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Team selection?
Discussion started by Offa , 19 July, 2020 08:21
Team selection?
Offa 19 July, 2020 08:21
The remainder of the season is going to be a crush of fixtures, with rotation of players being necessary to protect player welfare. It is likely that all teams will be digging deep into their squads.

Do we pick an A-team and a B-team, or do we mix the teams up a bit? Do we go all-out for a top 6 finish, or concentrate on embedding new systems with our new coaching team?

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors 19 July, 2020 08:55
Thatís a good question! Iím inclined to say why not go for it on all 3 and try to finish the season on a high and gain momentum heading into next season.

In my opinion Iíd like us to put out an A and B team only because it would get the fluidity and familiarity of our potentially strongest team. I donít see any harm in mixing it up though and giving opportunities to three or four of the younger players that have a chance of forcing themselves into the starting 15 so they have top flight experience without any pressure. Iíd like to see what guys like Kai Owen,Alex Hearle,Will Butler and maybe Morgan Monks can do in the Premiership. Iíd also like us to get that identity of style of play and as you say the systems in place so we can head into next season and hopefully hit the ground running.

Re: Team selection?
Malvern Man 19 July, 2020 10:31
The next two home fixtures are ones we usually win, Gloucester and Harlequins. We therefore need the strongest team out to get the points. Wasps away? We're due a win there particularly with the disruption they've had, so we need the strongest team again. Away to Exeter? Put out those left standing and pray.

Re: Team selection?
TrueWarrior 19 July, 2020 17:27
A perfect time to see if the young academy players are ready right now. They should be blooded with a team of established players IMO and certainly should be shielded from taking a hiding anywhere. Rotation will have to happen but I would be happy with a 1st team side where possible, with 2 or 3 academy lads starting. We have to find out if Kitch Jnr is cut out for the prem, been kicking around a while now and hasnt established himself thus far. A great time to show it.

Re: Team selection?
WorcesterSauce 19 July, 2020 22:50
Throw the season and play the youth. We will never, ever have another season when relegation is off the table. The season hasnít been a success thus far so may as well make the most of a bad situation and plan for ahead. Could work out very well.

Re: Team selection?
shrewsburyman 20 July, 2020 08:47
Seems like the perfect opportunity to allow new systems to bed in and the new coaching team to establish themselves. Also the correct time to give Nanai a go at full back and blood some of the younger players who will be needed given the number of games being played.

Re: Team selection?
Faithful_City 20 July, 2020 12:22
Saucie, I think with the financial pressures on the clubs, the RFU and most of all the Champioship clubs there is likely going to be a reorganise of the league structure which may well include ring fenced Premiership..

Re: Team selection?
Garym 20 July, 2020 15:19
Saucie, I think with the financial pressures on the clubs, the RFU and most of all the Champioship clubs there is likely going to be a reorganise of the league structure which may well include ring fenced Premiership..

Did anybody see yesterdays TRP - there was meant to be an article in that talking about the future of the championship (I haven't seen it, but saw the headlines on twitter)

Re: Team selection?
WorcesterSauce 20 July, 2020 18:54
Possibly JP although there has been so much talk and so little action with ringfencing for 20 years i think we have to assume no ringfencing until it actually happens, which will be a sad day for the sport.

Re: Team selection?
WarwickEastie 21 July, 2020 13:22
Realistically, everyone in the squad is going to need to play their part. The only question is whether you have a definite A and B team which alternate, or whether you blend the two to try and avoid the hidings and try to go for player development.

I'd go for the latter personally, even if it meant not winning too many more games....

Re: Team selection?
Underdog 22 July, 2020 11:27
I'd like to see two blended teams rather than an A and a B. Get the whole squad some game time playing with new coaching input and hopefully a smile on their face. We're not getting relegated this season so go out, enjoy it and be ready for the new season. I'd have the bench filled with the guys stepping up from the academy so the coaches can choose how much time to give them: Owen, Cutting, Morris, Scott/Clegg, Dodd/Monks, Simpson, Shilly, Hearle.

Butler to captain one side, Hill to captain the other. Forfeits for the team who score fewer tries, miss more tackles, drop more balls etc.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 22/07/2020 11:29 by Underdog.

Re: Team selection?
Brummagem7's 22 July, 2020 16:29
I would like to see Monks given a run out at number 8, he did well at Moseley and looks like a specimen. Looking round the rest of the league a lot of the clubs have a back row forward who can make a dent, just think it would be great to have a player emulate what teimana harrison has done at saints.

