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Thread: 2024 Squad and Depth

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    In The North Stand With All The Old Folk Blobbynator's Avatar
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    Default 2024 Squad and Depth

    As its being discussed a bit in the rumours thread following the announcement of the five youngsters signing full time deals, I thought I'd create a seperate thread to talk about the 2024 squad and squad depth for next year. I've listed the squad below by primary positions and in brackets highlighted the other positions those players can cover:

    Full Back
    Jack Welsby (Centre, Stand Off, Scrum Half, Loose Forward)

    Wing
    Tommy Makinson (Full Back, Centre), Jon Bennison (Full Back), Tee Ritson

    Centre
    Mark Percival (Wing), Konrad Hurrell, Ben Davies (2nd row), Jon Vaughan (2nd row), Dayon Sambou (wing)

    Stand Off
    Jonny Lomax (Full back, Scrum Half), Ben Lane (wing)

    Scrum Half
    Lewis Dodd, Will Roberts

    Prop
    Alex Walmsley, Matty Lees, Agnatius Paasi (injured), Sione Matautia (2nd row, Loose Forward, Centre), George Delaney, Jake Wingfield (Loose Forward, hooker, 2nd row), Noah Stephens, Mckenzie Buckley

    Hooker
    Daryl Clark, Moses Mbye (Full Back, Stand Off, Scrum Half), Jake Burns

    2nd row
    Joe Batchelor (Centre, Loose Forward), Curtis Sironen (Prop, Loose Foward), Matt Whitley (Centre, Loose Forward), Sam Royle

    Loose Forward
    Morgan Knowles (Prop, 2nd row, hooker), James Bell (2nd row), Leon Cowen (prop)
    Last edited by Blobbynator; 3rd November 2023 at 08:56.
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    First Choice;

    Welsby
    Makinson Percival Hurrell Ritson
    Lomax Dodd
    Knowles Clark Lees
    Sironen Batchelor
    Bell

    Mbye Wingfield Walmsley Delaney

    Reserves;

    Bennison
    (Dagnall) Sambou Vaughan (Lane)
    (Robertson) Roberts
    Paasi Burns Stephans
    Whitley Royle
    Mata'utia

    (Nolan) Davies Cowen (Peposhi)

    Those in brackets are borrowed from the reserves or academy.

    Despite the lack of recruitment, still a very strong squad overall, but just missing some umph. With Paasi out to ~June we seem to be lacking depth at prop with essentially either players out of position or kids after the first 4, and wing still seems really weak. Centre depends on which Hurrell comes back; the one that started the season or the one who ended it.

    Still a lot of question marks.

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    I would imagine injuries and suspensions will define our season next year. The key positions to improve on 2023 probably Ritson, Dodd and Lomax as the pack is still decent and should hold their own.

    Also like to see some rotation with a couple of consecutive games with Welsby playing half back to rest up Lomax and for Bennison to get some time at full back, we can't flog Lomax playing every game next year. Also Mybe another option to play in the halves when Burns gets a bench spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STIDDY View Post
    I would imagine injuries and suspensions will define our season next year. The key positions to improve on 2023 probably Ritson, Dodd and Lomax as the pack is still decent and should hold their own.

    Also like to see some rotation with a couple of consecutive games with Welsby playing half back to rest up Lomax and for Bennison to get some time at full back, we can't flog Lomax playing every game next year. Also Mybe another option to play in the halves when Burns gets a bench spot.
    I think this is important whether we add to the squad or not. I really hope it's something Wello takes on board as I feel it could end up biting us on the backside later in the season.

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    Starting A Programme Collection Brian Nazareth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyJ View Post
    I think this is important whether we add to the squad or not. I really hope it's something Wello takes on board as I feel it could end up biting us on the backside later in the season.

    Our players looked gassed throughout the season.

    I think Wellens felt, especially after the early losses to Leeds & Leigh (both robbed by terrible ref decisions, and with post-game suspensions) and how teams were going all-out when they played us (to knock the 4-times SL and World Champs off their perch) that he couldn't afford to rest players.

    That just compounded the problem, meaning we were running on vapours come the play-offs.

