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London Irish 2014/15 Thread

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:02 am

First topic message reminder :

 Leprechaun Welcome to this seasons thread for talking about all things London Irish. Leprechaun 

Senior Squad (36)
Hooker: David Paice, Michael Mayhew, Jimmy Stevens 
Prop: Tom Court, Matt Parr, Johnny Harris, Geoff Cross, Halani Aulika, Leo Halavatau, Jamie Hagan
Second Row: George Skivington, Nic Rouse, Sean Cox, Dan Leo 
Back Row: Kieran Low, Blair Cowan, Jebb Sinclair, Ofisa Treviranus, Tom Guest, Luke Narraway, Connor Gilsenen 
Scrum Half: Tomas O'Leary, Darren Allinson, Scott Steele 
Fly Half: Shane Geraghty, Myles Dorrian, Chris Noakes 
Centre: Eamonn Sheridan, Eoin Griffin, Guy Armitage, Fergus Mulchrone
Wing: Topsy Ojo, Andrew Fenby, James Short
Full Back: Tom Homer, Alex Lewington

Senior Academy Squad (11)
Hooker: Gerard Ellis, Ollie Adams 
Prop: Tom Smallbone, Richard Palframan 
Second Row: Ollie Curry, Theo Vukasinovic 
Scrum Half: Conor Murphy 
Centre: Ross Neal, Tom Fowlie
Wing: Harry Lightfoot-Brown 
Full Back: Cameron Cowell

Season Preview

After what can only be described as a disappointing 2013/14 season there is cause for some optimism as we approach the season.  For the first time in a number of seasons, there are more players coming in than leaving, and those arriving are bring with them international experience in varying amounts.  Of those who have gone, only Marland Yarde and James O'Connor would be guaranteed starters this season, and overall the squad looks stronger in terms of both the first XV and depth behind it.  

Up front international props Tom Court and Geoff Cross have joined the club, and Halani Aulika returns after missing the whole of last season through injury.  These three players could be key for us, as an improvement in the set piece will be required if we are to improve on our league position this season, and I am confident that these guys will see us right in that area.  Behind them the combative Sean Cox and powerful Dan Leo have also arrived and should bring the sort of physicality needed to be successful in the Premiership.  In the back row Tom Guest, Luke Narraway and Conor Gilsenan will give us options that we did not have last season, and hopefully Jon Fisher has now recovered from the concussion that saw him miss all of last season.  In short the pack looks far better equipped to provide a platform to play from this time around, and one or two injuries shouldn't hurt us as much as they have done over the last couple of seasons.

Behind the scrum Scott Steele has arrived and has been highly touted to challenge for 9 jersey, and Chris Noakes arrives from Super Rugby to challenge at 10.  Shane Geraghty however may have other ideas after finishing the season strongly in that jersey, but whatever happens, the competition for places can only be good for the team moving forwards.  Eoin Griffin arrives from Connacht in the centres, and looks to be a very good player.  With all of the four senior centres able to play 12 or 13 there could well be some mixing and matching and horses for courses selections over the season, and that is not to mention Tom Fowlie in the academy, who impressed every time he put on the jersey last season, be it at centre or on the wing.  James Short arrives to bolster the wing options and is a proven finisher who the fans will hope can fill the hole left by the outgoing Marland Yarde.

From the academy, Gerard Ellis, Tom Smallbone and Tom Fowlie should get some extended game time this season.  Ellis in particular impressed at the back end of last season and has spent the summer in Australia to assist with honing his skills at hooker, and Smallbone has been in New Zealand playing club rugby and continuing his development as prop by working on his skills with the father of All Black props Owen and Ben Franks.

Whilst we will most definitely be a better side this season than last, it is fair to say that most other sides have also recruited well and will be stronger than last time around.  After a very poor start in 2013 we spent the majority of the year in the relegation scrap, and lost a lot of games by narrow margins.  The key for us will be turning those narrow losses into narrow victories if we want to finish higher than last season, and I think we have recruited well enough to do that.  We must start the season better though, and that won't be easy as we play all of last seasons top four in our first six games.  We will have to raise our game immediately, although it is fair to say that some of our best performances last season came against those sides, and we should be able to draw from those performances this time around.  

