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Season 2021 / 2022 - Hopes and Expectations...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 03 Aug 2021, 4:05 pm

Well the season isnt too far away....

Whats your thoughts for your club for the season ahead...

Whats your Expectations for the league position, Europe, and how you want to see them perform tactically etc...

Whats your thoughts on the squad, your clubs recruitment...going in to the season

Do you have any hopes...ie seeing young players getting a game, or maybe older out of form / long term injured players players coming back to their best?

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Post by Poorfour Tue 03 Aug 2021, 9:00 pm

More of the same from Quins and I will be happy, especially if they can make better progress than usual in Europe.

The main thing I'd like to see is a season without any serious injuries.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 04 Aug 2021, 9:13 am

Got to say I'm very interested to see how Quins do. No notable international call ups and keeping the majority of their key players not picking up injuries left them in a good position last season. New DOR in as well, didn't work out well for them last time can the new guy adapt to the Quins way of playing. If not it's unlikely to be a fruitful partnership as there will be another senior player revolt. No Smith for the opening weeks will be an early test for Quins.

Tigers, got to be looking for another top 6. Maybe push into fourth with a bit of luck. Going to be a tough start with four internationals playing in the SH but it's a much better squad than last season and having our England players for more than 40% of the season will be a nice boost. Youngs and Ford with an actual summer off and full pre season as well. 

I think the big unknown is Sarries. Their squad does not look like the all conquering monster it used to he and possibly even a bit thin behind the first team selection. Sanderson has gone as well. Be interesting to see how they go especially with the enforced Lions break meaning half their pack won't be available at the start of the season. No Farrell and Daly for that period as well.

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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 04 Aug 2021, 12:25 pm

London Irish going from nearly men to top 6, Ulster winning the URC, Ireland winning the Grand Slam.

Go big or go home ! Yahoo

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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 04 Aug 2021, 12:26 pm

One other one, I hope Faf De Klerk continues to be the most annoying person to pull on a rugby shirt since Austin Healey retired !

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Post by SirBurger Wed 04 Aug 2021, 12:42 pm

London Irish:

van der Merwe to be a hit at tighthead, Coleman and Mafi to stay fit and van Rensburg to offer a new threat at 12 (if that is where we want to play him).

If those three things happen I think we could make top 6.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 04 Aug 2021, 2:39 pm

Well from a Falcons point of view:

Mid table would be nice, and continue to try and play more of the attacking fluid rugby we saw in parts during the last few games of the season.

We have the strongest squad i have seen for years and years, and have both skilled and bruising players.

Id like to see the kids continue to come through and hope the youngsters we have signed (like the 2 Irish lads), prove to be shrewd Deano signings aswell...

One key aspect is to see the 9 and 10 to really start controlling games. This season will really be the big one for Connon if he wants that 10 shirt. He will have Haydon Wood in the squad this season and if he doesnt perform i can see Dean looking outside the club for a 10.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 04 Aug 2021, 3:44 pm

SirBurger wrote:London Irish:

van der Merwe to be a hit at tighthead, Coleman and Mafi to stay fit and van Rensburg to offer a new threat at 12 (if that is where we want to play him).

If those three things happen I think we could make top 6.

I'm struggling to see LI making top 6 to be honest. Top 8 seems a more realistic target. Very much feels like LI are a Paddy Jackson injury away from catastrophe. Even with him in the team the impression from this season was that they were as likely to win it as they were to throw it away. Kidney has given them a fair platform to play off at least and if Mafi is actually fit as you say then that's a big hand up.

Do the prime European places remain going down as far as 8th next season?

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Post by Old Man Wed 04 Aug 2021, 4:04 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:One other one, I hope Faf De Klerk continues to be the most annoying person to pull on a rugby shirt since Austin Healey retired !

I can’t see that ever changing.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 04 Aug 2021, 5:38 pm

I really have no idea how Saints will go (we won't be relegated!).  Some mates are telling me top 4 is realistic.  I think they somehow got into the restricted medicines cabinet.  There are far too many variables with this team and especially with the coaching staff.  Saints could/should play some nice attacking Rugby but need to do it consistently.  More importantly Saints have to find ways to stop pulling defeat from the jaws of victory.  If they do, then anything is possible.

