Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

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Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby gowrie on Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:58 pm

Might as well get speculating now who's coming, going and staying, by my reckoning the players out of contract this season are:

Props: Berghan, Beavon, Whyte
Hookers: N/A
Locks: Bresler
BR: N/A
SH: Kennedy
FH: N/A
Centres: Tofilau
Back 3: Helu, Northam (assumed)
Last edited by gowrie on Thu May 04, 2017 12:19 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby gowrie on Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:00 pm

This was brought on by this article from the Times this week

*Deal or no deal as negotiations heat up
SRU is in midst of contract talks with more than 50 players
The SRU Christmas party is scheduled for a week on Tuesday. Take it from someone who’s been to a couple: they’re a lot more fun than they sound. For the chief executive, Mark Dodson, the bash can’t come soon enough. He’ll relish the chance to stop talking turkey for five minutes and actually eat the thing.
The Mancunian, who chairs the union’s contracts panel for both Edinburgh and Glasgow, has more than 50 players on his plate, and in his ear, looking to see what’s happening with deals which expire at the end of May. The outcome of these conversations will tell us plenty about the prospects of the professional clubs, not just for next year but the following few as well. Dodson hasn’t made any attempt to sugar-coat his concerns about the pace of change in England and France, and this is looking like the point when some of those fears will be realised.

Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Alex Dunbar and Mark Bennett are among those being discussed in the boardrooms of the Top 14, while Hamish Watson’s displays in the November Tests have attracted interest from Harlequins and Northampton. The SRU went big (a record £375,000 a year, it is thought) to keep hold of Stuart Hogg, and another chunky renewal means that if a rival club is prepared to buy Jonny Gray out of a deal that takes him to 2018, they will have to stump up a significant fee.
But with income from the Pro12 having hit a plateau, and no sign of further “transformative” inward investment on the same scale as what they get from BT, the union have little option but to be sparing about when and why they push the boat out. Their problem is that, having done so for the Glasgow pair, they’ve created an expectation among the squads at either end of the M8. Dunbar, Bennett, Horne, Nel and Watson are all in a better bargaining position than they were the last time they came to the table. The same goes for Rory Sutherland and Magnus Bradbury, who have both been capped, and also Tim Swinson, who has become an ever more relevant figure for club and country since renewing with Glasgow in 2014.

If Nel, an outstanding exponent of a specialist position, can name his price, market conditions have made even those on the rungs below more bullish than they would have been 12 months ago. Several sources we spoke to said the offers coming out of the SRU fall below market average.
The union can’t spend what it doesn’t have but as it seeks to attract external investment in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, it also needs a vision to sell. The same goes for its conversations with individual members of the capital club’s squad at a time where there isn’t even certainty as to who will be their coach next year. Duncan Hodge currently has an input, but until such time as his appointment is made permanent, or a replacement is sourced and announced, it’s hard to see what would convince the likes of Nel, Gilchrist and John Hardie to commit. Where is the money, or long-term strategy, to win the argument?
Over at the Warriors, they are keen to see Tommy Seymour follow Hogg and finalise his renewal. The signs are that he will. Of the centres, Horne will likely stay, Bennett is interesting his old club Clermont and Dunbar has potentially the biggest decision of his career to make. Although the midfielder is only 26, his body has already taken a battering through a variety of injuries and the unflinching way he plays. Form alone does not dictate the curve of a career, and Dunbar will be mindful that timing is everything. Whether he elects to stick or twist, he isn’t short of options.
The biggest thing Glasgow have been able to offer players in recent years is continuity, the chance to build and progress with their mates under the nose of the national coaches. This remains an attractive proposition, but so is earning more and still being picked for Scotland. The Warriors stand to free up as much as £450,000 a year by not renewing the deals of Josh Strauss and Ryan Grant (re-signed six months after touring with the 2013 Lions), and it may be that they choose to spread the love, giving the likes of Henry Pyrgos, Gordon Reid and Simone Favaro enough of a reason to stay put.

Adam Ashe is an interesting one, what with his main proponent, Vern Cotter, moving on and a number of other back-rowers having impressed for Scotland while the 23-year-old has been injured. He and the union may have contrasting ideas about his value, and Gregor Townsend’s view could yet be decisive.
Edinburgh have far less dead wood to get rid of than last summer, but that doesn’t make their task any more straightforward.
Take Blair Kinghorn, a 19-year-old in the last six months of his first professional contract. The lanky teen has been given a chance, has generally seized it, and is assumed to be loving life at his home-town club. Throw in his eligibility for England, through a grandparent link, and the whole picture becomes less clear. The funding Premiership clubs receive from the RFU depends on them having the requisite number of England- qualified players in their squad. Here’s one that would do a job, and potentially much more, at less than the usual cost. Who cares if he ever actually plays for England?
There’s every chance Kinghorn will stay at Edinburgh. But in hindsight, it may have been perversely unfortunate that his best performance came against Harlequins. If that display drew even a couple of cursory inquiries from over the border, and our information is that it did, the SRU will end up paying more than they expected to keep him. All fun and games, until someone loses a world-class tighthead.