I fancy us to steer reasonably clear of the relegation scrap this time around and improve on last years finishing position.  Whatever happens though, one thing will always remain true, and that's I'd rather be a paddy than Quin!!!  Leprechaun  Leprechaun  Leprechaun 


Ozzy's prediction: 8th


Fixture List
DayDate KO Opponents Venue Competition Result 
Sat6th Sep 1416.30 HarlequinsTwickenham Aviva PremiershipL 15-20    (7th) 
Sun14th Sep 14 15.00Newcastle Falcons Kingston Park Aviva PremiershipW 20-18   (7th)
Sat20th Sep 1415.00SaracensMadejski Stadium  Aviva Premiership  L 23-36    (8th)
Sat27th Sep 1415.00Leicester TigersWelford RoadAviva PremiershipW 22-19    (6th)
Sat4th Oct 1415.00Northampton Saints Madejski Stadium Aviva Premiership
Sat11th Oct 1415.00Exeter ChiefsSandy ParkAviva Premiership
Sun19th Oct 1415:00TBCMadejski StadiumEuropean Challenge Cup 
Fri24th Oct 1419:30FC GrenobleStade LesdiguièresEuropean Challenge Cup
TBCLeicester TigersMadejski StadiumLV Cup
TBCWaspsAdams ParkLV Cup
Sat15th Nov 1414.00Sale SharksSalford City StadiumAviva Premiership
Sat22nd Nov 1415.00Bath RugbyMadejski StadiumAviva Premiership
Sun30th Nov 1415.00GloucesterMadejski StadiumAviva Premiership
Cardiff BluesBT Sport Arms ParkEuropean Challenge Cup
Cardiff BluesMadejski StadiumEuropean Challenge Cup
Sun21st Dec 1414.00WaspsAdams ParkAviva Premiership
Fri26th Dec 1415.00London WelshMadejski StadiumAviva Premiership
Sat3rd Jan 1515.00SaracensAliianz ParkAviva Premiership
Sun11th Jan 1515.00Exeter ChiefsMadejski StadiumAviva Premiership
FC GrenobleMadejski StadiumEuropean Challenge Cup
TBC European Challenge Cup
TBCScarletsParc y ScarletsLV Cup
TBCNewcastle FalconsMadejski StadiumLV Cup
Sat14th Feb 1515.00Northampton SaintsFranklins GardensAviva Premiership 
Sat21st Feb 1515.00Leicester TigersMadejski StadiumAviva Premiership 
Sat28th Feb 1514.30London WelshKassam StadiumAviva Premiership 
Sat7th Mar 1515.00HarlequinsThe StoopAviva Premiership 
LV Cup Semi Final
LV Cup Final
Sat28th Mar 1515.00Newcastle FalconsMadejski StadiumAviva Premiership
European Challenge Cup Quarter Final 
Sun12th Apr 1515.00Sale SharksMadejski StadiumAviva Premiership
European Challenge Cup Semi Final
Sat25th Apr 1515.00Bath RugbyThe RecAviva Premiership
European Challenge Cup Final
Sat9th May 1515.00GloucesterKingsholmAviva Premiership
Sat16th May15.00WaspsMadejski StadiumAviva Premership

Links

Official website
The Craic
Wikipedia page
London Irish ARFC
London Irish Supporters Club website

London Irish RFC Twitter feed
RugbyLI Twitter feed
LISC Twitter feed


Last edited by Ozzy3213 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:52 am; edited 10 times in total
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Post by Margin_Walker Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:13 am

Sure LT, I'd like to think people aren't expecting miracles. I thought we'd finish around 10th this season, which looks like it will be about right, depending largely on this weekend's result.

I'd like to see some progress and be more competitive next season, but the first priority will always be to comfortably avoid relegation in what will be a stronger league assuming it's Worcester or Bristol that come up. For a team that can be a soft touch front it's encouraging to see the likes of Franks and Symons come in

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Post by SirBurger Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:47 am

LondonTiger wrote:I guess the problem for all the teams is that everyone else seems to be moving forward too. I know that in the summer there was a lot of optimism amongst LI fans for thsi season but in the end it looks not dissimilar to last.

