Pro 12 - General Thread

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Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby Donny B. » August 27th, 2014, 9:25 am

And to start off, here's all the comings and goings:

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,2588 ... 72,00.html

I see Brendan Williams has finally, finally, finally retired.



With the new Pro12 season drawing ever closer, we've compiled all of the incomings and outgoings across the league's 12 clubs.

BENNETON TREVISO

Arrivals:

Davide Giazzon, Ruggero Trevisan (both Zebre), Bruno Mercanti, Romulo Acosta, Josè Francisco Novak (all Petrarca Padova), Albert Anae (Reds), Rupert Harden (Gloucester), Salesi Manu, Jayden Hayward (both Western Force), Matteo Zanusso (Amatori San Donà), Meyer Swanepoel, Marco Barbini, Alberto Lucchese, Enrico Bacchin, Amar Kudin (all Mogliano), Tomas Vallejos Cinalli (West Red Sparks), Leo Auva'a (Leinster), Matt Luamanu (Kyuden Voltex), Henry Seniloli (Tailevu Knights), Joe Carlisle (Wasps), Simone Ragusi (Rovigo Delta), Sam Christie (Waikato)

Departures:

Tobias Botes (Eastern Province Kings), Alberto De Marchi, Luke McLean (both Sale Sharks), Lorenzo Cittadini (Wasps), Brendan Williams (retired), Manoa Vosawai (Cardiff Blues), Christian Loamanu, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Robert Barbieri, Michele Rizzo (all Leicester Tigers), Alberto Di Bernardo (Lille MR), Valerio Bernabò (Zebre), Matt Berquist (Hawke's Bay), Enrico Ceccato (Rovigo Delta), Pedro Di Santo (Uru Curè), Marco Filippucci, Fabio Semenzato, Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet (all Mogliano)

CARDIFF BLUES

Arrivals:

Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Ieuan Jones (Newport Gwent Dragons), Adam Thomas (Wales Sevens), George Watkins (Bristol), Tavis Knoyle (Gloucester), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Jarrad Hoeata (Highlanders), Manoa Vosawai (Benetton Treviso), Geraint Walsh (Pontypridd), Gareth Anscombe (Chiefs), Adam Jones (Ospreys)

Departures:

Andries Pretorius (Worcester Warriors), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Sam Warburton (Welsh Rugby Union), Robin Copeland (Munster), Bradley Davies (Wasps), James Down (London Welsh), Harry Robinson (Scarlets), Chris Czekaj (US Colomiers), Luke Hamilton (SU Agen), Alex Walker (Ealing Trailfinders), Isaia Tuifua, Benoit Bourrust (both released)

CONNACHT

Arrivals:

Tom McCartney (Blues), Finlay Bealham , Shane Layden, Darragh Leader, Jack Carty, Conor Finn (all Academy), Quinn Roux, John Cooney (both Leinster, loan), Ian Porter (Ulster), Bundee Aki, Mils Muliaina (both Chiefs), Shane O'Leary (Grenoble), Niyi Adeolokun (Dublin University)

Departures:

James Rael, Aaron Conneely, Frank Murphy, Paul O'Donohoe, Brian Murphy (all released), Brett Wilkinson, Craig Clarke, Kyle Tonetti (all retired due to injury), Dave Nolan (Bourgoin), Dan Parks (retired), Eoin Griffin (London Irish), Gavin Duffy (Mayo Football)

EDINBURGH

Arrivals:

Neil Cochrane (Wasps), John Andress (Worcester Warriors), Rory Sutherland (Gala RFC), Tom Heathcote (Bath), Michael Tait, Fraser McKenzie (both Newcastle Falcons), Jamie Ritchie (Howe of Fife RFC), Phil Burleigh (Highlanders), Anton Bresler (Natal Sharks), Brett Thompson (USA Sevens)

Departures:

Steven Lawrie, Ben Cairns (both retired), Alun Walker, Lewis Niven, Robert McAlpine, Izak van der Westhuizen, Dimitri Basilaia, Alex Black, Chris Leck, Piers Francis, Gregor Hunter, Lee Jones (all released), Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors), Geoff Cross, Sean Cox (both London Irish), Perry Parker (Rotherham Titans), Ross Rennie (Bristol), Greig Laidlaw, Aleki Lutui (both Gloucester), Harry Leonard (Yorkshire Carnegie), Nick De Luca (Biarritz Olympique)

GLASGOW WARRIORS

Arrivals:

Alex Allan (Edinburgh), Murray McConnell (Ayr RFC), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors), James Downey (Munster), Rossouw de Klerk (Cheetahs), Connor Braid (Canada BC Bears)

