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Rugby League World Issue 400 - Out Now!

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Julian savea


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#1 walter sobchak

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

Just watched him play for Wellington hurricanes in the super 14(I know...I'm bored) and he was sensational, he's made for rugby league, a giant blockbusting winger with skill and pace to match and with the NRL clubs being cashed up they should break the bank for him.

#2 ChrisGS

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:53 PM

There are a fair amount of rugby union players, especially in the SH, who'd make good league players. It's not like there's no presidence for players making the move, just it usually happens before they're stars these days in the case of rugby-to-league.

Konrad Hurrell was a rugby union kid who didn't know anything about league until very recently. Last year he was one of the NRLs most damaging centres.

Everyone here probably knows who Jared Warea-Hargreaves is, the NZ Kiwi forward. He's another who made the switch to league as a teenager. He was going to be a fair rugby union player by all accounts, when he was a NSW Waratahs junior they were hailing him as unions answer to the Sonny Bill Williams (before SBW made the switch to union)

Last year another union turned league debutant in the NRL was Marika Koroibete. I also heard that the Eels have picked up a Fijian Sevens player or two from the actual Fiji Sevens team, so will be interesting to see how they develop. Semi Radradra is one of the names and he goes good from what I've seen.

Don't know when we'll see a big name, established star player making the switch. There have been so many guys over the years who people have spoke about. Rene Ranger, Hosea Gear, Ma'a Nonu (Nonu nearly signed with the Wests Tigers if I remember correctly a while back) and Frank Halai are four blockbusting backs I've heard mentioned time and time again.

Savea is a beast but I wouldn't get my hopes up about being signed. I'm English so I don't know but I think with a lot of the rugby guys who make it and are playing in super rugby, the pull of a potential All Blacks spot is too much.

Here's some clips from the game that Walter watched I think



And a general highlights video of the kid -

I think the NRL have it right at the moment in picking up converts when they're teenagers. The league juniors system is much more advanced and professional than is rugby union, or so I've heard, and the best bet and what's proving to work is to get the guys before they're big rugby players.

Would be great and good for the game to get some big name rugby signings but apart from maybe Quade Cooper I don't think it's likely to happen.

..........

What about the Tuilagis though. How did league let them slip through the net? Older members might remember Freddie Tuilagi, the oldest of the brothers, was picked up by Halifax and then St Helens, but went back to rugby union in 2000 and took his younger siblings with him (Henry played league for a bit too but I have no idea who for)

Seriously, can you imagine this lot running around in Super League the last few years, it would have been great for the profile of the sport I think

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzF_iu4jIBg

#3 walter sobchak

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:06 PM

There are a fair amount of rugby union players, especially in the SH, who'd make good league players. It's not like there's no presidence for players making the move, just it usually happens before they're stars these days in the case of rugby-to-league.

Konrad Hurrell was a rugby union kid who didn't know anything about league until very recently. Last year he was one of the NRLs most damaging centres.

Everyone here probably knows who Jared Warea-Hargreaves is, the NZ Kiwi forward. He's another who made the switch to league as a teenager. He was going to be a fair rugby union player by all accounts, when he was a NSW Waratahs junior they were hailing him as unions answer to the Sonny Bill Williams (before SBW made the switch to union)


Last year another union turned league debutant in the NRL was Marika Koroibete. I also heard that the Eels have picked up a Fijian Sevens player or two from the actual Fiji Sevens team, so will be interesting to see how they develop. Semi Radradra is one of the names and he goes good from what I've seen.

Don't know when we'll see a big name, established star player making the switch. There have been so many guys over the years who people have spoke about. Rene Ranger, Hosea Gear, Ma'a Nonu (Nonu nearly signed with the Wests Tigers if I remember correctly a while back) and Frank Halai are four blockbusting backs I've heard mentioned time and time again.

Savea is a beast but I wouldn't get my hopes up about being signed. I'm English so I don't know but I think with a lot of the rugby guys who make it and are playing in super rugby, the pull of a potential All Blacks spot is too much.

Here's some clips from the game that Walter watched I think



And a general highlights video of the kid -

I think the NRL have it right at the moment in picking up converts when they're teenagers. The league juniors system is much more advanced and professional than is rugby union, or so I've heard, and the best bet and what's proving to work is to get the guys before they're big rugby players.

Would be great and good for the game to get some big name rugby signings but apart from maybe Quade Cooper I don't think it's likely to happen.

..........

What about the Tuilagis though. How did league let them slip through the net? Older members might remember Freddie Tuilagi, the oldest of the brothers, was picked up by Halifax and then St Helens, but went back to rugby union in 2000 and took his younger siblings with him (Henry played league for a bit too but I have no idea who for)

Seriously, can you imagine this lot running around in Super League the last few years, it would have been great for the profile of the sport I think

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzF_iu4jIBg

Unfortunately I think you're right about the pull of the all blacks jersey and international rugby union on the whole, but I would still break the bank with an offer for him. Ma'a nonu like you say would have been sensational in league as would have tana umaga who actual played league for Wellington I think and he even signed for Newcastle knights before returning home because of being homesick, his son Cade plays for melebourne juniors. As for quade cooper no thanks, there must be a dozen stand offs in the NRL that are better than him.

