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2017/18 Year of the English opensides??

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Post by Recwatcher16 Mon May 15, 2017 11:38 am

Over the last few seasons in the AP, the openside no. 7 role has been interchangeable with the no.6 role. This may possibly change next season ? Will we see more specialist operators ? providing injuries don't necessitate multi purpose roles within AP squads.

A couple of notable transfers have been Kvesic to Exeter and Callum Clark to Saracens, both could well be inspired moves to rejuvenate stuttering careers at currently more successful clubs. Carl Fearns would be a barnstorming addition to any AP side if/when it happens.
Sam Jones at Wasps, Thacker and Evans at Tigers, Underhill at Bath, Rowan at Gloucester, the Curry brothers at Sale are all new ish potential stars if some of the hype is to be believed. Harrison at Saints has suffered a little second season syndrome but will regain some form. Wallace at Quins and Wilson at Falcons have maybe missed the Test boat but are still AP talents influencing how the game is played in the league. Of course there is also Wood, Robshaw and Haskell lurking around and still keen to make a point too together with Louw, Youngs, Salvi, O'Connor and Burger making their contribution.

I have always regarded the ploy of making the no.7's captain of the team in order to be a little more immune from referees sanction at the breakdown as a tad cynical but given the endless phase play with players going off their feet to seal off the ball and the gate to the tackle area being more of a barn door for defensive players, opensides do need any small margins going to achieve their couple of breakdown steals per hundred defensive rucks within a game.

I am undecided if this is a welcome development or will fade as referees adopt a lenient or harsh interpretation at the breakdown. If the latter then Haskell may well have a couple more seasons at the top of the tree for test selection - or who is next ??

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Post by Welly Mon May 15, 2017 1:39 pm

I mean if you want to get technical O'Connor is an EQP.

It's a shame that Ludlam hasn't progressed more at Saints.


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Post by Scottrf Mon May 15, 2017 1:45 pm

Welly wrote: I mean if you want to get technical O'Connor is an EQP.

It's a shame that Ludlam hasn't progressed more at Saints.

Yeah he looks good.

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Post by Welly Mon May 15, 2017 1:46 pm

also another promising 7 is Willis at Wasps.

TBH we have EQP 7's coming out of the woodworks everywhere.


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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon May 15, 2017 1:47 pm

Ludlow at Gloucester has been playing openside recently and is playing very well.

A lot of EQ options at the minute but will Eddie decide any are ready for international rugby? Underhill maybe, the others either not or need some more experience.

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Post by Welly Mon May 15, 2017 1:50 pm

Also reckon Thacker might have to play more at 2 next season.


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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon May 15, 2017 2:08 pm

Welly wrote: Also reckon Thacker might have to play more at 2 next season.

Seems likely. We've not acquired another hooker to be third choice so it'll be another season of Harry switching between the two positions.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue May 16, 2017 12:51 pm

Mark Wilson is a 6 not a 7. Welch is a 7 but they pretty much play left and right roles as they do the same job.

Calum Chick...now that's a boy to keep your eyes on.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue May 23, 2017 1:13 pm

Interesting Ive heard a few "unofficial" comments from chiefs fans that Kvesic has lost weight and that Baxter will be looking for him to be a more alround player at 7 rather than simply a breakdown hog.

Can any chiefs fans confirm this?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue May 23, 2017 3:53 pm

Exeter play with a high work rate so he won't get away with specialising and he may have spent his injury recovery time adapting his fitness to fit in with the Chiefs style of play. Armand, Salvi and Ewers cover a phenomenal amount of ground from the flank.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue May 23, 2017 3:59 pm

Could be the making of him!

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