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Calls for an immediate inquest into the Welsh regions

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Irish Londoner
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formerly known as Sam
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Post by LordDowlais Tue 06 Apr 2021, 11:33 am

First topic message reminder :

There is unrest in Wales by the looks of it, in the aftermath of a successful 6N the jungle drums are now beating and people want answers as to why the regions are not doing as well as people think they should be.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-regions-face-difficult-times-20322120

How long can this keep going ?

Do others on here think the Welsh regions under perform ?

The outcome of this should be very interesting.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 21 Sep 2021, 8:19 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:  If the Welsh had better academies would Sheedy, LRZ etc be playing for the Welsh regions instead of coming through the English system.

It has nothing to do with the academies. The academies in Wales are fine.

You haven't watched the Wales U20s in recent years then.

The academies have nothing to do with our players ending up in the rugby schools in England.

Obviously it does if they aren't fit for purpose, which the U20s have shown in recent years as they continue to slide. Not sure why you think the English are 'taking' players. The offer gets put on the table, people can accept it or turn it down. Quite simple really.

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Post by Brendan Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:30 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:But can the WRU or Regions not do Simillar deals with the private schools or university in Wales.

Why do they need to ? The academies are doing just fine. Rugby in Wales is a community sport, the whole villages and towns revolve around their rugby teams, we do not need to send kids to school to produce players. They are working class kids, with working class parents who generally put just as much into the game as the clubs, academies ect as everyone else do.

You really need to realise, that rugby in Wales does not revolve around the four regions.

You made the statement that we need better academies to keep our players, to stop them going through the English system, when in fact, that statement is so far wide of the mark. If what you are saying were to happen, the academies would just lose players to the Welsh schools instead of the English schools.

There is absolutely no logic in what you are saying what so ever. Hopefully you are now aware that Wales have a lot of players coming through the English system, because the English system come and get them, not because the academies in Wales are not good enough. You just need to check before you make your sweeping statements without having anything to back them up.  OK


As you said getting the scholarships are like winning the lottery.  Can they not win that in Wales rather than only tickets for English schools being sold.

Kids in Leinster know if they start at a couple of schools they are almost granteed an academy contract at Leinster or Connacht.  If they get an academy contract they can get a professional contract at Leinster or Connacht.  Munster feed young kids into a select number of clubs at u14 and the kids that do well get their fees paid for by a benefactor to go to a private school if not already going (Not allowed to give sports scholarship I think).  They then go from the sub-academy on to the academy linked with university study to give them help in later life. Those who get professional contracts can come back and finish later. Henshaw stayed in Connacht because he was doing his degree in Galway which allowed them to win the league. Once he had completed the degree he moved to Leinster so Connacht benefited from providing the extra benefit. Some may remember the laptop incident.

The Irish teams squads apart from Connacht are filled with academy graduates and the academy players also get used which is why the three provinces use to do best without the internationals and how they can use 50+ players a season. The Welsh don't seem to be filling their squads to the same depth from their academy system so is it really working.

When it comes to training and coaches the top Leinster schools have fulltime coach and amazing facilities but not so much the ones in Munster or probably Ulster.  Tomas O'Leary is in one school as a trainee teacher but will no doubt be used to help out with the rugby.  You would think it would be in the team's and Union's interest to subsidise fulltime coaches in say 5-6 schools per team if it produces professional ready kids like Leinster.

Do Wales get their top school kids into certain schools or is it 2 kids here and 3 kids there.  How compeditive is the Welsh schools cup and do the Regions or WRU use it as a tool in the sub-accedemies. How does Wales get their kids from potential prospect at 12/14 to academy ready at 18.

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Post by Brendan Wed 22 Sep 2021, 1:36 pm

Another question I have often wondered.  Players like LRZ and Sheedy need to come back to Wales for their next professional contract if they want to play for Wales.