In games actually played, not with results assigned due to Covid cancellations, Saints were 9 up and 10 down.  Somehow they ended up in 5th place, which is really a testament to the quality of the top 4 and the mediocrity of everyone else.  I would argue there was not much difference between Saints at 5th and Gloucester at 11th.  So, where will Saints finish?  I think somewhere below top 4.

One thing I believe we will see, Covid not withstanding, is some different results simply due to having crowds at every game.  It's hard to know which teams were more effected by playing games in sterile empty grounds, but I am sure some teams fared batter because of it and some worse.

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Post by SirBurger Thu 05 Aug 2021, 9:14 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
SirBurger wrote:London Irish:

van der Merwe to be a hit at tighthead, Coleman and Mafi to stay fit and van Rensburg to offer a new threat at 12 (if that is where we want to play him).

If those three things happen I think we could make top 6.

I'm struggling to see LI making top 6 to be honest. Top 8 seems a more realistic target. Very much feels like LI are a Paddy Jackson injury away from catastrophe. Even with him in the team the impression from this season was that they were as likely to win it as they were to throw it away. Kidney has given them a fair platform to play off at least and if Mafi is actually fit as you say then that's a big hand up.

Do the prime European places remain going down as far as 8th next season?

I think the 6th comment was more the "hope" than "expectation" part of the question in the original post! Very much predicated on getting guys fit and probably riding some luck over the course of the season. Given our track record on injuries and luck, I expect we will probably be in the 9th-10th category again.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 05 Aug 2021, 9:42 am

SirBurger wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
SirBurger wrote:London Irish:

van der Merwe to be a hit at tighthead, Coleman and Mafi to stay fit and van Rensburg to offer a new threat at 12 (if that is where we want to play him).

If those three things happen I think we could make top 6.

I'm struggling to see LI making top 6 to be honest. Top 8 seems a more realistic target. Very much feels like LI are a Paddy Jackson injury away from catastrophe. Even with him in the team the impression from this season was that they were as likely to win it as they were to throw it away. Kidney has given them a fair platform to play off at least and if Mafi is actually fit as you say then that's a big hand up.

Do the prime European places remain going down as far as 8th next season?

I think the 6th comment was more the "hope" than "expectation" part of the question in the original post! Very much predicated on getting guys fit and probably riding some luck over the course of the season. Given our track record on injuries and luck, I expect we will probably be in the 9th-10th category again.

Ha fair. I'd expect LI to be some way above Wuss and Glaws for next season. Very much in the mix with Bath, Falcons and Wasps in those mid table places. Saints, Quins and Tigers could very easily slip into that mix as well. Sale, Chiefs and Bristol are probably the only ones really ahead.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 05 Aug 2021, 9:57 am

And where do Saracens come into that Sam....guess it'll be interesting to watch...

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 05 Aug 2021, 12:31 pm

As  someone who watches a lot of the English league who doesn't follow a particularly team here's my educated guess  (emphasis on the guess bit)

Bristol
Exeter
Sale
Saracens
Harlequins

Leicester
Bath
Northampton

Gloucester
London Irish
Wasps
Newcastle

Worcester


Seems harsh on Newcastle, Wasps and Irish but someone has to finish in the bottom 4.
Gaps left as I think that is where the biggest differences lie

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 05 Aug 2021, 12:59 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:And where do Saracens come into that Sam....guess it'll be interesting to watch...

I specifically left them out because I have absolutely no clue whatsoever. Anywhere between 1st and 8th quite frankly.

I see it in terms of groupings;

Chiefs
Bristol
Sale

Would take a big upset for one of those three not to be in the playoffs.

Quins
Sarries

Could easily be in the playoffs and they'll be gunning for it but questions over depth of squad.

Tigers
Saints
Bath
Wasps

Could be playoffs could be mid table.

LI
Falcons

Solid mid table, could easily overtake some of those in the group above.

Gloucester
Worcester

Propping up the bottom as there's a distinct lack of quality.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 06 Aug 2021, 7:07 am

Wasps have to do without Launchers Odogwu & Jack Willis until early 2022 which is a massive loss.
However, I think/hope that we should have a strong 2022.
Sale, Bristol, Exeter and Quins look to be ahead of the rest for me. I haven’t a clue how the rest shake out which is probably a good thing.

