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New Additions To The Pack


By Craig Muncey
April 4 2016

Following on from the news this morning of the two most recent signings, Kirby Myhill and George Earle.  This piece looks at the players in question, and a look at with the players we currently have, how the team may line up next season. Exciting times to be a Cardiff Blues fan!

New Additions To The Pack

Today Cardiff Blues officially announced the worst kept secret, that Scarlets players Kirby Myhill and George Earle will be joining next season.

Both players have not been regulars for the West Wales side, but Danny Wilson knows both players well from his time at the Scarlets and also additionally in Myhill's case, his work with the Wales U20's at that time.

Here is some background on the players and my thoughts on expectations for these players for next season.

Kirby Myhill

The player is 24 years old, so still a young player.  Myhill has been third choice at the Scarlets behind two Welsh internationals in Ken Owens and Emyr Phillips, two very good hookers.  The player, is well known to Danny Wilson and also Matthew Rees, who played for the Scarlets when Myhill was at the club, so we have two players who know the calibre of his players ability and the calibre of the person himself.

Myhill has played a number of matches this season for the Scarlets this season with Phillips being out injured and Owens being away on international duty.  His core skills required for a hooker are decent, he hits his line out jumpers, is a decent scrummager.  He is six foot tall and just over sixteen stone in weight, so is smaller in height, and lighter than the hooker who is more than likely going to be his main challenger for the Cardiff Blues 2 shirt, that being Krisian Dacey, however it is not just about height and weight in a hooker it is about technique.

The player is one I like from when I have seen him, he is fiesty and aggressive as a hooker which I like to see, and is very aggressive in defence, a skill he may well have got from his uncle, the oddball himself, ex Llanelli and Wales international, Mark Perego.

Expectations

Myhill is a very useful acquisition to the squad, him and Kristian Dacey will be the favourites for the 2 shirt, but don't forget young players Ethan Lewis and Liam Belcher, who I am sure wil have something to say about that.  Dacey had an excellent season last season, which got him into the Welsh squad and capped, however, he has not kicked on this season from what I thought he would. He is an excellent ball carrier, which you would expect from an ex flanker, however, his line out throwing when put under pressure can be erratic, and his scrummaging needs some work.  With Myhill at the club, hopefully that raises Dacey's own game, and both can have a healthy rivalry for the 2 shirt.

George Earle

The player is 29 years old, after being in Wales for 4 years is now qualified under Welsh residency, so does not take up a NWQ spot. South African born Earle, joined the Scarlets in 2012 and had a positive impact almost immediately, with his athletism, hard nosed edge in the tight, and immediately the fans took to the player.  Earle won players player of the year in 2013 for the Scarlets, who loved his physical approach. 

Since that time, Earle has suffered a few injuries and has struggled with form, and has not been a regular in the first fifteen this season or last.  There is a rumour that he and a few other Scarlets players had a falling out with current coach Wayne Privac, but how true this is I do not know.

Earle stands at six foot six tall and weighs in just under seventeen and a half stone.  As mentioned before when fit and in form, he is a real handful in the tight, both in defence and in attack.  There is no doubt his career at the Scarlets has stagnated, and he needs a new challenge away from Parc Y Scarlets, Danny Wilson clearly likes the player and feels he can inject that enthusiasm and hunger to play the rugby that Scarlets saw in 2012 and 2013 season.  If he can then Cardiff Blues have a very useful addition to their second row options.

Expectations

Expectation is around a lot of if's, as mentioned above if Danny Wilson can ignite the player, then Earle could be a regular starter for the Cardiff Blues.  Current crop of locks at the club have not set the world alight in current seasons, and indeed Josh Turnbull in recent weeks has moved into the second row and done very well. Turnbull, Hoeata, Down, Cook and Earle all have a great chance of securing the 4 or 5 shirts for Cardiff Blues next season, so should be a good contest, with Seb Davies and Callum Bradbury young promising second rows training and learning from these players and potentially getting the occasional outing.

So there you have it my thoughts on the two most recent signings.  Now here are my thoughts on the starting match day 23 for the first game next season, this is based on who we have in the squad right now:

Cardiff Blues

15. Matthew Morgan

14. Alex Cuthbert

13. Willis Halaholo

12. Cory Allen

11. Tom James

10. Gareth Anscombe

9. Lloyd Williams

1. Gethin Jenkins (c)

2. Kirby Myhill

3. Salesi Maafu

4. Josh Turnbull

5. George Earle

6. Sam Warburton

8. Nick Williams

7. Ellis Jenkins

Reserves

D Fish, S Shingler, T Knoyle, R Gill, K Dacey, D Lewis, J Hoeata, J Navidi

I am sure there are selections I have made that not all agree with such as no Rey Lee-Lo in the starting 23 for a starter, but I hope we all agree that the above looks a very decent side and one that should be a match for most sides if not all, in the Guinness Pro 12 for next season.

Hope you have enjoyed the article, welcome your comments, and please don't forget to give to keep an eye out for our Facebook page, 1876 Cardiff Rugby and the Twitter account, @1876Cardiff and the website 1876CardiffRugby.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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New Additions To The Pack
1876 Cardiff Rugby (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 12:29
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
Yup (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 15:52
Some excellent recruitment for next season, hopefully we can sneak one more quality second row in!?!?!

