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James OíConnor
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 09:18
JOC posted the following on Instagram, under a picture of his ankle bandaged up (and a fairly fluffy cat sitting with him).

jamesoconnor832Hey guys, just wanted to keep you all in the loop.
Iíve recently undergone surgery to clean out my ankle and have another operation in 2 weeks to fix some complications that have arisen as a direct result of the reconstruction work I had done last year. Itís been a very humbling experience having to stop and process everything that has happened recently but since making the decision to embrace this reflective period rather than fight it, I have started to let go and re-connect with my true power!
On the 3rd day of preseason in 2016, I injured my ankle at Toulon. Since then Iíve been fighting to play for nearly 2 seasons! It got to the point where I was only training 1 session a week and injecting it with local anaesthetic just to be able to take the field. At the time I knew this wasnít in my bodies best interest but I was so determined to play and win a final with Toulon that I disregarded all the signs and carelessly played on. I Ended up getting the reconstruction 5 days after losing that final and moved across to Sale Sharks to start fresh.
After the first training session I knew my ankle hadnít healed but again, I ignored the signs because I wanted to make an impact at my new club. I masked the pain through various means and just got on with the job. I did whatever I could to get onto the field to play...3 games on, 2 weeks off and cortisol to PRP injections became my routine!
This pressure in no way came from the club. I thought I could beat this through force & never actually allowed myself to stop and heal correctly. So now Iím here in the exact same place I was last year, 1 surgery down with another to go...but this time around we (club & I) have taken all the correct measures and discussions with my surgeon, going over all possibilities and put together a great rehab program to get me back for next season faster, stronger and pain free!
Sounds funny but I cant even express how excited I am to just take this time and recover properly, heal correctly and start playing with power again!
Just want to recognise my team mates and coaches for having the patience and supporting me through this year. Also anyone who has been following my journey..



SO It seems like itís a fairly serious injury and recovery process, so it might be that we are missing him for the beginning of next season but itís also clear that this injury seems to be a recurring problem, hence our mad dash to try and get hold of another FB...

I wish him all the best in his recovery!!

 
Re: James OíConnor
StalyShark (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 09:25
Speedy recovery JOC!

 
Re: James OíConnor
yukon (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 09:49
Credit to him for his honesty and best of luck with the recovery

 
Re: James OíConnor
clutch (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 10:28
If that means heís fully fit and firing that could be exciting next season.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Olyy (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 10:46
Damn, really sounds like a nightmare injury. Sometimes situations like this can be better for the player in the long run though - as he mentioned, he wasn't 100% after previous surgeries but tried to rehab through. Hitting rock bottom and getting another surgery hopefully sees it fully fixed now.

Hopefully makes a full and speedy recovery and is fit and firing next season.

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 13:52
I'm glad we held on to both players who directly cover his position at fullback.

 
Re: James OíConnor
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 13:58
Quote:
MartWhit
I'm glad we held on to both players who directly cover his position at fullback.

I think JOCs latest set back has meant we are now charging around the Top 14 and Super Rugby trying to get hold of a full back.

We need to directly replace Addison and Haley as well as strengthening inside Centre on top of that, plus a loosehead and potentially a second Row.

I donít think we will get a loosehead or second Row, and probably only 2 more signings (max 3) to come. Aulika must be resigning and Tarus moving across to 1

 
Re: James OíConnor
22 April, 2018 14:30
Gloucester forum seem v confident they are getting RJVR.

 
Re: James OíConnor
RugbyMarvel (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 14:33
Quote:
Newcastle under Lyme RUFC Shark
Gloucester forum seem v confident they are getting RJVR.

Wouldnít be surprised. Theyíve apparently got Mostert so youíd have Johan coaching with Ryan, RJVR and Mostert from the Lions.

Maybe we could steal Atkinson back

 
Re: James OíConnor
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 15:08
Quote:
MartWhit
I'm glad we held on to both players who directly cover his position at fullback.

