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Dai Young


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#1 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:43 AM

Just I bit of a random question for anyone who watched rugby league 20 years ago or so. How good a rugby league player was Dai Young, the Wales and British Lions union prop who converted to League and played for Salford?

I believe he went on to play for the Wales rugby league team and captained them at the 1995 World Cup but he never played for Great Britain. How good a rugby league player was he? I find it hard to imagine that a union prop would be much use on a league pitch because their ball skills wouldn't be great and they would be too heavy to cover the ground required to get back 10 metres and out a defensive shift in.

Any comments would be great, thanks.

#2 Wolford6

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:25 AM

Dai Young emerged from the 1987 World RU Cup with a stellar reputation. He was a 19-year-old-prop who could hold his own with anyone in world RU and had ball-handling skills.He signed for Leeds on megabucks but, for whatever reason, was not considered to meet their desired standard. His contract was (I think) not renewed and he signed for Salford. At Salford, he was well appreciated and made club captain. As far as I could see, his main problem was continuing to play well against Bradford. :D

 

I would think that his prime quality, over and above accepting that he was a good player who never gave less than 100%,  is the respect in which he has been held (in both codes) as a team-mate and coach. There is no side to him; he tells it how it is with a sense of humour and objectivity. Players will know that he has no agenda and is as straight as a die.

 

As a player, he never took a backward step and never started a fight. Mind you, I wouldn't have wanted to start one with him.

 

One thing sums him up for me: -

  • Before  becoming a full-time professional, he worked in the building trade
  • Shortly after assuming the coaching position at the perennial-underachieving Cardiff Blues, he was interviewed on Welsh TV after a defeat. His reply was " Well, Rome wasn't built in a day. There again, I wasn't on that job"

Cardiff RU didn't realise how good a coach he is and let him move to Wasps. Despite his first-season's relegation-zone struggle, Wasps seem to realise that he is both a top coach and a top bloke. The recently-finished season has seen a wholesale improvement in performance and league position.

 

A proper rugby man.


Under Scrutiny by the Right-On Thought Police


#3 zorquif

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:14 AM

Also one of the finest nicknames in rugby (either code) for mine - 'Live fast'

Shame he nicked one of Brian Clough's quotes though :)

#4 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for that. I am not sure how objective you are Wolford6 but I will take your assessment in good faith. What was his primary strength? His ball carrying? How was he getting around the park. I assume he would have had to beasted when he first converted to et him into shape.

#5 deluded pom?

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:06 AM

I've read articles where Young is quoted as saying that after signing for Leeds he was never coached in the finer points of rugby league prop forward play. How and why the Leeds management thought Young could go straight from union to league with no one to one coaching on the skills of a prop forward is strange to say the least considering their not insubstantial investment in Young. He did get that coaching at Salford where he became a far better player than he was at Leeds. I've also seen Nick Fozzard claim he never received any coaching in prop forward skills until he signed for Saints under Ian Millward.


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#6 Trojan

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:23 PM

My abiding memory of Young is that he got away with a pass so far forward it would have been more at home in gridiron in the Salford - Fev game on New Years Day 1996.  It's a good job they had a cage over the tunnel entrance at Salford, the Fev fans would have ripped the ref limb from limb if they'd got hold of him. To journey to Salford in the freezing fog, and stand on frozen mud to watch such a biased display was to put it mildly very annoying.  Not saying Salford wouldn't have won without the aid of the ref, but we shall never know.  Young was a big ball handling forward and very good at what he did.


"This is a very wealthy country, money is no object" D. Cameron February 2014


#7 archibald

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:32 PM

  It's a good job they had a cage over the tunnel entrance at Salford, the Fev fans would have ripped the ref limb from limb if they'd got hold of him.

No they wouldn't.



#8 Blind side johnny

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:36 PM

Scrummaging was still a factor in a prop forward's value 20 years ago, which made converting from RU easier than it now is.

 

Good player mind.


Believe what you see, don't see what you believe.


John Ray (1627 - 1705)

#9 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 01:44 PM

Thanks for the info.

When Union players were signed back in the 1980s and early 1990s were they given time to bed in and learn the game or were they expected to hit the ground running and be star players straight away?

I know about most of the great dual code internationals but how many converts ended up falling flat on their face and really struggled adapting? Was it that many or did the clubs usually pick the right Union players to recruit?

#10 fieldofclothofgold

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:35 PM

Just goes to show what Leeds were like then.I wonder If John Gallagher would have made the grade if he had gone to another club?I heard Schoey resented his presence


but you and I weve been through that and this is not our fate.
So let us so let us not talk falsely now.
The hour is getting late
FROM 2004,TO DO WHAT THIS CLUB HAS DONE,IF THATS NOT GREATNESSTHEN i DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

JAMIE PEACOCK

#11 indomitable

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:01 PM

I was told by a former player that when Bomber Harris arrived at Hull straight from union, that he spent one morning only teaching Harris the basics of league before his debut. Don't forget Bomber was a hooker in union, and at that time ball handling was not a requirement. Anyway, Harris must have been a good learner, because he was an outstanding hooker in league, and off hand, hookers from union who made the top grade in league are very few and off hand I can't think of another..



