With the New Year fast approaching, it is now time to start planning for next season. Player’s contracts are up for renewal or termination and Cardiff must not be last in the queue when it comes to offering contracts
Phil has, therefore, drawn up his Squad wish list for next season – including the obvious overhaul of the Coaching Team.
I know that this selection will cause many a raise eyebrow (not least Tom’s!!!) but changes must be made. Firstly, Gareth Thomas must stay but must not be messed around from week to week. He is an international winger, so that is where he must play for Cardiff. If he does not want to – then bye bye. The obvious long term replacement for Muller is Durston, whose partnership at national level with Robinson has blossomed recently. He is presently at our nursery club so transferring up a level should be of no concern to him. The only other change to the backs is the recall of Booth. As he is only a part time player this may cause concern, but fingers crossed he should only ever be on the bench, so this should not cause too many problems.
Up front it should be status quo, apart from addressing the clear back row problems. Wales’ outstanding back row forward is Charvis and with the money that Uncle Peter allegedly pumps into Swansea, his contract in return should be no problem. With sick note Budgett at a proper club with proper medical back up perhaps his sick note tab will be dropped – but he will replace the original sick note Emyr Lewis. The promotion of Phil Wheeler to the first team squad proper will be of benefit as he should become an excellent player.
The back row problems of ball retention and protection for Howley should be solved with these signings. Perhaps it is time to convert Dan Baugh to number 8 permanently next season? However, with Lyn Jones as forwards coach the back row (and flankers in particular) will blossom and be able to play a high tempo, spectator friendly game.
Under Geraint John’s leadership, the backs are always good to watch and this should not be tinkered with. Think how well they would play with an excellent forward platform!!!
The signing of John Hart as Director of Rugby, rather than as Team Coach, would allow Jones and John to develop their coaching techniques under the guidance of a successful All Blacks coach. This will be in stark contrast to this season, where Howells has been sheltered by a guy who wants to coach the All Blacks. Jones’ knowledge of Welsh club rugby and tactics to beat the opposition would also allow Hart more time to work with the Youth and Rags, to ensure more players such as Rhys Wiliams and Jamie Robinson progress to international honours.
|Director of Rugby|
|Rhys Williams, Paul Jones|
|Nick Walne, Gareth Thomas, Craig Morgan, Richard Newton|
|Jamie Robinson, Pieter Muller, Owain Ashman, Adrian Durston|
|Neil Jenkins, Lee Davies|
|Robert Howley, Ryan Powell, Andy Booth|
|Spencer John, Peter Rogers, David Young, Kenneth Fourie, Gary Powell|
|Damien Geraghty, Andrew Lewis, Jonathan Humphreys|
|Craig Quinnell, Steve Moore, Mike Voyle, John Tait, Martyn Morgan, Luke Tait|
|Colin Charvis, Nathan Budgett, Wayne Fyvie, Martyn Williams, Dan Baugh, Phil Wheeler|