Iím glad weíre not holding on to players whose heads are clearly elsewhere.

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 16:14
theres no objective evidence of that at all Pappje. You could make the case for that for any player with ambition who hasnt currently been capped.Neither has picked up their ball and gone home and nor will they.

What is plausible is that the simply felt that Sale was not able to deliver them to that level and have decided they are better served elsewhere. More specifically, I think they feel they need to play for a team which not only participates in the Champions cup, but also sees it as a primary goal and gives it 100% in terms of selection and preparation. Quite clearly Sale cant deliver that and is unlikely to in a timeframe acceptable to players with short careers.

If you think it has anything to do with Ireland or England I think you're mistaken. Thats just convenient cover. Haley indeed has less competition for the fullback position in England than he does in Ireland.

Besides, good managers get their players heads to wherever they need to, employing a vast array of motivational and influencing skills dont they? thats why they get paid. If they dont, what is it they are actually managing?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 22/04/2018 16:21 by MartWhit.

 
Re: James OíConnor
clutch (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 17:22
I donít know what you are trying to say. Why would Haley make up an Ireland excuse? Addison isnít daft, he knows that heís nowhere near the eng team and that is down to injury, not playing for Sale.

Why are you sugggesting Sale arenít trying to get in the champions cup? Did we lose to Newcastle deliberately? Would explain a lot!!

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 18:48
being injury prone really hasnt stopped Johnny May, Lawes, Teo. Being quite ban prone hasnt stopped Hartley either. And being @#$%& hasnt stopped Mike Brown.

Both players will be hoping that being part of Champions Cup serious players will put them in the frame for International rugby. Sale will not be champions cup contenders for at least 2 seasons. Whether those teams are Irish or English I suspect doesn't bother them a great deal as they are eligible for both at present. It just happens they've been picked up by Irish sides.

I'm sure DImes would be happy to qualify in Europe, but after the Falcons game he didn't seem too unhappy to have fallen away. Qualification would force upon him some decisions on squad size and quality that I don't think he wants to make. His own pre game comments even suggest so.

I'm very concerned by the conflict inherent in being a 25% owner of a business losing £1mill pa, and the DOR of a team crying out for investment to make the next leap forward. 2 sides to every argument, but Dimes parsimonious financial side is comfortably winning right now. Who/where is the voice on his other shoulder?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 22/04/2018 19:25 by MartWhit.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 19:53
Dimes may be 25% owner of the business (is this correct, I don't know?). It certainly doesn't mean that he necessarily is obliged to fund 25% or that he actually owns anything of substance. Assuming the main source of finance is SO, then he no doubt will be funding it in a variety of ways that is unlikely to have any material affect on any financial interest Dimes may have.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 20:39
I mean seriously, MartWhit.

Perhaps itís the fact that Eddie Jones persists in picking players who youíve noted as injury prone and not putting Haley or Addison anywhere near the squad that might have encouraged them to throw their lot in with Ireland, especially with a World Cup looming?

Somehow, youíve determined that the official reason for them being released is bunkum, that instead itís because the club isnít totally focused on the Champions Cup and being close to winning it (needing a club to be in with a sniff of winning it rules out most clubs based on the evidence of recent years) and that also itís because Dimes is conflicted by not wanting to spend money (even though he was instrumental in bringing about the change of ownership from an owner who, er, no longer wanted to spend money).

I canít keep up with the mental contortions.

 
Re: James OíConnor
clutch (IP Logged)
22 April, 2018 22:12
I must admit Iím struggling on this one Mart.

Itís different being injury prone after you get established in the team. Addison hasnít even been fit enough to do that.

Lawes and May arenít as injury prone anyway.

Hartley bans arenít anything near the same timescale.

And Mike Brown has won Six nations player of the year on at least one occasion so @#$%& he is not.

