Exodus 2016



  • Time for a new exodus topic with 2016 approaching.
     
    Now confirmed:
     
    Nemani Nadolo leaving the Crusaders after the 2016 Super Rugby season for a 3 year stint at Montpellier (Top 14).
     



  • In the French Top 14, first-five Brock James will be leaving ASM Clermont for La Rochelle at the end of the 2015/2016 season.
     
    Rumours are that Clermont wants to replace him with another foreign player. On Twitter someone said they are looking to replace Brock James with Ihaia West or Aaron Cruden.
     
    Anyone else heard anything about this?
     
     
    Edit: just found the article in the Midi Olympique, which mentions both Aaron Cruden and Berrick Barnes. The article mentions that Cruden is under contract with the NZRU until 2017, but also seems to imply that Clermont has unfinished business with the NZRU because of Naholo. Barnes may be a more realistic option, according to the article, because he's off contract in 2016.
     
    The rumour about Ihaia West apparently comes from the Canal+ programme "Spécialistes Rugby".



  • Any word on what Cruden wants? Maybe he's keen to play the Lions in 2017 ???



  • Any word on what Cruden wants? Maybe he's keen to play the Lions in 2017 ???

    Nah, it all sounds a lot like journalists speculating about who should take James' spot in the team. No word from Clermont itself, or the players mentioned in the article.



  • Man, if Brock James (absolute mediocrity in the NPC) could be a major player in the Top 14 then it must be garbage. He is fucking shit. No athletic ability in the slightest. So slow.
     
    I tried to watch the Top 14 when I lived in France, and it was really shit. Slow, low skills, everyone off their feet at the ruck, terrible refereeing. Thoroughly shithouse.



  • Man, if Brock James (absolute mediocrity in the NPC) could be a major player in the Top 14 then it must be garbage. He is fucking shit. No athletic ability in the slightest. So slow.
    I tried to watch the Top 14 when I lived in France, and it was really shit. Slow, low skills, everyone off their feet at the ruck, terrible refereeing. Thoroughly shithouse.

    I'd like to think though in true French style while the week to week is shit once it reaches the finals stage then it's all of a sudden world class.



  • Man, if Brock James (absolute mediocrity in the NPC) could be a major player in the Top 14 then it must be garbage. He is fucking shit. No athletic ability in the slightest. So slow.
     
    I tried to watch the Top 14 when I lived in France, and it was really shit. Slow, low skills, everyone off their feet at the ruck, terrible refereeing. Thoroughly shithouse.

    Brock James was pretty bloody handy when he played NPC - the Hurricanes wanted to pick him up and he would've been a good signing, but they were blocked by NZRU I believe. Are you thinking of the right player? He definitely wasn't slow and had good attacking abilities (had previously played 7's for Oz, not a game for those that are so slow with no athletic ability).



  • Man, if Brock James (absolute mediocrity in the NPC) could be a major player in the Top 14 then it must be garbage. He is fucking shit. No athletic ability in the slightest. So slow.
     
    I tried to watch the Top 14 when I lived in France, and it was really shit. Slow, low skills, everyone off their feet at the ruck, terrible refereeing. Thoroughly shithouse.

    I don't agree with you. I have been watching pretty much of the Top 14 the last few years, and Brock James has been playing well. Great kicking at times, intelligent player. Didn't get enough game time, in my opinion. Clermont fans are devastated that he's leaving, not happy at all!
     
    I agree that the Top 14 is at a lower level than Super Rugby, but I wouldn't call it shit. They are very defense focused and I find the lack of attacking strategy remarkable. Seems to be more a question of game plan though. Quite boring compared to SR.



  • I quite enjoyed the Top 14 when it used to be on the rugby channel. As stargazer said, it's a bit more defense focused where they enjoy the set piece and look for any opportunity to put over a drop goal but I do love the crowd support they get.