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors 22 July, 2020 16:53
Yea I like Monks too. Heís quick for his size too and physically dominant in the tackle. Iím interested to see how he gets on in the Prem. I donít think itís too early for him either

Re: Team selection?
Brummagem7's 22 July, 2020 17:30
I'm not sure if he should lean up a bit. If he's still as quick and effective at his weight now then carry on, always thought dombrandt could lose a bit but then again he's lethal. If it ent broke don't fix it I suppose.

Re: Team selection?
Fiver 22 July, 2020 17:35
I can't remember getting a decent look at Mason (so can't really comment if he is carrying extra weight), but there are players who carry extra weight and it doesn't hold them back. Obviously Dombrandt is one, Thomas Waldrom is the other I can think of in the modern era.

Re: Team selection?
centrethere 22 July, 2020 23:18
Andy Goode

Re: Team selection?
Abmatt 23 July, 2020 08:50
Andy Goode

Now he could shift when he wanted. I remember a try he scored for us, saw a gap just after the half way line and went for it. Scored near the corner in the south. Everyone was amazed at the pace he showed.

Re: Team selection?
Fiver 23 July, 2020 20:19
He did seem to possess a surprising amount of pace when he needed it, even with his love of food.

Re: Team selection?
TVM Rides Again 24 July, 2020 15:27
He caught site of the burger van behind the south stand

Re: Team selection?
Asterz 25 July, 2020 23:11
Definitely blended teams for me. I think I might like the idea of consistency within these 2 teams, but undecided.

Re: Team selection?
centrethere 25 July, 2020 23:40
Serious game time for Billy Searle, but Dunky won't be too amused

Re: Team selection?
MSR-Worcester 27 July, 2020 15:09
I think some weeks we will be able to field our strongest team given we don't have European commitments. However the first round before this break will have 7 games in 28 days. Certainly strongest team for the first game vs Gloucester (H). Then we will have to prioritise.

Gloucester (H), Wasps (A), Quins (H)*, Exeter (A), Bristol (H), Bath (A)*, Irish (A) prior to the European break. * indicates midweek game. I suggest we target Gloucester, Quins, Bristol and Irish for wins thereby sending our strongest side. We have poor records away at Wasps, Exeter and Bath and second our second team here would allow for sufficient rest/rotation. I'm not sure how much of a difference a lack of crowd will have so that remains to be seen.

I suggest we set aside an A team and a B team and prepare them accordingly. The subs bench could comprise the youngsters who may play 20-30 minutes in both games. See below:

A team / B team
1. Waller / Black
2. Annett / Miller
3. Schonert / Palframan
4. Bresler / A.Kitchener
5. G.Kitchener / Batley
6. Hill / Mama
7. Kvesic / Lewis
8. du Preez / van Velze

9. Hougaard / Heaney
10. Weir / Searle
11. Nanai / Fidow
12. Beck / Butler
13. Lawrence / Venter
14. Humphreys / Howe
15. Shillcock / Pennell

Subs for both teams:
16. Cutting
17. Owen
18. Morris
19. Scott / Clegg
20. Montgomery / Cox / Dodd / Williams
21. Kitto / Simpson
22. van Breda
23. David / Hearle


Re: Team selection?
TrueWarrior 27 July, 2020 15:55
Like most of the teams you have posted. My first choice back row would be Hill, Lewis and Kvesic and my first choice back 3 of Humph,Nanai and Fidow.

I do agree we have to rotate but sending a 2nd/3rd string to get a hiding is not the way forward IMO

Re: Team selection?
Abmatt 27 July, 2020 16:56
Back row is a tough choice. The only player (and I mean no slight by this as he has been a good servant of the club) that I could rakishly leave out is GJVV. The others are very hard to choose from. Thereís going to be a lot of competition for those places.

Re: Team selection?
Fiver 27 July, 2020 20:04
I could do my 1st and 2nd XVs, but then I'd end up having an argument with myself and changing it. Eat, sleep, repeat.

I really think we have some great depth in most positions now, and where we haven't we've some really good youngsters looking to fill the void. Let's hope my faith is well placed.

Re: Team selection?
Offa 28 July, 2020 07:03
Backrow is going to be hotly contested. For me Lewis is one of the best and most consistent 7s in the prem. With time, I would like to see Ted at 8 and Kev at 6, although initially the other way round may work better.
13 will also be interesting. At what stage do you put the potential of Ollie above the proven class of Venter.
However, all will see significant game time due to scheduling and injury.

Re: Team selection?
Faithful_City 28 July, 2020 08:27
Who do we play at 12?