Re the business we are in the very early stages of trying to build a sensible business. And considering we are circa 4th in the profit charts then I donít see how being bottom of that chart should be an aim.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Grumpy Old Shark (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 05:51
Getting back to JOC, whilst I wish him all the best with his rehab, this must raise a question about the medical that he would have had before signing....

 
Re: James OíConnor
Yareet (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 07:20
Quote:
Grumpy Old Shark
Getting back to JOC, whilst I wish him all the best with his rehab, this must raise a question about the medical that he would have had before signing....

If the medical was done in France, they possibly just gave him an HIA and sent him on his way.

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 08:43
Theres an essential conflict that need to exist in the club to take it forward, between the rugby side that pushes for maximum investment and says this is what we need to do to be championship contenders, and the business side which says well this is what we can afford without jeopardising our business model and long term future. Hopefully both sides push the boundaries and find solutions in the middle that both can work with. In the midst of it lost of agruments are aired that aid perspective for everyone involved in decision making.

Sale relies on that process happening in Dimes head. Its only my own opinion, but I dont think thats robust. It lacks transparency and the decision maker is conflicted. And that is regardless of whether you think Dimes is or isnt a great businessman. Its simply that he's acting here as more of a businessman than a rugby man, and we need more of a voice for the rugby.

 
Re: James OíConnor
clutch (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 09:19
I think thatís a fair point.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 09:50
Martwhit. Not sure how you can make the assertion that Dimes is acting as more of a businessman than a rugby man? Is it simply based on the fact that he allegedly owns 25% of the club?

 
Re: James OíConnor
ale shark (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 10:10
Quote:
Chris1850
Martwhit. Not sure how you can make the assertion that Dimes is acting as more of a businessman than a rugby man? Is it simply based on the fact that he allegedly owns 25% of the club?

I don't know how these things work but last yearís full accounts state:
(26) The entire ordinary share capital of Manchester Sale Rugby Club Limited is owned by CorpAcq Limited.

Quite interesting reading, especially the breakdown on the last page.

[beta.companieshouse.gov.uk]

 
Re: James OíConnor
stevene (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 10:32
Quote:
MartWhit
Theres an essential conflict that need to exist in the club to take it forward, between the rugby side that pushes for maximum investment and says this is what we need to do to be championship contenders, and the business side which says well this is what we can afford without jeopardising our business model and long term future. Hopefully both sides push the boundaries and find solutions in the middle that both can work with. In the midst of it lost of agruments are aired that aid perspective for everyone involved in decision making.
Sale relies on that process happening in Dimes head. Its only my own opinion, but I dont think thats robust. It lacks transparency and the decision maker is conflicted. And that is regardless of whether you think Dimes is or isnt a great businessman. Its simply that he's acting here as more of a businessman than a rugby man, and we need more of a voice for the rugby.

Im sorry but thats utter twaddle.

the conflict is how quickly it is achieved, not between business and rugby. If the rugby isnt successful then there is no business in the medium term. Private equity investment is driven by a desire to be profitable and sustainable. That drives an increase in enterprise value and therefore capital appreciation of their original investment.

what you appear to want is the 'big bang' however that does not appear to the clubs strategy. I can understand that as it comes with significant risks if that high investment does not yield greater revenue (to offset the investment) and results on a continual basis (to achieve that enterprise value increase).

however to say it is a conflict between business and rugby is naive and (for me) just plain wrong. you simply don't like the strategy.

 
Re: James OíConnor
23Shark (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 11:03
Quote:
ale shark
Quote:
Chris1850
Martwhit. Not sure how you can make the assertion that Dimes is acting as more of a businessman than a rugby man? Is it simply based on the fact that he allegedly owns 25% of the club?

I don't know how these things work but last yearís full accounts state:
(26) The entire ordinary share capital of Manchester Sale Rugby Club Limited is owned by CorpAcq Limited.

Quite interesting reading, especially the breakdown on the last page.

