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Unfulfilled talent

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 26 Sep 2020, 8:01 pm

Watching the build up the Euro semi finals has got me thinking on who the great unfulfilled talents there are on the international stage. I'm obviously more inclined to know more about the England side of things but I'm intrigued to know who people think fell by the wayside for whatever reason.

For England theres a few that have been struck down by injury recently that could have made a huge difference had things gone differently: rees, Simpson-Daniel, harry Ellis. Couple ignored unfairly: steffon armitage, abendanon? Guys who fizzled out delon Armitage, morgan?

For every guy who has fallen by the wayside theres another who gets the shot and goes onto to be a legend but who are the guys that could have been?

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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 26 Sep 2020, 8:53 pm

From a Scotland perspective Duncan taylor, Matt Scott, Mark Bennett all could've been in our starting centres for the last 5 years were it not for injury. Alex Dunbar too although he got a bit more time in the saddle hence why I've not included him. Mark Bennett may yet appear for us again, at 27 he has time. Going back a bit Joe Ansbro could've been a great player for us at a time we were lacking quality at centre. Thom Evans on wing too.

Huw Jones has fallen out of favour for Scotland but is playing well at FB for Glasgow so we're hoping that'll reignite his Scotland career. Albeit as a useful bench option.

Blade Thomson is another one who looked a great player but seems to be made of glass. Gary Graham showed great potential but hasn't since been reselected. David Denton was forced to retire early and could've been a great player with work.

I could mention more, especially a few young guys who have quit Scottish rugby recently. For a nation with so few resources we certainly have a lot of cannon fodder!
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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 26 Sep 2020, 8:55 pm

And the main obvious one for England for me is Danny Cipriani for being a first class Mr Winklechops in his early career, essentially ruining his opportunity.

Such a shame as he truly is a talent.
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Post by Guest Sat 26 Sep 2020, 10:46 pm

Jesse Lingard.

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Post by Mr Bounce Sat 26 Sep 2020, 11:08 pm

Both Tom Rees and Sam Jones could have been long-standing exceptional flankers in their careers. Rees was made of china unfortunately and Jones was cruelly stopped before he could get started. I also think Joe Simpson could have made a pretty decent hash of being England's 9 but was limited to just 20 unsatisfactory minutes.

I thought Phil Greening was another who could have achieved more in an England shirt - he was fantastic in the loose but after 2001 he seemed to have concentrated more on 7s. Adedayo Adebayo was a cracking wing who I guess never really had a good go either - great club form never seemed to transmit into international form.

Finally step forward Jon Bentley - a guy who could have achieved more in union but played most of his rugby in the other code. The Lions Tour of 1997 was his peak, and he never showed that form again. A shame, because I think he was a great player.

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Post by nlpnlp Sun 27 Sep 2020, 12:14 am

Alex Goode - although he won 21 England caps he never got the opportunity to cement himself in the team. A stalwart for Saracens when they ruled English and European rugby, Premiership and European player of the year. A fly-half by trade but went into the fullback position for Saracens which I think ultimately cost him at International level as his lack of out and out pace held him back - had he stayed at 10 perhaps this wouldn't have been such an issue. Has many skills which Owen Farrell doesn't have, plus a pretty mean boot. Definitely someone we never saw the best of at International level.

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Post by nlpnlp Sun 27 Sep 2020, 12:35 am

Simon Roberts. Who you might ask? The first player to win a blue for both Cambridge and Oxford university (both as a freshman). Also won a rugby league blue for Cambridge university playing under the false name of Robert Simons as it wasn't 'allowed' to play both union and league back then. Was a junior european water skiing champion in his spare time. Decided to become a doctor rather than pursue the rugby. One of many outstanding talents many of us played with at one time or another who could have/should have been an outstanding talent.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 27 Sep 2020, 7:22 pm

Nick Duncombe at the time England's youngest scrum half. Passed away at just 21. Could have been a star.

Matt Hampson, called up to the Tigers bench at 20 for a league match in an age where there was only prop on the bench and when Tigers front row was feared across Europe, a massive vote of confidence for his potential. Horrific neck injury whilst training with England under 20s left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life raising money for his charity and it's good work.

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Post by Maine man Sun 27 Sep 2020, 7:48 pm

David Pollock, former Ulster openside. Retired at 23 I think due to a hip injury. Was absolute quality and was tipped by many to play for Ireland.
There was a young outside centre at Leinster who retired far too early. Cant remember his name for love or money.

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Post by Guest Sun 27 Sep 2020, 8:04 pm

Nevin Spence

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Post by Maine man Sun 27 Sep 2020, 8:17 pm

Must admit just had a look on Google and it was O'Malley who was the Leinster centre.
Nevin Spence was a cracking player. I'm sure it was the anniversary of his passing a couple of weeks ago

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 27 Sep 2020, 9:49 pm

England's back row of Narroway, Rees, Haskell.

James Simpson Daniel, one of my favourite players of all time should have been an england great.

Alex Corbisiero. What a destructive Loosehead.

And....Caucau...

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 29 Sep 2020, 12:48 pm

An old thread on the same topic from 2013 had Courtney Lawes in the list. It did look at one stage as if he was going to miss out.

https://www.606v2.com/t44431-wasted-potential-xv

One player I wanted to see more of, and hoped he'd be on a Lions tour, is Ross Rennie.

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Post by BigGee Tue 29 Sep 2020, 1:16 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:An old thread on the same topic from 2013 had Courtney Lawes in the list. It did look at one stage as if he was going to miss out.

https://www.606v2.com/t44431-wasted-potential-xv

One player I wanted to see more of, and hoped he'd be on a Lions tour, is Ross Rennie.

Such a shame about RR, he really was a talent, a once in a generation OS. We have missed him for sure.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 29 Sep 2020, 1:24 pm

Cheers Rugby fan. Interesting to see how things change, personally I'd say Lawes has exceeded his talent!

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Post by Guest Tue 29 Sep 2020, 2:10 pm

Going back to 2013 and it would have been almost a given to mention Dylan Hartley. I still don't think English fans give him the credit his ability deserved. Probably because he's a Kiwi. But how much of this depends on a coach's opinion? I'd add Scott Williams as another player who has never given a run in the starting Welsh team despite being a better all round player than Jamie Roberts and probably Jonathan Davies' equal in terms of talent. These players who 'make it' but never really be all that they could be tend to go unnoticed when it comes to these kinds of discussions for the players who barely get a look in or who suffer a tragedy.

There are plenty of Kiwis worth mentioning as well. Richard Kahui would be a good place to start.

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Post by Mr Bounce Wed 30 Sep 2020, 11:09 am

If it's Kiwis what about Zac Guildford? Cracking player, fell foul of the demon drink.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 30 Sep 2020, 11:14 am

Mr Bounce wrote:If it's Kiwis what about Zac Guildford? Cracking player, fell foul of the demon drink.

Aye, Guildford definitely counts as a wasted talent.

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Post by TJ Wed 30 Sep 2020, 11:41 am

Simon Taylor? It was injuries that did for him to a great extent but we never really saw the best of him in a Scotland shirt for long enough

Jonny Beatie - one fabulous season for Scotland then off to play semi pro

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