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Sadly i agree with the prediction for Newcastle.
For years now we have been losing our best players and most exiting prospects and replacing them with journeymen Championship quality players. consequently we now have a championship quality side.
Best chance of staying up is probably for someone else to play beneath themselves. If that is to be anyone i think it may be Sale as their squad looks a little unbalenced for me.
Posted 14:50 31st August 2011
Ruddy excited, best league in the world (French top 14 is pretty entertaining and might push it close if they could eliminate stupid drop goal attempts).
Posted 13:06 31st August 2011
As you've significantly over-stated Quins' world cup absences, and make a big deal of an injured player who hasn't played since 5th December 2010 (and who didn't therefore feature in the victories over Munster and Stade), I'm not sure your assessment of where they will finish holds much weight.
Posted 12:52 31st August 2011
Thank you for using the word, "wazzock", which is terribly under-used. In defference to your superior insults, I shall endeavour to use it myself today - not on the forum, but to someone's actual face. I like a challenge!
Posted 12:07 31st August 2011
I wouldn't waste the nitrogen/oxygen mix on a wazzock like jmanngod, even his antipodean peers are embarrassed by him.
I think it's hard to look beyond Leicester or Saracens for the top two and, probably, the grand final, but write Northampton and Gloucester and, to a lesser extent, Harlequins and Bath, off at your peril. Quins and Saints have got some tricky games to negotiate with key players on international duty, whereas Gloucester and Bath aren't as heavily affected, so that could tip the balance one way or another.
Newcastle are definitely the team for the drop, on paper. They've lost too many key players that they haven't replaced, and only just scraped by last year with them.
Posted 11:54 31st August 2011
If you don't care, then don't read the article and don't comment. I suspect you're one of these SH people that think nothing north of the equator is worth a pinch of possum ****, but those who are rugby fans actually do care. There are a great many SH rugby fans who enjoy watching the NH games and a great many NH rugby fans who enjoy watching SH rugby. Because they love rugby.
So either appreciate that good rugby is good rugby, even when there are differences, or crawl back under your rock and leave the rest of us alone.
As BeccsBoy88 mentioned, there is so much movement north and south from players, all of whom extole the virtues of their new environment and competition, that it would be naive to suggest that AP rugby is insignificant. Whilst one could argue that they usually move for financial reasons, rather than to improve the quality of their game and / or play in a better competition, the players will rarely admit this. In fact their PR advisors will always advise them to say nothing about the financial rewards and only mention the new and exctiting opportunities. But we all know it's a combination of factors. One of those being a new challenge, including a different competition, with different strengths.
My rant over now. Please will you pass that soap box for me to use to step down off my high horse..?!
So, to the Premiership.
First things first - I love this part of the season. As a Bath fan, it's the one time I can guarantee that they're at the top of the table!! ;-)
As long as neither Barking or Barnes from National League 2 South get promoted every year for the next 3 years, we'll be fine..!
So here's to Bath in the top 4, competing for the title. And who'll give me odds for the Tigers or Gloucester getting the drop?!
Posted 10:44 31st August 2011
@jmanngod - Plenty of people care in all honesty. Just because you're a southern hemisphere resident with clearly the lower level of intelligence that is attributed with that doesn't mean that you have to post comments such as this. If I remember correctly, there aren't that many Super Rugby players that have come into the premiership and have performed in such as way as perhaps Gareth Delve has at the Rebels this year? I think he ended up being captain for a few games? And you have to ask yourself why so few of our players go down there whereas so many of yours come north, Delve isn¿t even in his national set up, he was a good player for Gloucester, and he¿s ripping it up Down South! Top level rugby is top level rugby, ask many of the players, and they will say that the premiership is the toughest competition in the world. Not the most exciting rugby, but it is the toughest rugby!
I'm really excited to see Exeter this year, they played some great rugby at home last year and if they can take that form on the road then will be very interesting to see where they end up. Newcastle for the drop, not enough players in, went to see them last year and they were a good team, but not up to the standard that has been set for premiership teams so far. Some good players in Jon Golding that would have probably got England caps (proper ones) if he had have been playing for other teams. Some players loyalty seems to be a bit deep!
Posted 09:43 31st August 2011
News to me about Rawlinson retiring, thanks to whoever dropped the ball on deciding whether or not that was newsworthy.
Posted 01:42 31st August 2011
Newcastle look favourites for the drop to the Championship League.
Posted 23:11 30th August 2011
Can't wait, I think the world cup will dent Northamptons competetiveness although with all their world cup players back in I think they will be the strongest side...hard to say. Also looking to the return of Matthew tait, such a talent...let's hope he recovers from past dissapointments well...
Posted 22:40 30th August 2011
Sorry, he played in college too for UCD.
Posted 18:43 30th August 2011
I wonder if Artimayev will make the Northampton squad. I'd certainly rate him above Cato.
I don't know why he didn't go to an Irish club, particularly Leinster. He learnt and played all his rugby until college in Dublin and he would've qualified for Ireland through residency. He would have been perfect for Leinster and he has the potential to be a world class player.
Posted 18:42 30th August 2011
Think perhaps it's a bit soon to decry the Falcons. I'm a Bath fan myself and it's too soon for us but happy with the signings...
Back to the Falcons, yes they've been around the bottom for a number of seasons but it's telling that they survive. They still have one of the best 10's in the premiership in Gopperth and they have the experience in these dog fights. My own tip is actually Worcester to go back down. Almost certainly wrong but I just get the feeling they have a bit of a softer underbelly than Exeter last year.
Posted 17:50 30th August 2011