Departures:

Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs), Chris Cusiter (Sale Sharks), Ruaridh Jackson (Wasps), Ed Kalman (retired), Byron McGuigan, Finlay Gillies, Gabriel Ascárate (all released), Scott Wight to Scotland (Melrose RFC), Carlin Isles, Folau Niua (USA Sevens)

LEINSTER

Arrivals:

Sam Coghlan Murray, Jack Conan, Tadhg Furlong, Luke McGrath, Collie O'Shea, James Tracy (all Academy), Kane Douglas (Waratahs), Sean McCarthy (Jersey), Ben Te'o (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Departures:

Leo Auva'a (Benetton Treviso), Andrew Boyle, Andrew Goodman (tbc), John Cooney, Quinn Roux (both Connacht, loan), Leo Cullen, Brian O'Driscoll (both retired), Conor Gilsenan (London Irish), Darren Hudson, Jack O'Connell (both Bristol)

MUNSTER

Arrivals:

Martin Kelly (Dublin University), Shane Buckley, Jonathan Holland (both Academy), Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues), Tyler Bleyendaal (Crusaders), Andrew Smith (Brumbies)

Departures:

James Coughlan (Pau), Ian Nagle (released), Niall Ronan (retired), James Downey (Glasgow Warriors), Casey Laulala (Racing Métro), Quentin MacDonald (Chiefs)

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS

Arrivals:

Aled Brew (Biarritz Olympique), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Rhys Buckley (Moseley), Boris Stankovich (Leicester Tigers), Ian Gough (London Irish),Dave Young (Jersey), Rynard Landman (Cheetahs), Lloyd Fairbrother (Exeter Chiefs), Andy Powell (Wigan Warriors), Brok Harris (Stormers)

Departures:

Ieuan Jones (Cardiff Blues), Will Harries, Jevon Groves, Kris Burton (all released), Sam Parry, Dan Evans (both Ospreys), Steffan Jones (Bedford Blues), Robert Sidoli (retired), Darren Waters (London Welsh)

OSPREYS

Arrivals:

Sam Parry, Dan Evans (both Dragons), Josh Matavesi (Worcester Warriors), Rynier Bernardo (Eastern Province Kings), Gareth Thomas (Carmarthen Quins), Cai Griffiths (London Welsh), Martin Roberts (Bath)

Departures:

Richard Hibbard, Tom Isaacs (both Gloucester), Joe Rees (Worcester Warriors), Matthew Morgan, Ryan Jones, Ian Evans (all Bristol), Adam Jones (Cardiff Blues)

SCARLETS

Arrivals:

Regan King (Clermont Auvergne), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Peter Edwards (London Welsh), Rory Pitman (Wasps), Chris Hala'ufia (London Irish), Michael Tagicakibau (Saracens)

Departures:

Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues), Aled Thomas (Gloucester), Deacon Manu (Hong Kong Cricket Club (Head Coach)), Sione Timani (Tarbes), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys), Nic Reynolds, Olly Barkley (both London Welsh)

ULSTER

Arrivals:

Ian Humphreys (London Irish), Ruaidhrí Murphy (Brumbies), Wiehahn Herbst (Sharks), Dave Ryan (Zebre), Franco van der Merwe (Lions), Louis Ludik (SU Agen), Charlie Butterworth (Lansdowne), Sean Reidy (Counties Manukau), Devin Montgomery (Wits)

Departures:

Tom Court (London Irish), John Afoa (Gloucester), Johann Muller, Paddy Wallace, Chris Cochrane, Stephen Ferris (all retired), Niall Annett (Worcester Warriors), Chris Farrell (FC Grenoble), Adam Macklin, James McKinney (both Rotherham Titans), Paddy McAllister (Aurillac), Ian Porter (Connacht), David McIlwaine (Yorkshire Carnegie), Sean Doyle (Brumbies)

ZEBRE

Arrivals:

Giulio Bisegni, Oliviero Fabiani (both Lazio Rugby), Hennie Daniller, Andries Ferreira (both Cheetahs), Andrea Lovotti, Kelly Haimona, Lorenzo Romano, Michele Visentin (all Calvisano), Valerio Bernabò (Benetton Treviso), Edoardo Padovani (Mogliano), Mirco Bergamasco (Rovigo Delta), Jacopo Sarto Petrarca (Padova)

Departures:

