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Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Sit_Down (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 10:42
Building on the Squad thread, thought I'd create a separate one to focus solely on the recruitment puzzle we'd all like to see completed for next season. All on the assumption we stay up (which we will) and are NOT in the Champions Cup.

I'm classing the Forwards Squad as complete for next season (maybe even a few to be released). Any additions are likely to be minor in Salary Cap terms - i.e. no big names.

The Backs for me remains the area where we have to add a few more.

We might add a scrum half, though I think it unlikely. Pat has already stated formally that he's happy with Uren and Randell and doesn't see the need to go and get a more experienced head.

Fly half - no recruitment required.

Back three - not sure there is much recruitment needed here either at the moment. Morahan, Lieua, CP, Luke Daniels, Pincus, Protheroe - plenty of quality in depth imo. With Edwards still on the books as well, we're well stocked.

And so to Centre.

To be clear, I think S. Piutau has been an absolute rock for us this season. I have no worries about him giving us another year. Hurrell back and fit, proven performer at Prem level. O'Connor has shown he can live in the Premiership and contribute positively. Was very impressed with Bedlow on Saturday.

So, we have 4 centres that can compete in the Premiership. 3 very similar in style. One more name to the list should do for now.

Personally, I'd like to see go after someone like Jack Goodhue, though he's in the All Blacks fold and is only 23, so it may not be realistic.

Other names:
Max Clark - seems to be getting stuck on the wing for Barf atm but would fit our style nicely

Jon Williams - could be available if Falcons go down, but too similar to the others we have?

Any others....???

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
memnoch (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 11:06
I personally would not be surprised to see Bundi Aki sign for us after the World Cup.
I think he will be surplus to requirements for Ireland as they build for the 2023 World Cup and was very upset when Pat left Connaught.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Gray_Lensman (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 11:25
Wasn't Lieua supposed to be a centre who occasionally turned out on the wing?

In any event, I don't think we are close to being properly competitive at Premiership level without a serious upgrade in the centres. I saw on the Saracens' site a comparison of their results with and without Brad Barritt and his absence certainly coincides with poor results for them. What we need is someone who is international class but not getting picked internationally and gets to stay with the club. The opposite of a Ben T'eo if you like! As I have said before, centre has been a problem position for us for years (decades). Higgitt and Cox were defensive rocks for us and something of that solidity would be hugely welcome if only it was combined with some creative attacking play. I don't want much do I?

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Standardprocedure (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 11:31
Agree re: Higgitt and Cox were being rocks in defence, neither were the biggest players but they were tough as old boots and incredibly well organised with it. I can't actually recall us ever having a centre pairing that ticks all the boxes when it comes to balance between defence and attack in recent history. Other teams seem to manage it, so I don't think it's too much to ask for

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Portisteve (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 11:36
We definitely need another wing

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
airdog (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 12:01
yes centre is Bristols perennial problem , its on my bucket list of things to do before I die to have seen a Bristol player represent every position on the field in an England shirt and over the past 60 plus years and I have got them all except centre , in fact it may be the case that there is no one alive that seen a Bris centre in the national side .
Think back to when them down the road came on the scene in the 80s it was in a big way due to having the likes of Guscott and De Glanville and they have always had quality centres ever since whilst the closest we had was Ralph Knibbs .
Portisteve says we need another wing and I note in TRP yesterday in the dream team feature Franco Vav De Merwe includes Charles Piatau not as full back but as right wing so could that worth considering .

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
JamboBris (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 12:19
Afoa has been immense but we have a big drop off from him to Thiede and Armstrong so wouldn't mind a TH backup. 12 is the big one for me. Also another wing as we could put Leiua at centre as previously mentioned.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
AlexInSouthville (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 12:42
Quote:
airdog
Portisteve says we need another wing and I note in TRP yesterday in the dream team feature Franco Vav De Merwe includes Charles Piatau not as full back but as right wing so could that worth considering .

No doubt that Charles would be good on the wing, but personally I think 15 is by far his best position. He generally receives the ball in much more space, giving him time to pick a victim. I also love the fact that when he receives a kick, you can hear 15,000 fans sit up in their seats, and the opposition are immediately going to be unsettled and go off-script.

If I could pick one addition, it would be a 13 with flat-out gas. Not only would it gives s a nice contrast in skills to what we already have, but would also cause carnage in Pat's 'find the outside edge' attack.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Sit_Down (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 12:57
All fair points. One thing I'd say about Cox and Higgins is that they played in a different "age" of rugby. I played with Coxy many a time, so this isn't a slight on him or Higgins.

Nonetheless, the game is vastly different in 2019 than it was in 2007. I don't think it's viable to look back to move forwards where past players are concerned. Hell, what I'd give for a new Felipe or Augustine!

SP has been so solid defensively, we could class him in that band. I tend to agree that pace and a differing skill set in the 13 channel is would be great.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
youngone (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 13:35
I think we could do with reinforcements in the front row, wing and centre. Yann Thomas all of a sudden seems out of favour and I wonder if maybe he's snubbed an extension and that's why he isn't getting played? Any idea on his contract duration? Hopefully dawe will get game time next year but we lack a bit of quality depth. Hopefully our champ recruits will go from strength to strength in the coming years but I'm an ex-back and wont claim to be able to identify raw talent in props.

Centre is an obvious one, someone out of the slade or JJ mould would be great to balance off O'conor/hurrell/SP.

I think we are set at 15 with CP protheroe and Daniels all good options but definitely think we need another top winger. Sale started the season with yarde Ashton mchuigan and Solomona but only had Solomona available this weekend which again stresses the need for depth in quality not just depth. Would love to see leiua get some game time at 13 but this would only happen if we had someone else of has quality to play in his place on the wing. I do like pincus and Edwards has his qualities but neither are on leiua/morahan level.

