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3 caps or less. Overlooked, injured or just unlucky.

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Post by carpet baboon Thu 18 Feb - 8:53

First topic message reminder :

Having read a few best of teams,who are the players who you think should have got more international recognition.
Only criteria is 3 or less caps.
Professional era or armature.
Just for fun, and no fighting.


Last edited by carpet baboon on Thu 18 Feb - 8:55; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Damn Spell check)

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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb - 9:43

GeordieFalcon wrote:Fa why are you always quick to put down anything English...yet it's clear you have barely seen any of them play.

You jump to say JSD tripped like your looking for flaws.

Robinson is a genuine great of the game. As above said...his top end pace wasn't great. It was the first 10 where he smashed defences.

JSD had magic though and I just wish he'd really had a chance.

Was at twickenham for his debut in 02. He was good, he did a similar move to the one on the video hence my recall... but in that instance post dummy he tripped over himself and could have scored had he stayed on his feet. Maybe that stuck with SCW.
Skill is only one aspect of rugby, attacking prowess is only one aspect of wing play. He was injured a lot from memory but coaches preferred others. They preferred Robinson, Lewsey, Sackey... hell even Mark Cueto got what 40-50 caps during that period?

Test rugby is completely different from club rugby. If you don't bring it immediately or show big promise you can get put in the wastebin unless the coach really really believes in you. Its elite rugby. Maybe its right that he wasn't fully given a chance but I can't believe England would have simply wasted a 30-40 try Robinson like star, if he was that good his value would have shown through and forced coaches hands.
As I said before... Pierre Spies has been the greatest no.8 in SR hands down over the last 10 years... hands down. Club rugby is an indicator, not a definitive guide.

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Post by Big Fri 19 Feb - 9:57

fa0019 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Jason Robinson was a very, very good player - but sometimes I suspect he was a mythical creature whose exploits grow in every re-telling.

The guy scored 30 test tries... and was first capped aged 27. That is an outstanding achievement given wingers tend to be most prolific in their youth. Had Robinson been in union from the start he would have broken all records.

Quite right. And for those, like myself, who are fans of both codes his achievements in his early career are also damn impressive - the Wigan team of the 90s with Offiah on one wing and Robinson on the other was just plain fantastic and he scored a massive number of tries there in his league career. Top end speed wasn't the greatest, but it's acceleration that challenges the initial defensive line most and he had that in spades. Once the line is broken he could pass to someone with a bit more gas if needed.


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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb - 10:00

Big wrote:
fa0019 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Jason Robinson was a very, very good player - but sometimes I suspect he was a mythical creature whose exploits grow in every re-telling.

The guy scored 30 test tries... and was first capped aged 27. That is an outstanding achievement given wingers tend to be most prolific in their youth. Had Robinson been in union from the start he would have broken all records.

Quite right.  And for those, like myself, who are fans of both codes his achievements in his early career are also damn impressive - the Wigan team of the 90s with Offiah on one wing and Robinson on the other was just plain fantastic and he scored a massive number of tries there in his league career.  Top end speed wasn't the greatest, but it's acceleration that challenges the initial defensive line most and he had that in spades.  Once the line is broken he could pass to someone with a bit more gas if needed.


My first memory of him  was probably confusion into why this little chap was humping the floor when I saw him play league. Some are more animated than others but he was rather dramatic in that respect! Shocked

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 19 Feb - 10:04

Great is always a debatable term. Robinson probably deserves the tag for RL and RU, though talk of his youthful potential often ignores his time at Bath.

I still believe however that his legend is growing in the telling, but as people being demonised here tend to see that exaggerated it should be no surprise.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb - 10:08

fa0019 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Fa why are you always quick to put down anything English...yet it's clear you have barely seen any of them play.

You jump to say JSD tripped like your looking for flaws.

Robinson is a genuine great of the game. As above said...his top end pace wasn't great. It was the first 10 where he smashed defences.

JSD had magic though and I just wish he'd really had a chance.