We all know when the current contract will end but when do the Regions sign up the player. Do they have to wait until the last 6 months of the contract or are the Regions already trying to sign up LRZ to them behind the scenes.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 22 Sep 2021, 2:04 pm

Brendan wrote:Another question I have often wondered.  Players like LRZ and Sheedy need to come back to Wales for their next professional contract if they want to play for Wales.

We all know when the current contract will end but when do the Regions sign up the player. Do they have to wait until the last 6 months of the contract or are the Regions already trying to sign up LRZ to them behind the scenes.

They don't necessarily get offered a contract. Thomas Young didn't, Wasps were delighted to hold on to him I'm sure. His international career pretty much over at a peak age and with years of good performances in the Prem and Europe.

There's normally plenty of time to tie up the contracts for those exile players as they tend to sign a new contract with their club ahead of their first call up. LRZ put pen to paper on a four or five year deal with Glaws just before his first cap. I'm sure his agent will do the rounds when he's into his final season and get all bids on the table before Christmas.

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Post by Brendan Wed 22 Sep 2021, 3:08 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Brendan wrote:Another question I have often wondered.  Players like LRZ and Sheedy need to come back to Wales for their next professional contract if they want to play for Wales.

We all know when the current contract will end but when do the Regions sign up the player. Do they have to wait until the last 6 months of the contract or are the Regions already trying to sign up LRZ to them behind the scenes.

They don't necessarily get offered a contract. Thomas Young didn't, Wasps were delighted to hold on to him I'm sure. His international career pretty much over at a peak age and with years of good performances in the Prem and Europe.

There's normally plenty of time to tie up the contracts for those exile players as they tend to sign a new contract with their club ahead of their first call up. LRZ put pen to paper on a four or five year deal with Glaws just before his first cap. I'm sure his agent will do the rounds when he's into his final season and get all bids on the table before Christmas.

That was a good bit of business by Glaws and his agent.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 22 Sep 2021, 3:40 pm

Brendan, you are totally changing the debate.

You made the statement, that the academies in Wales are not good enough and that is why the players end up in England.

I have showed you where this statement is wrong. End of. OK

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Post by Brendan Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:55 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Brendan, you are totally changing the debate.

You made the statement, that the academies in Wales are not good enough and that is why the players end up in England.

I have showed you where this statement is wrong. End of. OK

You showed that the school players in Wales are leaving the sub-accedemies to go to England because they feel the system in England can give them more than the Welsh system.

LRZ, Sheedy, Lloyd all were in the Cardiff sub academy but ended up in the Glaws and Bristol academies.  Cardiff would be a step up if those three were in their squad.  I am sure there are plenty other examples.

If the top players in the Region's Schools/sub-academy are choosing to remove themselves and go to another school/sub-academy then there is a problem.  I doubt these English schools are taking the kids struggling to make the team.

Both Reece and Fifita are ABs and not playing for Fiji and Tonga because they were offered more by the NZ schools system.  What happens when these Welsh boys who will have been in England for 5 years at about 20-22 years of age decide to pick England because their Club will pay them more and their girlfriend doesn't want to move.  Once you let players leave the system getting them back becomes alot harder.

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 23 Sep 2021, 8:37 am

I think part of the reason why this is happening is because currently the WRU selection policy is a bit to fluid. If we had a policy of all players can only be selected within Wales regardless of uncapped or 60+ caps, then any player who really wanted to try to play for Wales would have to sign for a region.

Currently part of the problem for youngsters is that we have recently seen a bunch of youngsters leave because they see chances of progressing to Wales level without playing in wales. That issue relates more to senior level appearances than it does about regional academies. The regions haven't been great at giving youngsters consistent game time at the highest level whereas some of the clubs in england have just been throwing them into their first teams.

The amount of time it takes our regions to bring academy players through does need to be looked at because Ireland (who I would argue have a smaller community game than us) do this much better than us. They tend to be exposed at much younger ages at Pro Level and are properly developed.

The one area which Booth has been a great appointment for the Ospreys because he clearly has a long term focus with regards to development which is nice to see.


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Post by The Oracle Thu 23 Sep 2021, 9:34 am

Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Brendan, you are totally changing the debate.