One thing for sure is we definitely won’t lose the first week as we have a bye due to the 13 team league 🤣

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 06 Aug 2021, 9:48 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Wasps have to do without Launchers Odogwu & Jack Willis until early 2022 which is a massive loss.
However, I think/hope that we should have a strong 2022.
Sale, Bristol, Exeter and Quins look to be ahead of the rest for me. I haven’t a clue how the rest shake out which is probably a good thing.

One thing for sure is we definitely won’t lose the first week as we have a bye due to the 13 team league 🤣

Those players will be a loss. Really good to see Willis posting that he'd been for his first run though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 06 Aug 2021, 10:45 am

Surely Barbaery will be back fit and raring to go...and Tom Willis is really starting to show as a class act at 8.

Im sure Wasps will have a few young kids to unleash aswell...

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Sat 07 Aug 2021, 6:44 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Surely Barbaery will be back fit and raring to go...and Tom Willis is really starting to show as a class act at 8.

Im sure Wasps will have a few young kids to unleash aswell...
Yes lots to look forward to Geordie.
It would be great to see Ryan Mills start a game linking up with Fekitoa, that would be a potentially great partnership.
Also looking forward to seeing Fifita (lock/back row) the new AB signing probably our biggest for some years now.
A fully fit squad, does it ever happen? Would certainly be a force to be reckoned with.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 07 Aug 2021, 5:57 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Surely Barbaery will be back fit and raring to go...and Tom Willis is really starting to show as a class act at 8.

Im sure Wasps will have a few young kids to unleash aswell...
Yes lots to look forward to Geordie.
It would be great to see Ryan Mills start a game linking up with Fekitoa, that would be a potentially great partnership.
Also looking forward to seeing Fifita (lock/back row) the new AB signing probably our biggest for some years now.
A fully fit squad, does it ever happen? Would certainly be a force to be reckoned with.

Be interesting to see if Fifita works better than your last big name All Black signing that you must be thankful to finally get off the books.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 08 Aug 2021, 9:04 pm

I hope my team Newcastle can stay off the bottom. Thank god for ringfencing.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 08 Aug 2021, 9:18 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I hope my team Newcastle can stay off the bottom. Thank god for ringfencing.

I doubt Falcons are in danger of finishing bottom. Worcester and Gloucester both look in a worse state. They could do with a high quality prop and a flyhalf but they have a good lineout and backline.

I'd expect Falcons to be in the mid table battle with the likes of LI.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:02 am

For the first time in years im quite optimistic that we will not be bottom or second bottom this season.

Is the 50/22 rule coming in this season?

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 09 Aug 2021, 2:48 pm

I keep reading here Newcastle, Wasps, London Irish are too good to be near the bottom.

Trouble is someone has to be; so can I ask who folks think the bottom 4 will be.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 09 Aug 2021, 3:40 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:I keep reading here Newcastle, Wasps, London Irish are too good to be near the bottom.

Trouble is someone has to be; so can I ask who folks think the bottom 4 will be.

It doesnt mean they wont be.

Theres a lot of teams all about the same at the moment....

Worcester, Gloucester, Falcons, Bath, Irish, etc that could be mid table or bottom. Its going to be down to individual games...and who picks up the points.
They can all beat each other on the day...and even beat the top sides....

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 09 Aug 2021, 5:48 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:I keep reading here Newcastle, Wasps, London Irish are too good to be near the bottom.

Trouble is someone has to be; so can I ask who folks think the bottom 4 will be.

It doesnt mean they wont be.

Theres a lot of teams all about the same at the moment....

Worcester, Gloucester, Falcons, Bath, Irish, etc that could be mid table or bottom. Its going to be down to individual games...and who picks up the points.
They can all beat each other on the day...and even beat the top sides....
Worcester???
I think they will really struggle just like this past season.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 09 Aug 2021, 6:01 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:I keep reading here Newcastle, Wasps, London Irish are too good to be near the bottom.

Trouble is someone has to be; so can I ask who folks think the bottom 4 will be.

It doesnt mean they wont be.

Theres a lot of teams all about the same at the moment....

Worcester, Gloucester, Falcons, Bath, Irish, etc that could be mid table or bottom. Its going to be down to individual games...and who picks up the points.
They can all beat each other on the day...and even beat the top sides....
Worcester???
I think they will really struggle just like this past season.

I think Worcester and Gloucester are going to be the bottom two. Outside of that it becomes a real bun fight. Could be anyone bar Chiefs, Sale or Bristol sat just one step above those two.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 10 Aug 2021, 8:27 am

Sam for Tigers do you think George martin will stay as a 6....rather than moving to lock?

