All Blacks training squad announced

Probably our first crop of youngsters to compare with the 2011 U20s (Brodie, Beauden, Cane, Piutau, Taylor, Luatua, Weber, TJP, Naholo, Anscombe, Tameifuna and, um, Soapy and Shields. Here’s a few names you are likely to become familiar with:

6. Cullen Grace 20yo. We’ve struggled at 6 since Kaino retired but this guy will be special. 6’4”, concrete shoulders, abrasive, great spring, massive engine.

8. Hoskins Sotutu 22yo. You’ll see him stride down the touch line and offload in a three man tackle in these highlights, but he’s also got Zinzan like skills. Calm head for a kid too.

14/15. Will Jordan 22yo. He just makes things happen in ways the opposition aren’t expecting. Fast, good in the air, prolific. See his two tries in these highlights, one sharp poach and one textbook leap to win the game in the 84th minute.

11. Caleb Clarke 21yo. The sevens star is a stocky ball of flying muscle reminiscent of Inga the Winger.

5. Tupou Vaa’i 20yo. Just an impressive young man. Former head prefect at Wesley College, he was thrown into the deep end at the Chiefs when all locks over the age of 21 were injured and nothing seemed to phase him.

Of the names you’ll already know, Reiko Ioane has returned to his schoolboy position of 13 and his outside break and strength are complemented good distribution and decision making. Big brother Akira is finally meeting his potential too.

Big lock Patrick Tuipulotu was given the Blues captaincy and leadership agrees with him. He’s finally putting that power to good use too.

Jordie Barrett has taken ownership of the Hurricanes back line since Beauden left and seems to have cut out those brain fades. Goal kicking very well too – interesting that he and DMac took the kicks on Saturday. DMac was back to his best on Saturday too, including later on at ten.

Beauden got the back line moving very well on Saturday, something I’ve not always been convinced of. Mo’unga was average though as was Tu’inukuafe.

Here are the highlights and the squad. Some very classy tries.

Hookers: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor. Props: Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi. Locks: Quinten Strange, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Whitelock. Loose forwards: Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell, Cullen Grace, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu. Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber. First five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga. Midfielders: Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown. Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Caleb Clarke, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece.

Team News: Round 18

15 George Furbank 14 Ahsee Tuala 13 Matt Proctor 12 Rory Hutchinson 11 Tom Collins 10 Dan Biggar 9 Henry Taylor

1 Francois van Wyk 2 James Fish 3 Owen Franks 4 David Ribbans 5 Api Ratuniyarawa 6 Courtney Lawes 7 JJ Tonks 8 Teimana Harrison

(c)Replacements:16 Sam Matavesi17 Nick Auterac18 Paul Hill19 Nick Isiekwe20 Shaun Adendorff21 Alex Mitchell22 Piers Francis23 Taqele Naiyaravoro

Bath

15. Anthony Watson, 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Ruaridh McConnochie, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Will Stuart, 4. Elliott Stooke, 5. Charlie Ewels, 6. Josh Bayliss, 7. Miles Reid 8. Taulupe Faletau

16. Jack Walker, 17. Lewis Boyce, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Josh McNally, 20. Tom Ellis, 21. Will Chudley, 22. Josh Matavesi, 23. Tom de Glanville

Quins

1. Joe Marler (205)2. Scott Baldwin (15)3. Simon Kerrod (24)4. Matt Symons (45)5. Glen Young (15)6. Chris Robshaw (296) – Captain7. Will Evans (17)8. Alex Dombrandt (48)9. Danny Care (279)10. Brett Herron (18)11. Nathan Earle (27)12. Ben Tapuai (28)13. Joe Marchant (89)14. Chris Ashton (4)15. Mike Brown (331)

Game Changers:16. Joe Gray (158)17. Santiago Garcia Botta (19)18. Will Collier (173)19. Stephan Lewies (17)20. Tom Lawday (15)21. Martin Landajo (17)22. James Lang (64)23. Paul Lasike (26)

