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An issue with rugby in Wales

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Wil Chips View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 11:22am
Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Our schools, certainly in West Wales don't seem to play many inter school matches in either rugby or football now which I think reduces peoples desire to play.



Always wondered if that was the case. That's a shame. I'd play rugby games on average 3 times in every 2 weeks from September to April (Wednesday and/or Saturday)...bit of cricket and athletics in the Summer term. Football not at all ( through the school anyway). This was in the late 70's of course.

SA and Ireland have synched up their school and college systems to their academies superbly well, NZ too of course.

College rugby is much bigger in Kenya and Sri Lanka than in Europe generally ( the development in to the next level fizzles out after that though, which is a shame). You'll get 40k at a college game in these countries, main stream tv coverage too.


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Wil Chips View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 11:31am
From Gate 12's point, how a player gets selected for an academy, is tracked, and progresses through an academy in Wales is a tapestry of contradictions, full of subjective an anecdotal measures in my view

The emphasis seems to be on finding reasons not to progress a player rather than how to address some shortcomings...

I remember when Scott went through it the fact he was from 'out west' was always trundled out...meaning the academy thought they lacked the necessary commitment to make the travel to train etc.

Parental funding and support was key to a player having a chance too...and the links to colleges (like Coleg Sir Gar) were nominal only...it was far from a fusion of sport and academics...rugby was the primary calling...if you tried to balance it you risked it being held against you.
This was a significant point of conflict in our family.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 11:32am
Originally posted by Wil Chips Wil Chips wrote:

Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Our schools, certainly in West Wales don't seem to play many inter school matches in either rugby or football now which I think reduces peoples desire to play.



Always wondered if that was the case. That's a shame. I'd play rugby games on average 3 times in every 2 weeks from September to April (Wednesday and/or Saturday)...bit of cricket and athletics in the Summer term. Football not at all ( through the school anyway). This was in the late 70's of course.

SA and Ireland have synched up their school and college systems to their academies superbly well, NZ too of course.

College rugby is much bigger in Kenya and Sri Lanka than in Europe generally ( the development in to the next level fizzles out after that though, which is a shame). You'll get 40k at a college game in these countries, main stream tv coverage too.



Yeah my son plays football for a local under 16 team & he has played one school match this season, in the schools cup in Carmarthen.

Loads of the men I play rugby with are from Llangwm/Haverfordwest & they used to play against each other in school (along with blokes that play for Haverfordwest), Llangwm for Taskers & Haverfordwest for STP.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 11:54am
Such a shame that, I had no idea it had slipped like that, and obviously an issue.

I was at Llandysul Grammar School from 15 and we'd regularly play Penglais and Penweddig ( Aberystwyth), Lampeter, Cardigan, travel to Fishguard and Hwest, and play a few Swansea schools too. We'd take 2 or 3 year groups each time.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gate12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 1:35pm
Huge age gap between myself and you Mr Chips but it was the same when I was in school, and I suspect a lot of the rationale for selection/non selection is the same as is a lack of clear feedback and direction.

There's also pros and cons between having a lot of the same coaches across various teams. When you look at the colleges, 18's, 16's and semi pro teams there's a fair few of the same faces spread throughout. It's good for consistency of coaching and messaging but it's not great for widening the search for players as the coaches will be largely looking at the same players (doubt they have the time to look elsewhere even if they wanted to).

I suspect the players in the second tier of college get much less opportunity, and those on apprenticeships or in work from 16 playing for local clubs would need to be absolutely tearing up trees to even stand a chance, when their games aren't cancelled.....