As for the 23:-

Cardiff Blues

15. Dan fish - has been excellent Morgan has to earn the shirt

14. Alex Cuthbert

13. Willis Halaholo

12. Lee Lo - we all want to see Lee Lo and Halaholo, surely? Allen unlucky and drops to bench

11. Tom James

10. Gareth Anscombe

9. Lloyd Williams

1. Gethin Jenkins (c)

2. Kirby Myhill

3. Salesi Maafu

4. Josh Turnbull - Hoeata for me, Turnbull to bench although Turnbull is solid

5. George Earle

6. Sam Warburton

8. Nick Williams

7. Ellis Jenkins

Definitely Warburton 6 and Jenkins 7, Jenkins is a star.

Reeplacements:- Tomos Williams, Morgan (on our pitch late on with gaps opening up), Allen, Gill, Dacey, Lewis (although I wouldn't mind one bit if its Filise what a star!!), Turnbull and Navidi

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
J Blues (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 17:02
15 morgan
14 Cuthbert
13 Halaholo
12 Lee lo
11 James
10 Anscome
9 Williams
8 Williams
7 Jenkins
6 warbs
5 Earle
4 Turnbull
3 maafu
2 myhil
1 Geth

fish (cover for 15 & 14)
Shingler (cover 10 & 12)
Tomos williams
Navidi (cover 8 & flanks)
Hoeata
Dacey
Gill/Filise

(just cant find a slot for Allen)
Dacey

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
04/04/2016 17:18
I'm starting to worry about how many signings we have will be coming straight into the team. I know something that we haven't thought for a long time.

Seeing that I'd give the players and combinations time to gel I would start the season with....

15 Fish
14. Cuthbert (if he's still here)
13. Halaholo
12. Lee-Lo
11. James
10. Anscombe
9. Ll Williams

7. Warburton
8. Navidi
6. E Jenkins
5. Earle
4. Turnbull
3. Ma'afu (if he's here next season)
2. Dacey
1. G. Jenkins

With Morgan, N Williams, Gill and Myhill coming off the bench.

As the season goes on I can see the first choice front row completely changing to Gill, Myhill and D Lewis. The back three could have a change as well with Morgan coming in either for Fish at 15 or for Cuthbert at 14 ( and possible position swap with Fish)

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
Craig Muncey (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 18:07
Have heard a rumour that in some positions will have some players who will play more at home on the fast pitch compared to when we play away.

As said in my article, exciting times to be a Cardiff Blues fan.

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
ExiledBluesFan (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 18:29
I thought Ma'afu had signed a long term contract with us?

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
cardiff_steve (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 19:26
Quote:
Craig Muncey
Have heard a rumour that in some positions will have some players who will play more at home on the fast pitch compared to when we play away.
As said in my article, exciting times to be a Cardiff Blues fan.

That makes complete sense. Cook and Turnbull will be great in the second row at CAP, but at Cork in February we'd need some more traditional 2nd rowers.

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
Joni89 (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 22:39
My starting XV would be:

15. Morgan

14. Fish (if Cuthbert is leaving)

13. Halaholo

12. Allen

11. James

10. Anscombe

9. L.Williams

1. Jenkins (c)

2. Dacey

3. Maafu

4. Cook

5. Earle

6. Navidi

8. N.Williams

7. Warburton

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
Craig Muncey (IP Logged)
04/04/2016 22:54
Quote:
cardiff_steve
Quote:
Craig Muncey
Have heard a rumour that in some positions will have some players who will play more at home on the fast pitch compared to when we play away.
As said in my article, exciting times to be a Cardiff Blues fan.

That makes complete sense. Cook and Turnbull will be great in the second row at CAP, but at Cork in February we'd need some more traditional 2nd rowers.

Agree wet windy conditions then can see Down, Hoeata and or Earle playing. Also think in those conditions Shingler getting game time at 12 as neither Anscombe or Evans fill me with confidence in their kicking from hand game.

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
Dan the Honest man (IP Logged)
05/04/2016 07:59
we all have our opinions and suggestions of the strongest squad for next season and looking at some of the suggestions we all differ. It's going to be a good headache for DW with some of the positions, who'll start at 7 for instance? Ellis must be first choice on current form, second row, of course McCauley will do a great job he's never let the side down but there is good competition and maybe more to come? Fish for me is a must as a start with current form and probably at 14 with strong compitition coming from Nipper for the 15 shirt
Loyd will start at 9 but I would still go,with Lewis Jones on the bench, he's been outstanding coming on and impacting on games when we've been struggling and cruising he's able to up the tempo which seems to cause problems to the opposition and to be fair he's pushed the other twomdown the pecking order. Front row options next season are experience and youth which can only be good for future, Kirby will be chomping at the bit to set his stall out as he hasn't had much chance at the Scarlets to impress he's a talent wait and see. Centre pairings again, choice, don't forget Allen to come back from injury. TommJames deserves a mention, been in great form it will be tough to get that 11 shirt from him. I haven't mentioned Turnball, Navidi, Warby, Jim Williams and others, as I said at the beginning of this post, great headache for DW next season, bring it on

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
Joni89 (IP Logged)
06/04/2016 12:15
WalesOnline have selected their first choice Cardiff Blues XV for next season:

[www.walesonline.co.uk]

 
Re: New Additions To The Pack
theflier (IP Logged)
06/04/2016 13:54
Quote:
Joni89
WalesOnline have selected their first choice Cardiff Blues XV for next season:
[www.walesonline.co.uk]
Its not like them to latch onto something, build it up and then crucify if it fails to work...

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