[beta.companieshouse.gov.uk]

I suggest also look at Sharks Holdings Ltd which own Manchester Sale Rugby Club Limited

[beta.companieshouse.gov.uk]

Dimes owns 240 C shares in this company compared to 510 A shares for Corp Acq

 
Re: James OíConnor
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 12:30
More of a businessmanís voice than a Rugby one?

Letís play devilís advocate. We are freeing up the salary from two talented players who want to try and gain international recognition for Ireland, having given up on their England aspirations. At the same time, one of them has spent large parts of the last two seasons (and more beyond that) injured and therefore unavailable for selection, while the other was reputedly disaffected last season, a period when his form on the pitch was way below peak.

Yes, suitable replacements need to be found, but you could argue that that will be seen as good business in time.

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 14:42
Only time will tell of course, and it will rather depend on who their replacements are, if any.

The immediate replacement is now in a plastercast until sometime during pre season, any others are as yet unknown, but might be an infamous homophobe who would cost more than 2 player salaries to acquire.

Addison would likely spend a lot less time injured as a fullback than as a centre. And Haley's form bounced back every bit as quickly as it disappeared.

Do you prefer a bird in the hand or the bush?
Do you believe you can (re)motivate players who've not achieved what they hoped they might?
Do you replace talent before you release the talent you have? or go short and trust that the right man will be available?
How many people are you looking to maintain in the position?
What is the true value of a player when you compare salaries with performance and drawing power?

There isnt a right answer here. And there is risk in whichever strategy is pursued. My concern is simply that the quality of debate within the 4 walls of Sale Sharks is inadequate to make the decision with the highest reward vs risk.

I'd be happy that Ged Mason can keep a beady business eye on the bottom line. I'm still skeptical that Sharks really have a good plan to monetise what they have and grow the top line. And as I've asserted here, when the man in charge of the rugby is also involved on the business/ownership side then the debate can very easily become somewhat lopsided.

When you look at some of the weak sides we've sent out in Non Premiership games, the unplayable bench players which limit tactical flexibility within a match, and the recent forfeiture of the A team game, I dont think its unreasonable to think that the business side is winning over the rugby one. We have clearly compromised our chances on the rugby side in order to maintain tight financial discipline.

Which leads to other questions that I genuinely don't know the answer to.
- Do you think Sale have fully evaluated the cost/benefit of maintaining a larger squad which could be competitive on more than one front?
- Does the club hierarchy believe that success would lead to revenue generation to finance the cost of it, or have they settled for expansion only as/when revenues allow?

I do know that all clubs face the same challenges, and ONLY Sale have come up with an answer that leads to a squad of 32 players unlike the 36+ maintained by all the other 11. Is Diamond a unique genius who is leading the way where others will follow? or is he perpetuating mediocrity due to an unwillingness to step out of a self imposed financial straitjacket?

 
Re: James OíConnor
Crutch (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 15:34
I think it would be a more relevant question if virtually all the other clubs weren't also making losses each year, some of them being much larger than ours, so it's not like you can say they are being managed better necessarily, either from a financial or playing perspective.

I'll wait and see what we do from a recruitment and marketing point of view for next season, and longer term what we look to do with the stadium or move.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 15:54
Quote:
MartWhit
Only time will tell of course, and it will rather depend on who their replacements are, if any.
The immediate replacement is now in a plastercast until sometime during pre season, any others are as yet unknown, but might be an infamous homophobe who would cost more than 2 player salaries to acquire.

Addison would likely spend a lot less time injured as a fullback than as a centre. And Haley's form bounced back every bit as quickly as it disappeared.

Do you prefer a bird in the hand or the bush?
Do you believe you can (re)motivate players who've not achieved what they hoped they might?
Do you replace talent before you release the talent you have? or go short and trust that the right man will be available?
How many people are you looking to maintain in the position?
What is the true value of a player when you compare salaries with performance and drawing power?

