Always a Wasp

Author Topic: Mind the gap  (Read 443 times)

Shugs

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
  • Karma: +7/-2
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Mind the gap
« on: November 12, 2019, 10:57:12 PM »
Reflecting on an issue that has struck me looking through our first four squads I'm starting to think the era of Championship players migrating to the Premiership may be coming to an end. Foreign imports, recycling other prem players and academy products seem to have put an end to the possibility of coming up through the leagues. Looking at Wasps specifically last year we recruited Neal, Morris, Atkinson and Le Bourgeois. I don't think we could say any have broken through. We then had the Mike Daniels scenario and this year we're already seeing Vukasinovic slip down the order with Alo not featuring either. Is the gap between the leagues now to big to bridge?

westwaleswasp

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 472
  • Karma: +4/-5
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: Mind the gap
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 12:50:34 AM »
Do you have figures for other clubs?

Thinking about it, Bassett was a success, but may be slipping down the pecking order this year, so it is a bad year at the moment.
I guess you could argue that they take a season to bulk up/get premiership fit.

Sting

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: Mind the gap
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2019, 06:09:09 AM »
A very valid observation.
It could be that Dai Dai still has a conservative approach and prefers the 'tried and tested/known' . Many of the players mentioned had very few minutes this season, even in the cup matches.
If Dai was serious about developingbthese players he would look for opportunities to play them. How can we expect to develop players if we don't play them?
Dai had said that it is him making the call on match Dai squad.
Cynics might say that Dai is using the players as an insurance policy in case of major injuries/gaps to the 'main squad'. This would reflect badly on Dai and is hardly fair to the players.

DGP Wasp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: Mind the gap
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2019, 09:54:10 AM »
Thompson, Rieder and Bassett have all made the step up and have proven themselves to be Premiership quality.  Bassett, despite losing form since, played a non-cap game for England not so long ago and Thompson was being mentioned in terms of the senior England squad at one point.  No-one since though.

I guess if the academy structure is working the way the RFU would ideally like, then the top talent should be being identified at a young age and brought through the Premiership academy squads, only being loaned to Championship sides as part of that development.  It may be that the effect of that is to widen the gap between the Prem and Championship, or the gap is being bridged by loaned players.

Dgwasp

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 134
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: Mind the gap
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2019, 10:22:07 AM »
The financial gap between Prem and Champ is certainly immense.  The standard in the prem is now very competitive with promoted teams in the last two seasons looking like they can genuinely compete; the outcome being that the majority of sides will have to flog their best talent to try and ensure survival whilst denying academy and promoted players game time. 

The resolution is either ring fencing, or creating better financial stability/equilibrium between the leagues.  However, there is not a lot of money in the pot and ring fencing is not very satisfying either. 

Sting

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: Mind the gap
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2019, 10:34:40 AM »
Dgwasp. I am a believer that ringfencing should be explored given the mega commercial nature of the game an the huge investment that are now expected from club owners. The growth of university rugby could help along with a 'draft' system.
You mention the "process" may well be working as RFU intended. The cynics might say that the whole EA situation suited the RFU as it enabled key England players to train and play together on a regular basis.
Here is a link to an old article on 'elite' rugby. It is a bit rambling in parts but quite thought provoking.
https://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/england-countries/why-the-england-u16-team-should-be-scrapped-stephen-jones-14452

baldpaul101

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 219
  • Karma: +4/-3
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: Mind the gap
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2019, 12:17:24 PM »
The key point is that 87% of Englands world cup squad came through a prem academy. so as DGP has pointed out, if the academies are doing their job they ought to be hoovering up the best talent and progressing them in a prem environment.

I don't agree that its a gap in playing class as much as a gap in drawing power of prem academies to select & nurture the best talent.

Hymenoptera

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
  • Karma: +15/-15
  • Trevor Leotas Twin
    • View Profile
Re: Mind the gap
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2019, 02:33:02 PM »
Dgwasp. I am a believer that ringfencing should be explored given the mega commercial nature of the game an the huge investment that are now expected from club owners. The growth of university rugby could help along with a 'draft' system.
You mention the "process" may well be working as RFU intended. The cynics might say that the whole EA situation suited the RFU as it enabled key England players to train and play together on a regular basis.
Here is a link to an old article on 'elite' rugby. It is a bit rambling in parts but quite thought provoking.
https://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/england-countries/why-the-england-u16-team-should-be-scrapped-stephen-jones-14452
Ringfencing will create another Dull14 and is a def no no. The subjects been done to death.
We dont need a draft system, we already have a surplus of good players in the English game. Many good players have to drop down a league to remain employed, that's how competitive it is with productive academies, its a solution to a problem that doesnt exist.