Whats your thoughts on Ollie Chissum?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 10 Aug 2021, 1:58 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Sam for Tigers do you think George martin will stay as a 6....rather than moving to lock?

Whats your thoughts on Ollie Chissum?

I have no idea what the plan with Martin is. With van Staden and Weise with SA for a while he could well start the season at 6 as the four dedicated locks are supposedly fit and available. We could see Chessum covering the backrow a bit as well. When the international backrows return we might see him feature more in the row depending on how Snyman fares, if Snyman isn't a great addition then Martin rotating with Wells would work nicely. With Brink being made of glass but playing like he has the intention of breaking or being broken there's always the possibility we might need a little backrow cover.

I'm a fan of Ollie Chessum. He's an easy player to like in that he gets stuck in, has a high work rate and doesn't give away dumb penalties or make stupid mistakes. He's a very good lineout jumper as well (being 6ft7 helps). Unsure he's a future international but could be a very handy club man at lock and 6 similar to how Sean Robinson has been at Falcons.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 10 Aug 2021, 7:55 pm

I see just about everyone seems to have Gloucester in the bottom 4 and favourites for the bottom 2.

From their squad my impression is they have more about them than that.
Maybe I have missed something.
Could someone post their INs and OUTs during the close season?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 10 Aug 2021, 9:22 pm

Players In
Scotland Adam Hastings from Scotland Glasgow Warriors[39]
England Seb Nagle-Taylor from England Hartpury University[40]
Scotland Andrew Davidson from Scotland Edinburgh[41]
Russia Kirill Gotovtsev from Russia Krasny Yar Krasnoyarsk[42]
England Will Britton from England Doncaster Knights[43]
Namibia Wian Conradie from United States New England Free Jacks[44]
England Harry Elrington from England London Irish[45]
Australia Ben Meehan unattached[45]

Players Out
England Matt Banahan retired[46]
England Willi Heinz to England Worcester Warriors[47]
Scotland Ollie Atkins released[48]
England Jamie Gibson released[48]
England Tom Hudson released[48]
England Matt Garvey to England Worcester Warriors[49]
Ireland Conor Maguire to England Hartpury University

Bit of an ugly copy and paste job but you get the idea. It's just the squad were fairly awful for most of last season, they have a young and inexperienced head coach overseeing things and a couple of injuries makes them look threadbare in the tight five, especially with Alemmano likely to miss the first third to half of the season with Argentina. They've spent money on some great wingers but you've got to wonder how much quality ball they'll get.

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Post by Cumbrian Tue 10 Aug 2021, 10:00 pm

I hadn't realised just how poor the Gloucester squad was.  It is largely made up of journeymen, and players that are on a downward trajectory;  Ed Slater (32), Ben Morgan (32), Joe Simpson (33, what! How did that happen?), Mark Atkinson (31), Billy Twelvetrees (32) and Jonny May (31).

As has been said, some of their most important players like Alemmano, Harris and Rees-Zammit are going to be away for large chunks of the season.  I'm not sure you could even say it is that much better than Worcester's in places.

Huge rebuilding is going to be needed in the coming years at Castle Grim.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 10 Aug 2021, 10:32 pm

On paper the starting XV isn't that bad.

Rapava-Ruskin, Singleton, Balmain
Slater, Alemmano
Ludlow, Polledri, Ackerman
Simpson, Hastings
Twelvetrees, Harris
May, Woodward, LRZ

Second XV looks more relegation fodder though.

Ford-Robinson, Socino, Seville
Davison, Craig
Clark, Reid, Morgan
Meehan, Lloyd
Atkinson, Kveseladze
Thorley, Sharples, Carreas

I agree Cumbrian Castle Grim could be just that for the fans this season. I don't get some of their recruitment. Ben Meehan when they have two good young scrum halfs behind Simpson and only Varney is likely to get much game time internationally. Why bring in an average journeymen and a 34 year old Russian prop. Combine the cash and try to get a worthwhile prop. Elrington as well, that's a squad filler signing for a squad that needs quality up front. Currently they are just hoping on of their young props comes good. Without their academy they'd be in big trouble.

