>> British Clubs are full of overseas players that's good for the foreigners,
>> and fun for the fans, but is that the best thing for the future of the game
>> in those countries?
>> Please check out my column
I did, and it put the pro side of the case pretty well regarding the
visiting players. I don't know if there are any obvious downsides for
the non-Brits, but the weather naturally needs to be taken into
A couple of Canadians you missed are Dave Lougheed and Harry Toews at
You particularly mention "Western Samoa's Pat Lam, Canada's Gareth
Rees, New Zealand's Zinzan Brooke, and South Africa's Francois Pienaar
and Gary Pagel have made big waves on England's shores."
Certainly Lam has had a major impact at Newcastle, and probably will
add a lot to Northampton in time, but Rees didn't have a great season
at all last year in a troubled Wasps side, and has yet to make much
impact this season having been sidelined with concussion. Brooke
currently is off the pace for a losing Quins, and can hardly be said
to be a success to date.
>Good article Alex. What i want to know though, is how much impact, playing
>wise are the NZers having? While this may sound a touch jingoistic, how
>does the rapidly slowing Zinzan compare to the others in the league? And
>what about the likes of Howarth, Weedon, and the Bay of Plenty winger at
>Saracens? Are there any young NZers over there standing out that may be
>worth a go for the S12?
The NZers in the top league are:
Leicester - Perry Freshwater, prop
Saracens - Brendan Daniel, wing
Gloucester - none?
Bath - Jon Preston (yet to arrive)
Wasps - Weedon, lock, club captain
London Irish - none?
Sale - Howarth, currently centre, captain?
Newcastle - Richard Arnold, flanker, Nesdale might count, ***
Richmond - none?
Northampton - none?
Bedford - none?
London Scottish - ?
Harlequins - Zinzan, player/coach.
West Hartlepool - Brewer, player/coach. Any one else Terry?
I might have missed one or two.
The players rated usual first team starters are Weedon, Howarth,
Arnold, Nesdale if he counts, Brooke and Brewer (though Brewer is
trying to cut back on outings I believe).
>How many English players would be the best in their position in the League?
Sky television is running a ridiculous rating system for individual
players which someone might want to post. There have only been 4
competitive rounds so farthis season, so it's a bit early to say. At a
rough guess the best individuals are (keeping non-Poms strongly in
1 Grau or Pagel (nearest challenger possibly Rowntree).
2***erill probably best at the moment.
3 No outstanding non-Poms as far as I can remember. Maybe Paul Wallace
4 No outstanding non-Poms.
6 Pat Lam by some way on last season's form.
7 No great non-Pom candidates I think.
8 Maybe Straeuli is in with a shout.
9 Possibly Pichot, but there are plenty of Pom candidates.
10 Erm. At least there are more Poms playing now, with Jones (LI),
Yapp (English I assume, Bedford), Baxendell (Sale), Lewsey, King
(Wasps, King sub) Mapletoft (Gloucester), Catt (Bath), Wilkinson
(in theory, Newcastle) all England qualified and playing last
Saturday. The form fly half this season is probably Stransky at the
11 Plenty of Poms, who is the best is open to question though.
12 Maybe Pat Howard. No outstanding Pom candidates with Greenwood
still recovering from injury with 2nd team rugby.
14 No outstanding candidate.
15 Pini is doing pretty well I hear, but probably Stimpson or Catling
are doing as well. Perry has just returned from injury.
All the best