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Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Big Dave (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:06
So, we have had the second batch of annoucements, which brings in some of the best championship performers from other clubs in 2017/18. This follows on from a previous announcement with some proven premiership performers. On the way we have retained a good chunk of the existing squad. To which we can add the two peak of the career former All Blacks (Luatua and Piutau - one of whom is already with us) and the islanders in the backs who joined in the close season.

Meanwhile, some have already left us, including players with proven premiership and international experience.

So, are we in a position where our squad could make us AT LEAST the 11th best club in England in 2018/19, or are we heading for a repeat of 2016/17 - where our squad came with big ambitions but nowhere the quality, depth or experience to survive?

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Rinkadink (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:12
Want to believe but at the moment it's looking like a repeat of 16/17... and therein lies the problem with the gulf in quality between the Championship and Premiership.

Unless of course we have some proven performers like Morahan on the way in. Then we can stay a few places from bottom and build from there.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Big Dave (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:15
To be honest, I think we are going up much stronger than in 2016. That's not the same as we are going to stay up, but we are certainly stronger. The worries of recent weeks have clearly been shared by the coaching staff.

Concerns at 9, if Madigan gets injured and second row, but there you go.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Bristol-Supporter (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:15
I haven't done an indepth analysis but the squad doesn't feel that much different from 16/17. I expected a lot more proven Premiership players joining the squad. However Exeter managed to perform as a squad when they went up and I think Pat can get this squad playing the same - for each other and greater than the sum of the parts!

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Hercules Spoons (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:19
There will, inevitably, be some element of calculated chance in re-building any squad.

I have to say we have selected some of the better performers against us so, arguably, they are generally better (espec props) than the ones we have currently?

We must also bear in mind that finances, in the form of a salary cap, constrains us from signing every available All Black.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
thorpebayexile (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:23
Quote:
Bristol-Supporter
I haven't done an indepth analysis but the squad doesn't feel that much different from 16/17. I expected a lot more proven Premiership players joining the squad. However Exeter managed to perform as a squad when they went up and I think Pat can get this squad playing the same - for each other and greater than the sum of the parts!


I think at analysis, not even in-depth shows a big difference. We started against quin's with. Jack Wallace, Ryan Edwards, Will Hurrell, Gavin Henson (Mosses 29), Tom Varndell, Tusi Pisi, Will Cliff (Williams 64); Soane Tonga’uiha (Traynor 62), Ross McMillan (Brooker 59), Gaston Cortes, James Phillips (Joyce 56), Ben Glynn, Jon Fisher (Eadie 61), Jack Lam (c), Jordan Crane (Robinson 66)

I think the likely starting xv from the other thread looks a lot stronger already

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Big Dave (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:32
Quote:
thorpebayexile
I think the likely starting xv from the other thread looks a lot stronger already

Yes, but is it better than at least one of the teams in next year's premiership?

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
thorpebayexile (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:52
Quote:
Big Dave
Quote:
thorpebayexile
I think the likely starting xv from the other thread looks a lot stronger already

Yes, but is it better than at least one of the teams in next year's premiership?

Now that's the key question. I wouldn't put money on it at the moment. With maybe three more absolutely class players at scrum half, lock and centre then probably better than Worcester.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
BigO (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 14:01
On paper, it looks better than last time around.

For me it's not about the players we've signed. It's the currently unquantifiable things like (1) who PL gets in to coach the forwards, and can that person create something special from the ingredients he has, (2) the culture PL and team builds to create a winning mentality and generally a more spirited and abrasive approach, and (3) a set of tactics & style of play which will allow us to do something a bit different to the competition on a sustainable basis - i.e. Newcastle this season, and in patches, Wuss.

If we can do all 3, we'll be OK.

Still think we need another 5 or 6 proven performers though. 9, 10 and 2nd row currently looks very lightweight.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
CABris (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 14:39
Personally I don't think this is a weak year for the championship, although I have no idea how you would ever prove such a thing.

What I like is that we've signed arguably the 3 best players from a team whereby if you remove the two losses against Bristol, have only lost one game this season. Apart from the season where both Worcester and Bristol were in the championship, I don't think many other second place teams have come close to that.

What I also like is the signing of depth props. The championship contains a lot of props that are very good at bending over and pushing and theres countless examples where they have caused problems for props that have done very well in the prem. I would like to think that by picking up props from Jersey, where they are traditionally excellent scrummagers, Lam can teach them the subtleties of our open play system. The important thing is that they can provide their primary function extremely well.

In terms of the strength of our team (and of course it depends who you think should be starting for us) I believe our strongest team is:

1. Thomas
2. Thacker
3. Afoa
4. Muldowney
5. Vui
6. Luatua
7. Thomas
8. Haining
9. Stirzaker
10. Madigan
11. Morahan
12. S. Piutau
13. Leiua
14. Daniels
15. C. Piutau

16. Molton
17. Lay
18. Thiede
19. Joyce
20. Heenan
21. Uren
22. Sheedy
23. Protheroe

I couldn't fit Jack Lam into that 23 either but he'll probably be injured.

On paper, I think that is stronger than Worcester's team but of course, rugby isn't played on paper.

Also, we apparently have another 3 'head turning' players to announce which will further improve the team.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Gray_Lensman (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 15:19
I think we might be missing out on the EQP payments!

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
YATT2 (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 15:26
That is defiantly a stronger side than we started our last premiership season with, we struggled at the set piece (as we have this season) and breakdown. i am really looking forward to the start of 18/19 season a couple of decent away days in the cup and it will be a tough but great year!

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Dieselpup (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 16:07
I see Hurrell does not feature - interesting ...

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Cidered Abroad (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 16:41
Quote:
Dieselpup
I see Hurrell does not feature - interesting ...

He is in the squad as published here.

[www.bristolrugby.co.uk]

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Bris Bob (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 16:48
Certainly a stronger back division than last time around,personally think a good start to the season first 5/6 games is a big bonus for setting confidence. Still maybe a concern as to front five, back row when they work out the best combination is for me reasonable.As for championship signings ,worth remembering the first season back up under HILLY, Ward-Smith/ Arscotts/Lee Robinson/ a certain former Welder from Coventry S Perry were all virtual unknowns to the Premiership .

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
Olly (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 17:02
Will these players be better?? Don’t ask me what I can say is they will Certainly improve with the right coaching. To see so many championship players being signed by us and premiership clubs proves just how important the championship is to all Premiership clubs touting locking the doors. If the Championship dies so will the premiership.



Bristol, like the glass is Blue, Bristol Blue.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
NickBeard (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 17:41
I see big concerns at Lock and in the midfield. We need someone with real presence at 12 who can be a second playmaker g. Worth chucking money at getting a player of the class of Madigan / Luatua and Morahan. With Vui being out for the season, our weakness at lock is highlighted. We need a stellar performer there too.

One would expect a few of the 7 new players to improve and become regulars in the team. They are good ages.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
T J (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 17:45
Not good enough.

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
bennystoon (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 18:00
I am awaiting the News with some big name quality signings otherwise if this is it I worry

 
Re: Big question - how good is the squad for 2018/19
EC Boy (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 18:49
Quote:
bennystoon
I am awaiting the News with some big name quality signings otherwise if this is it I worry

Spot on. Wiithout some star power, we are Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo Echo Delta!

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