I have no idea who thought it was a good idea to tie up so much of the cap in the back three but all of LRZ, May, Woodward, Thorley and Sharples aren't going to be cheap. Especially when they went out of their way to go and get May back. It's the kind of disjointed name based recruitment that sent Tigers up a creek without a paddle.

This is the coaching team;

First Team Coaching

Alex Brown — Chief Operating Officer
George Skivington — Head Coach
Alex King – Attack Coach
Dominic Waldouck – Defence Coach
Trevor Woodman – Assistant Forwards and Academy Transition Coach
Tim Taylor – Assistant Backs and Academy Transition Coach
Dan Tobin — Head of Performance
Darren Lewis — Head of Analysis

All have some track record but they look like they could do with an experienced DOR to help guide them. Wonder if Steve Diamond is ready for a return yet.

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Post by The Oracle Tue 10 Aug 2021, 11:24 pm

On the point above, Sam, about an expensive backline: I’m guessing LZR is still relatively cheap as he must be on his first contract still (I think).  If he was at the end of his contract then the option is he must either sign for a Welsh region or give up playing for Wales to re-sign for a club outside Wales due to the 60 cap rule, so that makes me think he’s still on the 1st contract which is usually not massive.  Just a guess though.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 11 Aug 2021, 7:30 am

LRZ signed a new long term contract in January 2020 just before his Wales call up. Means there's no requirement to move back to Wales in the short term but I doubt he and his agent agreed a four year deal (I'm guessing the length) without good financial remuneration.

After agreeing that they then went out an ensured they brought May home as well. Tying up funds for two wingers, neither cheap, with similar skill sets and who both will be away on international duty.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 11 Aug 2021, 11:44 am

i see George Worth has left his contract with immediate effect Sam. Hes currently away in Melbourne. Must be enjoying himself.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 11 Aug 2021, 12:28 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:i see George Worth has left his contract with immediate effect Sam. Hes currently away in Melbourne. Must be enjoying himself.

The blurb said that 'another opportunity has come up for him' so could be he's staying out there.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 11 Aug 2021, 1:10 pm

He's Aussie qualified and ended up as the Rebels fullback at the end of last year so perhaps has decided to stay. The picture featured on the website is in the old kit so perhaps he's not been back for pre season. I know Owolfela is back as he's been on the pre season pics but Worth maybe not. Can't blame him for opting to stay out there, he's unlikely to get much game time back here.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 11 Aug 2021, 3:58 pm

Where will Alfie Barbeary play this season.....back row...or will Wasps finally move him forward?

Edit - Wasps havent replaced Tommy Taylor...so only have Cruse and Oghre...i wonder if that means Barbaery will move forward this season.


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Thu 12 Aug 2021, 9:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 11 Aug 2021, 11:08 pm

Thanks for the info on Gloucester - appreciated.

I still think they are a bit better than some are claiming.

Taking one other team I see them having every chance of finishing about - London Irish.
They are one injury away from being in the bottom two - Paddy Jackson

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 12 Aug 2021, 7:25 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Thanks for the info on Gloucester - appreciated.

I still think they are a bit better than some are claiming.

Taking one other team I see them having every chance of finishing about - London Irish.
They are one injury away from being in the bottom two - Paddy Jackson

LI are heavily reliant on Jackson there's a very large step down in ability to their back up 10s not helped by the early retirement of last year's back up. Their outside backs are probably not far off what Gloucester have and are a fraction of the price which has allowed LI to throw some money at the pack. If they can keep all of Coleman, Simmons, Mafi and Sean O'Brien fit then that is a mean looking pack. They probably don't have the depth behind the first team to push higher up the league but their academy does churn out talent and if they keep their big names injury free then I'd say they have a better team than Glaws. 

Dell, Creevy, Van Der Merwe
Coleman, Simmons
Mafi, SOB, Tuisue

Is an all international pack albeit some aren't likely to play for their country again.

Phipps, Jackson
Van Rensburg, Rona
Hassell-Collins, Parton, Loader

That back three was the best back three unit in the league last season. Lots of pace in the backline as long as the 12 is up to scratch and Jackson stays injury free they'll score tries.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 12 Aug 2021, 4:57 pm

In the interest of balance what does the LI second XV look like?

One thing I do recall from last year was they seriously ran out of gas at around the 60 mins mark.

