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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:19 pm 
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Is success in Europe everything though? I’m really not bothered about it, I’d rather the game was sustainable.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 9:50 am 
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Some actual rugby news, Saints have signed Nick Isiekwe on a year's loan.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 10:10 am 
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Oxbow wrote:
Some actual rugby news, Saints have signed Nick Isiekwe on a year's loan.

Glad to see it's confirmed, been on the cards for a while


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 10:26 am 
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DragsterDriver wrote:
Is success in Europe everything though? I’m really not bothered about it, I’d rather the game was sustainable.


Nor me, although that may have something to do with supporting Quins and having the sort of expectations that come with it.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 10:29 am 
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SaintK wrote:
Oxbow wrote:
Some actual rugby news, Saints have signed Nick Isiekwe on a year's loan.

Glad to see it's confirmed, been on the cards for a while


Wasn't it Kpoku who was supposed to be lined up for Saints?

Either way, a useful addition, but still feel one year isn't of that much benefit to the club long term.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 10:48 am 
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Raggs wrote:
SaintK wrote:
Oxbow wrote:
Some actual rugby news, Saints have signed Nick Isiekwe on a year's loan.

Glad to see it's confirmed, been on the cards for a while


Wasn't it Kpoku who was supposed to be lined up for Saints?

Either way, a useful addition, but still feel one year isn't of that much benefit to the club long term.

Yes, that's true. The Rugby Paper were talking Isiekwe to Saints up a couple of months back.
To be honest I'd have them both on long term contracts


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 11:01 am 
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I don't think the Kpoku talk was ever anything more than that really. Isiekwe is a good addition to the squad, but we're not exactly short at lock or 6. A top-quality number 8 is what we really need, Harrison is doing a fantastic job there but he does need a week off occasionally.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:02 pm 
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Salary cap news:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sport ... ssion=true


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:38 am 
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happyhooker wrote:

Well bugger me sideways, They've finally grown a spine.

I'm allowing a bit of hope to creep in.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:25 am 
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dinsdale wrote:
happyhooker wrote:

Well bugger me sideways, They've finally grown a spine.

I'm allowing a bit of hope to creep in.
Don't get too hopeful - my friend was due to see Sarries in March; but now they're asking people to consider not asking for a refund and instead donating the money to the club to help them through challenging times. This, the club that was sufficiently awash in cash to break the salary cap for 5 seasons... spivs gonna spiv :o


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:46 am 
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Balls Out! wrote:
dinsdale wrote:
happyhooker wrote:

Well bugger me sideways, They've finally grown a spine.

I'm allowing a bit of hope to creep in.
Don't get too hopeful - my friend was due to see Sarries in March; but now they're asking people to consider not asking for a refund and instead donating the money to the club to help them through challenging times. This, the club that was sufficiently awash in cash to break the salary cap for 5 seasons... spivs gonna spiv :o


I expect a lot of clubs will be doing similar.
Certainly Wasps are.


Think cash flows might be tight.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:24 am 
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So Humphrey's is out at Gloucester
Can't believe they will appoint from within when Dai Young and Rob Howley are both available


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:55 am 
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SaintK wrote:
So Humphrey's is out at Gloucester
Can't believe they will appoint from within when Dai Young and Rob Howley are both available



They might not combine the Head Coach and DoR roles, but will they want someone on the same sort of money as Humps? I say that as someone who likes Humphreys as a player and for his work at Ulster and now Gloucester, but I don't know Glaws have gotten quite enough out of what's quite a large spend


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:02 am 
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piquant wrote:
SaintK wrote:
So Humphrey's is out at Gloucester
Can't believe they will appoint from within when Dai Young and Rob Howley are both available



They might not combine the Head Coach and DoR roles, but will they want someone on the same sort of money as Humps? I say that as someone who likes Humphreys as a player and for his work at Ulster and now Gloucester, but I don't know Glaws have gotten quite enough out of what's quite a large spend


Howley to Gloucester and they can become an official development side for our regions.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:21 am 
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henry wrote:
piquant wrote:
SaintK wrote:
So Humphrey's is out at Gloucester
Can't believe they will appoint from within when Dai Young and Rob Howley are both available



They might not combine the Head Coach and DoR roles, but will they want someone on the same sort of money as Humps? I say that as someone who likes Humphreys as a player and for his work at Ulster and now Gloucester, but I don't know Glaws have gotten quite enough out of what's quite a large spend


Howley to Gloucester and they can become an official development side for our regions.


