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Squad
Posted by: Marti65 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 07:29

So by my count that makes the squad size 43!

That is excellent news!
Hopefully Brad Shields and Sopoanga will bring some next level leadership but I have to say quite possibly the signing of the season so far could well turn out to be ZZ looking at his highlight reel.

I have a very good feeling about this season - if we can stay injury free!

Re: Squad
Posted by: Aylesbury Wasp (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 07:48

We will definitely need the extra bodies considering the number of players we have in long rehabilitation after nasty injuries.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Phillywasp (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 10:53

Quote:
Marti65
I have a very good feeling about this season - if we can stay injury free!

Sad to say I feel the opposite.
It's not a reflection of who we've bought in - more a reflection on other teams recruitment.

Sarries & Exeter are going nowhere so realistically there's only 2 playoff places remaining.

Make no mistake we're in a battle.

I reckon there's 6 teams with a shout for those two spots - Leicester, Gloucester, Sale, Bath and dare I say Bristol as well as ourselves.

I hope it's us - but I think it might be beyond us this year.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2018 12:15 by Phillywasp.

Re: Squad
Posted by: mike909 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 10:53

I am very encouraged by the Championship signings, especially looking forwards to the Lon Scottish centre/wing, alongside the NZ winger, it look like we're ensuring some more durable players to go with the fizz.

Re: Squad
Posted by: matelot22 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 11:17

Quote:
Phillywasp
I reckon there's 6 teams with a shout for those two sports - Leicester, Gloucester, Sale, Bath and dare I say Bristol as well as ourselves.

I hope it's us - but I think it might be beyond us this year.

I think Gloz have a lot of potential, but it's a huge assumption to think that CIps will click with their back line straight away.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Andy1210 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 11:46

My personal feeling - and I know I'll get the usual stick for saying it - means I'm not feeling good about the coming season. I think it's down to Danny Wilson's U turn to go to Scotland, Cips leaving and Ian Costello taking over the defence.

I saw Wilson as a sensational addition to the set up and likely to kick on the forwards and be the difference that could bring us some silverware - I was really excited about him joining. A massive loss.

Ian Costello is less 'shopping at Lidl' and more like buying from a jumble sale. Our defence was shaky enough under an ex-Wallaby and Tigers coach, so what's it going to be like under an ex-Munster second team and academy coach who took Nottingham backwards to two 8th placed finishes in the Championship? Scary stuff.

Our two most successful seasons of late were with Cips in the side and not only is he leaving, but he's going to the side I think will make waves in the top 6 and challenge Sarries and Chiefs next season. As Philly Wasp has said, there seems to be strong player and coaching recruitment at our rivals.

With a key absentees for the start of the season, International call ups and our recent miserable record with injuries, it doesn't bode well.

Sorry for being a pessimist. I would love to be wrong - I did think our season was over in October last year so it's very likely - and wish I could be more of a glass half full like many of you, but I've got a feeling of trepidation about the start of the season.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Daeg (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 11:58

Quote:
Andy1210
Sorry for being a pessimist. I would love to be wrong - I did think our season was over in October last year so it's very likely - and wish I could be more of a glass half full like many of you, but I've got a feeling of trepidation about the start of the season.

When you start to feel optimistic, thats when I'll worry!!! (Sm125)

Re: Squad
Posted by: backdoc (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 12:21

"Our two most successful seasons of late were with Cips in the side"

The season before he returned we were beaten in a close European SF by Sarries, and we lost at Exeter in the league SF.

Re: Squad
Posted by: ricohchezwasp (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 12:36

“Why did you take an instant dislike to him “ I was asked, “because it saves a lot of time” I replied , why wait till October to write the season off..... Anyway joking aside 25% will side with the pessimists, 25% will be optimistic and the rest will wait and see and then admit they were one of the other......
Many reason why we will succeed or fail, it won’t only be because of the loss of Cips or the arrival of Costello, accidents will happen, injuries close defeats and wins International calll ups.... it will be another Roller Coaster of a season, I will be on board for the ride......



Not a Doctor and not a troll!!

Re: Squad
Posted by: wombles222 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 13:10

No doubt Wilson was a blow, he has done some wonderful things with Cardiff, and there is no doubt that he would of been a boon to the coaching set up. However Dai is a proven coach in the forwards, and although having a dedicated coach for his area would of allowed him to cast his gaze more broadly, it is not a massive problem. If anything the coaching was not the issue here, but the case that our forwards have been underpowered as we have looked for a more mobile pack over the last few seasons, I believe that our signings this season may improve that area.

I am going to give Costello time as Dai clearly has seen something in him, and I trust his judgement here.

Cips again is a blow as last season he was sensational, however we must remember this is not a case of not wanting to stay, but a conscious decision from Dai and the team to let him go. This does not always equate success, but it does show intent and planning. Sopoaga is a quality operator, and although his strengths differ from Cips, it does not mean he is any less effective. How he settles in will be key.

Injuries are the bain of all clubs, it is a problem that we have some fairly important players out for a long period of time, however it is about the collective (Exeter are a great example of that) rather than the individual. I think we have a well sized and strong team, and as all seasons there will be surprise standout players that make a difference.