Butler is the only natural 12 unless we are thinking of Pennell. Beck, Venter and Lawrence are all 13ís.


Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors 28 July, 2020 10:47
Beck and Venter both play 12 too. Venter has actually stated that he prefers playing at 12. Considering Butler has been made vice captain I wouldnít be surprised in the slightest to see him start more. I get the impression from things Iíve heard that the youngsters are going to be given a lot of game time, so I can see Hearle playing more as well as maybe Kai too.

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors 28 July, 2020 10:50
Backrow is going to be hotly contested. For me Lewis is one of the best and most consistent 7s in the prem. With time, I would like to see Ted at 8 and Kev at 6, although initially the other way round may work better.
13 will also be interesting. At what stage do you put the potential of Ollie above the proven class of Venter.
However, all will see significant game time due to scheduling and injury.

I couldnít even pick the back row right now. The only two Iíd say Iíd definitely have in would be Kvesic for his breakdown ability and without a doubt Ted, but then itís tight between Lewis and Du Preez for me.

Re: Team selection?
Bevere Warrior 28 July, 2020 11:24
The problem i see is that both Kev and Lewis are too good to be left out however neither are renowned for their ball carrying ability (I know Kev has improved significantly in this area following his time with Exeter).
That leaves Ted, Du Preez or Mama as the only major ball carrying option as our second row doesnít really make massive dents since the departure of Spencer.
I would worry with only one player in the pack likely to consistently break the gain line.

Re: Team selection?
TrueWarrior 28 July, 2020 12:42
I would agree with that BevereWarrior but I think Kvesic has improved enough at carrying. Batley will certainly help that carrying but the absence of another ball carrier in the front row or backs for that matter maybe gives us a lack of punch. This would suggest we have to play a quicker, more uptempo game than we have been used to as we are not going to run over teams regularly, more chance going through gaps or round teams.

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors 28 July, 2020 13:31
I think if we went with a pack of

Du Preez

Then Iíd say thatís a pretty heavy pack with some big guys in there. As TrueWarrior said Batley improves the options of guys that can give us go forward as well as Ted and Du Preez thatís 3 big carriers, supplemented by Kvesic who as people have mentioned has improved on his carrying at Exeter, especially when he played at 8 and is now very effective when 5 metres out. Waller is another very good ball carrier and seems to be used in the wider channels as heís mobile, quick and has good hands for a guy of his size

Also I can see a lot of rotation happening with the quality of depth we now have in the back row without decreasing the quality. It will keep players fresh and hopefully prevent injuries, so everyone will get quality game time

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28/07/2020 13:35 by AJWarriors.

Re: Team selection?
TrueWarrior 28 July, 2020 21:59
I like the team you have posted. I still dont think you can look past Lewis as our starting 7 and would prefer Bresler as the other 2nd row. However, what a joy it is to be even considering not playing Du Preez or Lewis due to squad depth!

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors 28 July, 2020 22:27
Tell me about it! Crazy times! The team used to pick itself, but itís getting harder to pick out strongest 15 which is a great headache. We need to strengthen our depth in a few more positions such as tighthead, loosehead and scrum half, but the squad is looking very healthy right now

Re: Team selection?
Abmatt 29 July, 2020 08:22
I like the team you have posted. I still dont think you can look past Lewis as our starting 7 and would prefer Bresler as the other 2nd row. However, what a joy it is to be even considering not playing Du Preez or Lewis due to squad depth!

I agree. Lewis is our only out and out true 7. Matt used to be when he was here before, but his game play has changed.

Re: Team selection?
Underdog 29 July, 2020 10:37
The competition for places is why I think blended squads make more sense. Picking an A team seems very arbitrary after no games for months, and blending the teams also allows us to bed in the new signings: Searle will be better served playing between Hougaard and Beck than Heaney and Butler IMO.

Re: Team selection?
Fiver 05 August, 2020 10:16
For me the big difference is the willingness to put our youngsters in. Under Ryan it wouldn't happen, but then you reap what you sow. Over the years we've seen lots of other teams pick youngsters and now most of those guys are regular starters.

It's good that Solly seems willing to play our youngsters. Maybe we'll see ringfencing come in which will make things a whole lot easier.

Given our depth in most areas, we should hopefully be able to rest guys who have niggles, something Solly has been quite vocal on. My only real areas of concern are at prop (both sides) and scrum half. We've let Bower go so we must have something in the pipeline as I felt he always made a good account of himself. Francois needs some proper competition, I'm just not sure we have that, we'll have to see what Simpson can do.