Just as long as they manage to keep him away from Cheltenham...


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Is success in Europe everything though? I’m really not bothered about it, I’d rather the game was sustainable.


I think at least some of our clubs need to be competitive in Europe for the England team to be successful - not sure Prem rugby prepares/develops players sufficiently for international rugby and there's something to be said for a team like Sarries keeping the English boot on the Celts/French throats. No doubt we'll also start losing a fair amount of talent abroad.

As ever, there's a balance to be struck, but I'm not sure we should be looking for 100% sustainability without the interventions of private owners/investors - not sure many sports would be viable on that basis tbh.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:50 am 
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Welsh teams are always garbage in Europe and don't tear up trees in their league either, yet Wales seem to do alright at international level.

There's so much international rugby these days - and internationals get blooded at such a young ago - that I think Europe is less and less important when it comes to "preparing" players. England isn't some far-off career goal, it's something that players get involved in pretty quickly, and a handful of club matches a year isn't going to make or break their international careers.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:53 am 
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Like sure Saracens players have been very good in Europe and very good for England, but it's a chicken and egg situ. Anthony Watson didn't become one of England's finest wingers because of Europe. George Ford's not exactly had a stellar time in Europe.

Half the English clubs are either shite in Europe (hi Quins) or just permanently in the 2nd tier anyway. They still provide lots of quality international players.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:03 am 
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Yep, agree with that. It's a nice to have, but not worth unduly stressing the financial viability of the majority of clubs without super rich owners.

I guess you'd only have to check the balance was right if droves of current internationals started choosing pay days overseas instead over international rugby.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:13 am 
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Personally, I’d be happy with a significantly scaled back European competition until club rugby is more sustainable across the main NH leagues.

It’s pointless talking about the quality of rugby being damaged if the whole professional game as we know it is under threat.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:34 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Like sure Saracens players have been very good in Europe and very good for England, but it's a chicken and egg situ. Anthony Watson didn't become one of England's finest wingers because of Europe. George Ford's not exactly had a stellar time in Europe.

Half the English clubs are either shite in Europe (hi Quins) or just permanently in the 2nd tier anyway. They still provide lots of quality international players.


All true, but I'm minded to think that Sarries' ongoing success in Europe has been integral to England's performances over the past few years - yes other clubs who are poor in Europe or not there at all will still produce and develop good players, but I'm convinced that the confidence and experience players get from testing themselves (and consistently winning) at the sharp end of European competition translates to internationals. The Premiership isn't going to serve-up games of a similar intensity or atmosphere as European knock-out rugby and our guys will be all the poorer without that experience.

I also think club rugby needs a strong England side to survive and grow; if we were to compromise the performances of the national team with the aim of making the club game pay its way, I'd be worried we'd just end-up with the same old die-hard fans we have at club games now and nothing more and even they will probably dwindle when all of the players bugger off overseas, as they surely will. I'd hate for us to become like Wales (tbf that's true in almost every sense!).


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:43 am 
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It's very difficult to use Saracens as an example. They're a team that illegally created an international standard squad. Did they become better internationals because they played well in Europe? Did they play better in Europe because they played international rugby? Did England's performance dipped when Sarries' performances dipped?

The evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. They were good for England, but the furthest I'd go would be to say that the fact that they formed a well-honed unit that transplanted into England colours was the most beneficial thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:45 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
It's very difficult to use Saracens as an example. They're a team that illegally created an international standard squad. Did they become better internationals because they played well in Europe? Did they play better in Europe because they played international rugby? Did England's performance dipped when Sarries' performances dipped?

The evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. They were good for England, but the furthest I'd go would be to say that the fact that they formed a well-honed unit that transplanted into England colours was the most beneficial thing.


Given that almost none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them (only Daly that I can think of, maybe Billy had played a game or two while at Wasps) I think it's fairly clear that Sarries' success has been part of their development for international rugby. Would they be as good if Sarries had kept to the cap and they'd moved to a Bath or a Quins and never played in a Euro semi or final? No-one can say for sure, but I think it's highly likely that experiencing that level of rugby has made them better internationals.

That's not to say that what Saracens did can be condoned; competition rules need to be followed and they were rightly punished severely, but my view is we need to find a way to allow our clubs to be competitive at European level if we want rugby to improve it's position in this country - answers on a post-it of how to do it though, as increasing the cap isn't going to be an option.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:24 pm 
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Joost wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
It's very difficult to use Saracens as an example. They're a team that illegally created an international standard squad. Did they become better internationals because they played well in Europe? Did they play better in Europe because they played international rugby? Did England's performance dipped when Sarries' performances dipped?

The evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. They were good for England, but the furthest I'd go would be to say that the fact that they formed a well-honed unit that transplanted into England colours was the most beneficial thing.


Given that almost none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them (only Daly that I can think of, maybe Billy had played a game or two while at Wasps) I think it's fairly clear that Sarries' success has been part of their development for international rugby. Would they be as good if Sarries had kept to the cap and they'd moved to a Bath or a Quins and never played in a Euro semi or final? No-one can say for sure, but I think it's highly likely that experiencing that level of rugby has made them better internationals.

That's not to say that what Saracens did can be condoned; competition rules need to be followed and they were rightly punished severely, but my view is we need to find a way to allow our clubs to be competitive at European level if we want rugby to improve it's position in this country - answers on a post-it of how to do it though, as increasing the cap isn't going to be an option.


I think the coaching they received at Saracens is a far bigger benefit than the occasional Euro match. But "none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them" is missing the point a fair bit - the vast majority of their England bunch came through the academy or were poached at a very young age, so of course they played Euro rugby before they played international rugby. But I don't think anyone ever expected this crop of players who were dominant at age grade level to not go on to be top internationals - guys like Itoje, Mako, even Farrell were blitzing senior club rugby as soon as they started playing regularly for Sarries.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:28 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Joost wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
It's very difficult to use Saracens as an example. They're a team that illegally created an international standard squad. Did they become better internationals because they played well in Europe? Did they play better in Europe because they played international rugby? Did England's performance dipped when Sarries' performances dipped?

The evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. They were good for England, but the furthest I'd go would be to say that the fact that they formed a well-honed unit that transplanted into England colours was the most beneficial thing.


Given that almost none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them (only Daly that I can think of, maybe Billy had played a game or two while at Wasps) I think it's fairly clear that Sarries' success has been part of their development for international rugby. Would they be as good if Sarries had kept to the cap and they'd moved to a Bath or a Quins and never played in a Euro semi or final? No-one can say for sure, but I think it's highly likely that experiencing that level of rugby has made them better internationals.

That's not to say that what Saracens did can be condoned; competition rules need to be followed and they were rightly punished severely, but my view is we need to find a way to allow our clubs to be competitive at European level if we want rugby to improve it's position in this country - answers on a post-it of how to do it though, as increasing the cap isn't going to be an option.


I think the coaching they received at Saracens is a far bigger benefit than the occasional Euro match. But "none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them" is missing the point a fair bit - the vast majority of their England bunch came through the academy or were poached at a very young age, so of course they played Euro rugby before they played international rugby. But I don't think anyone ever expected this crop of players who were dominant at age grade level to not go on to be top internationals - guys like Itoje, Mako, even Farrell were blitzing senior club rugby as soon as they started playing regularly for Sarries.


Exposure to high level players is important too. That helps create the environment to a degree that more than just coaching can do.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:32 pm 
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Joost wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
It's very difficult to use Saracens as an example. They're a team that illegally created an international standard squad. Did they become better internationals because they played well in Europe? Did they play better in Europe because they played international rugby? Did England's performance dipped when Sarries' performances dipped?

The evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. They were good for England, but the furthest I'd go would be to say that the fact that they formed a well-honed unit that transplanted into England colours was the most beneficial thing.


Given that almost none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them (only Daly that I can think of, maybe Billy had played a game or two while at Wasps) I think it's fairly clear that Sarries' success has been part of their development for international rugby. Would they be as good if Sarries had kept to the cap and they'd moved to a Bath or a Quins and never played in a Euro semi or final? No-one can say for sure, but I think it's highly likely that experiencing that level of rugby has made them better internationals.

That's not to say that what Saracens did can be condoned; competition rules need to be followed and they were rightly punished severely, but my view is we need to find a way to allow our clubs to be competitive at European level if we want rugby to improve it's position in this country - answers on a post-it of how to do it though, as increasing the cap isn't going to be an option.

Team that buys all the best players at the expense of other clubs has several internationals - News at 10.

There's another issue that mediocre players can look good in a decent team and end up playing at a level they have no business at - I give you Joel Tomkins as an example.