#4 OMEGA

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:52 PM

Tana Umaga was a Newcastle Knights trialist and did'nt cut it.

I'm not sure Nonu would be a sensation in Rugby League either, a great novelty and no doubt he'd have his moments of sensation but I think some of the class centres and half backs would have a field day running at his static defence.

The Tuilagis are ballistic and would add to any competition however weve seen their like in Rugby League before, Vainikolo, Tuigamala, Vaikona even going back as far as Joe Ropati. We've got better players running around the game now in the likes of Hodges, Inglis etc and we've seen players in the past that Union can only dream of Meninga being a prime example.

Despite all that theres no doubt that some of the Super 14 players would make excellent League players and the more individualistic and unique players we can get playing the better our sport would be but lets not underestimate the quality of what we have already.

#5 ChrisGS

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:39 PM

You raise an interesting point Omega. We've got better players than the Tuilagis no doubt. But as athletes? It's hard to judge.

Let's look at Manu Vatuvei over the last 5 years. A monster who's been massive for the Warriors and Kiwis... Is he a great player aside from his physical superiority? I don't know. Skill matters a great deal, but there are players out there who've shown that brute strength and athleticism goes a long way.

I do agree with you general point though, there are a lot of better players running around and you simply can't bank on sheer physicality to account for skill. That's even more true if you're going to have to pay overs for a guy who may or may not have success.

It's been my opinion for a while that when it comes to talk of code conversions, the likely suspects aren't the ones to look at it. Whether it's Rugby Union to Rugby League or Rugby League to American Football, I feel the guys who would do well aren't necessarily going to be the freak players, the stars.

If we made a thread on here a few years ago asking who fans would pick to be a good NFL player, out of both league and union, would anyone have thought to mention Hayden Smith? I don't think so. For the same reason, people converting from league to union, or the other way, and having great success, probably aren't going to be the freak players we think of off the bat.

It's often the unlikely candidates who provide the best value. So why waste money on recognised "gun" players when you can pick up players with the same promise for an nth of the price.

Thinking about players like Savea or Manu Tuilagi is nice, but it's a massive gamble with the cost. You're going to have to pay overs and there's nothing to say they'll have the same impact in league. I'd love to see it myself like both of you but I'd like to see it from another team lmao! I don't know if i'd be as happy to see such an experiment if it was one of my teams paying huge sums on an unproven player!!!!!!!

It would be a fair coup publicity wise to pick up an All Black though!

What about forwards, we hear all this talk about union wingers and centres, nobody seems to talk as much about forwards.

I think Gorgodzilla would have been massive in league. This is what I mean about more unlikely options being a better bet. Why splash out on a star winger who'll command tons of money when you can pick up real big, honest, workhorse guys who come from a place like Georgia? I'd rather my team signed 10 up and coming unknowns from god knows where, than take a punt on 1 individual who's established.

But that might be just me.

#6 Lobbygobbler

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:51 PM

Isnt it time to make the pull of the Kiwi jersey equally good? They should stop playing one-off random tests against the Aussies and have a proper 3match series every year like SOO only better

#7 Blind side johnny

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:05 PM

<SNIP>

What about the Tuilagis though. How did league let them slip through the net? Older members might remember Freddie Tuilagi, the oldest of the brothers, was picked up by Halifax and then St Helens, but went back to rugby union in 2000 and took his younger siblings with him (Henry played league for a bit too but I have no idea who for)

Seriously, can you imagine this lot running around in Super League the last few years, it would have been great for the profile of the sport I think

https://www.youtube....h?v=MzF_iu4jIBg



Union pays more than League at the moment in UK. Why should they switch?
Believe what you see, don't see what you believe.


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#8 walter sobchak

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:58 PM

Isnt it time to make the pull of the Kiwi jersey equally good? They should stop playing one-off random tests against the Aussies and have a proper 3match series every year like SOO only better

I've always wondered about the viability of a tri-series tournament between NSW, Queensland and new Zealand, played in a round robin format of 1 game each and the top 2 teams playing in a final. This could also persuade young talented kiwis to pick NZ instead of NSW or Queensland.

#9 ChrisGS

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:31 PM

Union pays more than League at the moment in UK. Why should they switch?


I'm not saying they should switch, I'm saying it would be nice if we'd have managed to keep them.

I don't know if you're taking the ###### or you're simply a bit slow, but I thought I made it clear that league can't afford to splash out money on established union guns. Seemingly I didn't make it clear enough for you.

#10 Futtocks

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:22 AM

I've always wondered about the viability of a tri-series tournament between NSW, Queensland and new Zealand, played in a round robin format of 1 game each and the top 2 teams playing in a final. This could also persuade young talented kiwis to pick NZ instead of NSW or Queensland.


It's been suggested before, but the Aussies seem to think it would dilute the Origin concept, so it's unlikely to happen.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#11 walter sobchak

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:37 PM

It's been suggested before, but the Aussies seem to think it would dilute the Origin concept, so it's unlikely to happen.

As huge as it is state of origin is killing international rugby league, both NSW and Queensland are creaming off the top talent from the pacific countries and now even NZ. I can remember as a kid really looking forward to the Australia v NZ 3 test series in the early to mid 90's, this should be bigger than State of origin, especially now with NZ being as strong as they've ever been.




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