Looks like a good signing though - and for me much more needed than Maitland.

Absolutely agree with this LT. However, I have to say that I think we expected a bit too much of our signings last summer. Leo failed to be the beast that we were hoping for at lock; Cox looks far more under-powered than when he was a starter for Edinburgh; Narraway looks old and lacking in ballast; Noakes failed to be the Super Rugby level maestro at fly half and instead something of a damp squib; Griffin has been permanently injured. For me those were five key guys that I think in hindsight I expected too much of. Court, Guest and to a lesser extent Cross are really the only new additions that have strengthened us. So while I agree that it is a similar situation to last season and a lot of other sides have strengthened as well, I think that Franks, Symons, Goode and Maitland are all quite big upgrades on what we have. I am holding judgment on McKibbin for the time being, but I think he will at least be a step up on O'Leary and Trayfoot and Sisi will add carrying impetus to the pack when we are missing Treviranus and Cowan. Apparently we may also have a few more to come in as well, so all in all I am fairly hopeful. If we could win a higher proportion of our home games and move up the ladder even one notch to say 8th or 9th I would be fairly satisfied.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:57 pm

Symons has the potential to be our best signing. He has been excellent for the Chiefs, and the fact that the Ab's were even considering him tells you he's a decent player. If we can get Aulika back to where he was pre achilles injury, then we have strength in depth in the front 5 for the first time.

Next season I expect an improvement on this year, but no expecting miracles. What I would hope to see is Tom Coventry stamping his mark on the place in terms of playing style, a steady improvement through the season, and comfortably staying up. We then build on that with some more quality signings next year and look to challenge for top 6 or top 4 in the 2016/17 season.
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Post by Margin_Walker Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:25 pm

Looks like Symons was effectively sorted a long time ago:

London Irish will be coached next season by New Zealander Tom Coventry after he completes his fourth season as Chiefs assistant coach. Symons says Coventry played no part in his decision to leave.
"I had made my decision before they had established the management team, but having worked with Tom Coventry at the Chiefs I know he will be a massive asset to London Irish."

http://www.espnscrum.com/super-rugby-2015/rugby/story/260389.html#LCWPrtjH37gVrgRs.99

Regardless of results next year, Casey and the team have done superbly behind the scenes to sell the club.

Radio interview with him here as well post signing. There had been some contact from NZRU / Dream is to play for England / Several clubs were in for him, but he was impressed by the approach from Casey and Delany

http://www.radiosport.co.nz/on-demand/audio/matt-symons-england-aspirations/

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Post by Driver Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:15 pm

Matt Symons is a great signing , Think he'll be capped by England in the 6Ns next year.

If i was Stuart Lancaster i'd have a look at him in 50 man World Cup squad, If he is going to include Sam Burgess after a so so start he surely can consider Symons.
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Post by Margin_Walker Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:28 pm

Will be interesting to see where he is in the pecking order, assuming he does perform well. Plenty of depth for England at lock at the moment. He seems a pretty determined bloke though given his unorthodox career path so far, so we'll see.

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Post by SirBurger Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:36 pm

Thanks for the link MW - good listen.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:57 am

I've not listened to that link yet as am work, but I know a few bits about Symons signing for us. I know Saracens were in for him, and I know he spoke with Graham Rowntree and was told that signing for us would not have a negative impact on his international aspirations. I know there has abeen a perception at times that players have been told to move from Irish to further their international chances, but that has definitely not been the case here.
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Post by SirBurger Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:22 pm

Ozzy3213 wrote:I've not listened to that link yet as am work, but I know a few bits about Symons signing for us.  I know Saracens were in for him, and I know he spoke with Graham Rowntree and was told that signing for us would not have a negative impact on his international aspirations.  I know there has abeen a perception at times that players have been told to move from Irish to further their international chances, but that has definitely not been the case here.