    A rookie mistake.
    He's not the Messiah, he's a naughty boy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic superbeetle View Post
    First Choice;

    Welsby
    Makinson Percival Hurrell Ritson
    Lomax Dodd
    Knowles Clark Lees
    Sironen Batchelor
    Bell

    Mbye Wingfield Walmsley Delaney

    Reserves;

    Bennison
    (Dagnall) Sambou Vaughan (Lane)
    (Robertson) Roberts
    Paasi Burns Stephans
    Whitley Royle
    Mata'utia

    (Nolan) Davies Cowen (Peposhi)

    Those in brackets are borrowed from the reserves or academy.

    Despite the lack of recruitment, still a very strong squad overall, but just missing some umph. With Paasi out to ~June we seem to be lacking depth at prop with essentially either players out of position or kids after the first 4, and wing still seems really weak. Centre depends on which Hurrell comes back; the one that started the season or the one who ended it.

    Still a lot of question marks.
    Thereís no way on this earth Mataíutia wonít be in the first choice 17

    Would also like to see Hurrell & Ritson on the right & Percival & Makinson on the left personally

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    Quote Originally Posted by saint-spoiler View Post
    There’s no way on this earth Mata’utia won’t be in the first choice 17

    Would also like to see Hurrell & Ritson on the right & Percival & Makinson on the left personally
    And Whitley

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic superbeetle View Post
    First Choice;

    Welsby
    Makinson Percival Hurrell Ritson
    Lomax Dodd
    Knowles Clark Lees
    Sironen Batchelor
    Bell

    Mbye Wingfield Walmsley Delaney

    Reserves;

    Bennison
    (Dagnall) Sambou Vaughan (Lane)
    (Robertson) Roberts
    Paasi Burns Stephans
    Whitley Royle
    Mata'utia

    (Nolan) Davies Cowen (Peposhi)

    Those in brackets are borrowed from the reserves or academy.

    Despite the lack of recruitment, still a very strong squad overall, but just missing some umph. With Paasi out to ~June we seem to be lacking depth at prop with essentially either players out of position or kids after the first 4, and wing still seems really weak. Centre depends on which Hurrell comes back; the one that started the season or the one who ended it.

    Still a lot of question marks.
    If we could keep the first choice on the field each week we would be fine. We assume Percy will miss a few and Hurrell can be hit and miss. I think we are still weak in the 3/4s. Ritson has hopefully improved after a first year and a full pre season.
    I think we can get away with what we have in the forwards, especially if Paasi returns to full fitness. But we are only an injury or suspension away from seriously weakening the 3/4s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Nazareth View Post
    Our players looked gassed throughout the season.

    I think Wellens felt, especially after the early losses to Leeds & Leigh (both robbed by terrible ref decisions, and with post-game suspensions) and how teams were going all-out when they played us (to knock the 4-times SL and World Champs off their perch) that he couldn't afford to rest players.

    That just compounded the problem, meaning we were running on vapours come the play-offs.

    A rookie mistake.
    Absolutely this... Coaches of the top clubs are so under pressure to deliver results. There's no margin for error.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Nazareth View Post
    Our players looked gassed throughout the season.

    I think Wellens felt, especially after the early losses to Leeds & Leigh (both robbed by terrible ref decisions, and with post-game suspensions) and how teams were going all-out when they played us (to knock the 4-times SL and World Champs off their perch) that he couldn't afford to rest players.

    That just compounded the problem, meaning we were running on vapours come the play-offs.

    A rookie mistake.
    Yeah, I agree with that and I understand where he was coming from. As you say, hopefully it's a rookie mistake and it's been learned from.

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    I do think Saints will be targeting a much better start in 2024. I imagine that will be a focus and will be talked about in the pre season meetings. Ultimately the poor start cost us top 2 and a home semi final, which is pretty critical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by philthompson View Post
    And Whitley
    Whitleys problem is where does he get into the 17 - same with Mata'utia.