Sarries

15 Alex Goode (299)14 Alex Lewington (50)13 Elliot Daly (9)12 Brad Barritt (259)11 Sean Maitland (76)10 Owen Farrell (200)9 Aled Davies (3)1 Richard Barrington (191)2 Jamie George (229)3 Vincent Koch (84)4 Maro Itoje (122)5 Tim Swinson (2)6 Mike Rhodes (96)7 Jackson Wray (248)8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements 16 Kapeli Pifeleti (9)17 Sam Crean (9)18 Alec Clarey (2)19 Callum Hunter-Hill (18)20 Sean Reffell (22)21 Tom Whiteley (45)22 Dom Morris (21)23 Elliott Obatoyinbo (12)

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

15. Jason Woodward
14. Ollie Thorley
13. Chris Harris
12. Mark Atkinson
11. Jonny May
10. Lloyd Evans
9. Stephen Varney

1. Val Rapava-Ruskin
2. Franco Marais
3. Fraser Balmain
4. Ed Slater
5. Matt Garvey
6. Jack Clement
7. Lewis Ludlow ©
8. Jake Polledri

REPLACEMENTS

16. Jack Singleton
17. Corne Fourie
18. Jack Stanley
19. Ruan Ackermann
20. Jordy Reid
21. Joe Simpson
22. Billy Twelvetrees
23. Louis Rees-Zammit

London Irish:
15 Tom Homer, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Matt Williams, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps. 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Sekope Kepu, 4 George Nott, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Matt Rogerson, 7 Blair Cowan ©, 8 Albert Tuisue

Replacements:
16 Matt Cornish, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Jack Cooke, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Ross Neal, 23 James Stokes

New 24-teams European Cup format revealed

It’s all explained here:

https://www.epcrugby.com/2020/09/02/new-epcr-tournament-formats-agreed-for-2020-21-season/

If you want a video explanation:

https://streamable.com/5972ex

If you want a text explanation I posted one on reddit and I honestly don’t have the courage to do the tables again here since I don’t know how it works on this forum, so:

Thoughts?

In my opinion, it is exciting – less attritional, and we are likely to see some very good games in the pool stage already. H&A QF are fantastic, and now the “best 2nd” shenanigans that often boiled down to how hard your initial pool was will disappear.

For the record, next season, Toulouse will be Tier 4 from Top 14, so likely to face Leinster or Exeter in the pool stages.

Europe wants a Club World Cup

European Professional Club Rugby have announced that they want a 16 team Club World Cup every four years, featuring the eight best teams from north and south. Makes sense to me. Leinster v Crusaders in the final.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/122649110/club-world-cup-advances-as-european-rugby-bosses-find-accord

D&T DTRR Cup Update

Sorry not been as frequent as it should have been. I occasionally have to do some work.

The whole restart of the rugby has been somewhat surreal with a lot of mis-matched encounters. Despite that the table hasn’t actually changed that much some shuffling around in the positions 2 to 6 but that’s about the lot.

Of the games on the weekend only one was truly competitive. I am biased as a waspist but I’d much rather watch that than the other one sided blowouts we’ve been getting.

As for the table we now actually have a clear leader. Chapeau Monty.

1Monty2.50
2Exlock2.67
2Mani2.67
4B2P2.83
5Anonymouse3.00
5Bigger Picture3.00
5Novo3.00
5Travel Exec3.00
9Adrian3.17
9Bart3.17
9D Hanley3.17
9George3.17
9Global Fan3.17
9Grump3.17
9JD Kiwi3.17
9Slamma3.17
17Firepies3.33
17Gladders3.33
17Hugh3.33
17Ruck3.33
17Tanker3.33
22Dalton Lad3.50
22GEPC3.50
246mph3.67
24CMJS3.67
24Tomski3.67
27Bris3.83
27Mr Wu3.83
29Coshie4.00

Team News: Round 17

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

Jason Woodward, 14. Ollie Thorley, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Jonny May, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Joe Simpson; 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Jack Singleton, 3. Fraser Balmain, 4. Ed Slater, 5. Matt Garvey, 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow ©, 8. Jake Polledri

REPLACEMENTSFranco Marais, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Jack Stanley, 19. Jordy Reid, 20. Jack Clement, 21. Stephen Varney, 22. Tom Seabrook, 23. Lloyd Evans

The Fast and Furious Premiership – Round 16

Round 16 team announcements are already upon us. Thread for team news etc.