  • i agree about the defence focus. Watched Coiln Slade's Pau stumble to a 15-15 draw last night with Dan Carter;s (not playing until next week) Ben Tameifuna's and Chris Masoe's  Racing 92. Jeez what a slug fest. However the game was brightened by Argie winger Juan Imhoff looking hungry and pouncing on anything that came his way. BT was reduced to ruck-inspecting and Slade couldn;t find the spark, but Masoe played well for an old fulla. Looking forward to DC's debut next week against Northampton for Racing 92..



  • Do we think Vito is going to stay or go?  Think his contract is up at the end of 2016.  More rumblings about a Top 14 move.



  • Do we think Vito is going to stay or go?  Think his contract is up at the end of 2016.  More rumblings about a Top 14 move.

    Tough call, both the guys in front of him are greats (Kaino, Read), but both feel like an injury away from retirement and VV is definatel;y the guy the selectors rate.
     
    On the flip side he would be a superstar in France or the UK so on for HUGE money. The likes of Chris Masoe & Nathan Hughes are rates as 2 of the best 6/8's about & Vito is in the same mold as Masoe especially.
     
    (for all those knee jerking, Masoe has probably been the best 8 in France for the last 4 years)



  • Do we think Vito is going to stay or go?  Think his contract is up at the end of 2016.  More rumblings about a Top 14 move.

    Turns 29 this March, if he reups with the NZRU he is probably looking at a very different European contract in a couple of years than he is now. I just don't see the NZRU offering him even close to the same amount this time.
     
    I'm honestly shocked given his contract, position in the side, age and talent he was one of the first highlighted for the Sevens campaign this year. Seems absolutely ideal.



  • Turns 29 this March, if he reups with the NZRU he is probably looking at a very different European contract in a couple of years than he is now. I just don't see the NZRU offering him even close to the same amount this time.
     
    I'm honestly shocked given his contract, position in the side, age and talent he was one of the first highlighted for the Sevens campaign this year. Seems absolutely ideal.

    Vito has never been a regular starting AB and I don't see that changing.  He's better to cash up now.  I thought he would have been a good choice as the Canes captain so perhaps Boyd already knows his decision and wants some continuity.
     
    As to the sevens, Vito turned Tietjens down - a shame.  He could have done what Messam has done, i.e., a 2 yr contract in Japan with a provision to return for the sevens campaign.



  • Well I see the Herald (G.Paul) are saying Vito, Dagg & Jane are the ones looking overseas.  IMO

    1. Jane finished as an AB - 32, not getting any younger or faster, don't think he'll wear black again
    2. Dagg. IMO potentially stull has something to offer.  An entirely injury free 2016 to reassess.  Would hope he would stick around until 2017.  Only 27.
    3. Vito, like everyone else he strikes me as a permanent fringe player.  Not better than Read so won't take 8 (especially as Read likely to captain), and not physical enough to replace Kaino at 6.  Plus exciting options coming thru.   Useful to have in NZ, but not crippling if he leaves.
       
      NB: I think Jane & Dagg are singed thru 2017, so they would need NZRFU dispensation.  I reckon Jane would get it, but not sure about Dagg.


    1. Dagg. IMO potentially stull has something to offer.  An entirely injury free 2016 to reassess.  Would hope he would stick around until 2017.  Only 27.

    By All Blacks standards he is pretty much done, it's a young mans game. If you are a member of the back-three and rely on pace, power, speed or step and you manage more than 6 years as a first choice AB or make it past age 28 in the pro era you are doing bloody well.
     
    Almost every star not matter how bright had the wheels fall off right around that 28 year mark. Mils is the only notable example, but he fell off a couple of years later - maybe we just don't count the years spent at centre under rotation.
     
    More "safe" wing options like Jane and Ben Smith who relied more on the high ball, support play and defense seem to be able to string it out a little longer, but they usually start a bit older too.
     
    I'd almost bet my house given the trent that Savea doesn't make the next RWC squad at 29 - and you'd probably get good odds on it too at the moment.



  • Brock James was pretty bloody handy when he played NPC - the Hurricanes wanted to pick him up and he would've been a good signing, but they were blocked by NZRU I believe. Are you thinking of the right player? He definitely wasn't slow and had good attacking abilities (had previously played 7's for Oz, not a game for those that are so slow with no athletic ability).