You made the statement, that the academies in Wales are not good enough and that is why the players end up in England.

I have showed you where this statement is wrong. End of. OK

You showed that the school players in Wales are leaving the sub-accedemies to go to England because they feel the system in England can give them more than the Welsh system.

LRZ, Sheedy, Lloyd all were in the Cardiff sub academy but ended up in the Glaws and Bristol academies.  Cardiff would be a step up if those three were in their squad.  I am sure there are plenty other examples.

If the top players in the Region's Schools/sub-academy are choosing to remove themselves and go to another school/sub-academy then there is a problem.  I doubt these English schools are taking the kids struggling to make the team.

Both Reece and Fifita are ABs and not playing for Fiji and Tonga because they were offered more by the NZ schools system.  What happens when these Welsh boys who will have been in England for 5 years at about 20-22 years of age decide to pick England because their Club will pay them more and their girlfriend doesn't want to move.  Once you let players leave the system getting them back becomes alot harder.


They're going because of the education element too, not just the rugby.  The WRU/Regions cannot just manufacture an Eton or a Harrow or a Millfield.  That takes hundreds of years in some cases to get to the position they are in to offer the standard of fee paying (and therefore scholarships) education.  It is not the WRU's remit to develop private education in Wales.  The amount of private education providers in Wales is low, and few (if any) have amazing rugby programmes.  So Welsh players can go to them and get a good education but it won't necessarily develop their rugby.  At some of these schools in England you can have both.  And have it free if you secure a scholarship.  Helluva carrot for parents looking to secure their children's futures.  

Personally I haven't got a problem with it.  The numbers are not massive and more often than not the players come back into the Welsh system because they were born Welsh, feel Welsh and have ambition to play for Wales.  Sheedy, LRZ, et al. are perfect examples of this in recent times.  I can't actually think of anyone who has decided to turn out for England.  Maybe at U20 level but certainly not senior level.  If good enough they always seem to opt to play for Wales.  As someone alluded to before, that means we've got more development opportunities across the UK and opens up a space for someone else at a Welsh regional academy.  Where it causes an issue is with the strength of the regions, but again personally I don't see the numbers being huge here.  Not the ones that turn into top pros that you would want playing at the regions.  What is it currently in England?  10-15 players?  Playing in a top league.  Good for them.  Not an issue for me Smile


Last edited by The Oracle on Thu 23 Sep 2021, 10:44 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 23 Sep 2021, 9:57 am

The Oracle wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Brendan, you are totally changing the debate.

You made the statement, that the academies in Wales are not good enough and that is why the players end up in England.

I have showed you where this statement is wrong. End of. OK

You showed that the school players in Wales are leaving the sub-accedemies to go to England because they feel the system in England can give them more than the Welsh system.

LRZ, Sheedy, Lloyd all were in the Cardiff sub academy but ended up in the Glaws and Bristol academies.  Cardiff would be a step up if those three were in their squad.  I am sure there are plenty other examples.

If the top players in the Region's Schools/sub-academy are choosing to remove themselves and go to another school/sub-academy then there is a problem.  I doubt these English schools are taking the kids struggling to make the team.

Both Reece and Fifita are ABs and not playing for Fiji and Tonga because they were offered more by the NZ schools system.  What happens when these Welsh boys who will have been in England for 5 years at about 20-22 years of age decide to pick England because their Club will pay them more and their girlfriend doesn't want to move.  Once you let players leave the system getting them back becomes alot harder.


They're going because of the education element too, not just the rugby.  The WRU/Regions cannot just manufacture an Eton or a Harrow or a Millfield.  That takes hundreds of years in some cases to get to the position they are in to offer the standard of fee paying (and therefore scholarships) education.  It is not the WRU's remit to develop private education in Wales.  The amount of private education providers in Wales in low, and few (if any) have amazing rugby programmes.  So Welsh players can go to them and get a good education but it won't necessarily develop their rugby.  At some of these schools in England you can have both.  And have it free if you secure a scholarship.  Helluva carrot for parents looking to secure their children's futures.  

