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Build a pack
Raggs (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 07:58
Posted this elsewhere, but it's mostly a separate crowd here, what do you guys reckon?

So you've just been handed the big job for Mediocre RFC. They've got promotion to the premiership, and they need you to build them a pack that should keep them from relegation, and push for top 6 after a few seasons gelling. They've got great coaches, but not the largest budget. Who are you going to try targeting?

On a less roleplaying sort of note, I was thinking about Saints, and their pack issues (in my mind, too many workhorses, not enough carriers), then got to thinking what sort of budget pack I could put together from players that may be willing to move, and shouldn't be too costly (not close to England, 2nd choice or lower etc). Trying to avoid young hopefuls who've not really proven themselves, and also people you think could stand up, but haven't actually played AP yet etc. Trying to avoid Saracens, because quite simply when their 4th choice lock is Skelton, 3rd choice hooker is Tolofua etc etc, it doesn't seem particularly in keeping with the idea.

1. McIntyre - 2nd choice at Wasps, decent (not Mako/Genge) carrier, scrummager and tackler.
2. Kyle Cooper - Perhaps 1st choice at Falcons, but seems to have good attitude, set piece, and a half decent carrier.
3. Jamal Ford-Robinson/Keiran Brookes - Mostly because this started as a Saints thing for me, whichever is willing to come for less. OK scrummagers, both capable of doing some carrying.
4/5 Whichever 2 from Rowlands/Symons/Gaskell feel they're lowest ranked at Wasps. Probably some other very good options out there, but I know the Wasps boys well. Offers some carrying options.
6. Gibson - Again, as this started with Saints, arguably behind Wood for the 6 shirt, and Harrison for the 7/8, especially with Brussouw on the way. Workhorse with very good lineout skills.
7. Kvesic, if he's taken Salvi's spot at Exeter, then Salvi.
8. Reider - Another workhorse but also a decent carrier.

Don't think any of the above would break the bank, and all would likely enjoy the idea of being guaranteed first choice. I think there's enough workrate and pace there to support a wider game if need be, and enough carriers to be able to generate front foot ball. Have a few ideas for bench players but not a full bench yet.

Anyone else want to play or suggest ideas?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2017 07:59 by Raggs.

Re: Build a pack
Nomad_Wasp (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 09:18
I think you're short of experience there. You need to stretch the bank and attract a slightly ageing, but experienced ex international who is going to be able to provide some leadership. Think a O'Callaghan at Worcester type role.

And you need some hard nosed grunt. Williams or Fitzgerald from Tigers.

Re: Build a pack
Raggs (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 09:26
Was thinking about the experience point, got some older players in there, but no grizzled veterans though.

Think there's enough grunt myself, though swapping Gibson for Williams/Fitzgerald could work.

Re: Build a pack
StevieWasp (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 09:53
Although I can't really think of any specific names, I would follow the Exeter model for when they came up.

They were big, tough, never take a step backwards types that had lots of championship level experience, but were strong enough to hold their own with the big boys.

If you're coming up to the premiership and you want to win games, you need to target the right ones and play the right way. By winning set piece ball and bullying at the breakdown you'll get plenty of possession.

If you get that possession, then there's a lot of good backs around that are suddenly no longer flavour of the month
and when you look at the likes of Josh Bassett, there's quality in the Championship too... albeit that it sometimes takes times to develop

Re: Build a pack
Raggs (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 09:58
A freshly promoted side wouldn't be able to wait for the likes of a Bassett to develop though.

One or two players perhaps, but if you want to be sure of survival, and a move upto 6th, you're not going to want to risk too many.

Re: Build a pack
Hangover (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 11:48
Gibson is a great call - huge workrate and rarely makes mistakes. This will take a bit of thinking about (like it).

Re: Build a pack
Anonymous User (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 11:57
haskell at 7 would solve the experience problem.

Re: Build a pack
Raggs (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 12:00
haskell at 7 would solve the experience problem.

But not really a budget option.

Re: Build a pack
will311293 (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 15:05
reckon i've got a pack i'd happily back and maybe a backline too.

1) Chesty - Solid scrummager and always looks potent on the crash ball.
2) Haywood - Would go for TT but maybe too expensive so Haywood looks consistent every game.
3) Schonert - Very strong scrummager and slightly under the radar, also Balmain.
4) Savage - carries hard and tackles harder, strong leader.
5) Gaskell - Easy choice, cracking at line outs and plays almost like a backrower.
6) Ewers - Injury prone but not the highest paid and always a strong ball carrier.
7) Gibson - Great at lineout and strong over the ball as well as lightening quick. (could go Willis and offer starting berth.)
8) Thompson - out of contract and not highly rated in prem, starting berth a big call.

9) Chudley - fallen behind white and Maunder but always has a good game.(Velacott is nice player too)
10) Ryan Mills - Loved what i've seen at him with ball in hand and comfortable running a backline.
11) Thompstone - Strong player and always pinches a try for Tigers
12) Max Clark - Big, strong hard runner with good hands
13)Campangaro - Doesnt start for Exeter ever and blew me away in that 6nations.. shouldnt be too expensive either.
14)Ollie Thorley - Young and inexperienced but big, fast and natural eye for the line (either him or Lewington)
15) Miller - Isn't starting over Le Roux and quality with ball in hand

Re: Build a pack
OldMarovian (IP Logged)
07 December, 2017 23:58
Really interesting thread.

I think Saints would be a prime team for the picking but not sure about those you have selected. Gibson is a diamond and I think if he were on the market any team would go after him so I doubt he'd be cheap. Tbh I wish he was the Saint we'd brought to Sarries.

Brookes. I think in any team bar Saints with West in charge of the pack he doesn't start. Right now combining the worst of lack of fitness and lack of technique. Paul Hill would be a much better shout. Only in his early twenties, massive potential, good in the loose as well as set-piece and third? choice. Agree with will, Heywood who only plays if Hartley fancies a game or isn't banned is quality if a bit on the small side. I think Thacker is leaving Leicester? but if not tell him to forget being a hooker and sign him as a 7 and he'd do all reet.

As you say I think it'd be quite a challenge to get players to leave Chiefs or us unless surplus to requirements although in our case if you can find an Academy player that doesn't want to bide their time they might move for more game time?

Falcons have got some very good forwards but to my shame I am not familiar with most of their names.

Re: Build a pack
will311293 (IP Logged)
08 December, 2017 07:32
Itís an interesting concept as you would have to find second/third string players who donít start and want first team or academy players to take first team spots straight away.

Suppose it all depends really on if the players club put up serious opposition. I mean Iím sure you could tempt a load of Gloucester youngsters such as Thorley, Hudson, Vellacott etc. With large contracts to start but glaws would defo our up more protest over one of those than maybe an older second string player.

Culture bug as well, eg. Michael Rhodes I donít believe will be getting a starting berth for a
Sarries, but u would have to do a lot to convince him to leave even for a starting spot.

Jonah Holmes, Jack walker, Lewis Boyce, owain james, Sam skinner, Sloan, harry Glover (England 7ís), Ludlam, Nutley, hill, Ribbans & Polledri are all players Iíd also look st tempting with first team squad or starting spots

Re: Build a pack
Raggs (IP Logged)
08 December, 2017 07:37
I'd worry about signing those who are academy and young, with not a proper season behind them. We're trying to build a pack that can survive, and gel, rather than one that might turn into a world beater if the young guys develop, or awful if they don't.

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