    Agree don't know where Tim is getting that opinion from Brock James looked bloody good in the NPC and the Hurricanes their was genuine optimism that the canes might have a decent 10 that season until the NZRU blocked him worried they would be doing the Wallabies a favour.





  • Jamie Mackintosh has joined French club Montpellier as injury cover.http://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/75023333/Southland-prop-Jamie-Mackintosh-joins-French-club-Montpellier

    Apparently, he already played for Montpellier last night in their European Challenge Cup game v Cardiff Blues, which Cardiff won 37 - 27. Jarrad Hoeata posted this photo on Twitter after the game:

    Edited to add that Mackintosh scored a try in this game!



  • Strange to see W G Grace still out on the field but not cricket.



  • Strange to see W G Grace still out on the field but not cricket.

    Brian Blessed.  🙂
     
    So Hoeata is still wearing a Naki jersey.  Strange for Cardiff to have those colours as an alternative strip.



  • Brian Blessed.  🙂

    Now you mention it he does have a similar chest pout..



  • By All Blacks standards he is pretty much done, it's a young mans game. If you are a member of the back-three and rely on pace, power, speed or step and you manage more than 6 years as a first choice AB or make it past age 28 in the pro era you are doing bloody well.
     
    Almost every star not matter how bright had the wheels fall off right around that 28 year mark. Mils is the only notable example, but he fell off a couple of years later - maybe we just don't count the years spent at centre under rotation.
     
    More "safe" wing options like Jane and Ben Smith who relied more on the high ball, support play and defense seem to be able to string it out a little longer, but they usually start a bit older too.
     
    I'd almost bet my house given the trent that Savea doesn't make the next RWC squad at 29 - and you'd probably get good odds on it too at the moment.

    Given Dagg was prominant for most of his career for his positional play, distribution, work under the high ball & his boot I think the pace issue is less of a problem. Actually think with Nonu gone a second diostributor becomes more of an issue for the AB's next year. Games we played this year without Nonu our distribution was a bit limited, and while Fekitoa has a lot of skills, good distribtion isn't one of them.
     
    I don't expect Dagg to be named up front, but I think he'll be in the mix. Still wouldn't put it past them to look again at Ben Smith (29) at centre



  • Toulon and Toulouse are offering big, big money to sign Beauden Barrett when his contract ends in 2016.



  • Toulon and Toulouse are offering big, big money to sign Beauden Barrett when his contract ends in 2016.

    Fark that shits me.
    Why don't the farkin French clubs go find their own talent??
    Honest to god, I watched Toulon's return fixture against Leinster, apart from playing as if they didn't know each other, (and pretty pedestrian at that) think I counted 3 Frenchmen in the run-on side.
    Same for Racing, same for SF, and Oyonnax and most other top 14 French teams. I honestly hope this doesn't spill over to Super rugby, else we'll all be in the shite.



  • It's good for BB to get a pay packet..



  • Vito definitely going offshore my sources tell me although they didn't mention which club he was going to.
     
    Makes sense, I think he would have been Hurricanes captain over Coles if he had committed to stay in town.
     
    Not convinced Jane will go offshore based on local UH intelligence.



  • Barrett won't be leaving. He turned down the sevens to play in the Lions series. NZRU will sign him up to at least the end of 2019.



  • Daniel Bowden going back to Bath: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/35187141



  • NZ needs to divvy up its halves better IMO. Blues & Crusaders have mediocre 10s, meanwhile canes have Barrett & black, Chiefs have cruden & McKenzie not to mention their 3 decent 9s.



  • Nah it isn't the NZRU's job to future profs franchises. It's the local organisations job to make sure they have good plans, if that fails then it's their fault.



  • @SouthernMan
     
    I'm probably just depressed when I see the Crusaders' halves for 2016: Drummond, Ellis, McKenzie (the less talented one), Mo'unga (who?), Volavola
     
    ...as gentle and uninspiring as Blackadder at interview time.
     