Personally I haven't got a problem with it.  The numbers are not massive and more often than not the players come back into the Welsh system because they were born Welsh, feel Welsh and have ambition to play for Wales.  Sheedy, LRZ, et al. are perfect examples of this in recent times.  I can't actually think of anyone who has decided to turn out for England.  Maybe at U20 level but certainly not senior level.  If good enough they always seem to opt to play for Wales.  As someone alluded to before, that means we've got more development opportunities across the UK and opens up a space for someone else at a Welsh regional academy.  Where it causes an issue is with the strength of the regions, but again personally I don't seem the numbers being huge here.  Not the ones that turn into top pros that you would want playing at the regions.  What is it currently in England?  10-15 players?  Playing in a top league.  Good for them.  Not an issue for me Smile

Ha. Would love to see some of the teachers turn up at some comps and see how they get on. Quite badly I'd wager!

Hugely difficult to judge how good academies are tbh. What are you looking at as an outcome? Top stars? You could say that guys like Tipuric are going onto be amazing wherever they end up and its just blind look where they are born and raised. Added value; consistently make a 6 out of 10 player a 7 out of 10, job done. How do you know though. A club could consistently churn out mediocre players but if they're rubbish to start with the academies could be working wonders. So is the conversation just who has the better scouts, more persuasive PR and shiner facilities?

Interesting point on if they are good enough they go back to Wales. Perhaps something to do with the more likely event that with Wales you've more likely to be offered the opportunity earlier?

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Post by Brendan Thu 23 Sep 2021, 10:25 am

Can the Regions not add the players back into their academy when they finish school. The player got the connections but instead of going into the Premiership academies they could head back to Wales at about 18 but they aren't. I know there are social/economic issues in Wales but surely there is a top university that can provide the same university standards as Glaws/Bristol etc are offering.

It is the WRU and Regions remit to produce good players. If it means setting up networks that academy players can access to get into the right businesses, colleges etc. If Cardiff could keep their academy players like Munster they would be just as good it would appear

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 23 Sep 2021, 10:30 am

The Oracle wrote:Personally I haven't got a problem with it. The numbers are not massive and more often than not the players come back into the Welsh system because they were born Welsh, feel Welsh and have ambition to play for Wales. Sheedy, LRZ, et al. are perfect examples of this in recent times. I can't actually think of anyone who has decided to turn out for England. Maybe at U20 level but certainly not senior level. If good enough they always seem to opt to play for Wales. As someone alluded to before, that means we've got more development opportunities across the UK and opens up a space for someone else at a Welsh regional academy. Where it causes an issue is with the strength of the regions, but again personally I don't seem the numbers being huge here. Not the ones that turn into top pros that you would want playing at the regions. What is it currently in England? 10-15 players? Playing in a top league. Good for them. Not an issue for me Smile


Well said that man. OK

I could not agree with this more, but I would also like to add, that I am entirely greatful to the English schools and rugby system for giving the kids in South Wales this extra opportunity, in most cases these kids would never be able to get these chances as their parents simply cannot afford it.

It's a massive opportunity for these youngsters, and long may it continue.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 23 Sep 2021, 10:36 am

Brendan wrote:Can the Regions not add the players back into their academy when they finish school.

They are too old for the academies when they finish school for the most part, my daughter is 21 when she finishes her masters, at that age you should be pushing for 1st team rugby.

Brendan wrote:The player got the connections but instead of going into the Premiership academies they could head back to Wales at about 18 but they aren't. I know there are social/economic issues in Wales but surely there is a top university that can provide the same university standards as Glaws/Bristol etc are offering.

You've had this explained to you, when they get offered these scholarships, by the end of them, they end up at the pro clubs in that area, ask yourself why ?

Brendan wrote:It is the WRU and Regions remit to produce good players. If it means setting up networks that academy players can access to get into the right businesses, colleges etc. If Cardiff could keep their academy players like Munster they would be just as good it would appear

The regions do keep their academy players though, just not all of them, more players go through the Welsh pathway and onto international level, than players who go through the English system and onto international level.