There isnt a right answer here. And there is risk in whichever strategy is pursued. My concern is simply that the quality of debate within the 4 walls of Sale Sharks is inadequate to make the decision with the highest reward vs risk.

I'd be happy that Ged Mason can keep a beady business eye on the bottom line. I'm still skeptical that Sharks really have a good plan to monetise what they have and grow the top line. And as I've asserted here, when the man in charge of the rugby is also involved on the business/ownership side then the debate can very easily become somewhat lopsided.

When you look at some of the weak sides we've sent out in Non Premiership games, the unplayable bench players which limit tactical flexibility within a match, and the recent forfeiture of the A team game, I dont think its unreasonable to think that the business side is winning over the rugby one. We have clearly compromised our chances on the rugby side in order to maintain tight financial discipline.

Which leads to other questions that I genuinely don't know the answer to.
- Do you think Sale have fully evaluated the cost/benefit of maintaining a larger squad which could be competitive on more than one front?
- Does the club hierarchy believe that success would lead to revenue generation to finance the cost of it, or have they settled for expansion only as/when revenues allow?

I do know that all clubs face the same challenges, and ONLY Sale have come up with an answer that leads to a squad of 32 players unlike the 36+ maintained by all the other 11. Is Diamond a unique genius who is leading the way where others will follow? or is he perpetuating mediocrity due to an unwillingness to step out of a self imposed financial straitjacket?

So if the financial considerations are overriding the rugby considerations, how do you explain the signings of O'Connor, de Klerk, Yarde, Ross and Strauss. None of these will be on stellar salaries but they will all be on decent money, I suspect.

Until there is evidence to the contrary, I would prefer to believe (you may say naively!) that the owners and Dimes are endeavouring to build a solid and steadily improving squad that will eventually be able to compete for honours, along the same lines that Exeter have done.

Personally, whilst I wouldnt object to a couple of truly world class players at the club, for me that shouldn't be our priority. For starters, you only get half a season out of them due to call ups. Secondly, if we are honest, why would they come to Sale at the moment anyway? The very best players are going to want to play for the bigger, successful club's. The only reason they would come to us is for the extra money we could potentially throw at them ala Piatau at Bristol for example.

I would far rather build from solid foundations by investing in the academy and in good quality established players who will buy into the ethos of the club. I certainly don't want to go to the other extreme like Bath have for example.

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 16:32
I think its been discussed on another thread that we have constructed this year a smaller quad of higher quality than previously. The signings of these players will have been pretty much (if not completely) covered by the extensive slimming down of fringe squad members at the same time. It shouldnt be forgotten that O'Connor was available having been sacked for a drug charge and long term injured, Yarde was also sacked so both available likely below market value. What this has done is give us a decent premiership team, and a poor European & AW team which has meant considerable gaps in the calendar where wallet filling games could have been.

I too would be absolutely happy to build from solid academy foundations. But then 2 of the best graduates of that have just bought out of the club ethos which rather shakes my confidence. Our already small squad is still net down numbers from this year. What could have been a 2018 ambition now looks more like a 2019/2020 ambition. And this years Jets have had a poor season results wise so what depth we do have is some way from premiership quality yet.

Exeter are an excellent case study. Their foundations allow them to maintain a squad of 39 players, to be competitive in 3 competitions and still turn a profit, without any stellar named signings. So it is possible isnt it? Your foundations just have to be broad and stable. Ours are not yet at that point.

