By GC89
I like Meehan (at his best) and, in particular, like the contrast with Phipps in terms of his kicking game. The variety between the two is good. I actually think we would struggle to find a 9 with Meehan's kicking game so would be keen to hang onto him.
I think Meehan is absolutely worth hanging onto if we can make it fit.

He also has the utility value of being able to cover 10 to allow us to go with 6:2 bench splits with an outside back on the bench like we are tomorrow.

I guess all will be revealed. Will be interesting to see when we start announcing any business that has been done. Signings or contract extensions
By Florida
Simmons is on a 3 year deal, pretty happy about that. I find it interesting that the club don't like to announce contract lengths, yet the players are always happy to talk about it in interviews
By GC89
Socino seems an odd one if Hepetema and Theo are sticking around. Particularly with his age profile.

Interested to see what our recruitment looks like for next season more generally. I don't think we will see a huge amount of change, but would be keen on:

Hooker to replace Matu'u and lower the age profile;
Tighthead to challenge the guys we have (possibly someone from the Championship - no point spending big now that Lovejoy is becoming such a force);
Number 8 to compete with Albert (who has played a lot and could benefit from the competition);
Back-up 10;
Centre who can cover both positions;
Versatile back-three player.

I guess a lot depends on who is sticking around as to whether we sign any starters. At the moment I think our first choice XV is more or less there (12 is probably the only position I think a real upgrade is required), but I think we could do with a bit more strength in depth.
SixNineOne liked this
Hopefully that’ll encourage his mates Ben L and OHC to follow suit. There’s a suggestion on the Sale message board that we might sign Manu Tuilagi. As far as I’m concerned we need him like a hole in the head...
Really good to see extensions like this.

There is such a production line of talent at the club a the moment and we are in a position to be an attractive long term bet for the best of them. And Parton is one of the best. Love watching the guy play.
Pirate Queen liked this
SixNineOne wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:52 pm
Hopefully that’ll encourage his mates Ben L and OHC to follow suit. There’s a suggestion on the Sale message board that we might sign Manu Tuilagi. As far as I’m concerned we need him like a hole in the head...
Agreed. I'd much prefer two robust, young Prem-standard centres than one world class but injury prone centre.
Sale away is a tough place to go but don't we usually come unstuck on Friday nights rather than Sunday afternoons?

Not to mention the fact we aren't usually 2 points behind Sale (in 4th) when we go up there ;)

I'd be tempted to go with as strong a side as possible each and every game and look to rest later in the season rather than in the middle of it. Want to keep momentum. Although I think either option (rest players, strongest side) has its advantages and disadvantages.
I know they hammered us last year, and they're a good side, but I'm not where this 'write off the Sale game' narrative has come from.

We're a much better side this year, as GHA says we're a couple of points behind them (there might be some nascent Top Four chat if we win...) and they're not immortal - Bath beat them in Manchester the other day, and Worcester ran them close.

I'd understand rotating one or two players, but if we're not very close to full strength, injuries notwithstanding, I'd be very disappointed.
Parton and SOB on the bench if available I reckon

Saying that I'd be tempted to have Albert on the bench too as he looks off the boil at the moment, so Donnell, Rogerson, Cowan would be my starting back row
I expect to see some limited rotation.

Sunday was a really tough match after a run of games. After Sale we've then got a six day turnaround to the St Patrick's home game against Bath which is a game we will really be targeting.
GHA liked this
Margin_Walker wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:43 am
I expect to see some limited rotation.

Sunday was a really tough match after a run of games. After Sale we've then got a six day turnaround to the St Patrick's home game against Bath which is a game we will really be targeting.
I see, that logic is fair enough - wasn't thinking of the shorter turnaround to Bath.

Having Blair and Mafi on the bench might be a good idea, and Albert, if SOB's fit (Rogerson to 8), but I'm keen to avoid wholesale changes. Wouldn't mind seeing Munya start alongside Simmons, for instance, but hoping changes are limited as you say.
GHA liked this
Stevie J wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:03 pm
TRP sez;

We were in for the return of Joe Cokanasinga, but looks like Bath will keep him.