Re: Team selection?
Offa 05 August, 2020 12:36
Agree about prop.
Did someone say that Callum was injured?
All clubs need strength in depth if we are not to reach the start of next season decimated by injuries.

I can't decide whether Falcons will be over rusty by Nov, or sitting pretty with a fully rested and fully fit squad.

Re: Team selection?
ROLLO 05 August, 2020 12:47
Fiver I think that we have yet tp see the best of Kitto and Heaney can improve so am not too concerned about scrum half.
Prop is a different matter, if Black is injured then we are short at loosehead which even with him I thnk we may have been. If Carey can come good tighthead may just be OK with Palfreyman and Morris supporteing Nick.
Strangely it may be at centre where two or three injuries could find us out.

Re: Team selection?
Fiver 05 August, 2020 16:51
I'm not too worried about centre, we've got Venter, Beck, Lawrence, Butler and then Van Breda and Hearle.

It's the quality at scrum half that worries me. Heaney is decent as a replacement, where the requirement is generally to do 10 minutes at full pace. I'm not too sure about his starting play though, or maybe I expect too much. I am concerned that Kitto doesn't get any game time, I think I've seen him play a couple of minutes this season. To add to this he didn't get much game time at Tigers or Quins, maybe he's someone you keep around for what he does behind the scenes.

I really want to see a scrum half who can light things up from the start of a match, not just in the last ten minutes in the 21 shirt. I remember how much of a nightmare it was to play against Danny Care when he was younger, you couldn't take your eyes off him for a moment.

Re: Team selection?
4934 05 August, 2020 19:01

Comments on team selection.

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors1 06 August, 2020 18:53
Iíve had to create a new profile as Iíve forgotten my password to the old one, but Iíve just watched the interview between Ugo and JT and it was very informative. JT mentioned that the coaches are really impressed with Gareth Simpson and all the young locks such as James Scott which Pens also said the same a few months ago in the zoom chat. JT also said thereís around 18-20 young lads that theyíre excited about and the youngsters will play and have the opportunity to impress the coaching team.

Even if we donít win a few games Iíll still be excited to see how the younger lads perform in a Premiership environment. Hopefully the guys will show how theyíve come on as a few of the lads have said how good the coaching has been and feel they have improved already

Re: Team selection?
Offa 06 August, 2020 19:00
That is good to hear, AJ.
First we have heard regarding how the new players are taking to the new coaching.
Where can we hear the interview?

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors1 06 August, 2020 19:01
Iíll try and find a link mate hang on a sec

This should play even if youíre not on instagram but hereís a link Offa


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2020 19:02 by AJWarriors1.

Re: Team selection?
centrethere 06 August, 2020 19:26
looking at the bt schedule re how close the matches are, there's no way virtually all the fit squad members (including the upcoming) are not going to play, and maybe one or two academy

Saturday August 15 (12.30pm) v GLOUCESTER RUGBY at Sixways (BT Sport Red Button/App)
Friday August 21 (7.45pm): Wasps at Ricoh Arena (BT Sport Red Button/App)
Wednesday August 26 (6pm): HARLEQUINS at Sixways (BT Sport Red Button/App)
Sunday August 30 (3pm): Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park (BT Sport Red Button/App)
Friday September 4 (6pm) BRISTOL BEARS at Sixways (BT Sport Red Button/App)
Wednesday September 9 (7.45pm): Bath Rugby at The Rec (BT Sport 1)
Sunday September 13 (3pm): London Irish at The Stoop (BT Sport Red Button/App)

Re: Team selection?
Offa 06 August, 2020 22:22
Thanks AJ. Enjoyed that.

Re: Team selection?
Faithful_City 07 August, 2020 07:46
Great stuff AJ, thanks for the link.


Re: Team selection?
Offa 07 August, 2020 17:01
We are just a week away from our first team sheet of the season, and only a few days away from JP's first wed prediction. Will keep powder dry until wed, and fingers crossed that today's in-house game went without injury.

Re: Team selection?
AJWarriors1 07 August, 2020 22:27
No worries JP

From the brief stuff Iíve seen Offa it looked like it went well and they enjoyed the hit out. Francois posted a picture earlier and it looked like he had Nanai,Fidow,Lawrence,Beck and Searle on his team. I think they must have won too because they were all beeming

Re: Team selection?
ROLLO 08 August, 2020 10:02
One thing that I ahvn't seen mentioned is the heat that the August games may be played in. Tough on big chaps so maybe younger locks and props could be favoured ?

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