By Margin_Walker
#17286
Injuries definitely not an excuse and all clubs will have players out. Worcester clearly deserved the win and looked very good in the second half

That said, looking beyond individual games, the weight of 1st/2nd choice players we have unavailable at the moment is becoming a real concern. You have to think that the game at the weekend would be one we target, so would play the strongest team available. Kidney may be holding players back to not risk them for the new season if there have been issues, but it's a dangerous game if the mood around the club takes a big hit in the process. Impossible to tell as we give very little away in terms of injury updates.

I make it the following players were out for some reason who would have probably all been in a theoretical 1st choice 23.

Coleman
Simmons (likely to be a no show for a while now)
Naholo
Mafi
Matu'u
Cowan
O'Brien
Kepu
Rona
Parton

With Hepetema, Williams and Creevy going off injured in the game itself

We're one of the weakest clubs in a strong league and clearly don't have the squad to deal with that. I just hope most of those are now minor issues or that they are being held back and the situation improves in the coming weeks.

It's beginning to feel a bit like the season we got relegated with Coventry when we had to draft in an army of short term injury cover signings.
By GC89
#17287
Coleman, Cowan and Rona (to a slightly lesser extent) are the three that really would have helped to make a difference yesterday.

The rest haven't really shown enough yet to make me feel like they are big misses.

Anyway, no more games for two weeks now and I think we should draw a line under this season and really focus on next. Wrap the important guys in cotton wool and start implementing structures behind the scenes to make us a more formidable side.

Forwards coach to replace Skivs and an attack coach have to be priority number one!
By Margin_Walker
#17289
You're right, they haven't in most cases, but they haven't really had the chance to as they've not managed to string any games together for the most part to see.

We'll see who shows up for the Bristol and Ex games. Personally hope we don't completely run up the white flag and hold key players back for next season if they are fit.
By GHA
#17292
Not to be too negative but the players were surely wrapped in cotton wool between the middle of March when the lockdown started and the start of June when traing resumed? Is our injury list the worst in the league, or is it just the lack of squad depth and injuries hitting our first choice players that's causing so much grief. As you say M_W we are one of the weakest squads in a strong league, but we are apparently spending up to the cap aren't we?

It's one thing if this can be termed an abnormal injury crisis, but if it's just a few run-of-the-mill injuries, and we don't have new signings (incoming and outgoing) lined up, then I'm not filled with confidence for next season.
By GC89
#17294
De Chaves, Stokes, Ioane, Neal and Macken were all short term until the end of this season so they should all be off. Hopefully that means there will at least be a couple of good, longer-term replacements. Probably wishful thinking though.
By GHA
#17296
I have no idea if it's legal or anything but it would be good if we've front-loaded a few contracts so we have more space next season plus the wages of the five short termers freed up
By GC89
#17299
My understanding is that for cap purposes it is an average across the contract. So say (hypothetically) Coleman was on a 3 year deal worth 900k in year 1, 600k in year 2 and 300k in year 3, his cap value would be the average (i.e. 600k) for each of those three seasons.
By shimmieandshake
#17303
GC89 wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:03 pm
My understanding is that for cap purposes it is an average across the contract. So say (hypothetically) Coleman was on a 3 year deal worth 900k in year 1, 600k in year 2 and 300k in year 3, his cap value would be the average (i.e. 600k) for each of those three seasons.
This makes sense. Massive loophole if you were able to frontload contracts.

On another note, I do hope James Stokes gets a full-time contract. He's been a rare bright spark in the post-lockdown world, and doubt there's anything better out there for what will probably be a very reasonable price.
User avatar
By Stevie J
#17313
GC89 wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:03 pm
My understanding is that for cap purposes it is an average across the contract. So say (hypothetically) Coleman was on a 3 year deal worth 900k in year 1, 600k in year 2 and 300k in year 3, his cap value would be the average (i.e. 600k) for each of those three seasons.
I believe that's right from a cap perspective. From a cash perspective however, am sure I read a few times during the renegotiation saga that contracts in rugby typically escalated, with earnings going up over the life of the contract. But I can't find that reference now.

Interestingly out of all the clubs we never announced any re-signings nor any formal agreement of the process to reduce salaries. That just might be old Uncle Deccie choosing to not announce anything but it is noteworthy.
User avatar
By MattM
#17315
I think we have to consider a few things in terms of our unavailable players.

