Jimmy Gopperth



  • Came up in the Lions thread, he's now with Wasps & playing very well... probably one of the top 5 NZ signings of the last few years (with Evans, Reihana etc). Interview from the Telegraph -

    Jimmy Gopperth happy as the unsung hero in Wasps' unbeaten start to the season

    Mick Cleary, Rugby Union Correspondent

    13 September 2016 • 8:49pm

    Jimmy Gopperth may lack the celebrity profile of Wasps team-mates such as Danny Cipriani and Kurtley Beale but the New Zealand-born fly-half is proving to be the star turn. Gopperth, shunted to inside-centre to cover for injuries, has been a standout performer in Wasps’ unbeaten start to the season with two tries and 34 points in the victories over Exeter and Leicester. The understated man has become the highly rated one, the MVP of this early Premiership campaign.

    As befits a down-to-earth Kiwi from beachside Pihama in South Taranaki, the well-travelled Gopperth, whose surfboards are gathering dust in Coventry following his many wet-suited excursions in the North Sea during his four years at Newcastle, has no concerns about the more well-known of the Wasps’ squad claiming more of the limelight than he does. He does, however, insist that he has his eyes on making a claim to the starting No 10 shirt once injuries to centres Kyle Eastmond and Beale clear up.

    “Every player wants to start, that’s a given,” said Gopperth, now in his second year at Wasps following his switch from Leinster. “It will be a battle for the shirt once we’re all fit. It’s up to us all to put our best foot forward and give the coaches the headache. It doesn’t rankle with me in the slightest that others might get more headlines. I get more pleasure in helping a team-mate score, making them look good or whatever, than I do seeing my name in the headlines.”

    Gopperth, 33, top Premiership points scorer in his first two years at Newcastle, has had a complete sea-change in his view of the English game since arriving here in 2009. “The perception was that it was a lot slower, the skill levels weren’t great, that it was physical and the weather as well as the surfaces were not that great either,” said Gopperth, once a Junior All Black who packed his bags in his mid-twenties when he saw the line of fly-halves in front of him, topped by Dan Carter. “There has been a massive change in my outlook, particularly since coming back here from Leinster. The standard in the Premiership has gone through the roof. There’s been a big shift in attitude, more of a desire to use the ball, play wide, score tries, put your skills out there. The league is still relentless and the toughest in the world in that regard. But there’s a lot of great rugby on show now.”

    As Gopperth himself is proving in the unfamiliar guise of a No 12, a position he last played as a starter back at the Junior World Cup in 2001, might is no longer the only right. Size still does have a part to play but Gopperth is no giant in the mould of a Ma’a Nonu or Jamie Roberts.

    "It will be a battle for the shirt once we’re all fit. It’s up to us all to put our best foot forward and give the coaches the headache"Jimmy Gopperth

    “Of course you need to gets stuck into contact, make your tackles and all that, but it is not the only way to have a presence in midfield,” said Gopperth. “It’s no longer all crash-ball. It is about finding space and exploiting it. The inside centre is a second receiver, the second fly-half, able to kick and pass.”

    Gopperth has an exemplary all-round game. He showed pace, balance and awareness in the mould of a Rory Underwood when skinning the Exeter defence for a try and then straightforward nous to get on the end of a driving maul last weekend. He is going well and Wasps are sitting pretty, already the only discernible challengers to Saracens.

    “We can’t beat about the bush, we know there are expectations of us out there,” said Gopperth. “But it’s about being consistent, about not going well one week and getting battered the next. That’s the way you give yourself a chance, a shot at the trophies.” As the model of consistency, Gopperth is setting just the right example.



  • I'm happy for him. He got pretty shit treatment from the fans at Leinster.



  • @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    I'm happy for him. He got pretty shit treatment from the fans at Leinster.

    I missed that, hadn't even twigged he'd left Newcastle till this season. What happened? Was he brought in to replace Sexton who had pissed off to France?



  • @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.