I will say it again, there is nothing wrong with the academies in Wales. They could do more, but so could every academy in the world.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 23 Sep 2021, 10:53 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Brendan, you are totally changing the debate.

You made the statement, that the academies in Wales are not good enough and that is why the players end up in England.

I have showed you where this statement is wrong. End of. OK

You showed that the school players in Wales are leaving the sub-accedemies to go to England because they feel the system in England can give them more than the Welsh system.

LRZ, Sheedy, Lloyd all were in the Cardiff sub academy but ended up in the Glaws and Bristol academies.  Cardiff would be a step up if those three were in their squad.  I am sure there are plenty other examples.

If the top players in the Region's Schools/sub-academy are choosing to remove themselves and go to another school/sub-academy then there is a problem.  I doubt these English schools are taking the kids struggling to make the team.

Both Reece and Fifita are ABs and not playing for Fiji and Tonga because they were offered more by the NZ schools system.  What happens when these Welsh boys who will have been in England for 5 years at about 20-22 years of age decide to pick England because their Club will pay them more and their girlfriend doesn't want to move.  Once you let players leave the system getting them back becomes alot harder.


They're going because of the education element too, not just the rugby.  The WRU/Regions cannot just manufacture an Eton or a Harrow or a Millfield.  That takes hundreds of years in some cases to get to the position they are in to offer the standard of fee paying (and therefore scholarships) education.  It is not the WRU's remit to develop private education in Wales.  The amount of private education providers in Wales in low, and few (if any) have amazing rugby programmes.  So Welsh players can go to them and get a good education but it won't necessarily develop their rugby.  At some of these schools in England you can have both.  And have it free if you secure a scholarship.  Helluva carrot for parents looking to secure their children's futures.  

Personally I haven't got a problem with it.  The numbers are not massive and more often than not the players come back into the Welsh system because they were born Welsh, feel Welsh and have ambition to play for Wales.  Sheedy, LRZ, et al. are perfect examples of this in recent times.  I can't actually think of anyone who has decided to turn out for England.  Maybe at U20 level but certainly not senior level.  If good enough they always seem to opt to play for Wales.  As someone alluded to before, that means we've got more development opportunities across the UK and opens up a space for someone else at a Welsh regional academy.  Where it causes an issue is with the strength of the regions, but again personally I don't seem the numbers being huge here.  Not the ones that turn into top pros that you would want playing at the regions.  What is it currently in England?  10-15 players?  Playing in a top league.  Good for them.  Not an issue for me Smile

Ha. Would love to see some of the teachers turn up at some comps and see how they get on. Quite badly I'd wager!

Hugely difficult to judge how good academies are tbh. What are you looking at as an outcome? Top stars? You could say that guys like Tipuric are going onto be amazing wherever they end up and its just blind look where they are born and raised. Added value; consistently make a 6 out of 10 player a 7 out of 10, job done. How do you know though. A club could consistently churn out mediocre players but if they're rubbish to start with the academies could be working wonders. So is the conversation just who has the better scouts, more persuasive PR and shiner facilities?

Interesting point on if they are good enough they go back to Wales. Perhaps something to do with the more likely event that with Wales you've more likely to be offered the opportunity earlier?

Yes, it's a bit of a double edge sword when you think about it. It's more difficult for a player to get into a regional academy because there are only 4. So perhaps there is more opportunity in England with the 12 or 13 clubs and associated academies. But when they come out the other end there's all of those players trying to get into the England team (30 or 40 places), so more competition and maybe therefore easier to get into the Wales team which only has 4 academies worth of 'graduates' vying for a place!
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Post by Brendan Thu 23 Sep 2021, 2:31 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:Can the Regions not add the players back into their academy when they finish school.

They are too old for the academies when they finish school for the most part, my daughter is 21 when she finishes her masters, at that age you should be pushing for 1st team rugby.