The fact is the premiership is competitive, it is strong and the wage cap allows for multiple teams to compete and we are one of those teams. It is what makes it such an attractive and great league.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Spikey910 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 13:15

Quote:
ricohchezwasp
“Why did you take an instant dislike to him “ I was asked, “because it saves a lot of time” I replied , why wait till October to write the season off..... Anyway joking aside 25% will side with the pessimists, 25% will be optimistic and the rest will wait and see and then admit they were one of the other......
Many reason why we will succeed or fail, it won’t only be because of the loss of Cips or the arrival of Costello, accidents will happen, injuries close defeats and wins International calll ups.... it will be another Roller Coaster of a season, I will be on board for the ride......

Firmly in your 50%!

I hear what PhillyWasp says, but you can say that every year, there's always a lot of strong recruitment across the board.Some sides in the pack behind Sarries and Chiefs will click, others will blow up like Quins, Bath and Saints last year. I think we've recruited well and that with our existing quality means we have every chance of top 4 again.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Marti65 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 13:17

I agree that Glaws have recruited very well but looking at the others they only seem to have replaced leavers.
Exeter have only recruited 3 but lost 5 pretty senior players, Sarries not done much but will be consistent.

I think we have recruited really well, bigger squad, good Championship signings.
Sops for Cips - different players but maybe Sops game manage better and stronger in defence.
Brad - leadership and versatile
ZZ - looks an absolute menace

Lets go for the Double!

Re: Squad
Posted by: Bracken&Macken (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 13:25

If Dai can get him focused and fit I think Brooke’s could be a real asset this year. Him, Mac and Taylor as front 3 could cause real havoc in the loose and free up a lot of space for the rest of our weapons.

Re: Squad
Posted by: StevieWasp (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 13:35

It's the same as every year.
Every year we look at the league and think that Tigers, bath, Gloucester, sale, saints and quins have all strengthened and we'll get left behind.

We did it when quins were signing Roberts or Adam Jones.
We did it when saints signed a French No8
Or when Tigers signed Toomua.


It'll be damn tough, that's the nature of the league and the game.

I don't want to say that it's all down to luck, but every recent season we could have missed out on top 4 of a small handful of results had gone the other way
One year, they probably will and we will miss out.
The thing to realise is that it's small margins and it's about how you pick yourself up from those problems that really matters.

We've been up in the past, we've been down in the past, we're now back up again. If we have a bad season or two, that's life, we will come again.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Raggs (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 13:44

ZZ looks like he could be an improvement at loosehead. Taylor could be back, which is almost a new signing. Brookes is another I believe could be an improvement over Moore, and Stuart will be a year closer and I'm hoping for great things there. Symons was absent for most the season, and Rowlands had overtaken him for me, Gaskell too. Haskell v Shields, on what I've seen, I'd probably take Shields. Carr v Thompson, love Thompson, think Carr is better. Hughes may actually play for us, but we've lost Willis snr, good and bad.

So in the pack, I think we're a little stronger than last season.

Cips vs Sops, tough one, I think it's probably a downgrade in attack, but am happy to wait and see. I'm not discounting Searle from offering something though.

Eastmond vs many. Eastmond is a huge loss in terms of talent, but like Taylor, we rarely got to see it, so I don't think it'll be felt that harshly.

Overall, I think our squad looks a bit better when injury absentees and returnees are taken into account.

I agree that losing Wilson is a blow, but I can't hold it against the club, and I'm glad we've not rushed to replace him, better to wait for the right man. Same with Blake. Coaching situation isn't perfect, and will have a negative effect than what having Wilson will have provided I believe, but it is what it is, and I don't see it as huge oversight on the clubs part, just bad luck.

Re: Squad
Posted by: bald.paul.101 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 13:49

Usually most recruits written off on this board tend to be outstanding, so I expect Costello to be coach of the year !

Re: Squad
Posted by: Hymenoptera (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 14:00

What Raggs said, to the Tee.

Glouc and Sale aside, I haven't seen any recuitment at other clubs to make me think they'll suddenly improve.

Re: Squad
Posted by: RossM (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 16:33

Danny Wilson never coached for us. He changed his mind and chose an international career. GET OVER IT. MOVE ON.

Ian Costello has not yet coached for us. GIVE THE GUY A CHANCE FOR GOD'S SAKE. And yes I am shouting.

I fear no other club. None of them have played yet (just like us). However I am prepared to make an exception in Sarries' case.

I am not worried about Cips going to a (possibly) resurgent Gloucester. If any club knows his weaknesses it's us. I hope we give him a really torrid time. No quarter.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Raggs (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 16:44

Big lads running at cips need to put in a small step and they'll be going through just an arm. He's happy enoug to get in the way but happy not to have to as well.

Re: Squad
Posted by: Dgwasp (IP Logged)
Date: 11 July, 2018 16:47

Yes Danny Wilson not coming is a big disappointment but I'm glad we've not rushed to find any replacement. We should wait until someone becomes available that fits the club's ambition and ethos. From what I hear were not the first club that Danny Wilson has ditched for a better offer, so perhaps we are better off...

In terms of playing squad I think the squad as a whole seems a lot stronger.

Look at the main leavers:

Cips - replaced with Sopoaga
Haskell - replaced with Shields
Thompson - replaced with Carr
Symonds - replaced by Matthews

ZZ has come in to add further bulk up front in what gives us a fairly strong pack from day one and with quality to return later in the season.

Yes, we did great with Cips and he was sublime to watch, but no team can afford to be reliant on a single player. I think Sopoaga can bring real quality and we have what looks like a very strong back row for next season with a quality in depth.

Next year will be tough no doubt however I've got faith in the squad and in Dai and his coaches. As ever we must be aiming at securing top 6 and then we see where we go from there. I think we're in for another enjoyable season anyhow.

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