If clubs do well in Europe - great. I don't really give a shit compared to having a sustainable domestic league.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:34 pm 
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Raggs wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
Joost wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
It's very difficult to use Saracens as an example. They're a team that illegally created an international standard squad. Did they become better internationals because they played well in Europe? Did they play better in Europe because they played international rugby? Did England's performance dipped when Sarries' performances dipped?

The evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. They were good for England, but the furthest I'd go would be to say that the fact that they formed a well-honed unit that transplanted into England colours was the most beneficial thing.


Given that almost none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them (only Daly that I can think of, maybe Billy had played a game or two while at Wasps) I think it's fairly clear that Sarries' success has been part of their development for international rugby. Would they be as good if Sarries had kept to the cap and they'd moved to a Bath or a Quins and never played in a Euro semi or final? No-one can say for sure, but I think it's highly likely that experiencing that level of rugby has made them better internationals.

That's not to say that what Saracens did can be condoned; competition rules need to be followed and they were rightly punished severely, but my view is we need to find a way to allow our clubs to be competitive at European level if we want rugby to improve it's position in this country - answers on a post-it of how to do it though, as increasing the cap isn't going to be an option.


I think the coaching they received at Saracens is a far bigger benefit than the occasional Euro match. But "none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them" is missing the point a fair bit - the vast majority of their England bunch came through the academy or were poached at a very young age, so of course they played Euro rugby before they played international rugby. But I don't think anyone ever expected this crop of players who were dominant at age grade level to not go on to be top internationals - guys like Itoje, Mako, even Farrell were blitzing senior club rugby as soon as they started playing regularly for Sarries.


Exposure to high level players is important too. That helps create the environment to a degree that more than just coaching can do.


And exposure to opportunity, Sarries will promote their youth in a way that too many sides are hesitant of. Although Sarries don't always get it right, and that does get glossed over with their success (and with their cheating)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:37 pm 
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Raggs wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
Joost wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
It's very difficult to use Saracens as an example. They're a team that illegally created an international standard squad. Did they become better internationals because they played well in Europe? Did they play better in Europe because they played international rugby? Did England's performance dipped when Sarries' performances dipped?

The evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. They were good for England, but the furthest I'd go would be to say that the fact that they formed a well-honed unit that transplanted into England colours was the most beneficial thing.


Given that almost none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them (only Daly that I can think of, maybe Billy had played a game or two while at Wasps) I think it's fairly clear that Sarries' success has been part of their development for international rugby. Would they be as good if Sarries had kept to the cap and they'd moved to a Bath or a Quins and never played in a Euro semi or final? No-one can say for sure, but I think it's highly likely that experiencing that level of rugby has made them better internationals.

That's not to say that what Saracens did can be condoned; competition rules need to be followed and they were rightly punished severely, but my view is we need to find a way to allow our clubs to be competitive at European level if we want rugby to improve it's position in this country - answers on a post-it of how to do it though, as increasing the cap isn't going to be an option.


I think the coaching they received at Saracens is a far bigger benefit than the occasional Euro match. But "none of Sarries' England players were internationals when they got hold of them" is missing the point a fair bit - the vast majority of their England bunch came through the academy or were poached at a very young age, so of course they played Euro rugby before they played international rugby. But I don't think anyone ever expected this crop of players who were dominant at age grade level to not go on to be top internationals - guys like Itoje, Mako, even Farrell were blitzing senior club rugby as soon as they started playing regularly for Sarries.


Exposure to high level players is important too. That helps create the environment to a degree that more than just coaching can do.


Agreed. They help raise and set the standards. It's a positive feedback loop, if you get the right people.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:38 pm 
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piquant wrote:
And exposure to opportunity, Sarries will promote their youth in a way that too many sides are hesitant of. Although Sarries don't always get it right, and that does get glossed over with their success (and with their cheating)


Yep. Again, easier to expose their youth when they're dominating the league etc, and can place them in a team that's capable of winning without them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:23 pm 
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And if it doesn't work out, here's a Test player to come back into the side...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:59 pm 
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Raggs wrote:
piquant wrote:
And exposure to opportunity, Sarries will promote their youth in a way that too many sides are hesitant of. Although Sarries don't always get it right, and that does get glossed over with their success (and with their cheating)


Yep. Again, easier to expose their youth when they're dominating the league etc, and can place them in a team that's capable of winning without them.

And it's done at the expense of other sides who can't hold on to as many top level players and can't generally have a 1st team, bench and squad filled with internationals.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:06 pm 
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dinsdale wrote:
Raggs wrote:
piquant wrote:
And exposure to opportunity, Sarries will promote their youth in a way that too many sides are hesitant of. Although Sarries don't always get it right, and that does get glossed over with their success (and with their cheating)


Yep. Again, easier to expose their youth when they're dominating the league etc, and can place them in a team that's capable of winning without them.

