jones
12. King
13. Cairns
14. Walker
15. Hogg

Aberdeen:

1. Reid
2. Hall
3. Low
4. McKenzie
5. Swinson
6. Strockosch
7. Hogg (if he could be convinced to re-sign)
8. Wilson
9. Cusiter
10. Jackson
11. Ansbro (if they could cobvince him to sign
12. Morrison
13. Grove (if he could be convinced to sign)
14. Seymour
15. Southwell

Most of these players are playing for the team closest to their birth and although it's unlikely many players playing abroad would return I was just using them as an example.

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Post by caz Wed 31 Oct 2012, 1:41 pm

Finally the SRU are starting to invest in Edinburgh and Glasgow, to try and stretch that money to even one more team will take pro rugby back into the abyss.

It's time to move forward, Angus MacDonald and Ben Atiga have been signed as player/coaches to bring the young SQ guys on, a la Todd Blackadder, and as SH "names". If the SRU hadn't invested in them Josh Strauss and Sean Maitland might never have signed up.

One year of investment isn't going to be enough but it's a start, Edinburgh and Glasgow need to get the results and build their fanbases so that another franchise can be started in the future.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 31 Oct 2012, 2:08 pm

The argument for a 3rd pro side can only really be convincing when the existing two pro sides are performing, and currently Edinburgh have little quality and almost no depth.

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Post by Geordie Wed 31 Oct 2012, 2:39 pm

12345....

Shiels...LH for Borders...is that our Shiels?

You would have to convince him to sign aswell....

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Post by profitius Wed 31 Oct 2012, 3:08 pm

thebluesmancometh wrote:alive is smack on, no point having more pro teams if the numbers at the grass root arent there aspiring to play for them.

I wouldnt look to Ireland and Wales as success stories though, although a step ahead of Scotland at present I don't beleive 4 professional clubs is enough either.

Australia were at their best when they had only 3 teams to choose from.
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Post by cp10 Wed 31 Oct 2012, 3:46 pm

profitius wrote:
thebluesmancometh wrote:alive is smack on, no point having more pro teams if the numbers at the grass root arent there aspiring to play for them.

I wouldnt look to Ireland and Wales as success stories though, although a step ahead of Scotland at present I don't beleive 4 professional clubs is enough either.

Australia were at their best when they had only 3 teams to choose from.

Pro teams are only as strong as the support leagues.

If you look at SA/NZ/AUS only SA and NZ have the correct setup to support 5 pro teams. AUS will always consistently under perform until they set up a working support league.

NZ (ITM Cup) & SA (Currie Cup) leagues mix up & coming guys with experienced proffesional heads in teams allowing them to develop new talent. All countries will struggle to keep pace with the two until they have this.

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