Dave Ryan (Ulster), Salvatore Perugini (retired), Paolo Buso (Olympique de Grasse), Emiliano Caffini (Rovigo Delta), Nicola Cattina, Kameli Ratuvou (both released), Filippo Cazzola (Fiamme Oro), Roberto Quartaroli (Viadana), Ruggero Trevisan, Davide Giazzon (both Benetton Treviso), Michael van Vuuren (Mogliano)
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby blockhead » August 27th, 2014, 9:34 am

BENNETON TREVISO

Arrivals:

Davide Giazzon, Ruggero Trevisan (both Zebre), Bruno Mercanti, Romulo Acosta, Josè Francisco Novak (all Petrarca Padova), Albert Anae (Reds), Rupert Harden (Gloucester), Salesi Manu, Jayden Hayward (both Western Force), Matteo Zanusso (Amatori San Donà), Meyer Swanepoel, Marco Barbini, Alberto Lucchese, Enrico Bacchin, Amar Kudin (all Mogliano), Tomas Vallejos Cinalli (West Red Sparks), Leo Auva'a (Leinster), Matt Luamanu (Kyuden Voltex), Henry Seniloli (Tailevu Knights), Joe Carlisle (Wasps), Simone Ragusi (Rovigo Delta), Sam Christie (Waikato)


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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby offshorerules » August 27th, 2014, 9:52 am

I think Stuart Barnes' favourites are Munster. Could be an interesting year with the signings Cardiff have made you would expect them to be stronger this year.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby TrapperChamonix » August 27th, 2014, 9:53 am

Ian Nagle (released)


WOW
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby Peg Leg » August 27th, 2014, 10:40 am

Didn't know Kris Burton was being released.
Good move for Deacon Manu
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby enby » August 27th, 2014, 11:23 am

Dragons might be capable of the occasional decent result on a wet windy night in lovely Newport
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby johng » August 27th, 2014, 11:31 am

TrapperChamonix wrote:Ian Nagle (released)


WOW

He decided to change careers. Giving up on Rugby (for now anyway) Despite what some of us may think, there actually IS more to life than Rugby. :)

Also, not sure how Warburton (or WRUburton as they call him) is listed as outgoing (to WRU) but Anscombe is listed as incoming when both of them (Plus Alex Cuthbert and Gethin Jenkins) will be on a central contract but playing (for) the Blues
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby JB1973 » August 27th, 2014, 11:56 am

Same top 4 as last year ,Scarlets and the blues to be 5th and 6th, Connacht Dragons Edinburgh and the Opsreys all look much of a muchness tbh
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby ceemec » August 27th, 2014, 12:12 pm

It's a massive season for Connacht. They've continued their investment in the side and it''s time to see a return on this.cI do think they'd have been better off signing another quality forward to replace Clarke rather than MM but we'll wait and see. Lam will need to deliver a good season or question marks are going to be raised over his own performance.

I think Munster will have a very solid league campaign and I'd tip them to finish in the top 2. They won't be pretty or exciting but I doubt they'll care. They'll grind out a lot of wins. Their depth isn't great, however, and they'll need key players to remain fit. Losing any one out of POM, Keatley, Murray or Botha for a stretch could have a big impact on proceedings. They also need to figure out what their best back row is and fast.

Ulster will be there or thereabouts as usual but they've lost some grunt up front especially in the tight 5. I think this will affect them and they'll end up with an away semi final at best.

Leinster should share the home semi finals with Munster. They've had some interesting recruitment in Douglas, Te'o and some intriguing prospects from the academy. Along with what we hope to be an injury free campaign for SOB, we should be in the mix to retain the title. I would say the interpro
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby offshorerules » August 27th, 2014, 4:31 pm

ceemec wrote:It's a massive season for Connacht. They've continued their investment in the side and it''s time to see a return on this.cI do think they'd have been better off signing another quality forward to replace Clarke rather than MM but we'll wait and see. Lam will need to deliver a good season or question marks are going to be raised over his own performance.

I think Munster will have a very solid league campaign and I'd tip them to finish in the top 2. They won't be pretty or exciting but I doubt they'll care. They'll grind out a lot of wins. Their depth isn't great, however, and they'll need key players to remain fit. Losing any one out of POM, Keatley, Murray or Botha for a stretch could have a big impact on proceedings. They also need to figure out what their best back row is and fast.

Ulster will be there or thereabouts as usual but they've lost some grunt up front especially in the tight 5. I think this will affect them and they'll end up with an away semi final at best.