SOB is a pall shady of his former self and very injury prone - if he is considered a first team starter that is a weakness not a strength.
I also recall them taking some maulings in the scrum last year


As for Wasps they have 3 big players missing for the first half of the season.
Also I do recall a number of game were the sum of the parts did not add up to a decent team.
A team of headless chickens (Launchbury not playing) and Gopperth coming on to steady the ship.
They cant keep relying on his experience  - he  is 38 now.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 12 Aug 2021, 5:30 pm

Gigena, Willemse, Chawatama
Munga, Nott
Rogerson, Cowan, Donnell
White, Jennings
Hempetema, Cockasiga
Williams, Joseph, Stokes

Which to be fair doesn't really look that impressive either. They key element I suppose is that team will never have to play as none of the LI first team is like to get called up whereas Glaws will stand to lose at least May, LRZ and Hastings, also probably Varney each international window.

Wasps are stuck a little bit with the headless chicken thing. They have two talented young playmakers and so retain Gopperth just to add his experience at key times. Umaga in particular is good at pooping the bed one minute then scoring from his own 22 the next. I think Wasps have enough firepower to dig themselves out the holes they create to finish mid table.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 12 Aug 2021, 6:23 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Where will Alfie Barbeary play this season.....back row...or will Wasps finally move him forward?

Edit - Wasps havent replaced Tommy Taylor...so only have Cruse and Oghre...i wonder if that means Barbaery will move forward this season.

We have also signed Dan Frost from Cornish Pirates.
However, we do have plenty of cover now in the back row so watch this space….

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Post by Margin_Walker Thu 12 Aug 2021, 7:34 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Gigena, Willemse, Chawatama
Munga, Nott
Rogerson, Cowan, Donnell
White, Jennings
Hempetema, Cockasiga
Williams, Joseph, Stokes

Which to be fair doesn't really look that impressive either. They key element I suppose is that team will never have to play as none of the LI first team is like to get called up whereas Glaws will stand to lose at least May, LRZ and Hastings, also probably Varney each international window.

Wasps are stuck a little bit with the headless chicken thing. They have two talented young playmakers and so retain Gopperth just to add his experience at key times. Umaga in particular is good at pooping the bed one minute then scoring from his own 22 the next. I think Wasps have enough firepower to dig themselves out the holes they create to finish mid table.

Finding LI very hard to predict and definitely fair to say that depths is the issue. We ran out of steam massively last year when guys like Coleman and Mafi were unavailable and Kepu jumped ship back to Oz. I honestly wouldn't be shocked if we finished anywhere from 4th if it all clicked to 13th if we pick up a glut of injuries in key positions and the wheels fall off (as they did in the last couple of months of the season just gone).

Could do with a few young forwards coming through and having breakout seasons. With the lack of secondary comps only Munga and Donnell got a look in last season.

Edit - Goodrick-Clark is the best LH at the club btw. Would be one of the first names on the teamsheet going on recent form.

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Post by Welly Fri 13 Aug 2021, 9:18 am

LI will be top 6 IMO
Rensburg is a seriously good signing at 12.

Fills in something it prob misses.

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Post by Margin_Walker Fri 13 Aug 2021, 9:56 am

Welly wrote: LI will be top 6 IMO
Rensburg is a seriously good signing at 12.

Fills in something it prob misses.

Yeah, he definitely looks an upgrade in the midfield and the first choice backline now looks really strong.

As ever though, it's a game of attrition and over a season games are won and lost up front, which is where the depth will really be tested. Still look light on real quality in the front row. Creevy isn't getting any younger. None of the looseheads outside of WGC really impressed last season and a lot will depend on how well van de Merwe does at TH.

Looking forward to it. Will just be great to hopefully have a normal season with fans in and development comps running again for squad players etc.

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Post by Welly Fri 13 Aug 2021, 12:41 pm

My guess league table
1. Sale
2. Exeter
3. Bristol
4. Leicester
5. Irish
6. Wasps
7. Saints
8. Sarries
9. Bath
10. Falcons
11. Worcester
12. Gloucester

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 13 Aug 2021, 12:42 pm

Are the new law trials part of the prem? Exeter may well be impacted by that as they're pretty much designed to negate their driving game.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 13 Aug 2021, 12:49 pm

Welly wrote:My guess league table
1. Sale
2. Exeter
3. Bristol
4. Leicester
5. Irish
6. Wasps
7. Saints
8. Sarries
9. Bath
10. Falcons
11. Worcester
12. Gloucester

Quins?

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