 
Re: James OíConnor
ale shark (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 17:22
I believe JOCís Toulon contract expired. I donít think he was sacked.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Chris1850 (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 17:28
Quote:
MartWhit
I think its been discussed on another thread that we have constructed this year a smaller quad of higher quality than previously. The signings of these players will have been pretty much (if not completely) covered by the extensive slimming down of fringe squad members at the same time. It shouldnt be forgotten that O'Connor was available having been sacked for a drug charge and long term injured, Yarde was also sacked so both available likely below market value. What this has done is give us a decent premiership team, and a poor European & AW team which has meant considerable gaps in the calendar where wallet filling games could have been.
I too would be absolutely happy to build from solid academy foundations. But then 2 of the best graduates of that have just bought out of the club ethos which rather shakes my confidence. Our already small squad is still net down numbers from this year. What could have been a 2018 ambition now looks more like a 2019/2020 ambition. And this years Jets have had a poor season results wise so what depth we do have is some way from premiership quality yet.

Exeter are an excellent case study. Their foundations allow them to maintain a squad of 39 players, to be competitive in 3 competitions and still turn a profit, without any stellar named signings. So it is possible isnt it? Your foundations just have to be broad and stable. Ours are not yet at that point.

I agree that we are not yet at that point but we are moving in the right direction. The academy consistently produces good young players. Inevitably, some will move on for various reasons. You will never stop that happening. What we need to do is to foster an environment that encourages those who wish to, and who we wish to stay. At the same time we need to be attractive to the right players at other clubs who may be looking elsewhere for whatever reason.

We do have to be realistic though. We are not, at the moment, a top four club or one with a long, successful pedigree at the pinnacle of English club rugby. We probably could try to buy success with the new owners and that may work, at least in the short term. I am happy, at the moment, to give Dimes and the owners the time to build for the future. We should be careful what we wish for. I would rather be in our current position, both on and off the pitch than Worcs, LI, Quins, Saints and Bath at the moment.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Monty9 (IP Logged)
23 April, 2018 18:03
Your not peddling the smaller squad and extensive slimming down BS again are you Mart?

The thread you referred to in your post above about discussing squad sizes actually confirmed that our squad size was bigger this year than last, plus better quality. Go have a look back at the thread old bean.

You canít just keep making stuff up to try and suit your agenda, the genuine points you are trying to make lose all credibility.

 
Re: James OíConnor
45jumper (IP Logged)
24 April, 2018 07:17
MartWhit, the simple fact is that Haley and Addison will be a hell of a lot closer to international honours after they move to Ireland. That's why they've left.
Eddie Jones has shown he has his favourites and they've obviously received little encouragement with regards to breaking into the national squad (Haley stated he hasn't even spoken to him and I expect the same is true for Addison), so why not have a change of scenery whilst they're still at the right age to advance to that level?
To place the blame solely on the club for not sufficiently motivating them is harsh at best and disingenuous at worst. To also say the club is neglecting the playing side is also patently untrue. We are punching far, far above our weight in regards to our wage bill. Look at Northampton, Harlequins and Bath for just three who are in the opposite boat. We're scoring lots of tries, playing some brilliant rugby at times and you still criticise? What would you class as proving that we're focusing on the rugby side, in interest?

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
24 April, 2018 14:18
interesting challenge 45. We do indeed punch above our weight in many respects. My argument revolves around us being able to choose the weight at which we punch, and we elect to stay at welterweight.

To me, the rugby side 'winning' would be Sale being able to field a 23 capable of being competitive in each game it plays. We have not done so on several occasions this year.

Several European games saw us have zero halfback cover on the bench, a situation from which we were extraordinarily lucky to escape without the embarrassment of having to 'do a bergamasco' (see Lyon H & Toulouse A). Regardless, I'll argue to you that is cost us qualification and at least 1 lucrative knockout game because our team vs Cardiff was so far below our best. Flynn starting, Denny at centre, Sam J at 10, Sturgess, Postlethwaite & Reed on the bench in a game where a simple win would have seen us control our destiny.

We've also had to lose Sam James effective contribution at 13 because he's been our only realistic option at 10. We've even had to field Faf there more than once, again sacrificing his effervescence at 9.

We've had to vastly overplay Ross Harrison because we have no confidence in his backup, agian a situation we have been extremely luck to come through unscathed, since similar exposure crippled Vadim Cobilas's game a couple of years back.