Injuries are so common you have to address the worst case scenarios and see how your squad could cope. In reality we have done well this season considering we've lost CP and hurrell for large chunks of the season but it could be a lot worse and we need to have a squad that can handle the potenrial strain on coming years.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Graham_U (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 14:35
I'm not convinced SP has been the rock in defence in the second half of this season, drops off too many tackles for my likeing. I'd want us to be looking to reinvest his and Pisi's significant salaries for a couple of more long term quality centres, and also give Bedlow more opportunities. Remember we need to make the space in the salary cap for any big names.
As mentioned before the weekend I'd like to see Lieua tried at 13 as I think we need to get him more involved and he has not looked as lively on the wing recently, I'd go so far as to say he's been disappointing.
Please don't waste CPiatua on the wing, Ulster did that and he was a shadow of the player we've seen. I could see him doing a job at 13 if needed but I'd keep him at full back.
I'd agree on the need for better TH prop cover, but we have plenty of quality on the loose.



Graham

C'mon Bris,

http://www.rugbynetwork.net/boards/file/s100.htm?102,file=399.jpg

Stand out in a crowd, wear the Hoops!

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Rich. (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 14:41
Having Morahan and Charles in the back three really puts sides off from just kicking it to us - which puts them under pressure. Charles enjoys the spaces and you don't get that at centre.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
St00 (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 14:59
Quote:
AlexInSouthville

If I could pick one addition, it would be a 13 with flat-out gas. Not only would it gives s a nice contrast in skills to what we already have, but would also cause carnage in Pat's 'find the outside edge' attack.

Absolutely this. Unfortunately JJ seems to be an exception to the modern day 13 template and he's now committed to B@rf.
Gael Fickou is another of that type of player (although we aren't going to tempt him from Stade Francais).

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
JamboBris (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 15:10
Be interesting to see if Chapman, Dun, Powell and Capon get minutes in the cups next year. Think all 4 could be very good in a few years.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Rinkadink (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 15:26
Quote:
St00
Quote:
AlexInSouthville

If I could pick one addition, it would be a 13 with flat-out gas. Not only would it gives s a nice contrast in skills to what we already have, but would also cause carnage in Pat's 'find the outside edge' attack.

Absolutely this. Unfortunately JJ seems to be an exception to the modern day 13 template and he's now committed to B@rf.
Gael Fickou is another of that type of player (although we aren't going to tempt him from Stade Francais).

Don't we have that gassy 13 in O'Connor? Morahan even said O'Connor is faster than he is and Morahan skinned Johnny May on the outside no less.

Bedlow surprised me so there's that but I think we may need another 12 to help him along as Hurrell seems to be first choice 13 when fit.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Earlsbris (IP Logged)
15 April, 2019 15:53
Bundee Aki, a couple of props, a n other centre (like JJ) and a top class strike winger would be just what the doctor ordered

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
TimothyQ (IP Logged)
16 April, 2019 08:22
1-23 we are fine, but itís 23-40 where I think most of the teams in the league are stronger than us. Iíd like to see a first choice loose head, a second choice tighthead, another second row (squad player) another ball carrying 6/8 (squad player) a ball playing outside centre to compete with OíConnor and another wing to compete with Morahan and Leuia. Thatís what we need to be competitive but itíll probably take 3/4 years to get there.

That said, the remains that we are not yet at the level where we should turn down world class players in any position.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
T J (IP Logged)
16 April, 2019 09:03
Broadly agree with what others have said - to me our 1st XV with no injuries isn't an issue, but factor in a couple of injuries in key positions and we start to be exposed.

We still need a world class centre to compliment Hurrell (who I think we have missed massively) and as others have said, I would not be at all surprised to see Bundee Aki coming over.

I also think we need an out and out finishing winger, someone in the mould of Chris Ashton, Denny Solomona, Jack Nowell who will turn half an opportunity into a try.

I'm really confused as to what has gone on with Yann Thomas as he seems out of favour but not injured - prop is another position we need to strengthen IMO.

Finally, a decent defence coach to me is the most important area we need to strengthen - our points conceded is the 2nd worst in the league and I cannot see much (if any) improvement in this area in the time Jonathan Thomas has been with us, which is unacceptable.

What do I think will happen? Not very much other than what has already been announced. I think Pat will want another season with "his" team with an extra year of development to see where we are really at.

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Furriner (IP Logged)
16 April, 2019 09:22
Quote:
T J

What do I think will happen? Not very much other than what has already been announced. I think Pat will want another season with "his" team with an extra year of development to see where we are really at.

Or weíll do what other clubs are probably targeting, and thatís bagging players after the World Cup. In which case weíll likely have to wait a few months yet for any more exciting announcements. I feel happier about waiting since seeing the Sarries game. Iíd never have forecasted that win, and it was a reminder that weíve got some useful talent (eg Bedlow) to bring on. (Also, as the seasonís progressed Iíve been happy to eat my words on Dan Thomas: heís certainly developed into a class 7.)

 
Re: Completing the squad puzzle for 2019/20
Gray_Lensman (IP Logged)
16 April, 2019 09:38
I'm in a minority which thinks our defence is hugely improved. Let's not forget that Championship sides were running in tries for fun against us last season. When we have the right personnel playing at the right intensity I've seen us defend really well this season. The problem is we don't seem to do that in every match or throughout a match. We are able to defend at Premiership standards but we can't manage it consistently and it appears to be at the upper limit of our skillset. It is that aspect that needs working on. Perhaps instead of unceremoniously dumping Thomas we just need to get him some help and coaching?

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