Wasps:

CHIEFS SIDE TO FACE BRISTOL BEARS

15 Josh Hodge
14 Tom O’Flaherty
13 Phil Dollman
12 Tom Hendrickson
11 Olly Woodburn
10 Gareth Steenson
9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
1 Alec Hepburn
2 Jack Yeandle (capt)
3 Tomas Francis
4 Dave Dennis
5 Sam Skinner
6 Jannes Kirsten
7 Don Armand
8 Sean Lonsdale

16 Jack Innard
17 Billy Keast
18 Marcus Street
19 Will Witty
20 Richard Capstick
21 Joe Snow
22 Harvey Skinner
23 Tom Wyatt

The New Rules. Or Applying the Rules as Written

so given we’ve had 2 rounds do you want the current interpretation continued or not?  If yes how would you finesse them. Here is Geeches view https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2020/08/23/new-interpretation-laws-breakdown-has-already-changed-game-better/

From my perspective I think it creates room so generally approve. I just hope the refs continue to apply these rules. If only they would do the same for off side.

Round 15: Team news

Bristol Bears (7 changes)

15. Max Malins; 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Joe Joyce, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Ben Earl, 8. Nathan Hughes.

System players: 16. Will Capon, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Max Lahiff, 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Dan Thomas, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Tiff Eden, 23. Luke Morahan.

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

Louis Rees-Zammit, 14. Ollie Thorley, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Jonny May, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Joe Simpson; 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Jack Singleton, 3. Fraser Balmain, 4. Ed Slater, 5. Matt Garvey, 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow ©, 8. Jake Polledri 

REPLACEMENTS

16. Franco Marais, 17. Logovi’I Mulipola, 18. Jack Stanley, 19. Danny Drake, 20. Jack Clement, 21. Stephen Varney, 22. Tom Seabrook, 23. Charlie Sharples

Wasps

15. Rob Miller; 14. Paolo Odogwu, 13. Michael Le Bourgeois, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Marcus Watson 10. Lima Sopoaga, 9. Ben Vellacott; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tom Cruse, 3. Biyi Alo, 4. Tim Cardall, 5. James Gaskell, 6. Ben Morris, 7. Gabriel Oghre, 8. Tom Willis

16 Alfie Barbeary, 17 Tom West, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Theo Vukasinovic, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 Jacob Umaga, 23 Matteo Minozzi

Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Noah Heward, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Will Butler (C), 11 Nick David, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Callum Black, 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 James Scott, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 6 GJ van Velze, 7 Tom Dodd, 8 Cornell du Preez.

Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Lewis Holsey, 18 Joe Morris, 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Caleb Montgomery, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Oli Morris.

T&D DTRR Cup

Delighted to see rugby back and normal service resumed on DTRR games got better as the weekend progressed and players got used to breakdown interpretations. Not there yet and neither is referee’s consistency but I was actually very hopeful and pleased. Now sort out offside and the bloody age it takes to do a scrum. Once again no need to fiddle with the laws just apply the ones that exist.

So below is the scores on the doors. Despite their loss thought tigers looked a considerable amount improved. Bristol are looking scary they worked out how to play against the stifling game and their running game if unleashed will be another level. Nice to see Gorgeous George doing well at glaws, seeing if there will be any consistency is of course the thing for them. Neither Sale or Quins setting the world alight. Sarries will be hard for other teams and even their youngsters looked OK. The championship is going to be a one horse race next year. Bath in full flow they’ll face tougher opposition. Irish and Wuss will round out the basement with Sarries, it’s too late for much of a move by tigers. Saints will have better days or they are in trouble they looked mainly like they were still onm the bus despite being at their home ground. Wasps added some defence to the attack. Actually looking like top 4 is not beyond them.

The big question for all teams are who can you keep fit and how you are going to manage rotation with the punishing schedule. The main good thing is we have rugby.

1Mani2.50
1Monty2.50
3Exlock2.67
4B2P2.83
5Anonymouse3.00
5Bigger Picture3.00
5Novo3.00
5Travel Exec3.00
9Adrian3.17
9Bart3.17
9D Hanley3.17
9George3.17
9Global Fan3.17
9Grump3.17
9JD Kiwi3.17
9Slamma3.17
17Firepies3.33
17Gladders3.33
17Hugh3.33
17Ruck3.33
17Tanker3.33
22Dalton Lad3.50
22GEPC3.50
246mph3.67
24CMJS3.67
24Tomski3.67
27Bris3.83
27Mr Wu3.83
29Coshie4.00