  • Have been really pleased that sponge-bob square shoulders has gone so well in the UK. Really good player and always came across as a solid team man and GC.

    Bit sad he didn't get better treatment at Leinster, wasn't he a big part of them doing well/better?? Guess that position as coming in and bumping a local guy adds a bit of tension for fans.



  • He's the Jeetan Patel of rugby.



  • hmmm wonder if that does him a disservice though NQ? Don't know how JG would have gone at international level but anything below he's done well.



  • @No-Quarter said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    He's the Jeetan Patel of rugby.

    Although the national selectors never came knocking on Jimmy's door.....



  • @ACT-Crusader he did manage a game or two for the jr abs didn't he?



  • Yep, the article says he did...a quick check of his Wiki page says he got 1 cap in 2004-2005...?

    I guess he'd likely have been picked for England if he hadnt?



  • I thought as long as it wasn't a full cap anyone was fair game, ie Riki Flutey playing for the Maori then playing for England.



  • nah, JABs are our 2nd team, capped for them, 1 min or 50 mins, you are tied to NZ...

    Maori caps dont count for eligibility.



  • @jegga he did. @taniwharugby it was more 2006ish I think. The days when Henry was selecting massive AB squads and then the JABs were also running around.

    I guess the comparison with Jeets is that the Blackcaps wanted Jeets to tour as a front line spinner but he chose to stay in the UK. Fair play to him as he was already settled in for Warwickshire at the time.



  • @ACT-Crusader I did say it was Wiki 🙂



  • @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.

    Another reason why Ireland are my hatiest team



  • @TeWaio said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.

    Another reason why Ireland are my hatiest team

    Reason #367(and counting ) for me, how about you.



  • Almost certain Gopperth played in the 2005 probables vs possibles game?

    Always thought he was pretty average and should have been moved past by the Canes earlier but it's mighty impressive to have a run at the not-quite-the-top-but-the-top-the-rung-below for this long despite his limitations.

    You look at guys like Donald and Brett with similar limitations and they couldn't be difference makers up north.

    Evans could but he was an actual talent.



  • @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.

    You're correct in that Madigan was supposed to be the Leinster no1 but Matt O'Connor had other ideas. Going against the IRFU, Matt O'Connor didn't last long before he got the sack.

    Leinster fans didn't take to Gopperth because he was - how should I describe it - a bit robotic. I don't think he was treated badly though.



  • @profitius

    I think Madigan was one of the most over-rated players for a while there. He had one very good Pro 12 season, and after that he was seen as the next big thing. It never materialised, but Leinster fans were still clinging to the dream when Gopperth arrived. Interestingly the next big flyhalf-hope for Leinster is also Kiwi-born (Joey Carbery)...but I'll be fair and point out to Irish parents.



  • @rotated said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    Almost certain Gopperth played in the 2005 probables vs possibles game?

    Always thought he was pretty average and should have been moved past by the Canes earlier but it's mighty impressive to have a run at the not-quite-the-top-but-the-top-the-rung-below for this long despite his limitations.

    You look at guys like Donald and Brett with similar limitations and they couldn't be difference makers up north.

    Evans could but he was an actual talent.

    I do recall him getting a run in that game. That was a cast of thousands and I remember on the fern, back when the masses would fire up about selections, there was plenty of "outrage" at some of the players that made it. Here are the team lists

    Probables
    Anesi, Howlett, Laulala, Mapusua, Sivivatu, Evans, Kelleher, Bates (c), Newby, Lauaki, A Williams, Ryan, Johnstone, Witcombe, Woodcock

    Bench players used - So'oialo, Mehrtens, Mika, Dermody, Cowan

    Possibles
    Atiga, Hamilton, Smith, Nonu, Ward, Donald, Devine, N Williams, Blackie, Masoe, O'Neill, Donnelly, Afoa, Hore (c), Taumoepeau

    Bench players used - Tu'ipolotu, Gopperth, Nutbrown, B Williams, Kopelani