    I sense a long season of mediocrity.  Probably end up supporting the Canes in their bid to break their duck - might come down to whether they can beat World Rugby's 5th ranked team in the final...



  • Mitchell Hunt looks good for the future though.



  • Mitchell Hunt looks good for the future though.

    I hope so.  Living outside NZ, I don't really follow rugby too much below SXV level, and according to Wikipedia Super Rugby transfers, he is listed as a fullback.  But I see on his Wiki profile he is also listed as a 10.



  • He has played a lot more at 10 than at fullback.
     
    Also, Mo'unga isn't a bad option, and went reasonably well for Canterbury last season. I'd be picking him, personally.



  • Yep agreed on Moóunga - he showed real improvement in the ITM Cup last year from the year prior. He looks the best bet. Drummond at halfback developed nicely over the year as well - he had a cracking game for the NZ Barbarians v the Maori in the middle of the year.
     
    As for the Blues - this really seems like West's last shot - he may go better with some better coaches involved (Umaga, Feeney) and he finished this year on a high in the ITM Cup Championship final for the Magpies. McGahan looks more comfortable at fullback and Francis quite frankly doesn't look up to this level - he seems to be taking the 'Simon Hickey' spot. Given Umaga's comments and his willingness to pick youngsters I wouldn't be surprised to see the likes of Wiseguy Faiane and/or possibly DÁngelo Leuila in the Blues 10 setup from 2017 moving forward. At halfback they have some nice talent with the highly rated Sam Nock and Bryn Hall who was the Blues best halfback in 2014 before missing 2015 with injury.



  • Brock James was pretty bloody handy when he played NPC - the Hurricanes wanted to pick him up and he would've been a good signing, but they were blocked by NZRU I believe. Are you thinking of the right player? He definitely wasn't slow and had good attacking abilities (had previously played 7's for Oz, not a game for those that are so slow with no athletic ability).

    Agree. He was good. I was pissed that the NZRU said no



  • Yep agreed on Moóunga - he showed real improvement in the ITM Cup last year from the year prior. He looks the best bet. Drummond at halfback developed nicely over the year as well - he had a cracking game for the NZ Barbarians v the Maori in the middle of the year.
     
    As for the Blues - this really seems like West's last shot - he may go better with some better coaches involved (Umaga, Feeney) and he finished this year on a high in the ITM Cup Championship final for the Magpies. McGahan looks more comfortable at fullback and Francis quite frankly doesn't look up to this level - he seems to be taking the 'Simon Hickey' spot. Given Umaga's comments and his willingness to pick youngsters I wouldn't be surprised to see the likes of Wiseguy Faiane and/or possibly DÁngelo Leuila in the Blues 10 setup from 2017 moving forward. At halfback they have some nice talent with the highly rated Sam Nock and Bryn Hall who was the Blues best halfback in 2014 before missing 2015 with injury.

    West is not even close to being good enough at this level.
     
    McKenzie junior is the one I would try for if coaching the Blues



  • West is not even close to being good enough at this level.
     
    McKenzie junior is the one I would try for if coaching the Blues

    I get that sense as well but it seems like they see enough talent there to give it one last shot. He wasn't particularly helped by having Cowan inside him last season. Feeney showed with Auckland he has the ability to run a good attack. West's goal kicking is certainly good enough!
     
    Yes D Mackenzie certainly has shown the willingness to move areas for opportunities - perhaps the Blues will be come a more desirable location in 2017 if Umaga can give the franchise some stability/a platform.



  • Nah it isn't the NZRU's job to future profs franchises. It's the local organisations job to make sure they have good plans, if that fails then it's their fault.

    I think that is short sighted, the NZRU fund the salaries of the Super teams and so should want to have a say in how their investment is run.
     
    We don't want to get into situations again where Mark Robinson misses out on a Super spot because each region was only wanting to hold on to their players and not pick the best players in the country.
     
    Also, and I say this as a fan of the team and the coach, it's ultra stupid for the Chiefs to have 3 AB halfbacks (or 3 of their quality if you want to denigrate their AB status).


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