And it's done at the expense of other sides who can't hold on to as many top level players and can't generally have a 1st team, bench and squad filled with internationals.


That's part of it, but not the whole. Some sides are just terrible at promoting their youth. My favourite bad example was Cockerill at Leicester, though I'd give the caveat he was new to coaching and probably didn't have enough help , maybe he'd have still fecked up that badly anyway, but there is some slight leniency to be had in judgement


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:35 pm 
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In his defence, I can’t think of a huge amount of Tigers’ academy products that left and went on to achieve better things from the Cockerill era.

Maybe the academy players weren’t quite good enough to promote?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:50 pm 
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Scrumhead wrote:
In his defence, I can’t think of a huge amount of Tigers’ academy products that left and went on to achieve better things from the Cockerill era.

Maybe the academy players weren’t quite good enough to promote?


Or maybe with the gametime when they were younger, they'd have got further ahead?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:53 pm 
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piquant wrote:
dinsdale wrote:
Raggs wrote:
piquant wrote:
And exposure to opportunity, Sarries will promote their youth in a way that too many sides are hesitant of. Although Sarries don't always get it right, and that does get glossed over with their success (and with their cheating)


Yep. Again, easier to expose their youth when they're dominating the league etc, and can place them in a team that's capable of winning without them.

And it's done at the expense of other sides who can't hold on to as many top level players and can't generally have a 1st team, bench and squad filled with internationals.


That's part of it, but not the whole. Some sides are just terrible at promoting their youth. My favourite bad example was Cockerill at Leicester, though I'd give the caveat he was new to coaching and probably didn't have enough help , maybe he'd have still fecked up that badly anyway, but there is some slight leniency to be had in judgement

Hadn't they already lost Dusty Hare as their chief "talent spotter" to Saints by then as well? He was never properly replaced either.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:59 pm 
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Scrumhead wrote:
In his defence, I can’t think of a huge amount of Tigers’ academy products that left and went on to achieve better things from the Cockerill era.

Maybe the academy players weren’t quite good enough to promote?

Quins got caught in that trap. Had a very good run with a squad built around several academy / young signings. Decide promoting from the academy is a winning strategy. Then discover that you don't have enough players coming through who are good enough.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:11 pm 
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Scrumhead wrote:
In his defence, I can’t think of a huge amount of Tigers’ academy products that left and went on to achieve better things from the Cockerill era.

Maybe the academy players weren’t quite good enough to promote?


George Ford, Billy Twelvetrees, Hamish Watson and Tiziano Pasquali went on to earn caps after leaving Tigers.

The likes of Alex Lewington, Fraser Balmain, Ryan Bower, Calum Green, Scott Steele, Harry Thacker, Tom Price, Henry Purdy and Perry Humphreys have gone on to be either first choice or regular starters at other Premiership/Welsh clubs.

And whilst few of them have set the world on fire, you may want to consider the quality of player that was keeping them out of the squad at Tigers. The likes of Niall Morris, Blaine Scully, Jerome Schuster, Jono Kitto, Neil Briggs, Michael Noone, Richard Thorpe, Gonzalo Camacho, etc. Some of whom were okay players, but nothing spectacular.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:25 pm 
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4071 wrote:
Scrumhead wrote:
In his defence, I can’t think of a huge amount of Tigers’ academy products that left and went on to achieve better things from the Cockerill era.

Maybe the academy players weren’t quite good enough to promote?


George Ford, Billy Twelvetrees, Hamish Watson and Tiziano Pasquali went on to earn caps after leaving Tigers.

The likes of Alex Lewington, Fraser Balmain, Ryan Bower, Calum Green, Scott Steele, Harry Thacker, Tom Price, Henry Purdy and Perry Humphreys have gone on to be either first choice or regular starters at other Premiership/Welsh clubs.

And whilst few of them have set the world on fire, you may want to consider the quality of player that was keeping them out of the squad at Tigers. The likes of Niall Morris, Blaine Scully, Jerome Schuster, Jono Kitto, Neil Briggs, Michael Noone, Richard Thorpe, Gonzalo Camacho, etc. Some of whom were okay players, but nothing spectacular.


yep. and it's just a bad culture to cultivate, if the kids think they have a chance they'll energise training like nothing else


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