Leinster should share the home semi finals with Munster. They've had some interesting recruitment in Douglas, Te'o and some intriguing prospects from the academy. Along with what we hope to be an injury free campaign for SOB, we should be in the mix to retain the title. I would say the interpro

Would love to see the westies have a good year.
re br for munster: POM Stander Copeland with POM at openside would be my guess.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby simonokeeffe » August 27th, 2014, 6:33 pm

JB1973 wrote:Same top 4 as last year ,Scarlets and the blues to be 5th and 6th, Connacht Dragons Edinburgh and the Opsreys all look much of a muchness tbh


I reckon so

In terms of squad strength none of last years top 4 have improved

Italian sides much weaker
Edinburgh much weaker
Cardiff about the same, Dragons have sprinkled some glitter on a turd
Connacht are stronger but midtable
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby Oldschool » August 27th, 2014, 8:52 pm

simonokeeffe wrote:
JB1973 wrote:Same top 4 as last year ,Scarlets and the blues to be 5th and 6th, Connacht Dragons Edinburgh and the Opsreys all look much of a muchness tbh


I reckon so

In terms of squad strength none of last years top 4 have improved

Italian sides much weaker
Edinburgh much weaker
Cardiff about the same, Dragons have sprinkled some glitter on a turd
Connacht are stronger but midtable

Two excellent summaries of the prospects of PRO12 teams for the coming season.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby simonokeeffe » August 28th, 2014, 12:58 am

its a bit depressing that the only two teams whove improved their roster are the ones that finished 9th and 10th last season

could argue we are stronger now as the only significant players we lost were neither available or in form for most of the last league, we go into the season with no long term injuries like we did last year and our fringe/league players like McGraths, Moore etc are much stronger/better

league is ours to lose
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby suisse » August 28th, 2014, 7:56 am

TrapperChamonix wrote:Ian Nagle (released)


WOW


Why? Cos he played well in a game 4 years ago, or because he didn't end up somewhere else?

Peg Leg wrote:Good move for Deacon Manu


Lucky bastard!
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby jezzer » August 28th, 2014, 2:12 pm

The way I read it is that Connacht, Dragons and Edinburgh (yes I do think that) will all be better, Connacht significantly so. Cardiff and Glasgow look considerably worse off than last season, imo. Treviso have effectively been dismantled.

Ulster, Munster and Leinster all look more or less assured playoff berths, in terms of player quality (results are another thing). Below them, you have Scarlets. After that it's a total lottery down as far as the Italians, who will certainly prop things up on paper. The fourth playoff spot is within the grasp of more teams than we've maybe ever had in the Pro12. A bad run of form and/or injuries from one of the top sides could see two relative outsiders sneak into the knockouts.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby The Anathemata » August 28th, 2014, 3:03 pm

Pro12 is very much going the way of the SPL - ie getting progressively weaker each year.

Leinster should walk away with the league, but will struggle beyond the QFs in Europe.

Munster may well get blitzed in the opening few months due to the lack of frontline backup at 2, 9, 12, 13 and 15.

Ulster are a mess at the moment and I expect Connacht to continue their long tradition of wasting much needed provincial funds.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby johng » August 28th, 2014, 3:34 pm

What's your reasoning on the Glasgow and Cardiff Jezzer? Glasgow look about the same and Cardiff significantly better in both players and coach.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby simonokeeffe » August 28th, 2014, 6:53 pm

The Anathemata wrote:Pro12 is very much going the way of the SPL - ie getting progressively weaker each year.

Leinster should walk away with the league, but will struggle beyond the QFs in Europe.

Munster may well get blitzed in the opening few months due to the lack of frontline backup at 2, 9, 12, 13 and 15.

Ulster are a mess at the moment and I expect Connacht to continue their long tradition of wasting much needed provincial funds.


the Irish teams should try and join the Premiership? :D
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby rooster » August 28th, 2014, 9:06 pm

The Anathemata wrote:Ulster are a mess at the moment

And how do come to that wonderful conclusion ?
We have got rid of an average to poor coach, a dictator and a few worn out players, overall I reckon we have a slightly stronger squad at present.
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Re: Pro 12 - General Thread

Postby ceemec » August 28th, 2014, 9:25 pm

That's putting a pretty generous slant on proceedings, rooster. Ulster aren't a mess but they certainly aren't in a better position than they were this time last season.

The pack is undoubtedly weaker than it was. Muller, Court and Afoa might have been tired and not playing to the level they once were but Franco VDM, Herbst and Ruadhri Murphy are not in the same bracket as them.

It really is anyone's guess how things work out off the field. Anscombe might not have been well liked but at least he was with the team. It's a pretty disjointed situation currently in Ulster.
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