It will be interesting to see what level of influence Dave Rennie has on Glasgow’s recruitment. Townsend has confirmed that he is actively involved, and it wasn’t too hard to join the dots that led to the recent arrival of Waikato lock Brian Alainu’uese. Rennie’s name commands instant respect in the southern hemisphere, and may help the Warriors open new doors. Will one of them lead to Huw Jones, the Stormers centre who made such an impact for Scotland last month?
There is also no getting away from the fact that he’s under contract with the Western Province RFU until the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season, and, despite being in all sorts of financial trouble, they are not thought to be remotely keen on letting him leave early. Which may be just as well for the SRU — after all, could they justify paying a transfer fee?
The union have their hands full. About as full as the coffers being lugged about by their rivals as they seek out new recruits.*
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:42 pm

gowrie wrote:Might as well get speculating now who's coming, going and staying, by my reckoning the players out of contract this season are:

Props: Cosgrove, Sutherland, Nel, Berghan, Beavon, Whyte
Hookers: N/A
Locks: Bresler, Gilchrist
BR: Bradbury, Hardie, Manu, Watson
SH: Fowles, Kennedy
FH: N/A
Centres: Allen, Tofilau
Back 3: Brown, Helu, Kinghorn, Northam (assumed)


Nel is as good as gone, I don't think we can pay the wage he can commend so he'd have to take a large hometown discount which I doubt he would. Gilchrist has been meh this season, I wouldn't push the boat out for him if he gets a big offer from France.

I'd keep Cosgrove, Sutherland, Berghan, Bresler, Bradbury, Watson/Hardie, Kennedy, Allen, Brown and Kinghorn. I'm not too concerned with Kinghorn leaving and he'll definitely get a Scotland cap - potentially even in the summer.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby dolf_lundgren on Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:05 pm

There are none on that list that have actually played a huge amount of games this season.

Nel, I agree, we probably cant compete, the only thing that might change is if he is injured for a longer spell this season. Given he is likely to be a lion if fit then we will need an extra TH to cover the start of next season. Cosgrove and Sutherland I would really want to keep, Berghan Im divided over, he has good games but sometimes is awful. If Nel goes then we need to work hard to keep him. Bresler defintely yes, certainly dotn want to lose Gilchrist and Bresler.

Bradbury definatley and I dont think we will keep both Watson and Hardie. Manu I would like to keep but we already have good strength there and want to keep Bradbury and Ritchie developing. Is Fihaki a 2 yr contract? Bit of a waste if he is.

Fowles I wouldnt miss, would rather bring in Steel from LI or even Macandrew from Melrose. Tom Brown never lets us down, obviously we want Kinghorn and Northam hasnt had a chance to shine and other than Brown we dont have much real pace in the backline so good to have that threat if and when he is fit.

SO thats at least 9 going, all depends on whether we can replace with better, we should be starting negotiations now but with no Head Coach for next year yet it wont be easy to attract anyone.

Oh and my wild card signing for the summer is Ritche Vernon, he needs to move, we need a centre, why not?
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:22 pm

dolf_lundgren wrote:
SO thats at least 9 going, all depends on whether we can replace with better, we should be starting negotiations now but with no Head Coach for next year yet it wont be easy to attract anyone.

Oh and my wild card signing for the summer is Ritche Vernon, he needs to move, we need a centre, why not?


As if by magic: Image

Fihaki would indeed appear to be a two year deal, the same with Northam.

Remembering that we have Fraser, Miller and Galbraith at LS this year doing well, not too sure other than McCallum and Robbins who else is in their last year of academy rugby and I think all can make a impact next year. There's definitely some good young players coming through that can push for starts next year. SHC and Fraser could be a nice battle and Miller has been exceptional for LS according to a mate who's a season ticket holder, Galbraith not playing so much in the same position so it's tough to really judge apparently. He says Fergusson is very good so I think we might look there but Vernon is a good shout.

I agree, it's tough with no coach and no noticeable vision. But luckily a lot of the out of contract players are young guys who aren't going to be inundated with huge offers. Bradbury and Kinghorn have certainly become key men for us and they'll have teams interested but the choice is weekly rugby and mould the future here or make more money without the guarantee of playing so often.