Was at twickenham for his debut in 02. He was good, he did a similar move to the one on the video hence my recall... but in that instance post dummy he tripped over himself and could have scored had he stayed on his feet. Maybe that stuck with SCW.
Skill is only one aspect of rugby, attacking prowess is only one aspect of wing play. He was injured a lot from memory but coaches preferred others. They preferred Robinson, Lewsey, Sackey... hell even Mark Cueto got what 40-50 caps during that period?

Test rugby is completely different from club rugby. If you don't bring it immediately or show big promise you can get put in the wastebin unless the coach really really believes in you. Its elite rugby. Maybe its right that he wasn't fully given a chance but I can't believe England would have simply wasted a 30-40 try Robinson like star, if he was that good his value would have shown through and forced coaches hands.
As I said before... Pierre Spies has been the greatest no.8 in SR hands down over the last 10 years... hands down. Club rugby is an indicator, not a definitive guide.

Dear lord...is that all you can keep coming up with? Can you show a clip please?

Also I suggest you read Rugby fans summary to see the problem!

I also suggest you ACTUALLY WATCH some English players before slating them so quickly!

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Post by Cyril Fri 19 Feb - 10:24

Go to 21:30 on this video. I don't know why fa is banging on about one incident. Jonny scores his chip and chase try from the next phase Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFctRUpALko

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Post by lostinwales Fri 19 Feb - 10:30

I tend to think of a saying that a woodworking teacher at my old school used to use.

'The man who never made a mistake never made anything at all'


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Post by Cyril Fri 19 Feb - 10:37

It's not like he lost the ball or got turned over (despite at least 3 or 4 NZ players coming in from the side!). He just slipped while trying to change direction.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb - 10:48

He made huge ground, total cementented the Kiwi defence then slipped. Not losing the ball etc.

But FA suggests that's bad play. thumbsup

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand Fri 19 Feb - 10:54

GeordieFalcon wrote:He made huge ground, total cementented the Kiwi defence then slipped. Not losing the ball etc.

But FA suggests that's bad play. thumbsup

Yeah, it's a little confusing. Looked to me like great play all round, barring a slip, which didn't have a negative impact.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 19 Feb - 11:09

There's no doubt in my mind Sinbad was good enough. He just had terrible luck with injuries - in particular, their timing.

As he had never built up a base of caps, England coaches often wanted him to show he'd recovered properly by leaving him at his club, rather than selecting him for Tests. He had two of his finest seasons playing for Gloucester rather than showing the same for his country.

Other England players have been slotted straight in as soon as they prove they can get out of a chair without wincing. Farrell, Wilkinson, Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Ben Morgan etc etc.

Given a run of five games or so, I think he would have proved his worth. Robinson is mostly at fault for not getting him involved early enough but Brian Ashton is the real villain for choosing Vainikolo over a fit, and in-form Simpson Daniel. Johnson also ignored him, but seems less culpable given what had gone before.

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Post by beshocked Fri 19 Feb - 11:26

Steve Hanley is another player I am surprised only got 1 cap for England.

One of the top try scorers of all time in the AP.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Hanley_(rugby_union)

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 19 Feb - 11:31

Steve Hanley is a very good shout. While he was unlucky to coincide with Cohen and robinson for a decent time, getting just one cap aged 19 (with Barrie-Jon mather at 12 who should never have been capped) was not reflective of his ability.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 19 Feb - 11:33

LondonTiger wrote:Steve Hanley is a very good shout. While he was unlucky to coincide with Cohen and robinson for a decent time, getting just one cap aged 19 (with Barrie-Jon mather at 12 who should never have been capped) was not reflective of his ability.

I seem to remember he was pretty solid on his debut too. Mather wasn't....

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 19 Feb - 11:36

Yeah my memory was Hanley did ok. I guess he was not helped by it being the last game of the 6Ns and when the RWC warmups came around he was ignored.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb - 11:44

jbeadlesbigrighthand wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:He made huge ground, total cementented the Kiwi defence then slipped. Not losing the ball etc.

But FA suggests that's bad play. thumbsup

Yeah, it's a little confusing. Looked to me like great play all round, barring a slip, which didn't have a negative impact.

Didn't say that's bad play. Said he tripped over himself and suggested maybe it stuck in SCW's head albeit he wasn't around for long. Robinson was in the set up too mind. Elite sport can be up to little things such as this. Good tries vs. the baa baas should always be taken with pinches of salt, no time for defensive pattern work etc.