That's very reassuring Ozzy. Thanks for sharing that.

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Post by Heaf Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:37 am

Big Trev out injured for at least 5 weeks Sad

That's a big loss for us ....

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Post by SirBurger Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:44 am

Gutted. He's been amazing for us this season - such an important player for us.

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Post by SirBurger Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:38 pm

Sheridan off. 3 senior centres enough? I think probably so with Shane able to play there and Fowlie stepping up. Also look out for Johnny Williams - he's huge.

Having said that, if someone does become available, then I imagine we would consider making a move.

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Post by Heaf Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:37 pm

Someone like Jamie Roberts?

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:23 pm

Symons eh? Damnit, was really hoping us Falcons might...'swoop' for him, ahem, sorry. Anyway, I think you guys have made some v impressive signings. A couple of years back I was really concerned about the quality of the Prem, a lot of average foreign journeymen were here. Looks like the calibre has ticked up which is great. Hopefully with home-growns coming through as well.

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Post by Hood83 Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:30 pm

Was going to ask on Symons though. The little I've seen of him he looks v good but I'm not sure what type of lock he is. Maybe a bit of everything. In which case I wonder if he'll be better than England's current locks, who are mainly mobile, athletic types like him. Is he likely to be better than Lawes, Launchbury etc?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:12 pm

I think Symons will be in contention for the next summer tour. Attwood and Kruis seem somewhat error prone and with the age and injury history of Parling England may well be looking at locks.

There's plenty of options though with Kruis and Attwood young enough to improve still, Slater would have been a fixture this year but for injury,the 19 stone mobile line out monster Kitchener and the incredible youngster Itoje.

Symons will be in a good place though. A pairing of Skivs and Symons in the second row has the potential to be a very good pairing indeed. Added to the addition of Franks that'll provide a string tight five platform for LI next season.

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Post by SirBurger Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:12 pm

According to Rugby Net statistics Symons is currently the best lock in Super Rugby.

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Post by Margin_Walker Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:42 pm

SirBurger wrote:According to Rugby Net statistics Symons is currently the best lock in Super Rugby.

Probably a pinch of salt required, as I'm pretty sure the metrics used aren't calculated on a 'per minute played' basis. As a result, he's likely to be at an advantage having played more minutes than most other locks. They can also sometime struggle slightly with ratings for front 5 players.

That said, he's obviously doing very well and even the minutes played factor is testimony to his fitness and how valued he is by the Chief coaching setup.

On another note, are we expecting an announcement of some sort tomorrow? They usually slip some good news in on a Monday. Not heard rumours relating to any specific players, but then McKibbin and Maitland were out of the blue. Perhaps a re-signing instead or the Academy intake for next year.

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Post by SirBurger Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:35 am

Totally agree with all that MW. Still very reassuring.

No announcement today it seems. Apart from academy I wonder how many more there will even be.

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Post by Margin_Walker Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:54 am

Yeah, I think we are about there. Can see perhaps one wing/utility back coming and another squad lock if Cox doesn't re-sign

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Post by SirBurger Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:14 pm

Difficult to read too much into the green bibs given to the players at training, but if the latest video is accurate, we might be seeing Jebb at 4 and a back row of Narraway-Gilsenan-Guest. Griffin and Sheridan to continue in the centres and possibly even Noakes at 10. Hopefully that is just preliminary stuff while the likes of Cowan and Geraghty shake off a bit of tiredness from the weekend, as they would both be big losses.

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Post by Heaf Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:28 pm

If those are the starters I can't see us winning this ....

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Post by Margin_Walker Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:05 pm

Right then. That's this season pretty much done and dusted. Would be nice to see us pick up a win or two in the closing games, but development has to be the key driver. Primarily that means giving gametime to people that are going to be here next season wherever possible. Do we know if Smallbone and Ellis are fit now? Palf has had a couple of decent cameos too. Also Fowlie getting time in the centre.

I guess everyone will be in the same boat, but next pre season is going to be fairly interrupted for us, especially with Coventry involved with Samoa. We are going to end up getting the new players in in tranches too.

