The Rugby Thread

talkshowhost86

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Biggar is the type of player who’d always give everything. He’s a winner. A moaner, a prick, a twat and probably a lot worse could be labelled at him but not lazy or unmotivated.
Will be interesting to see.

I'd have said the same about Jamie Roberts but that didn't happen for a long time at Quins.

I think it's definitely a thing for a lot of Welsh players that country is miles ahead of club (even when they play for a Welsh club), although not the same for everyone.
 

Japhet

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Biggar is the type of player who’d always give everything. He’s a winner. A moaner, a prick, a twat and probably a lot worse could be labelled at him but not lazy or unmotivated.
I hope so. Mind you, I'll be taking a book to read while he prepares for a pop at the posts! Drives me bloody nuts watching that spectacle!
 

E17yid

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I hope so. Mind you, I'll be taking a book to read while he prepares for a pop at the posts! Drives me bloody nuts watching that spectacle!
I think he’s toned down the Biggar shuffle recently so he’s probably only taking 20mins to take a pen now.
 

E17yid

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Will be interesting to see.

I'd have said the same about Jamie Roberts but that didn't happen for a long time at Quins.

I think it's definitely a thing for a lot of Welsh players that country is miles ahead of club (even when they play for a Welsh club), although not the same for everyone.
We’ve discussed this before so probably best not to go into it again but every single player in the world puts country miles ahead of club.
 

talkshowhost86

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We’ve discussed this before so probably best not to go into it again but every single player in the world puts country miles ahead of club.
Yeah true but it does seem to be more pronounced with Welsh players.

But then I think that's partly to do with the importance of the pro-14, and I suspect that's why you see issues like North/Roberts because they are suddenly playing at clubs who actually care a bit more about their national league.

Presumably won't be an issue soon anyway as Wales are slowly starting to make it very hard for players to play outside of Wales anyway.
 

E17yid

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Yeah true but it does seem to be more pronounced with Welsh players.

But then I think that's partly to do with the importance of the pro-14, and I suspect that's why you see issues like North/Roberts because they are suddenly playing at clubs who actually care a bit more about their national league.

Presumably won't be an issue soon anyway as Wales are slowly starting to make it very hard for players to play outside of Wales anyway.
I guess we have the dual contract thing as well so I’m not saying you don’t have a point re the Welsh. When the WRU pays half your salary it adds another dimension to it as opposed to players who get all their income from their clubs/regions.
 

talkshowhost86

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I guess we have the dual contract thing as well so I’m not saying you don’t have a point re the Welsh. When the WRU pays half your salary it adds another dimension to it as opposed to players who get all their income from their clubs/regions.
Yeah absolutely. That must be a huge part of it.

I'm not sure if the Irish do the same thing, although not many of their players leave the Irish clubs so you don't see too many club v country issues.

In many ways I wish international rugby was more like football, where people play for their country when picked regardless of where they play, and don't get paid for doing so, but I do understand why that wouldn't work.

But it can make being a club rugby fan very frustrating at times!
 

Japhet

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I guess we have the dual contract thing as well so I’m not saying you don’t have a point re the Welsh. When the WRU pays half your salary it adds another dimension to it as opposed to players who get all their income from their clubs/regions.
Leads to a massive conflict of interests as well.
 

E17yid

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This is part of the reason why, if I was Rhys Webb, I’d sue the WRU for loss of earnings over the way he’s been treated. Shambolic by us it has to be said.
 

E17yid

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According to an article on the BBC North had an agreement with Malinder that he wouldn’t play on rest weekends and this has either not been communicated to the interim coach or the interim coach didn’t want to honour it.

Be interesting to know when this agreement was struck and for what reasons (in the last year and due to medical reasons) and you would e thought the new coach and North had a conversation behind the scenes but the new coach obviously wanted to go public about it.
 

talkshowhost86

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According to an article on the BBC North had an agreement with Malinder that he wouldn’t play on rest weekends and this has either not been communicated to the interim coach or the interim coach didn’t want to honour it.

Be interesting to know when this agreement was struck and for what reasons (in the last year and due to medical reasons) and you would e thought the new coach and North had a conversation behind the scenes but the new coach obviously wanted to go public about it.
Just listened to a podcast that discussed all this.

One thing they said was that North was allegedly in Wales speaking to Scarlets which doesn't help his case.

But it does sound like Gaffney is being a bit daft about it and they were saying that Gaffney was basically just deflecting from a crap Saints performance.

Personally I think North should have wanted to play and it's not great if he's rejected a chance to play and help his club when it would also help him prove his fitness.

But at the same time if he has a deal with Northampton to not play on rest weekends then they can't just ignore that.

Basically it's a daft system all round.
 

E17yid

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Just listened to a podcast that discussed all this.

One thing they said was that North was allegedly in Wales speaking to Scarlets which doesn't help his case.

But it does sound like Gaffney is being a bit daft about it and they were saying that Gaffney was basically just deflecting from a crap Saints performance.

Personally I think North should have wanted to play and it's not great if he's rejected a chance to play and help his club when it would also help him prove his fitness.

