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By Flumpty
Once the RWC is over & the players who were there have had ther mandated rest and assuming that everyone is fully fit - do you have any players who you would consider to be 100% nailed on starters ?

For me, i've got R Faf and then I came to a juddering halt.
Maybe possibly perhaps Hammersley who has done well since arriving, plus FB isn't a position with a lot of depth.
Does Jono's role as Captain make him nailed on starter, probably not.
Rohan Van PropCentre - love watching him play, but nailed on ?

Other than R Faf, is there anyone else ? (Maybe if Lood De Jaager fits into Sales plans, he could become one of the golden ones in the future, but that is a question for the future)
By chris1850
Denny probably. Tom Curry? Ross Harrison (at the moment anyway)?

Depends what you mean though as a nailed-on starter. If you are picking what you consider to be out strongest team, then I suspect there are at least half a dozen players that would get into the 1st choice 15 of, say, 80% on here.

The luxury we now have is the strongest squad we have had in years meaning that we have st least 2 very good choices for every position with the exception of SH and probably FB.

Last year, we probably had about 10 nailed on starters as the squad was nothing like as strong.
3. Jake Cooper-Wooley
4. Lood de Jager
7. T. Curry
8. Dan du Preez
9. Faf de Klerk
12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
15. Hammersley

JLDP pretty much nailed on for me but depends who we leave out out of Ross, Wilson and Ben Curry.

JCW has looked solid and the best of the props.

LDJ nailed on as it would be ridiculous for him not to be in the starting XV, and he's looked very good at the world cup.

RJVR nailed on IMO because we don't have a player like him in the squad. If he stays fit we crack top 4, if not then we crack top 6.

I agree that there's less nailed on starters due to the squad being so strong, in previous years we would have had more nailed on starters due to the depth just not being there. RJVR, Dan du Preez and Faf are really the only nailed on starters in terms of if we play someone else instead the quality drops "significantly" (though still not massively, just in comparison to say, Solomona vs Yarde or Ben vs Tom curry). That is unless you replace DDP with JLDP, in that case I think their both pretty interchangeable, though JL is the better 6 and Dan the better 8.

On a side note when looking at the post world cup 23 it might seem like Wilson might be an excessive signing, but realistically I think at least one of our back row will get injured and he will prove very useful.
By StalyShark
We’ll be rotating a lot more but if we were asked to go up against Exeter in the HC in a winner takes all I’d go:

de Jager
T Curry
Dan du Preez
S James

B Curry

That is an impressive team.
I think the main thing that becomes clear in these discussions is how much we actually have a bench this year, so many games we lost last season as we couldn't/wouldn't bring subs on, whereas now I would be disappointed if the whole bench doesn't come on, unless for example AJ is playing a blinder then no need to bring on RDP.

Looking at our front row depth, I really hope none of 1, 2 or three (whoever that maybe) play the full 80.
Lord Elpus wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:19 pm
Ross is captain but with everyone back should he be an automatic starter?
Difficult question that everyone probably been asking themselves, you've finally asked it!

I mean, if I was a a fan of a different Prem club, looking at the talent Sale have, I would rather face a team with Wilson or JLDP at 6 rather than Ross. However I think he's a great leader. Proper head scratcher though. JLDP and Ross are very different players, but Ross and Wilson have a very simmilar style and perform a similar role.

Purely on individual talent I would start:

6. JLDP/Wilson
7. Curry
8. DDP

However none of them provide the leadership Jono has, and tbh not much in it between Jono and Wilson. JLDP vs Ross is more about what kind of game we want to play.
By Thekeg
I think that if we were picking our strongest side the following are pretty much nailed on starters, some could easily change, eg we haven’t seen enough of oosthuizen.

Beaumont (in second row)
DDP (at 8)

Great that there are so many positions where it’s a tight call
I guess what will make or break our season is how well we rotate everyone. Enough to keep people fresh but not so much we lose cohesion.

It’s something we’ve not really had before. We probably outperformed expectations in the past in part by playing our best players whenever available, and regular partnerships playing together, however then we also ran out of steam when they all got knackered...
I doubt if Dimes sees Tom Curry as a 6. We've already got Ross, Wilson, and one of the Du Preez at 6, whereas there's a good chance that we'll only have one Curry at a time, given the way they put their bodies on the line. Based on Saturday, it could be that Curtis Langdon will cover 7 if necessary, but I can't see us treating Tom as a 6 and only having Ben and Curtis as 7s.
I think to an extent all back row are interchangeable, it's all about balance. Provided you have one of each of:

- a carrier/dominant tackler (usually 8)
- a jackler/linkplayer (usually 7)
- a work horse/tackler/tidy-upper/secondary carrier (usually 6) on the field

Then it doesn't really matter what number is on their back. One of those needs to be a line out option, usually the 6, which works well for us in Jono - think he was one of the top line-out catchers last season?

Whilst Tom Curry might be wearing 6 for England there's no way he doesn't fit the role of the traditional 7. I mean, if Tom isn't a 7, then who is? I think because Vunipola is such a dominant carrier and England can rely on him and Manu to always break the gain line, they don't really need such a strong carrier at 6, which is why they can play two traditional 7s in the back row. Not to say that Tom isn't also a superb carrier, it's just I don't imagine that's his primary role.

He certainly has bulked up though, looks to be around 110 kg at the moment!
By Clutch
Spot on. Depends on the team we pick. No way Double Curry should be the default. Against certain opposition back rows and with other ball carriers starting then it will be fine. Rohan has to start in that case.
Clutch wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:32 pm
Spot on. Depends on the team we pick. No way Double Curry should be the default. Against certain opposition back rows and with other ball carriers starting then it will be fine. Rohan has to start in that case.
Yeah that's right. If you have a strong carries at 5 and 8 and 12 then you can probably play twindaloo, but if not then I think you just don't get enough go forward.

One thing I've noticed about the du Preez twins is that not only do they look like class players themselves, they make others around them + the team shine - Will Cliff seems a different player to last season now he's getting lots of front foot ball. Maybe a slightly obvious point to make but an encouraging one all the same.

I wish we had been able to see one of the du Preez boys in the second row on Saturday, in order to assess how the line out would go. My only hesitation to start DDP at 4/5 in big matches is that I have no idea how the line-out would go, and it wen't very well on Saturday, especially when both Beaumont and Evans were on.
Whilst EJ has history with two sevens, I think the main reason for Tom playing at 6 in RWC has been an injury to Wilson. Wilson has been superb at 6 for England, no other reason to drop him other than injury. Tom has also made a passable impression of a No8 recently. We are well placed to pick'n'mix in the back row.
I’m going to have a go at picking what I think to be our strongest 23 once everyone is available. How many of these are nailed-on starters? Not sure! Where I’ve put players in brackets on the bench it’s to show how I think the bench would actually look for expediency rather than the strongest 23, as in I’d expect Hammersley to be there to allow Ashton to cover a winger injury when starting at 15, and Sam James to fill in at 10 rather than use a precious bench spot for an out-and-out fly-half. No Jono might be eye-opening but while we’ve got Wilson, I think he shades it and the games of both JLdP and Ben Curry are too hard to ignore. Feel free to shred this side....

Van der Merwe
De Jager
T Curry
Dan du Preez
Van Rensburg
Sam James

JL du Preez (Phillips/Evans)
B Curry (Ross)
Rob du Preez (Luke James)
McGuigan (Hammersley)

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