By GC89
#19321
Albert called up for Fiji. So our best back five of the pack for those opening games is probably:

4. Mafi
5. Coleman
6. Donnell
7. Cowan
8. Rogerson

Really hope that those guys are all fit and firing by end of November.
By Margin_Walker
#19329
I'm a natural pessimist, so would just be happy to be playing rugby at the end of November.

Could be worse on the call up front. He's been our best player (Simmons also leaves a hole), but other teams are hit much harder. (Edit - and Blair...)

Lots riding on Coleman being fully fit and who the other forward we are recruiting is
By GC89
#19343
And now Blair called up for the Scotland training camp, although would be surprised if he makes the final cut.

We could really do with SOB turning up.
By GC89
#19348
No disrespect to Dell, but from my perspective his performances so far for us have been below his previous standards. Hopefully a run of games for us can address that, but at the moment I would have him below both Elrington and Goodrick-Clarke.
#19466
Etienne Oosthuizen and Tony Lamborn still likeing some of our stuff on social media.

The former would definitely fit the bill on the lock front. Not sure what his contract situation is. Originally signed a 3 year contract in 2017, and doesn't seem to be playing lately for them. Is still listed on their team page though.
By Lazyboy346
#19477
Definite preference for Oosthuizen as Kidney has said both Nott and Mafi are seen as back rows. We've got a lot of guys who can cover lock (Donnell, Cooke and Tuisue too) but some solidity there would be my priority.
#19478
I think it would be a pretty serious injury crisis to see Tuisue or Cooke get serious gametime at lock.

Do agree though that lock is where we are short. Plenty of options in the back row at the moment and don't really see us needing another body there unless they were miles better than what we have or as short term cover.
#19479
Agree with the above.

I haven't seen Lamborn play, but regardless of how good he is, our squad doesn't need another back rower. It does need a proper 2nd row, and Oosthuizen is one.

I generally really, really dislike judging players solely on mass - it needs to be size that can shift dynamically too - but he does look like a big old boy and we do probably need that... Even Coleman/Simmons aren't especially bulky in the way Botha was.
By GC89
#19508
Billy Meakes apparently coming in according to TRP. As a short term option, we could do worse definitely. Hope there’s another on the way as well, as not sure we’ve got sufficient cover at the moment.
#19510
Slightly underwhelmed if he was the headline signing being hinted at. I guess we'll see.

That said, he knows the league and has done well in the Prem before. Also had his best season for the Force partnering Rona in the centre so he should really be able to hit the ground running.
User avatar
By MattM
#19656
The club have announced the signing of Andrei Mahu, a 29 year old Moldovan lock who lined up for Krasny Yar when we played them a couple of seasons back.

Weirdly he was listed in our Challenge Cup squad on the EPCR site earlier this season.
By Margin_Walker
#19657
MattM wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:18 pm
The club have announced the signing of Andrei Mahu, a 29 year old Moldovan lock who lined up for Krasny Yar when we played them a couple of seasons back.

Weirdly he was listed in our Challenge Cup squad on the EPCR site earlier this season.
Ah, that's where I got his name from as perhaps you mentioned it at the time. Just went to see if he had a highlight reel of some sort and saw I'd already watched the video on youtube. I don't tend to watch highlight videos of Eastern European locks for fun.
MattM liked this
By GC89
#19664
Personally do think we could do with a bit more proven class to come in and compete for starting slots in the pack and, if I am really honest, will be a bit disappointed if he is the one forward signing being referred to, however, he may end up being a diamond in the rough. He certainly has the physical dimensions to be decent.
By Florida
#19665
GC89 wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:59 pm
Personally do think we could do with a bit more proven class to come in and compete for starting slots in the pack and, if I am really honest, will be a bit disappointed if he is the one forward signing being referred to, however, he may end up being a diamond in the rough. He certainly has the physical dimensions to be decent.
I'm expecting him to be quite like Filo Paulo, not going to set the world on fire ball in hand but will make his tackles and shore up the pack. Quite frankly the amount we've suffered by having an underweight pack I'll take that any day of the week
#19835
I had the same thought. Covers Hepetema's injury in theory, but probably not that important a signing overall, given he'll only play for us for 2 months.