-Simmons is really a signing for next season and getting him earlier would be a bonus.
-Coleman and Naholo had opérations that the club sanctioned before we had any guidance on the season re-commencing so are also effectively due back for the start of the next.
-We have been unlucky in adding to this with a number of injuries to players since starting back. Notably Mafi (who got injured in Pre-season 2), SOB who I think they are wrapping in cotton wool and Blair who shows once again how much he is missed in his absence.

While we retained half a dozen or so players short term (and added De Chaves and Neal) I would argue two of our losses have not been replaced. Van der Merve is a huge loss that Simmons should mitigate (and hopefully improve on) but in the meantime our most canny set piece operator is absent. More than that for me we really miss Myler's level-headed approach and marshaling of the defence and worryingly I don't see Paddy being the man to step up and do that. He's a better rugby player by far but not a leader. Add to that we also lost Porecki leaving Cowan the only remaining member of the leadership quartet that kicked off the season.
By Margin_Walker
#17316
Franco especially does leave a huge hole. Was a really steady presence partnering both Botha and Coleman.

In great shape despite his advancing years, great at set piece and obviously a huge part of the leadership group. Real shame he wasn't available to finish the season. Assume arrangements had already been made and doubt he fancied doing a pre season for the sake of 8 games.
By shimmieandshake
#17327
MattM wrote:I think we have to consider a few things in terms of our unavailable players.

-Simmons is really a signing for next season and getting him earlier would be a bonus.
-Coleman and Naholo had opérations that the club sanctioned before we had any guidance on the season re-commencing so are also effectively due back for the start of the next.
-We have been unlucky in adding to this with a number of injuries to players since starting back. Notably Mafi (who got injured in Pre-season 2), SOB who I think they are wrapping in cotton wool and Blair who shows once again how much he is missed in his absence.

While we retained half a dozen or so players short term (and added De Chaves and Neal) I would argue two of our losses have not been replaced. Van der Merve is a huge loss that Simmons should mitigate (and hopefully improve on) but in the meantime our most canny set piece operator is absent. More than that for me we really miss Myler's level-headed approach and marshaling of the defence and worryingly I don't see Paddy being the man to step up and do that. He's a better rugby player by far but not a leader. Add to that we also lost Porecki leaving Cowan the only remaining member of the leadership quartet that kicked off the season.
What is Mafi's injury, out of interest? Any ideas on return date?

I think Hepetema was very good with Rona before lockdown, and don't want to pile into him after one especially bad game, but it does seem like a more vocal leader outside Paddy at 12 is a missing link.

Imagine getting Gopperth a few years ago, for instance. Or Contepomi when Leinster did. I know I'm dreaming, but players along those lines that are experienced, robust playmakers. I think we're definitely a player light across 10/12/13 anyway - only four centres with one of them, TBC, needing to cover 10 as well - so if there is any room left in the cap, this is where it needs to be spent.

Would be great to get a Flutey/Bowden/Matavesi/Bowden/Toomua type (these are just off the top of my head) that can also cover both, perhaps.

I really doubt anyone of real quality will be available at such late notice, but you never know. Again, I still rate Hepetema. Hoping he'll learn from that ill discipline, and that he can rediscover that natural cohesion with Rona.

I've written this essay trying not to mention Mapusua, but I've done it now. Oh, Seilala.
MattM liked this
By Florida
#17343
MattM wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:47 am
Not sure what Mafi's injury is. He tweaked something and was supposed to miss a couple of games but no updates since.
It was his hamstring, was meant to only miss the first couple of games.
MattM liked this
By Margin_Walker
#17354
Not a huge surprise given how he was holding his arm and shoulder going off. Hope it doesn't bite too far into next season.

Frustrating as his card was at the weekend, he's been very good for us this year.
By Florida
#17359
Only two games left this season, so a shame but not a massive issue.

I am getting a little worried with our squad size going into next season
User avatar
By Stevie J
#17360
By my reckoning, next season with all the short term contracts leaving (though hoping they can keep Stokes) we will have 34 senior players and 15 in the Academy.

Dell, Elrington, Goodrick-Clarke
Creevy, Ma'atu, Cornish
Kepu, Hoskins, Chawatama
Coleman, Mafi, Simmons, Nott
Rogerson, Cooke
O'Brien, Cowan, Curtis-Harris
Tuisue
Meehan, Phipps, Brand
Jackson, Atkins J
Loader, Kerr
Hepetema, Brophy-Clews
Rona, Williams
Naholo, Hassell-Collins
Homer, Parton

Haffar
Atkins B, Vajner
Green
Munga
Donnell, Smart, Brooke
Moore-Aiono, Davis
Englefield
Dykes
Cokanasiga
Joseph
Harmes
By Florida
#17390
Stevie J wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:04 pm
By my reckoning, next season with all the short term contracts leaving (though hoping they can keep Stokes) we will have 34 senior players and 15 in the Academy.