    He isn't going to be in front of Sironen or Batchelor (at least initially). Both are 80 minute players, so having another edge player on the bench just confuses things. I could see Mata'utia ahead of Wingfield to have a stint at 13, but given hes still learning how to play as a middle I am not sure thats how I would start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philthompson View Post
    And Whitley
    I don’t see a place for Whitley in the first choice 17 to be honest, it’s rare we have our first 17 out though to be fair

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    I expect to see Whitley filling in at centre this coming season.
    Last edited by Brian Nazareth; 3rd November 2023 at 11:27.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Nazareth View Post
    I expect to see Whitley filling in a centre this coming season.







    I would say the same.

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    I'm getting the feeling Whitley is there to cover the inevitable injuries in the centres and the usual backrow suspensions with Davies filling in there after.

    I don't see Matautia as anything other than SR or Prop, I don't think we need him playing LF in any case with Knowles/Bell/Wingfield better options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Nazareth View Post
    I expect to see Whitley filling in at centre this coming season.
    He has only played 16 games in his career at centre, and would be behind Hurrell and Davies as a centre, and Vaughan and Sambou will be looking for game time. Unless Hurrell is done at the club (in which case ship him off to London) I cant really see why we would look anywhere else for an experienced centre

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    Whitley will play plenty of games and I reckon he'll soon become a starter in our team. He's a quality player.

    Matautia will also definitely be in the 17 when he's fit. He'll be prop rotation but his versatility to cover back row and centre makes him a great asset.
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    I don't think there's ever a point where we have all of our second rowers or or centres, so first choice is almost moot. Sironen played SL 13 games this year, Batchelor 14, Matautia 18. Whitley on the other hand played 22

    I think Sione will almost exclusively play prop or take over Louie's role.

    Back row will be two from Sironen / Whiteley / Batchelor, I don't think there's much between them to be honest, but it means we don't have to flog them for 80 minutes each week

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic superbeetle View Post
    First Choice;

    Welsby
    Makinson Percival Hurrell Ritson
    Lomax Dodd
    Knowles Clark Lees
    Sironen Batchelor
    Bell

    Mbye Wingfield Walmsley Delaney

    Reserves;

    Bennison
    (Dagnall) Sambou Vaughan (Lane)
    (Robertson) Roberts
    Paasi Burns Stephans
    Whitley Royle
    Mata'utia

    (Nolan) Davies Cowen (Peposhi)

    Those in brackets are borrowed from the reserves or academy.

    Despite the lack of recruitment, still a very strong squad overall, but just missing some umph. With Paasi out to ~June we seem to be lacking depth at prop with essentially either players out of position or kids after the first 4, and wing still seems really weak. Centre depends on which Hurrell comes back; the one that started the season or the one who ended it.

    Still a lot of question marks.
    Knowles is never going to start at prop ahead of Walmsley and likewise Knowlses will always get picked as a starter at 13 ahead of Bell. The only question really is who starts on the left wing Bennison or Ritson, the rest of the starting 13 is pretty much nailed on;
    Welsby
    Makinson, Hurrell, Percival, Bennison/Ritson
    Lomax, Dodd
    Walmsley, Clarke, Lees
    Sironen, Batchelor
    Knowles

    The bench spots are anyones guess,
    Mata'utia is probably all but guaranteed one of the spots given Wello's comments about him moving to a middle (taking over LMS role).
    When he's fit again Paasi will be guaranteed a spot but someone now has half a season to claim a bench spot
    You'd think Bell will get a spot given his impressive 2023 season

    I think that just leaves the 4th bench spot very much up for grabs. The 4 main contenders would probably be Mbye, Whitley, Wingfield & Delaney

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Toppy View Post
    Knowles is never going to start at prop ahead of Walmsley and likewise Knowlses will always get picked as a starter at 13 ahead of Bell. The only question really is who starts on the left wing Bennison or Ritson, the rest of the starting 13 is pretty much nailed on;
    Welsby
    Makinson, Hurrell, Percival, Bennison/Ritson
    Lomax, Dodd
    Walmsley, Clarke, Lees
    Sironen, Batchelor
    Knowles