Think he may have a gig in Japan lined up after.

Edit - Should say I think he is a very good pick up as short term cover goes. Definitely required with Hepetema and Williams out.
shimmieandshake liked this
#19838
Agree with the above. Haven't seen too much of him, but definitely has serious pedigree as far as cover goes, hope he tears it up.

I'm assuming ( / hoping, praying, begging) we'll pick up another centre longer-term, but who knows.
By GHA
#19842
As is always the way, Reddit aren't exactly singing his praises and congratulating Irish on a great signing, but hopefully he comes in and does a solid job
By Florida
#19843
GHA wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:45 pm
As is always the way, Reddit aren't exactly singing his praises and congratulating Irish on a great signing, but hopefully he comes in and does a solid job
Wow, the Reddit folk are even worse than the other board!
By GC89
#19852
Meakes is solid and actually seems to be a fairly similar player to Hepetema, so should slot in quite easily, particularly taking his past relationship with Rona into account.

Do hope there are one or two more to arrive though.
By GHA
#20059
So Meakes is the international (7s) player we are signing but only for two months

And Mahu is the lock we've signed from somewhere in Russia. I wonder if we'll miss him for many / any Moldovan international games.

And Coleman's possibly torn a groin which must be at least three months out, and now Mafi might be injured too.

So (in my opinion anyway) slightly underwhelming signings compared to what we / I was hoping for, not many signings compared to what we / I was hoping for, and a couple of injuries to big names thrown in on top.

:violin:
By GC89
#20063
Have to agree GHA, although caveated slightly by the fact that any expensive signings always looked unlikely given the current context. Am fascinated to see what happens with Lamborn and Oosthuizen though. Very odd the amount of attention they are giving us on social media, but perhaps they are coming for 2021/22 season.

Back five for those first two games really worries me, especially if Cowan is asked to stick around by Scotland:

4. Nott
5. Mahu/Munga
6. Donnell
7. Cowan
8. Rogerson

No disrespect, but that isn't going to strike much fear into either Worcester or Leicester I'm afraid.
#20064
SOB starting six, Donnell bench.

The Mafi situation is especially bewildering. Barely heard a peep.

Still think it's better to keep your Covid-goggles on and consider any signings at all a bonus, given financial strife.

I think Nott/Munya will go pretty well together, especially as they'll be surrounded by a gun pack, but if one of those two (or Mahu/Donnell) go down in the next couple of weeks, we really are in the manure.
By GC89
#20065
I have decided it is easier to assume SOB won't play and that even if he does he won't be at the right level. At least that way there is a chance of being pleasantly surprised.
#20069
GC89 wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:20 pm
I have decided it is easier to assume SOB won't play and that even if he does he won't be at the right level. At least that way there is a chance of being pleasantly surprised.
Haha, can't argue with that - as you were.
By GHA
#20253
Access to Deep Throat has dropped off a little in the past couple of days, unfortunately. We need to bundle him / her into a van and bring him/her over this way
By Margin_Walker
#20254
I'm working on the assumption that we wont see either until the New Year. Coleman possibly longer depending on the severity of the injury. Not heard anything suggesting Blair has been released, so guessing he's training with Scotland holding tackle bags. Probably fair that he gets a few weeks off after.

No inside information though...
By GC89
#20255
I think that sounds about right MW, but really just guess work. I think Cowan has to stay in the bubble for the duration which is frustrating. Hopefully O'Brien can fill the gap.
By GC89
#20265
SOB said that before the Bath game where he looked really poor (and then disappeared not to be seen again)!

Definitely not wanting to jump on the anti-SOB bandwagon. He has arguably been my favourite player to watch over the past ten or so seasons. However, I am increasingly concerned that we won't ever see him near his best. For my own sanity, it is
By GHA
#20268
I'm being optimistic, and hoping for the best regarding SOB although I know in general us Irish fans have been burned a thousand times before.

I don't understand the point of going bananas at the guy giving standard answers in interviews about his book or career or whatever, though. Although releasing an autobiography before you've retired is always a bit of a strange decision IMO.
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