But at the same time if he has a deal with Northampton to not play on rest weekends then they can't just ignore that.

Basically it's a daft system all round.
Yeah it’s a weird one. I don’t think we/Gatland helped matters either in that we put him in a difficult position by releasing him. Personally I would’ve just kept him in the squad to train and not put George in this situation but there you go.
 

E17yid

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10 changes for Wales. Great to see James Davies gets a start. So unlucky we’re overloaded with quality back row options at the moment (especially at 7) as he’s a great player who really deserves a chance to show what he can do. Really pleased for Owen Watkin earning his first 6N start. Anscombe at FH, hopefully he’s forgotten about fucking up that last play to win us the game agai st Ireland (no more silly Hollywood passes please)

Wales: L Williams, North, Watkin, Parkes, S Evans; Anscombe, G Davies; Smith, Dee, Francis, Hill, B Davies, Tipuric, J Davies, Faletau (capt).

Replacements: Owens, R Evans, Lee, S Davies, Jenkins, A Davies, Patchell, Halfpenny.
 

talkshowhost86

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Interesting Welsh team.

I quite like that from Gatland and wish Eddie would use a bit more rotation in some of our 'lesser' games.

Obviously depends if Italy turn up or not, but generally I'd expect a tough opening 15 minutes or so, and then lots of points for Wales towards the end.

Meanwhile for England it looks like Underhill, Nowell and maybe Hartley will be out.

Nowell probably would have only been on the bench anyway (although personally I'd play him or Daly instead of Brown with Watson at FB) and I prefer George to Hartley, but missing Underhill is a shame. Fancy he might have got a start if he was fit. As it is I'd go Hughes at 8 with Simmonds at 7 and Robshaw at 6. Wouldn't be surprised if Eddie reverts to using Haskell though.
 

E17yid

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Has to be said that our front row looks pretty gash and is an area the Italians will be targeting, I’m sure.
 

Arnoldtoo

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No Hartley; Farrell captain, Brown dropped ...

England:
Watson; May, Te'o, Farrell (capt), Daly; Ford, Care; M Vunipola, George, Cole, Launchbury, Itoje, Lawes, Robshaw, Hughes.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Sinckler, Haskell, Simmonds, Wigglesworth, Joseph, Brown.
 

talkshowhost86

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England: Watson; May, Te'o, Farrell (capt), Daly; Ford, Care; M Vunipola, George, Cole, Launchbury, Itoje, Lawes, Robshaw, Hughes.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Sinckler, Haskell, Simmonds, Wigglesworth, Joseph, Brown.
Glad to see George starting, and Cowan-Dickie has been brilliant for Exeter recently as well so no issues with him off the bench.

Will also be interesting to see how Watson goes at Fullback with Eddie finally having made that change. I think it's the right move, particularly with Daly coming back in.

Disappointed we haven't done something to change the back-row. We were very poor in that area against the Scots, and I'm just not sure the balance is right with Lawes in that position. Would have preferred to see Simmonds in at 7.

Also interesting to see Te'o in for JJ. Not sure Te'o really did much when he was there against Italy, but JJ hasn't exactly looked great recently either. All very interesting as a certain Mr Tuilagi starts to play himself back into form at Leicester.
 

mpickard2087

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Daly should be fullback, that would be my preferred plan long term. He's got to improve on the defensive aspect of things but he's the best ball player, has that wonderful left boot, and I'd think he's best suited to that roaming role picking lines to pop up in attack. Watson's best position is the wing finishing tries, leave him doing that.

The team is a bit of a surprise, seems to have tinkered everywhere except where the most issues lie - in the back five of the pack.....
 

Arnoldtoo

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Glad to see George starting, and Cowan-Dickie has been brilliant for Exeter recently as well so no issues with him off the bench.

Will also be interesting to see how Watson goes at Fullback with Eddie finally having made that change. I think it's the right move, particularly with Daly coming back in.

Disappointed we haven't done something to change the back-row. We were very poor in that area against the Scots, and I'm just not sure the balance is right with Lawes in that position. Would have preferred to see Simmonds in at 7.

Also interesting to see Te'o in for JJ. Not sure Te'o really did much when he was there against Italy, but JJ hasn't exactly looked great recently either. All very interesting as a certain Mr Tuilagi starts to play himself back into form at Leicester.
When Bastareaud is running at us, I'd prefer Te'o in his way than JJ. When he gets knackered, swap them.
 

Arnoldtoo

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Daly should be fullback, that would be my preferred plan long term. He's got to improve on the defensive aspect of things but he's the best ball player, has that wonderful left boot, and I'd think he's best suited to that roaming role picking lines to pop up in attack. Watson's best position is the wing finishing tries, leave him doing that.

The team is a bit of a surprise, seems to have tinkered everywhere except where the most issues lie - in the back five of the pack.....
The back row needs sorting, but apart from choosing which two I don't think the 2nd row is much of an issue. Maro needs to up his game to reach the levels of the last year and move on from there, but it's not as though we're weak in that position.
 
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