Available for the full pre season - Trayfoot, Goode, Waldouck, Sisi
Available after the Super 15 - Symons, McKibbin + Laidlaw/Doorey (Early finish this season, but if the Waratahs or Chiefs get to the latter stages, you'd expect them to need 2 or 3 weeks off. Will still be fine for start of the season)
Available after the WC - Maitland, Franks, Coventry (NZ obviously likely to go further. Scotland may crash out in the pool stages, in which case we'd be waiting on Trev instead as the start of the season coincides with the QFs)

Franks will probably be used off the bench, so should hopefully still be fairly fresh when he does make an appearance. It's been discussed on SN, but if we were to sign one more player for next season, a tackle busting back would be good. Real shame the Osbourne deal fell through.

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Post by SirBurger Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:19 pm

Totally agree MW. Think a few guys like Court, Cowan and Paice could do with some time off as they have been absolutely slaughtered. Aulika, on the other hand, looks like he needs as much game time as possible to play himself into some form. We need to give the young lads some game time and begin to see whether they are just middle of the road, Championship level players, or whether there is potential for them to be something special. Ellis, Smallbone and Fowlie could all be in the latter category if given time.

In terms of recruitment that wing slot is still waiting to be filled. I am a big fan of all of Ojo, Lewington and Fenby, but for years our game plan has revolved around having a Yarde/Tagicakibau to ship the ball out to. I'm not saying that said plan is the best one available to us, but every side needs someone who can create something from nothing and I'm not sure we have one. Other than that, another second row is necessary from my point of view, but I'm not sure we will get one. Symons should be a huge asset and as much as I rate Rouse and Skivs, I can't see them both going a full season unscathed. Skivington hasn't dominated games like he used to for a while either, which to be honest is slightly worrying me. Some on SN have called for the captaincy to be taken away from him. I'm not sure that is the right move, but I do think he needs a bit of a rest. An athletic lock like Edinburgh's Bresler or Snyman from the Scarlets would help to take the load off a bit.

Anyway, for the remainder of the season, I would like to see a side along the lines of:

Smallbone
Ellis
Aulika
Sinclair
Rouse
Curry
Gilsenan
Guest

Steele
Geraghty
Lewington
Griffin
Fowlie
Ojo
Fenby

Bench: Paice, Court, Halavatau, Skivington, Cowan, Murphy, Brophy-Clews, Neal

Possibly a bit ambitious in terms of the youngsters thrown in there, but a few of them definitely warrant a shot now that there is nothing left to play for.

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Post by Margin_Walker Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:39 pm

Would be happy with that backline, but would probably give Ellis and Smallbone 30 minutes off the bench initially, with a view to starting the last few games. Skivs has dropped of a little lately and is probably pretty knackered at this stage of the season. On the other hand I've been encouraged by the impact that Rouse has made since coming back and can still see him doing a decent job off the bench next year with Skivs and Symons starting. Definitely need another lock though, but I get the feeling they may just give Cox another year. Curry is an interesting one, honestly haven't seen enough of him to form an opinion, but he's been kept on so they obviously rate him. Not sure we'll see him this season, but would expect to see him next year in a few of the more straight forward Challenge Cup games.

Captaincy wise, I'm sure Skivs will start as captain next year, with a view to it being handed on to Symons at some point assuming he does okay.


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Post by InjuredYetAgain Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:08 pm

If it is any consolation, I would love to combine your backline with our forwards. You hguys looked serioiusly dangerous as soon as you moved the ball wide on Sunday.
I was really worried about Gerghty's talent before the game but he had a shocker with the boot which ultimately cost you the game.
Sean Maitland is a funny one. While he is from the other end of the M8 and I so don't see him too often, he struck me as someone who looked like they could be a bit precious with maybe an attitude. He arrived with a flourish, scored a try in his first cap against England and then fizzled away. I thought he was lucky to get on the Lions tour

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Post by SirBurger Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:15 pm

We did look dangerous yes, but for all of our efforts, we only managed to break you down twice. I do think we should have used the backs a bit more - especially when our maul was clearly not going anywhere. Geraghty is an enigma and will remain one sadly. One of the most talented playmakers in the competition, but still can't control a game.