Dell, Elrington, Goodrick-Clarke
Creevy, Ma'atu, Cornish
Kepu, Hoskins, Chawatama
Coleman, Mafi, Simmons, Nott
Rogerson, Cooke
O'Brien, Cowan, Curtis-Harris
Tuisue
Meehan, Phipps, Brand
Jackson, Atkins J
Loader, Kerr
Hepetema, Brophy-Clews
Rona, Williams
Naholo, Hassell-Collins
Homer, Parton, Zebo

Haffar
Atkins B, Vajner
Green
Munga
Donnell, Smart, Brooke
Moore-Aiono, Davis
Englefield
Dykes
Cokanasiga
Joseph
Harmes
Just a minor update to your list
By shimmieandshake
#17392
Florida wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:31 pm
Stevie J wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:04 pm
By my reckoning, next season with all the short term contracts leaving (though hoping they can keep Stokes) we will have 34 senior players and 15 in the Academy.

Dell, Elrington, Goodrick-Clarke
Creevy, Ma'atu, Cornish
Kepu, Hoskins, Chawatama
Coleman, Mafi, Simmons, Nott
Rogerson, Cooke
O'Brien, Cowan, Curtis-Harris
Tuisue
Meehan, Phipps, Brand
Jackson, Atkins J
Loader, Kerr
Hepetema, Brophy-Clews
Rona, Williams
Naholo, Hassell-Collins
Homer, Parton, Zebo

Haffar
Atkins B, Vajner
Green
Munga
Donnell, Smart, Brooke
Moore-Aiono, Davis
Englefield
Dykes
Cokanasiga
Joseph
Harmes
Just a minor update to your list
Of course, only a matter of time. Suspect Vakatawa's only being linked to Gloucester due to a Skivington-related mix up, too. I look forward to seeing both men run out at Brentford next year.

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/a-premie ... wa-racing/
By Florida
#17393
Ruck (who you shouldn't trust as far as you could throw them) state French press ( I assume Midi Olympique) are reporting he's inbound for us (but don't name sources)
By Florida
#17395
The Zebo article in MO states he's in talks with Racing, says if they don't come to an agreement then he could go anywhere, possibly USA. No mention of us, looks like it's probably Ruck talking bollocks again.
By GHA
#17396
Zebo... Really?
a serious of injuries hampered his impact last season and he has yet to feature in 2020/21.
Perfect.
By Florida
#17399
Perfect indeed! He ticks all our boxes - old, injury risk, in a position we're not desperate to fill
By shimmieandshake
#17403
Florida wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:48 pm
Perfect indeed! He ticks all our boxes - old, injury risk, in a position we're not desperate to fill
Haha, pretty much.

In a world where there was no salary cap and a billionaire decided to make LI his project, I'd love Zebo. But there have to be other priorities at the moment.

Much ado about nothing anyway - as has been said, Ruck is garbage. I think the only fact is Zebo not renewing, the rest is all wild speculation.
By GC89
#17404
Agreed with all of the above.

As much as I enjoyed the fanfare around the big name signings we have made over the past few years, we have to accept that some of them have not yet quite worked out as well as we may have wanted.

The more we pursue these sorts of players the more it will make me question whether we actually have a scouting team trying to identify slightly under the radar options, or whether our process is just to target guys from a World XV circa 2012.

(Slightly tongue in cheek as we have signed the likes of Charlton Kerr who could turn out to be a gem, but going forwards I would like there to be a bit more balance as I am not sure stacking the squad with so many of these guys achieves the balance we need.)
User avatar
By MattM
#17456
I think the model for our signings going forward, when targeting areas of real weakness, should be what we have seen at hooker most recently.
Target a reliable veteran you can get a t a reasonable price to fill immediate need (Creevy) but also look to bring in a raw younger talent who has the quality to step up and become a bona-fide Prem starter (Cornish).

There is always a risk with an older player but the likes of Creevy are likely (a little) cheaper than your O'Briens and Kepus and hopefully a little more hard wearing.

Simmons could be a similar sort of player and might really help both Munga and George Nott (who has really impressed me in recent weeks).

Rock

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