Brendan wrote:The player got the connections but instead of going into the Premiership academies they could head back to Wales at about 18 but they aren't. I know there are social/economic issues in Wales but surely there is a top university that can provide the same university standards as Glaws/Bristol etc are offering.

You've had this explained to you, when they get offered these scholarships, by the end of them, they end up at the pro clubs in that area, ask yourself why ?

Brendan wrote:It is the WRU and Regions remit to produce good players. If it means setting up networks that academy players can access to get into the right businesses, colleges etc. If Cardiff could keep their academy players like Munster they would be just as good it would appear

The regions do keep their academy players though, just not all of them, more players go through the Welsh pathway and onto international level, than players who go through the English system and onto international level.

I will say it again, there is nothing wrong with the academies in Wales. They could do more, but so could every academy in the world.

Are academies not the 18-21 year olds. Are under 18s not sub academies. Maybe in Wales they leave the academy at 18 and that is where the issue is.

LRZ was 16 when he went to Hartpury and 17 when he played for Glaws.

Sheedy was 18 when he entered the Bristol academy having left Millfield who has students from 13-18 years of age. He then spent time 4 loan spells away from Bristol during his academy years

Lloyd joined Cardiff age 14, moved to Clifton which has students 13-18 years of age and joined Bristol academy aged 18.

Not sure where the university comes in for many of these players as most of the schools seem to be second level education schools covering boys aged 13-18 years of age. Nothing to stop the Regions snapping back up the Welsh players when they finish schooling at 18. I know Hartpury are different but if you don't make the Glaws academy you aren't making the Regions team.

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Post by PhilBB Thu 23 Sep 2021, 3:00 pm

Brendan wrote:
Not sure where the university comes in for many of these players as most of the schools seem to be second level education schools covering boys aged 13-18 years of age.  Nothing to stop the Regions snapping back up the Welsh players when they finish schooling at 18.  I know Hartpury are different but if you don't make the Glaws academy you aren't making the Regions team.

Academy in Wales is post 18. See here https://www.cardiffrugby.wales/transition-squad

Cardiff are now doing deals with English schools over player access etc. There's much more of a collaborative role, with the understanding that it is beneficial for many of the youngsters to leave Wales for a period of time in order to further their education (both academically and personally).

There's the understanding that staying in Wales until retirement at, say, 35 isn't the best option for everybody. Going elsewhere and trying something new / different is a benefit.
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Post by The Oracle Thu 23 Sep 2021, 3:01 pm

Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:Can the Regions not add the players back into their academy when they finish school.

They are too old for the academies when they finish school for the most part, my daughter is 21 when she finishes her masters, at that age you should be pushing for 1st team rugby.

Brendan wrote:The player got the connections but instead of going into the Premiership academies they could head back to Wales at about 18 but they aren't. I know there are social/economic issues in Wales but surely there is a top university that can provide the same university standards as Glaws/Bristol etc are offering.

You've had this explained to you, when they get offered these scholarships, by the end of them, they end up at the pro clubs in that area, ask yourself why ?

Brendan wrote:It is the WRU and Regions remit to produce good players. If it means setting up networks that academy players can access to get into the right businesses, colleges etc. If Cardiff could keep their academy players like Munster they would be just as good it would appear

The regions do keep their academy players though, just not all of them, more players go through the Welsh pathway and onto international level, than players who go through the English system and onto international level.

I will say it again, there is nothing wrong with the academies in Wales. They could do more, but so could every academy in the world.

Are academies not the 18-21 year olds. Are under 18s not sub academies.  Maybe in Wales they leave the academy at 18 and that is where the issue is.

LRZ was 16 when he went to Hartpury and 17 when he played for Glaws.

Sheedy was 18 when he entered the Bristol academy having left Millfield  who has students from 13-18 years of age.  He then spent time 4 loan spells away from Bristol during his academy years

Lloyd joined Cardiff age 14, moved to Clifton which has students 13-18 years of age and joined Bristol academy aged 18.