My questioning revolves around people saying he was better than Robinson i.e. a man who scored 30 tries aged 27+ and whether he really was that good. It sort of suggested JSD would have been the greatest winger ever had he been picked as Jason would have been the record scorer easily had he always been a union man.

If he was that good why wasn't he chosen. I don't watch AP but catch nearly all tier 1 test matches and have done for the last 25 years + and performance in test matches and training is really where coaches will make their minds up, not club matches. Maybe he was disgarded but there would surely be a rational explanation for this, something we don't see. Unions pay coaches huge salaries to win matches, not like they're going to leave their top dog in the wings when their job is on the line... a top dog who was continually disregarded against others by up to 5 England coaches (i.e. no personal rift).

Saying people don't watch club rugby is weak.. its weak because it doesn't really matter.

Carlos Spencer for me and for many IS THE MOST TALENTED PRO RUGBY PLAYER EVER. Yet he got half as much caps as his rival Andrew Mehrtens. Why? Mainly because he couldn't hit a barn door with the tee but fundamentally because for all Spencer's merits, Mehrtens overall game gave him an edge.
I imagine its the same with JSD and any other supremely talented chap who coaches continually didn't select. Its not like it was a one coach grudge... SCW, Robinson, Ashton, Johnson and even Lancaster (albeit perhaps slightly unfair to inc. him in this list.... none of them gave him a priority as their golden goose in the wings.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 19 Feb - 11:48

fa0019 wrote:If he was that good why wasn't he chosen.
Take a look at the career history I linked to above. That sums it up. Woodward always involved him when he could, and said he would have continued to do so.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 19 Feb - 11:56

Thing is with Robinson is that it wasn't just the acceleration and fantastic footwork. It was also the leadership, flexibility (all those starts at full back and one in the centers I believe) and shear 'will to win' which he also provided. He was very hard working and a real talisman.

In some ways (except for the footwork/acceleration thing) the closest winger we have had to him since is Nowell.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb - 12:05

Rugby Fan wrote:
fa0019 wrote:If he was that good why wasn't he chosen.
Take a look at the career history I linked to above. That sums it up. Woodward always involved him when he could, and said he would have continued to do so.

well by the sounds of it Ashton didn't rate him as he was fit during this era, that or thought others were better.

What about the lions tours of 05 and 09? McGeechan famously picked on merit. SCW picked JW when he had been injured for 18 months such was his faith in him for that tour.

Not saying he wasn't talented. I do recall Tindall saying he was exceptional at gloucester. Yet I just can't see how he was this > Robinson type player. It seems coaches obviously thought he was a peg or so down which is by no shape or form saying he's bad, just his highlights are a little overstated.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 19 Feb - 12:11

Nobody trusts Gloucester fliers....

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Post by lostinwales Fri 19 Feb - 12:19

I am not sure if Narraway should go in this category or the 'other one'. Had a great tour to NZ when all others failed and then seemed to disappear from the international side altogether.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 19 Feb - 12:20

fa0019 wrote:If he was that good why wasn't he chosen.

You cannot have it both ways. You claim that not being picked must mean a player is no good, then slate players who are picked.

I suspect that what you really believe is that only your own opinion matters, and everyone else is just wrong - about everything.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb - 12:29

LondonTiger wrote:
fa0019 wrote:If he was that good why wasn't he chosen.

You cannot have it both ways. You claim that not being picked must mean a player is no good, then slate players who are picked.

I suspect that what you really believe is that only your own opinion matters, and everyone else is just wrong - about everything.

About him being better than Robinson. Yeah, I'll argue that till the sun goes down.

About him being a good player. Agreed. I've read testimony from those within saying he was very good infact. I also know he was injured a lot. However I can't frankly believe that coaches continued to not pick him (5 during his pro career) if he was as good as everyone says he was, 1 or even 2 can be perhaps explained as a potential personality clash i.e. Johnson & Cipriani but 5?
People say he SCW was a big admirer but they also say he was fit for the 05 lions tour... why wasn't he picked if was so much better than the rest? Why wasn't he picked by McGeechan in 09 if he was fit? Hell Fitzgerald got on that tour, Earls got on that tour (one of the most car crash picks since Peter Wright).
He was fit for the 07 RWC... Ashton didn't even pick him for his prelim squad. Maybe some saw him as too easily injured but for the very best you often see people see outstanding talent as worth the risk (i.e. Wilkinson post 03).