We need to lock up one of Hardie/Watson and Berghan before open season I think.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby gowrie on Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:29 pm

Think I've said it before and I'll repeat. Our signing policy has to be targeted at getting a squad of SQ players with 3-5 high quality imports, it's a model that has been incredibly successful for the Irish sides, and what we should be looking at following.

Of the list above, I'm assuming that Nel, Gilchrist and one of Hardie/Watson is going, regardless of the efforts we'll make at keeping them though I hope we're still trying bloody hard! Of the rest I'd renew all bar Beavon, Manu, Fowles, Helu and Northam. Tofilau I'm undecided on, he'd be 1 year off SQ and might have something about him, but haven't really seen any of it at pro level yet.

Replacements for those could be; McCallum, Miller, Fraser, Robbins, Graham, Galbraith/G Taylor, plus good quality Scottish players abroad like Crammond and Jones (please please).
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby Martin Bell on Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:52 am

Edinburgh bound Huw Jones, to use his full moniker...
Hail to The Stovenator.

TALK IS CHEAP. Just a thought.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby The Feral Goat on Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:51 am

Allen (Michael) Outside Centre, Wing – Ok as a winger and probably not too expensive – Huw Jones would be a big upgrade but not sure we will see him at ER, so I think I would rather see one of the Scotland U20 centres promoted to the squad.

Beavon (Nick) TH Prop– looked worth a punt last season but we can’t have someone not deemed good enough for Pro rugby in the squad – no new contract

Berghan (Simon) TH Prop - injured a lot this season but we need depth at TH, can scrummage and looked fitter early season – 2 years if Nel goes, would be good to keep and I don’t see him having many offers given how little exposure he has had.

Bradbury (Magnus) No. 8, Blind Flank – Would expect to stay and would like to see him tied into a longer term deal like Ritchie – 3 year deal

Bresler (Anton) 2nd Row – Would like to see him stay a really important member of our pack becomes SQ next summer may tempt him to stay – 2 years Should be high on the list to retain especially if Gilchrist is likely to move on.

Brown (Tom) Wing, Full back – First choice wing with Hoyland would be really good to retain, I think he just got a one year deal last time – 2 years would like to see him extend

Cosgrove (Jack) LH Prop – looks a decent prospect although we have 3 (when fit) quality LHs ahead of him – 2 years would be good to retain as surely Dickos game time will reduce in coming seasons and there are always injuries to cover.

Fowles (Nathan) Scrum Half - Meh he is ok, but 9 is a weak spot for us Kennedy the form player SHC the one with the potential. - I think move him on

Gilchrist (Grant) 2nd Row – Not back to pre-injury form, seems unlikely he will stick around anyway but replacing with similar quality may be difficult – would be nice to keep but would not break the bank and sacrifice losing others to do so.

Hardie (John) Openside Flank – Looks likely to move on although Watson looks to be talked about more at present, would be nice to keep but don’t see us doing so – Assuming he is unlikely to stay I would prefer Watson of the two

Helu (Will) Wing, Outside Centre – Injured a lot, not really contributed much for what was billed as an X factor signing – time to move on

Kennedy (Sean) Scrum Half – Looked our no1 scrum half under Hodge and a different player – would be nice to retain.

Kinghorn (Blair) Full Back, Stand Off - Would expect to stay and would like to see him tied into a longer term deal like Ritchie – 3 year deal

Manu (Nasi) No. 8, Blind Flank – Injured a lot we have not really seen that much from someone who is undoubtedly a quality player - is he worth another contract he is probably on a decent wage - perhaps depends on who stays and goes from the rest.

Nel (WP) TH Prop – While in theory we will be priced out of keeping him, by all reports he and family are really settled in the area and I believe he almost gave up rugby in SA to go back to farming so maybe a very very slim chance he may be happy to stay rather than take the coin elsewhere. – should make every possible attempt to retain forever with his 5year extension announced ahead of the 1872.

Northam – Original contract length is unclear assumed 1 year - who knows, one match for us, looks quick and we are not blessed with stacks of wingers – possibly worth another year if he has looked good enough in training

Tofilau (Sasa) Inside Centre, Outside Centre – Looked good going forward but defensive frailties, possible worth another year to see if he can develop and step up - doubt he is on a big contract so probably worth another year

Sutherland (Rory) LH Prop – Quality LH looks to be Dickos replacement at ER and Scotland although good depth in the position, emergence of Dell may give him second thoughts – 2 year deal

Watson (Hamish) Openside Flank – Even without Hardie possibly moving on, I would have Watson up there with Nel and Bresler as one of the key men to retain – 2 year deal but his stock is rising fast.