I think Maitland will go well for us. A change of scenery should do him some good. I don't think he has an attitude problem, but I do think he wants to play fullback. By giving him the opportunity to play in the 15 role I think we could be rewarded with some strong performances. Either way, he isn't one I am worried about in terms of impact. I think he will be a top signing.

And well played to your lot yesterday as well. I thought Bresler and Toolis were very impressive in the second row and Watson is a bit of a missile!

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Post by InjuredYetAgain Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:23 pm

Good summary of Geraghty, I think. Did England not cap him when Ireland were thinking about it? (Is he English or Irish out of interest?)
Your TH options seemed relatively weak - were they both Tongan?
You could well be right about the position Maitland wants but with Stuart Hogg being IMHO a much more dangerous player and having the 15 jersey for Glasgow, he was always going to have to look elsewhere more more game time at FB.
You are right about Hamish Watson. However, he is sadly typical of Scotland's backrow options. Decent player but perhaps too light to make it to the very top. All 6N teams and most club sides have a big hairy arsed ball carrier, we (Edinburgh AND Scotland) have the Claire Balding look-a-like of Dave Denton

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Post by SirBurger Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:48 pm

He has mixed parentage I believe. Speaks with an English accent though and grew up around Coventry way I think. He played Ireland age grade though until Under 18s I think and ended up getting about 6 England caps. I think he could still offer something as a distributing 12, but he lacks the control needed for 10. Maybe with Goode coming next season, Geraghty can revert to centre and cause the sort of problems he was causing at the start of the season outside Noakes.

Both THs are Tongan. Aulika (the starter) was arguably our best player in 2012/13 and one of the best Props in the Premiership, but his season was cut short in 2013/14 by an achilles injury and he's not been the same since. A lot of us are hoping he will come good as he is a real weapon for us when at his best. I am still optimistic that next season he will be better. Obviously we have Ben Franks coming in, but I think ideally we are viewing him as loosehead competition for Court. The other option at TH is of course Geoff Cross, but he doesn't seem that highly regarded by the coaching staff.

And I agree about Watson not quite being big enough for international level. He did a good job yesterday. Denton continues to flatter to deceive for me.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:37 pm

Heard today that we might be signing a hooker from the Championship. Got that from somebody who spoke to Bob Casey on Sunday and Bob intimated that we are not yet done with signings.
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Post by Margin_Walker Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:51 pm

Hooker would be a strange one with Paice, Stevens, Mayhew and Ellis all theoretically on the books for next season. Good to hear that there may still be one or two in the pipeline though.

If we did take a hooker from the Championship Tom Cruse from Rotherham would do nicely. Looks very dynamic whenever I've seen him. Similar career trajectory to Mulchrone having been at Sale (briefly) and Macclesfield before Roth.

Edit - Just trying to check his contract status and found this.

http://titansforum.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=4943.0

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Post by SirBurger Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:30 pm

Yea I have also read Tom Cruse as being linked to us before. Would seem like a good fit.

And I am not all that surprised. Coaches clearly don't trust Mayhew and Stevens. We need three hookers who can be trusted to play a full 80 minutes if necessary. At the moment we have one and another one who is perennially injured. Harsh on Stevens and Mayhew but I expect one or both of them to be released.

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Post by Margin_Walker Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:33 pm

Yeah, Mayhew or Steven leaving before the end of their contract wouldn't be a surprise. Probably the former. Happening more and more now, I think because they are being quoted as 3 years when signed, when the are perhaps two years with the option of a third.

Cruse would be an upgrade imo (and I'd say better than Harry Allen, who many were calling for to be taken on full time)

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Post by SirBurger Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:35 pm

Margin_Walker wrote:

Cruse would be an upgrade imo (and I'd say better than Harry Allen, who many were calling for to be taken on full time)

For sure. Solid set piece and one of the most dynamic hookers I've seen in the loose. Would be an excellent impact sub.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:12 pm

I believe it may be Mayhew who is leaving early.