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 19 Feb - 13:14

fa0019 wrote:...However I can't frankly believe that coaches continued to not pick him (5 during his pro career) if he was as good as everyone says he was...
It's not as simple as that, because all of them did pick him or were prepared to do so. Coaches didn't stop picking him because he had bad games.

Obviously, there is no correct answer here, because it's all might-have-beens and conjecture. I did think it was interesting you brought up Carlos Spencer, because I'd have been delighted if we'd seen as much of Sinbad at Test level as him. It's very possible that the Englishman would also not have demonstrated Mehrtens-like consistency but I think, like Spencer, he would have had Test matches when you'd say "No-one can touch him when he plays like that."

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb - 13:28

Ah guys don't bother...you wont win. FA is right that's all that matters..... Rolling Eyes

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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb - 13:30

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ah guys don't bother...you wont win. FA is right that's all that matters..... Rolling Eyes

Sorry Mrs Simpson-Daniel. Your little Jamie was the bestest eva.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb - 14:13

Thing with Simpson-Daniel is he was always injured when he was going to get that chance. Bit like Wade and Slater are going through now. The longer it goes on the bigger risk they are seen.

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Post by yappysnap Fri 19 Feb - 17:17

Tom Varndell. Sensationally quick, had a brilliant step at speed and a good brain.

No matter how hard he tried, how many years he topped the try scoring boards for and how many tackles he made, no one was ever going to forget that as a youngster he hadn't liked tackling and that haunted the rest of his career, while we played Vainikolo, Sackey, Cueto and any one else over him.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 19 Feb - 17:25

yappysnap wrote:Tom Varndell. Sensationally quick, had a brilliant step at speed and a good brain.

No matter how hard he tried, how many years he topped the try scoring boards for and how many tackles he made, no one was ever going to forget that as a youngster he hadn't liked tackling and that haunted the rest of his career, while we played Vainikolo, Sackey, Cueto and any one else over him.

Sackey was decent at times. Cueto was just odd - as in how could a guy running apparently so slowly be so hard to tackle. He was great to watch late on in his England career though. Vainikolo though....

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Post by whocares Fri 19 Feb - 17:59

Bendy should have got more than 2 caps between 2007 and 2011 In my opinion. At least as much as Team mates Hape and Banahan

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Post by Bathman_in_London Fri 19 Feb - 19:59

Speaking of varndell l, Steve Hanley only got one cap but was prolific domestically. Is he still the top premiership try scorer or did varndell overtake him?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 22 Feb - 12:40

OK he got 4 caps - but Paul Hull was desperately unlucky not to get more. The 4 he got came against SA away (one win) and then in the following AIs. He played well and pretty sure he got MotM in his 4th and last test.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 23 Feb - 5:22

Gareth Wyatt was always one name that would constantly get mentioned as to why he never had more than his 2 Welsh caps. He was running in tries for fun when Ponty were in their pomp but the Welsh selectors at the time just never seemed to give him a shot.
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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 23 Feb - 5:23

LondonTiger wrote:OK he got 4 caps - but Paul Hull was desperately unlucky not to get more. The 4 he got came against SA away (one win) and then in the following AIs. He played well and pretty sure he got MotM in his 4th and last test.

I played against Paul a few times during our RAF carears and the guy was class.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 23 Feb - 9:08

Dean Schofield was a player I always thought merited a closer look by England. Always rated him. Only 2 caps.

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Post by Shifty Fri 26 Feb - 22:25

I'm breaking the rules by my first thought was Paul Hull of Bristol, but I checked and he had 4 caps Sad.

My second one was Andrew Gibbs, he played for Wales in the 90's he was considered the star player in the Wales U20 team that contained Scott Quinell, Neil Jenkins and Scott Gibbs. But sadly his career was ruined due to shin splits. Though he managed 6 caps.

Lee Jarvis or Dave Bishop for Wales might be my only ones.
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