We havent needed a reserve pool of All Blacks, we've just needed a reserve pool of, lets say Ostrikov's or Cliff's.

 
Re: James OíConnor
45jumper (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 07:18
I guess that's more than reasonable, and I completely agree about the lack of a backup 9 for a couple of games - that was embarrassing and indicated a complete lack of foresight.
It's a tricky balancing act with such a talented batch of youngsters coming through. If we want to spend within our means but still attract top players like JOC, Strauss and De Klerk, it will inevitably have a negative affect on squad depth. We have to rest them at some point and as the backups aren't up to their standard our performances will suffer. The Cardiff game was a good example as you say.
Maybe another year out of the Champions Cup wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. It tends to have a horrendous impact on league position, and as we run a small squad anyway we'd probably be affected even more.
All in all I agree about the lack of quality backups in the squad, but with a budget like ours it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation in terms of whether we play for short-term success or gradually bring through the youngsters - and that could take a few years.

 
Re: James OíConnor
ageinghoody (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 11:11
Quote:
45jumper
...
Maybe another year out of the Champions Cup wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. It tends to have a horrendous impact on league position, and as we run a small squad anyway we'd probably be affected even more. ...

I'm coming round to that rather negative conclusion myself 45.

According to recent reports the topic of ring-fencing is off the table for now... or possibly not, depending on which reports you credit! Whatever, until a week ago it seemed perfectly possible that next season's relegated club would be locked-out for the foreseeable future. Looking at the current table, my immediate thought was "Not if it's Quins, Bath or Saints they won't!".

You can add in the various other "fashionable" names the Premiership would be uncomfortable with losing, and it's not difficult to get a bit paranoid. If it happened to be us, or say Wuss, going down I could quite imagine the door slamming PDQ.

So yes, league position must be the absolute priority until that thorny issue is finally resolved.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Yareet (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 11:22
[quote ageinghoody][quote 45jumper] ...


You can add in the various other "fashionable" names the Premiership would be uncomfortable with losing, and it's not difficult to get a bit paranoid. If it happened to be us, or say Wuss, going down I could quite imagine the door slamming PDQ.

So yes, league position must be the absolute priority until that thorny issue is finally resolved.[/quote]

This may be fin-shaped glasses but I get the impression we are moving out of that unfashionable bracket.

We are frequently mentioned with regard to the England setup (Denny, Curries, Yarde, Jono, Sam Moore), we have exciting matches (witness 120 points scored in our last two games) and I don't believe Prem Rugby will want to not have a team in the North West.

Wuss and Irish should, IMO, be more worried about ring-fencing. They seem to perennially be in the bottom 3 (we a least yoyo between 6th and 12th) and are geographically in areas well served by Prem clubs.

 
Re: James OíConnor
ageinghoody (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 14:18
Quote:
Yareet
... (we a least yoyo between 6th and 12th) ...

Can we make that 6th and 11th!

OK, maybe a picky distinction, but quite a significant one!

 
Re: James OíConnor
Yareet (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 16:24
Quote:
ageinghoody
Quote:
Yareet
... (we a least yoyo between 6th and 12th) ...

Can we make that 6th and 11th!

OK, maybe a picky distinction, but quite a significant one!

Throughout a season we may hit 12th but fortunately we manage not to be there when the music stops. Was it 12/13 when we were bottom of the league for a long time until January?

 
Re: James OíConnor
ageinghoody (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 16:44
Quote:
Yareet
Quote:
ageinghoody
Quote:
Yareet
... (we a least yoyo between 6th and 12th) ...

Can we make that 6th and 11th!

OK, maybe a picky distinction, but quite a significant one!

Throughout a season we may hit 12th but fortunately we manage not to be there when the music stops. Was it 12/13 when we were bottom of the league for a long time until January?

Fair enough, I'd thought you were talking about finishing positions.