#12 marklaspalmas

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:22 PM

Players like Young, Gallagher and Brooke Cowden were paid very good money, especially compared to born & bred league players. None of them provided anywhere near value for money. You can understand why they were resented. Very poor recruitment from Leeds, and poor coaching & handling once they were signed. But if the players had really been good enough they would have made it regardless. But they didn't.



#13 Doghead

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:35 PM

Played for Leeds, he was useless to put it mildly, watched him play against Saints A team, the young Saints pack where light years ahead of him in all aspect of the game, yet none of them made it into the top flight of the game, sums up how good Young was.

Moved to Salford and made a half decent League player.



#14 SCRseadiver

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:43 PM

I've read articles where Young is quoted as saying that after signing for Leeds he was never coached 

  I have read comments from him where he wasn't coached or even spoken to about the rules of rugby league;the playing of prop and he was astonished at the low level of fitness work where I believe he did his own training in this regard. 

  I believe he felt very let down as he was determined to succeed,a point possibly proved by his success as a coach in the other code.

  Mark Brooke Cowden may have experienced the same but the situation with John Gallagher is well beyond my comprehension.



#15 fieldofclothofgold

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:38 PM

I have read comments from him where he wasn't coached or even spoken to about the rules of rugby league;the playing of prop and he was astonished at the low level of fitness work where I believe he did his own training in this regard.
I believe he felt very let down as he was determined to succeed,a point possibly proved by his success as a coach in the other code.
Mark Brooke Cowden may have experienced the same but the situation with John Gallagher is well beyond my comprehension.


but you and I weve been through that and this is not our fate.
So let us so let us not talk falsely now.
The hour is getting late
FROM 2004,TO DO WHAT THIS CLUB HAS DONE,IF THATS NOT GREATNESSTHEN i DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

JAMIE PEACOCK

#16 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:39 PM

Ah thanks for the info. It is really interesting. I always wondered why some very good Union players succeeded and some very good Union players failed. I can imagine that highly paid new comers would attract the ire of some of the more dyed in the wool rugby league types like Gary Schofield.

It is strange that a club wouldn't want to invest time and energy into a player that was so expensive and took so much trouble to sign. Strange really. I always wondered about John Gallagher. He was the All Blacks first choice full back and there was much suprise when he didn't make a success of moving to Rugby League. If Leeds was a unsympathetic enviroment then no wonder he struggled to make the change.

It seems Widnes under Doug Laughton were very good at turning Union players into League internationals. Jonathan Davies, Alan Tait, Martin Offiah etc.

I would imagine it would take at least a season and lots of coaching to get a player fully up to speed.

#17 fieldofclothofgold

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:44 PM

Gallagher got a spear tackle and when he played after that he could'nt catch a high ball,but never the less he should have been introduced better..I think at that time the Leeds club saw him as an all black runnining through these RU defences,but never thought of his defence
but you and I weve been through that and this is not our fate.
So let us so let us not talk falsely now.
The hour is getting late
FROM 2004,TO DO WHAT THIS CLUB HAS DONE,IF THATS NOT GREATNESSTHEN i DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

JAMIE PEACOCK

#18 deluded pom?

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:45 PM

Jiffy began his RL career in the Widnes 'A' team as it was back then but I'm not sure how many games he played before making his full debut. Schoey resented Gary Pearce at Hull and that's what led to him and Lee Crooks ending up at Leeds. He must have been ecstatic when Gallagher pitched up at Headingley.

Edited by deluded pom?, 22 June 2013 - 05:49 PM.

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#19 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 06:37 PM

From these posts and many of the interviews I have seen with him is Gary Schofield really as conceited and objectionable as he comes across as?

In terms of Gallagher catching high ball as should have been one of his strengths. With the Union laws of the time you would have been able to play full back without being solid under high kicks. His cover tackling should also have been very good. Front on defence, positioning and general tactical awareness would have been his problems.

It is interesting to note that the player he kept out of the All Blacks side, Mathew Ridge, took to Aussie rugby league like a duck to water.

#20 Trojan

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 07:47 PM

I was told by a former player that when Bomber Harris arrived at Hull straight from union, that he spent one morning only teaching Harris the basics of league before his debut. Don't forget Bomber was a hooker in union, and at that time ball handling was not a requirement. Anyway, Harris must have been a good learner, because he was an outstanding hooker in league, and off hand, hookers from union who made the top grade in league are very few and off hand I can't think of another..

 

Tony Fisher


"This is a very wealthy country, money is no object" D. Cameron February 2014





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