I'm not saying that former players necessarily know how to spot talent better but there's a host of former players both from the pro era and prior coaching junior rugby throughout Wales, surely a chat with them for their views on talent (both in and not in the regional squads) is at least worth consideration.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 3:06pm
I’d appreciate ‘significant’ to ‘ huge’ thank you very much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sir Duckling Tuft Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 3:16pm
excellent thread this, windell brings up a vitally important topic with first hand experience....The last thing welsh rugby needs is more cliques and size obsession. 
sir duckling tuft
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 3:30pm
There is however a harsh reality to sone positions if you are not physically big enough you will never make it. With the best will in the world 14 stone props or 6ft locks are a thing of the past in the moden game.  Granted there is an arguement for looking at smaller backs but evem there your at huge disadvantage if you are small and your giving up a big size advantange to your opposition number

Edited by RR1972 - 15 November 2022 at 3:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reesytheexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 5:07pm
Originally posted by Wil Chips Wil Chips wrote:

I’d appreciate ‘significant’ to ‘ huge’ thank you very much.
I sensed a Refs warning might have been forthcoming for ‘ young’ Gate12’s slip of the tongue 😉😂

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 5:43pm
Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

There is however a harsh reality to sone positions if you are not physically big enough you will never make it. With the best will in the world 14 stone props or 6ft locks are a thing of the past in the moden game.  Granted there is an arguement for looking at smaller backs but evem there your at huge disadvantage if you are small and your giving up a big size advantange to your opposition number


The size thing is definitely one of those criteria that can be easily applied as an exit strategy for a player ( or on the flip side the reason they made it this far in the first place), but you are right on 2nd rows, they need to be 6'6' and 120kg or they won't get much of a look in.

However, if you lined up some (unknown) first class centers, back rowers, hookers and some back 3 players, and asked me to pick their position from just looking at their physiques, I'd be hard pushed to get them all right for sure.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 5:46pm
Originally posted by reesytheexile reesytheexile wrote:

Originally posted by Wil Chips Wil Chips wrote:

I’d appreciate ‘significant’ to ‘ huge’ thank you very much.
I sensed a Refs warning might have been forthcoming for ‘ young’ Gate12’s slip of the tongue 😉😂


He's chest is all puffed out as his beloved Burry Port Youth beat Emlyn last week...strutting in the tall grass with the big dogs now...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wil Chips Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 6:16pm
I guess that without that much going on in the school rugby scene the onus falls on local clubs to have a solid pathway from Under 9's straight through to 1st and 2nds...

I'm not sure if this is a compensating entry in terms of player development, it feels to me like it might be, given that ( admittedly from a limited vantage point) the coaching at local club level looks like a decent spread of former or current players at least.

How then does it go from that level to be scouted for a region / the next steps I'm not sure, I mean I know there's a mechanism, but how robust, well resourced it is I'm not sure.

You'd ideally want to see a player of interest play, what, half a dozen games to be able to assess his potential?



Edited by Wil Chips - 15 November 2022 at 6:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gate12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 8:02pm
In the simplest terms schoolboys wider squad is teachers recommendations then Scarlets 16's picked from the schoolboys squad and that's largely it going through to 18's, If you're in coleg sir gar or llandovery college might get a sniff if you've missed out previously.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gate12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 8:12pm
Legendinmybathroom post on the previous page and yours wil about size are pertinent too. As well as moving players into positions because of a lack of strength there there's also cases of leaving players in their 'usual' position because of a lack of strength when they're be better suited elsewhere.

Not many 6ft second rows at 16 will get to the height required for a pro second row, they could easily be pro frontrowers though. Equally a lot of backs can easily shift around positions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Realwest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 9:21pm
I’m not sure what competitions the Schools play in now, but when I was in school ( I left school in 2000 ) we had the Lloyds TSB league where the school year 10 11 and 12 played in one team, it was extremely tough in your first year but a good way to introduce you to playing bigger tougher lads.

Surely the Schools must be playing regularly in some sort of league.

I know Rygbi Pawb does the college league but not everybody goes to College.

Is there a Scarlets cup for age groups for Schools or Clubs now ?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoppy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2022 at 11:13pm
Do the schools still play rugby on Wednesday and Saturdays like they used to 

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