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Tex Evans Thigh

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Tex Evans Thigh last won the day on October 1 2019

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  1. The best French player since the 50s?!?! Surely not. He's very good on his day but I think there have been a few better ones than him. Going back to the 90's Divet and Entat were both class and more recently I'd say people like Guisset and Bosc, even Casty have had more impact than Gigot. Still, I would have thought he would be a good pick up for someone given his versatility and flair. Good bench utility perhaps.
  2. This seems like the most sensible first step as it's already there but they also need an avenue to bring players through rather than just plucking some 25 year old from USARL and hoping for the best. A UK academy would help this, especially if based in North London and they put some money into development. The London production line was starting to look good until the UK sport funding was pulled. Skolars would obviously benefit as well.
  3. Given most of their squad is English and will be for the foreseeable future, why not attempt to bring English players through an academy? That is the question.
  4. I appreciate what you are saying but disagree with most of it. The first part is not what I was suggesting. It would obviously take a long time for Canadian players to come through, if any did at all, but they should probably look to do what you are suggesting and try and increase engagement. No reason they can't be doing that now (if they aren't already). There is also no reason they couldn't set up a fully UK based academy. Almost all their players are English, so why not pitch up somewhere and start bringing players through. They would almost certainly have SL quality players coming through within a couple of years with the right recruitment. This would help massively with the squad/cap/optics. I kind of agree on the reserves and Skolars could be the way around this but they would only really get the full benefits if they had the academy to supply players. It doesn't really have too many benefits if they are just sending first team squad players on loan. With this structure it would allow them to slowly develop NA players with less pressure and those that are good enough move over to the UK to continue their development.
  5. Several people missing the point. This isn't about what Toronto should contribute vs what traditional clubs contribute, it's about how they can enhance their own operation through youth development. I assume every sane person believes bringing through players is a good thing and I think Toronto are in a unique position to develop very good youth set-up on both sides of the Atlantic. It would be interesting to hear if they have any plans in this regard. They could certainly have a short term aim of teams in the UK system bringing through UK based players and a longer term Canadian/North American plan running concurrently.
  6. I know you're not replying to me but that was kind of the gist of the thread. What plans are in place, if any, and how could they be improved and implemented?
  7. A lot of talk about Toronto's squad depth and the lack of an academy and reserves. Are these two avenues an option? Are there any plans in the pipeline? I would assume that they could have a UK based academy and/or reserve team playing in the SL structure. This would certainly alleviate their squad depth problem and would strengthen them as a viable organization. If the plan is to bring through North American players eventually then it could be a good natural step for them rather than being plunged straight into the first team with little chance of success. Bit of fag packet strategising but I would think that a set-up along the lines of the below could be achievable and really set them up for success. Set-up and manage junior league in Toronto and surrounding areas up to u18s Wider scouting network across NA e.g. USARL/Union Have UK based academy, perhaps in an area of untapped or neglected potential (London/SE, Midlands?) and start signing good UK juniors. Good players from NA system can progress to UK academy team Reserves acts as normal reserves with a mix of squad players and academy graduates plus any trialists from the NA scouting system. Maintain link with London Skolars for dual reg first grade experience. could also link nicely with a London based academy team. Normally the issue to doing something like this would be money but that obviously isn't a problem. They could conceivably have a world class production system in place in a few years with the right investment, increasing the player pool for RL too. Any chance of something like this happening? Maybe the impending squad size troubles will help get something like this moving.
  8. What style would you like to see? Forwards pass the ball plenty in the modern game, I don't know why you think they don't. Do you prefer a slower game? That is the biggest difference in the game as it has evolved. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be I'll tell thee.
  9. What are we classing as a 'ball handling loose forward'? It's a made up term/role with no definition as to what it actually is which has led to suggestions ranging from Scott Murrell to Gareth Hock. The 13 role definitely changed around 15 years ago and went down the 3rd prop route but the 'traditional' 13 role has come back a little recently and it all depends on the coach, his tactics and players available to him. A forward with a good offload isn't really a ball playing 13 and most forwards have a pass in them these days. If we were to have a true definition of the role it would be one of those Steve Norton types who would carry the ball when needed and start plays at other times. James Graham at Canterbury was the perfect example of the old style ball playing 13 (even though he was named at prop). Any of the middle unit can do this job these days and many do. There is a step further when you play a full on pivot at 13, something rarely done but happens occasionally. Daryl Powell isn't afraid to do this now and again. When at Fev he had Jonny Hepworth and Kyle Briggs in the role at times. Milner kind of does that role now at Cas although he does get through a lot of work. John Kear used to stick about 6 ball handlers on at Wakey in some games and Paul Cooke had some time at 13. If you are confident that they can defend in the middle and your other forwards have the engine to pick up the extra work (or you have wingers chipping in more) then you can get a lot of benefit from the extra pivot in the middle with split halves and full back attacking either side. Coaches obviously like to play percentages though and at least start with 3 big men and try and win the energy battle in the middle. Things are cyclical and assuming NRL teams don't have ball playing forwards is ridiculous just like the romantic notion that we will beat them by 'throwing the ball about' like in the 60's. The game has simply evolved and coaches employ whatever tactics they think suit the players they have. The players are at least as skillful, probably more skillful than at any time in the games history.
  10. The quality in the squad is fine. They lost once last year in a very competitive championship and have a lot more quality than London who went well last year. The main concern is depth and how they cover injuries. I see people questioning the likes of Gaz O'Brien and Andrew Dixon. I think some SL fans will be surprised how much they have come along. Dixon in particular is very impressive and showed that form in the super 8s in 2018 which I assume people have forgotten about. SBW and Singleton will improve the pack too. If they get near to the best 17 on the field every week I think they will be comfortably in mid-table and might trouble the 5. I am surprised they haven't binned McCrone and upgraded to a top half though. Not sure what they will do with injuries and whether this dispensation claim will be successful. As others have pointed out, the lack of a reserves or academy is a major downside for them and they need to look at a way around this. If they can plug the squad with a couple of players then they should be fine barring a major injury crisis. People shouldn't underestimate the advantage they have at home. Travelling 8 hours, the time difference, climate, pitch and general unfamiliarity of the experience for SL teams will make it a very tough trip.
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