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In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
westwaleswasp (IP Logged)
06 August, 2018 22:21
Simple question.
I refer to both Wasps and England, assuming that AJ is likely to be back row rather than hooker, and we have NC too.
For most of our team we know the order, but with Nathan... I genuinely don't know. How much of Nathan circa 2015 or 2016 will we see, or will we get the 2017 model that never seemed to get a run of form or fitness?
I know this is off season speculation, and being first choice means nothing in the modern game of 50/30 and 60/20 performers with ridiculous attrition rates, but I am keen to see where Waspies see him as if now.
Full disclosure.. I think he is not the player he was. I would like to think we can give him more rest when he needs it, but think that England will @#$%& it up if Billy is unavailable, just as they did rushing him back unfit.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
Dgwasp (IP Logged)
06 August, 2018 23:14
Nate is a class act and has performed well for both England and Wasps in the last couple of seasons on the occasions that he has actually been fully fit. I think owing to injury in both squads he has been rushed back before being fully fit a couple of times. If Billy can stay fit and with Nemo at Wasps hopefully we will see a more consistent level of performance from him.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
westwaleswasp (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 00:30
Agree totally, where is Memo compared to Nathan as of now? Must be close.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
InbetweenWasp (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 08:29
I think weíll see AJís game time managed and heíll often be used as both Hooker/Back-Row cover to give some flexibility on the bench.

Hughes is going to be out for a fair bit of the season with England and thatís before we get into whether he can stay for it not.

Suspect weíll see a fair bit of Shields (6), Nemo (8) and Young (7) with Reider/AJ covering (canít remember when Reider is back). With Hughes in the mix, Jack Willis to come and Tom Willis hopefully stepping up and being eased in I think weíve got a hell of a lot of strength in depth there.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
Witblad (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 12:19
I donít think pecking order has any relevance. Weíll need all resources and a contribution from all. Itís like asking who is the best starting 15 - irrelevant. It is a 43 man squad.

I am sure Dai will have an eye on using the squad effectively to give players more of a break this year if he can (subject to England call ups, injury, suspension). He may even pick his back row to suit the opposition or for balance (eg. Pick Nate if he is starting a light weight second row or Nemo if he wants more dynamic back row). If he can heíll rest players with knocks.

Nathanís season last year suffered from his injuries and he was brought back too quickly (by England in particular). I hope that is not the case this year with our strength in depth. He needs to get back to the more dynamic player he was and hopefully heís had time to work on that this pre-season.

The strength of a 43 man squad, albeit we start with injuries already, is that Dai has more options to keep people fresh, pick strength on the bench to play 80 minutes and manage fitness over the full season.

Pecking order will be relevant at the end of the season in the semis/finals. Until then its a squad game.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
Beasties (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 12:52
Whilst Nathan's clearly been struggling for a year or more I'm not sure he's no longer the player we all know and love. He'd lost weight a while ago (not sure who asked for him to do so) and was struggling to make the same impact on games as a result. He looked heavier again during last season and started to be able to make yards again as a result for Wasps, but there seems to be a part of him that's "playing from memory".

Being in the Eng camp and around EJ isn't helping him from what I can see. Jones seems to want Nathan to play in a certain way that doesn't really suit him and he's ending up confused. Injuries and returning too realy obv haven't helped. I wanted to see him in an Eng shirt ASAP like most but qualification arrived just as his form dropped. I still have my fingers crossed that he finds some form this season and returns to being the marauding monster we saw in his first coulle of seasons. Carr is a fabulous deputy/alternative.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
mike909 (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 12:54
Regardless of who would be first pick in a perfect selection world, I agree with the above. Nathan's biggest problem was with England and two fold. Firstly, with England needing carriers in the back row because the backs don't have (as selected) any impact runners, Nathan was asked to be too much of a "mini Billy" and secondly as for some reason, Morgan wasn't considered (or others) he was playing for England without a good block of fitness behind him

I'd hope he'd have a more dynamic season with the other BR players for Wasps, get some new ideas and play to his own strengths which for me means running at speed into space, rather than trying to do a Billy too often.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
Hangover (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 14:27
IF FULLY FULLY fit I would start him every game but I don't think that has been true for 18 months or so. He needed a proper break and a good pre-season, hopefully he will be back to his best. Yup we need Billy fighting fit to take the pressure of Nate and visa versa.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
Shugs (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 15:26
It's no coincidence that Hughes has not been the same player since he got selected for England. He needs to stop trying to be Vunipola and go back to playing his own game. I believe BV is finished at international level as his style of play and physique has caught up with him. He'll reappear sporadically but I fear Hughes will be asked to continue to run himself into the ground. In terms of the comparisons between Carr and Hughes I believe they are very close although based on last season I think Carr was more dynamic although that could largely be due to Hughes not being fit. It would be great to have them both fit to share the workload but I fear Hughes might be forced down the same path as Vunipola leaving Carr to take most of the heavy lifting.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
mike909 (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 15:45
Good post

I too think Hughes has been asked to be "mini Billy" and EJ won't change now, sadly.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
westwaleswasp (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 17:05
Whilst it is easy to say pecking order is irrelevant, players are human beings, they look closely at such things. Look at Dan/Joe... eventually we worked out Dai had a pecking order, and I would wager Joe worked it out far more quickly.
We can have crunch games with elimination as early as group stages in Jan. If Nathan starts on the bench for a couple of them, or for a quarter/semi, he might get a message. It probably won't happen we get all fit, but if we do I suspect AJ will cover 2, with NC or Nathan at 8, with whoever is in form getting the nod.

Dai will view it as a squad game to be managed, but when similar age players are competing for the same shirt it can cause problems, pleasant ones but nonetheless ones needing management.

I agree on the use of Nathan with Eng. Asking him to run straight and bulldoze Billy style is wrong.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
John Tee (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 17:16
Judge him on a decent summer rest and good preseason.

Big guys don't get upto speed so quickly Imo, so in and out with injuries really doesn't help.

But, as with all big carrers he needs an option and helping hand.I.

 
Re: In the forthcoming season, where is Nathan in the pecking order?
Raggs (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 17:28
When he was providing all his impact, he was hanging around in the centres, providing little but a couple of big carries a game. When he lost that weight, he was providing a constant heavy close in carry option and a lot more tackles.

His role changed, but he was benefiting the team more overall. Itoje has gone through exactly the same process, people think he's been on poor form in the last season, but in truth he's simply playing more of a lock role, which benefits the team far more, and in the end, it's the team that needs to succeed. Itoje over the SA series was absolutely immense (apart from the daft penalties, that he needs to work on still), I'd say he worked harder than any other English player on the pitch. Hughes is going through a similar transition, he puts in far more positive contributions overall, and contributes more to the team, even if we miss the flashy runs here and there.


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