We are interested in ex Falcon, Juan Pablo Socino.
Cokanasinga staying at Bath for the next couple of seasons.
By M_W
Seen Darren Sweetnam linked with us on another forum. He's just joined La Rochelle until the end of the season on a short term deal, but I think his Munster contract is also up then.
By GC89
I'm with you MW. Not surprised he wants a crack at the World Cup and I'm not sure that adding another expensive player to a position where we have our best young talent is the best idea (particularly when we already have an experienced head in Naholo to pass on some nouse). Sweetnam seems like a better use of resources to me.
Yep, spot on above. The back three needs depth over big names.

Agree Sweetnam would be a shrewd signing, though I read a Ronan O'Gara piece in the Irish Examiner - Sweetnam's recently signed to La Rochelle until the end of the season - saying he's essentially playing for a long-term contract. I assume if it goes well for him over in France, there he'll remain. If that's the case, good luck to him, though a signing of a similar calibre and versatility would be ideal for us.

Is there any indication of whether Naholo's on a two-year or three-year deal? If he does ever string together a few games, and some of his pre-injury class, he'll feel like a major new signing anyway.
By M_W
The Sweetnam thing was very much an unsourced forum thing, so can easily imagine there being either nothing in it, or some interest that ends up not turning into anything.

I'm guessing Naholo was on a three year deal. However most contracts these days seem to have break clauses built in where a player can be released if he has missed x amount of time due to long term injuries. So Even if it was a three year deal, doesn't necessarily mean he's definitely staying.

Would be great to get him on the pitch before the end of the season for a run of some sort to see how he's looking.
shimmieandshake liked this
Agreed with the above, for me Zebo had a good profile but in the wrong position and, although only 31, slightly older than I'd be hoping for with out next big name signings. There's a gap in age ranges that we need to try and bridge IMO, when keeping the next two or three seasons in mind
Hopefully Naholo will recover well and find form either this season or next. Would have taken Zebo as an alternative but would rather give him a chance.

Priorities for me for next season are a tighthead, a prop who can play both sides, an experienced utility back (preferably covering FH and FB) and an option at 8 to help Albert rest. Everywhere else we either have depth or academy options look promising.

With the cap reduction, we'll need to be canny but for the first time in a decade it looks like a squad that needs a few tweaks rather than a rebuild amid fears of mass exodus.
M_W liked this
By M_W
Yeah, agree with that.

Big squad turnover is definitely not required and we have the building blocks. Rona going would be a problem. Otherwise the front row is a priority to spend the big money, if there is any. TH initially given the obvious spare slot there.

I'd like to see us compete with teams like Exeter, Sale and Bath (on the weekend's performance) when they keep it tight. Feel like we have the lock depth to do that, but not quite the front row, despite some of the lesser lights being great this season.
It sounds like Gigena can fulfil our 'both sides' propping needs? Unless that transpired to be inaccurate?

Tighthead is definitely a priority. Probably the spot where we most need first-team quality over squad depth. I'd be interested in a renowned, monster scrummager over the ball-playing type Kepu was.

The La Rochelle tighthead, Uini Atonio, is a colossus, and totally wrecked the Sale scrum the other day. I'd love to bring in someone of that ilk, the option of that kind of dependable power at tighthead, rotating with WGC.

I generally don't like how much size is put on a pedestal in the game, but would make an exception for a behemoth at tighthead!

I'd also love to see Naholo performing at full flight for us, but it might be a place to be ruthless, if the option is there - cutting him loose would free up a chunk of change that could facilitate a better squad balance.
10/04/21 La Rochelle 45 Sale 21

True, and I’m one who also gets annoyed by t[…]

Kick off has been changed to 1:00pm. The game is […]

Do we need a 4th tight head? I think so - Oos[…]

Ollie Hoskins interview

You're God damn right I do The Hoskins effect[…]