Yes it was that year, the first at the AJB. In hindsight I reckon we effectively forfeited home advantage for the first half of that season, as we were as unfamiliar with the place as our visitors.

Just as well the second half saw results more in line with table-topping!

 
Re: James OíConnor
shaftesbury shark (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 17:11
Well, our recent finishes have been

16/17: 10th
15/16: 6th
14/15: 7th
13/14: 6th
12/13: 10th
11/12: 6th
10/11: 10th

I reckon we're a 6th - 10th club!

Seriously though I would think our geographical position means we would be quite safe in a ring-fenced league. Same for Newcastle.

Irish, Bristol and Worcester much more at risk I would think.

I hope it doesn't happen, if anything has to change I would go for reducing the size of the top 2 leagues and supporting the 2nd league more.

 
Re: James OíConnor
ageinghoody (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 18:17
I read an article somewhere recently which suggested the formation of a British and Irish two division league, consisting of the current Premiership plus the 10 Scottish, Irish and Welsh teams from the Pro 14.

OK, I concede that, assuming current rankings would decide which division teams started off in, it's unlikely that we'd make the upper one. Apart from that, any thoughts?

And does this need a new thread?

 
Re: James OíConnor
clutch (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 18:26
Divisionisation wouldnít work. Have 2 or 3 groups like the pro 14 of equal standing. No issue with that. But divisionalising means you canít qualify for Europa and need to get promoted and then mount a challenge. Player movement would be much more volatile and we wouldnít be able to bemoan players going to Wasps in top division.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Yareet (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 18:46
Quote:
ageinghoody
I read an article somewhere recently which suggested the formation of a British and Irish two division league, consisting of the current Premiership plus the 10 Scottish, Irish and Welsh teams from the Pro 14.
OK, I concede that, assuming current rankings would decide which division teams started off in, it's unlikely that we'd make the upper one. Apart from that, any thoughts?

And does this need a new thread?

Given the Pro14ís expansion into SA and rumours of them going further afield, I canít see it.

A GB and Ireland league would also kill off Italian club rugby (not that too many outside Italy would be bothered by that) and potentially the Champions Cup as the only additions would be the French.

 
Re: James OíConnor
clutch (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 19:07
Iíd be bothered. Treviso have really kicked on this year. A strong Italy team makes for a much for interesting 6 nations and the amusing possibility of one of the other nations getting the wooden spoon.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Pappje Shark (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 19:20
Someone else on twitter suggested adding Yorkshire Carnegie to the 13 Prem shareholders. This would enable two roughly regional leagues of 7, and a suggested home and away within the conference plus one fixture against each of the other league constituents. Basically replicating the Pro14.

Not totally daft?

 
Re: James OíConnor
MartWhit (IP Logged)
25 April, 2018 22:35
Personal preference, but I find conferences a bit contrived. I like the league as is.

 
Re: James OíConnor
Yareet (IP Logged)
26 April, 2018 05:38
Quote:
clutch
Iíd be bothered. Treviso have really kicked on this year. A strong Italy team makes for a much for interesting 6 nations and the amusing possibility of one of the other nations getting the wooden spoon.

All true but my badly phrased point was that most commentators would have no issue if you were to swap Treviso and Italy for Tbilisi and Georgia (for example)

 
Re: James OíConnor
Timpers (IP Logged)
26 April, 2018 17:08
A round of applause and three hearty cheers for the person who can spot the connection between JOC and Tbilisi!

 
Re: James OíConnor
Siggy89 (IP Logged)
27 April, 2018 14:25
Quote:
Timpers
A round of applause and three hearty cheers for the person who can spot the connection between JOC and Tbilisi!

They both contain letters from the alphabet.

 
Re: James OíConnor
ageinghoody (IP Logged)
27 April, 2018 14:45
Quote:
Timpers
A round of applause and three hearty cheers for the person who can spot the connection between JOC and Tbilisi!

6 degrees of separation?


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