Biggest concern for me is in the postions where two quality players are out of contract Gilchirst/Bresler, Hardie/Watson, Nel/Berghan and in one or more cases we lose both. Think JP did a decent job on the contract front last season just hope he can do so again.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby BigD163 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:00 am

I'd break the OOC players down as:

Must keep (if at all possible): Nel, Kinghorn, Bradbury, Watson.
Would like to keep: Cosgrove, Sutherland, Berghan, Hardie, Manu, Brown, Kennedy, Gilchrist (if the price is right)
Can go: Beavon, Whyte, Fowles, Allen, Tofilau, Helu

If Gilchrist goes I wouldn't be against trying to get Peterson, he is a big unit and I like his play.

I am not sure I'd offer Manu the same terms as he is on now. He has spent a lot of time injured.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby gowrie on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:07 am

Whyte would be good to keep, he's only 21 and has looked pretty solid in his appearances off the bench on both sides. OTOH don't think Manu's been as good as we need from a guy on a Super Rugby winning captain salary, especially with Bradbury and Du Preez already covering 8.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby BigD163 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:50 am

gowrie wrote:Whyte would be good to keep, he's only 21 and has looked pretty solid in his appearances off the bench on both sides. OTOH don't think Manu's been as good as we need from a guy on a Super Rugby winning captain salary, especially with Bradbury and Du Preez already covering 8.


I think that is fair re Whyte. Wouldn't be against him resigning.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby dolf_lundgren on Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:13 pm

Most of the descisons will come down to cost. Agree Manu will be on a fair wedge.

Can we afford to have so many decent loosehead props when we have so few in other positions? I would think that having 3 internationals plus a youngster is extravagant. Fine if we are covered in other areas but when we dont have a international class scrum half then it becomes an issue.

THe value of Dell will have gone up a lot, but I thikn Sutherland has the potential to be as good if not better then Dickinson, so he has to be first choice to keep.

Whyte, no idea really, havent seen enough of him
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:20 pm

dolf_lundgren wrote:Most of the descisons will come down to cost. Agree Manu will be on a fair wedge.

Can we afford to have so many decent loosehead props when we have so few in other positions? I would think that having 3 internationals plus a youngster is extravagant. Fine if we are covered in other areas but when we dont have a international class scrum half then it becomes an issue.

THe value of Dell will have gone up a lot, but I thikn Sutherland has the potential to be as good if not better then Dickinson, so he has to be first choice to keep.

Whyte, no idea really, havent seen enough of him


That's the interesting point, I'd have thought Sutherland was a must keep but Dickinson, Dell and Cosgrove look good, Whyte has looked handy in limited time. I don't think we can afford to keep all of them but I don't think all will be happy with limited gametime. I think Sutherland's agent could be putting his feelers out for a club down south. A sneaky one is Glasgow - they don't have the best LH options...

I don't think we should keep Manu, we have a lot of strength in the back row, I like Manu but not convinced he's better than du Preez and we have to keep Bradbury. With Miller and Richie coming through we should focus on keeping the two opensides but I'm guessing one will go.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby gowrie on Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:21 pm

I was thinking the same about the LHP situation, but Dell has only just made his international debut and put in some very good performances, he won't be on an internationals wages right now, which should mean enough space in the budget to accommodate Sutherland. The issue will be next season when Dell will probably be hard to keep hold of.
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Re: Edinburgh Rugby Squad 2017/18

Postby BigD163 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:25 pm

dolf_lundgren wrote:Most of the descisons will come down to cost. Agree Manu will be on a fair wedge.

Can we afford to have so many decent loosehead props when we have so few in other positions? I would think that having 3 internationals plus a youngster is extravagant. Fine if we are covered in other areas but when we dont have a international class scrum half then it becomes an issue.

THe value of Dell will have gone up a lot, but I thikn Sutherland has the potential to be as good if not better then Dickinson, so he has to be first choice to keep.

Whyte, no idea really, havent seen enough of him


The thing is really, how long does Dickinson have left firstly as an international and secondly as a regular for Edinburgh? He's already 33, which isn't too old for a prop but is approaching the time where the drop off could happen and happen quickly. Dell is still under his old contract so will not be on too much.

If looking to play tunes with the budget for a new TH or 9 for example, Manu could go and be replaced with a SQ prospect (Miller maybe) as Bradbury has now firmly arrived.

Sadly Nel will go. I can't see the SRU exceeding the £375k Hogg is reportedly on and there will be bigger offers on the table.
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