Cruse would be decent. I still think we're a lock and a back three player short.
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Post by SirBurger Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:14 pm

Agree Ozzy - two slots that I see as vacant too.

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Post by InjuredYetAgain Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:31 pm

If you are short of a lock, if the Castrati get relegated from the Top 14 Richie Gray would, I imagine, fancy back to these shores. He was looking back to something like his best in the 6N just before he bust his arm. His time at Sale wasn't too successful which may deter Aviva clubs going for him
And don't even think of going after his brother. You wouldn't be interested in him - he will never make it, too slow, too fat, rubbish tackler, bad attitude etc etc. Jeez, how is Scotland's best player also our youngest one?!

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Post by SirBurger Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:11 pm

Would love Gray, but think we will be looking at more of a squad player to fill our final lock slot. Skivington-Symons is pretty much nailed on as being our first choice partnership for next season, so doubt Gray will be on our agenda.

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Post by SirBurger Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:52 am

Cruse confirmed. Happy with that - very good carrier. Now means that all three of our hookers can get us over the gainline.

2 more for me and I will spend the summer content. I guess we could be waiting to see if any bargains emerge at the World Cup.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:53 pm

Sounds like we've signed the additional winger we need, just another lock now and I reckon we are there.
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Post by exileray Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:50 pm

would this be the left winger from quins pete.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:55 pm

It would. Asaeli Tikoirutma. I believe we've signed him because Caimh hasn't had an unpronounceable name to read out on matchdays since Losi left. Wink
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Post by exileray Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:09 pm

caimh will be pleased. how old is he (not caimh) the other bloke.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:45 pm

28 I think.
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Post by SirBurger Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:14 am

Happy that we looked to have filled the slot. Will take some time to convince me we are getting the Chiefs version and not the Quins version, but obviously Coventry is keen to work with him again which is a good sign.

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Post by yappysnap Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:37 am

A good signing by you guys, you're getting the PDJ of the winger world! You'll be really pleased with his extraordinary ability to not play Wink

I wonder if this has been on the cards for a while and explains Harlequins not mentioning him for the last 3 months and us signing Visser so suddenly.

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Post by SirBurger Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:14 am

Sean Cox retires. Bit of a shock as he is relatively young, but it looks like he wants to pursue opportunities outside Rugby. I'm guessing we are definitely after a lock still then.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:20 am

yappysnap wrote:A good signing by you guys, you're getting the PDJ of the winger world! You'll be really pleased with his extraordinary ability to not play Wink

I wonder if this has been on the cards for a while and explains Harlequins not mentioning him for the last 3 months and us signing Visser so suddenly.

Yappy, my understanding is that him and John Kingston didn't get on and he's been wanting out of Quins for a while now. Tom Coventry has worked with him previously and hopefully will get him back to his best.
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Post by yappysnap Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:30 am

Fair enough, I'm surprised he didn't get on with JK as i've never heard of other players having problems with him and having listened to Kingston talk before about the team and training he seems quite easy to get along with.

I had heard that his family were struggling to settle and he was finding life over here tougher then he expected, hopefully he'll settle better at Irish.

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Post by SirBurger Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:28 pm

In a way our most pleasing performance of the season yesterday. I really felt like certain players stepped up. Narraway came on and played like the England international of old and Noakes showed control at 10 (although there was still the odd error). We got lucky with Fenby's try, but Lewington's were both very good finishes and I think we got what we deserved. Griffin's ability to pass under pressure is truly exceptional and he is becoming a really useful player for us. The scrum also went well and Skivington looked back to his best. Guest is growing by the game - I no longer feel that we are missing a Huff style ball-carrier as Guest makes just as much yardage, albeit in a different way.

Most pleasing though, has to be the performance of Palframan. The guy had Harrison on toast and also had 2 or 3 really impressive carries. He deserves all the praise he is getting - he has had to be so patient over the last three seasons. Kudos to Glenn for giving him his spurs as well - you can't help but feel he wouldn't have played if BS was still in charge. No reason why he can't push on and be first choice next season based on that evidence.

Ps. Tikoirotuma looked good for Quins Very Happy

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