Not sure where the university comes in for many of these players as most of the schools seem to be second level education schools covering boys aged 13-18 years of age.  Nothing to stop the Regions snapping back up the Welsh players when they finish schooling at 18.  I know Hartpury are different but if you don't make the Glaws academy you aren't making the Regions team.

No the academies start younger in wales. They have U16 and U18 academy squads.
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Post by LordDowlais Thu 23 Sep 2021, 3:02 pm

Brendan wrote:I know Hartpury are different but if you don't make the Glaws academy you aren't making the Regions team.

Says you. Rolling Eyes

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Post by PhilBB Thu 23 Sep 2021, 3:04 pm

The Oracle wrote:

No the academies start younger in wales. They have U16 and U18 academy squads.

Isn't that just the Age Grade?

Cardiff have theirs as "Age Grade" (kids) and "Academy" (adults), although I agree there's a crossover with some players
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Post by The Oracle Thu 23 Sep 2021, 3:51 pm

PhilBB wrote:
The Oracle wrote:

No the academies start younger in wales. They have U16 and U18 academy squads.

Isn't that just the Age Grade?

Cardiff have theirs as "Age Grade" (kids) and "Academy" (adults), although I agree there's a crossover with some players

Possibly, but I meant that the regional academy/youth thing doesn't just start from 18 onwards as Brendan implies that it does in Leinster. Those players are often with the region before that age rather than with local village clubs and schools (probbaly both at times). The players at some point are identified by the regions from 15 upwards and added in to an academy/regional age grade squad called Scarlets/Blues/Dragons/Ospreys and play against each other in regional fixtures.

The Dragons have an 'academy'. They have age grade U16 and U18 too. They have something called the transition squad (?!) which I think is players on the cusp of full senior Dragons honours. On the academy info page it states that the "role of the Dragons Academy is to identify and develop talented young athletes from age 15 to 23 years of age".
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Post by PhilBB Thu 23 Sep 2021, 4:37 pm

The Oracle wrote:

Possibly, but I meant that the regional academy/youth thing doesn't just start from 18 onwards as Brendan implies that it does in Leinster.  Those players are often with the region before that age rather than with local village clubs and schools (probbaly both at times).  The players at some point are identified by the regions from 15 upwards and added in to an academy/regional age grade squad called Scarlets/Blues/Dragons/Ospreys and play against each other in regional fixtures.

The Dragons have an 'academy'.  They have age grade U16 and U18 too.  They have something called the transition squad (?!) which I think is players on the cusp of full senior Dragons honours.  On the academy info page it states that the "role of the Dragons Academy is to identify and develop talented young athletes from age 15 to 23 years of age".  

You're right. It's really from 14/15 upwards that the kids' progression to professional rugby is controlled by the pro club.
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Post by Brendan Fri 24 Sep 2021, 12:01 pm

The Oracle wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
The Oracle wrote:

No the academies start younger in wales. They have U16 and U18 academy squads.

Isn't that just the Age Grade?

Cardiff have theirs as "Age Grade" (kids) and "Academy" (adults), although I agree there's a crossover with some players

Possibly, but I meant that the regional academy/youth thing doesn't just start from 18 onwards as Brendan implies that it does in Leinster.  Those players are often with the region before that age rather than with local village clubs and schools (probbaly both at times).  The players at some point are identified by the regions from 15 upwards and added in to an academy/regional age grade squad called Scarlets/Blues/Dragons/Ospreys and play against each other in regional fixtures.

The Dragons have an 'academy'.  They have age grade U16 and U18 too.  They have something called the transition squad (?!) which I think is players on the cusp of full senior Dragons honours.  On the academy info page it states that the "role of the Dragons Academy is to identify and develop talented young athletes from age 15 to 23 years of age".  

That would be the sub-accedemies in Ireland as they can't train fulltime. Leinster now have their sub-academy up to 20 which has seen a couple of people leave, as the sub-acedemies don't pay players and train by themselves, but academy players get contracts and train with the professional setup.

So when it mentions academy players for the Regions they could be 16. What age do people usually leave

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