    The bench spots are anyones guess,
    Mata'utia is probably all but guaranteed one of the spots given Wello's comments about him moving to a middle (taking over LMS role).
    When he's fit again Paasi will be guaranteed a spot but someone now has half a season to claim a bench spot
    You'd think Bell will get a spot given his impressive 2023 season

    I think that just leaves the 4th bench spot very much up for grabs. The 4 main contenders would probably be Mbye, Whitley, Wingfield & Delaney
    Whether its likely or not I won't really comment on. But Knowles and Lees starting at prop, with Walmsley and Delaney/ Mata'utia/ Paasi rotating, and Bell starting at lock, with Wingfield/ Mata'utia rotating is, in my opinion, the strongest pack option we have.

    Walmsley is getting older, we need to stop depending on him as a 60 minute prop. Having him come off the bench for impact would be huge still and with Paasi out we dont have an impact forward. Knowles and Lees set the defensive standard of the team and are both excellent at asserting dominance from minute 1, and Bell at lock is better placed to take advantage of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blobbynator View Post
    As its being discussed a bit in the rumours thread following the announcement of the five youngsters signing full time deals, I thought I'd create a seperate thread to talk about the 2024 squad and squad depth for next year. I've listed the squad below by primary positions and in brackets highlighted the other positions those players can cover:

    Full Back
    Jack Welsby (Centre, Stand Off, Scrum Half, Loose Forward)

    Wing
    Tommy Makinson (Full Back, Centre), Jon Bennison (Full Back), Tee Ritson

    Centre
    Mark Percival (Wing), Konrad Hurrell, Ben Davies (2nd row), Jon Vaughan (2nd row), Dayon Sambou (wing)

    Stand Off
    Jonny Lomax (Full back, Scrum Half), Ben Lane (wing)

    Scrum Half
    Lewis Dodd, Will Roberts

    Prop
    Alex Walmsley, Matty Lees, Agnatius Paasi (injured), Sione Matautia (2nd row, Loose Forward, Centre), George Delaney, Jake Wingfield (Loose Forward, hooker, 2nd row), Noah Stephens, Mckenzie Buckley

    Hooker
    Daryl Clark, Moses Mbye (Full Back, Stand Off, Scrum Half), Jake Burns

    2nd row
    Joe Batchelor (Centre, Loose Forward), Curtis Sironen (Prop, Loose Foward), Matt Whitley (Centre, Loose Forward), Sam Royle

    Loose Forward
    Morgan Knowles (Prop, 2nd row, hooker), James Bell (2nd row), Leon Cowen (prop)
    That looks ok to me, though I doubt itíll be one of the favourites to win anything, but will be in contention I expect. The crucial issue is whether Ritson and any of the people coming up through the ranks can actually add anything to the first choice 21 this year, which seems highly unlikely, but you never know.

    I assume theyíve all been added so that they can train with the first team but will get very little game time. If I recall correctly, people said of Alex Murphy and the like: if youíre good enough, youíre old enough, but itís a different game now. However, Delaney came in and added to the first choice 17. We really need one of the backs to do that and my hope is on Vaughn!

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    Suspect Whitley will play most of his games at centre
    Learned comment from The Don

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    That looks ok to me, though I doubt itíll be one of the favourites to win anything, but will be in contention I expect. The crucial issue is whether Ritson and any of the people coming up through the ranks can actually add anything to the first choice 21 this year, which seems highly unlikely, but you never know.

    I assume theyíve all been added so that they can train with the first team but will get very little game time. If I recall correctly, people said of Alex Murphy and the like: if youíre good enough, youíre old enough, but itís a different game now. However, Delaney came in and added to the first choice 17. We really need one of the backs to do that and my hope is on Vaughn!
    Ritson improving is more about the attacking game plan and a ball playing centre than what he can do himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnathon Doe View Post
    Ritson improving is more about the attacking game plan and a ball playing centre than what he can do himself.
    I agree to some extent, but I think the best wingers create opportunities and I havenít seem him do that. Though to be fair that would require that he gets the ball with even a sniff of a chance and I havenít seen much of that either. From what I saw last year Bennison did better a taking half chances but he isnít a winger.

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