indeed so what. the idea is to win the comp is it not and if that means using some imports then so be it. also there are over countries that these young players can play in. a team full of young players playing in division 2 is hardly going to help their careers is it. it just jealousy really that the likes of spencer prefer northampation over wasps.
There is a perfectly good reason for using foreign players, and it all comes down to the ridiculous policies of the RFU. England international players are only allowed to play 32 games a year to aviod player burnout, which sounds like a wonderful idea on paper. However, what are sides supposed to do when their international players are away? Using young English talent is a great idea, as long as it is available.
Northampton have one of the best academys in the country, but are we seriously expected to throw a bunch of raw 18 year olds into the gaps left by world class players? Of course not, it would lead to almost certain relegation, as these young players would not be physically or mentally ready to compete with the Premiership elite.
Basically, until the RFU opens its eyes, and finds a balance between club and country, then sides are going to be forced to look abroad for suitable players.
If anyone's listening, it might be worth getting rid of completely meaningless domestic and international fixtures. Autumn internationals and Premiership play-offs anyone? Oh, wait, people have already tried getting someone in power to listen to these things. it doesn't seem to work...
Saints spokesman Dai Davids has castigated rival Guinness Premiership clubs who move grounds every couple of years rather than developing their own.
Davids singled out Wasps who cashed in and deserted their long standing fan base at Sudbury to move to Loftus Road, then did the same again to move to High Wycombe two years later.
"I don't agree with the line Wasps have adopted," he said.
"It effectively says: 'Stuff the supporters, we are going to be a club of strolling minstrels.'"
Davids pointed out that Wasps won last year's Premiership final watched by 14 English supporters and added that he was "depressed" by Wasps approach.
Davids' stance was supported by Saints new director of rugby Ivan O'Peachman
O'Peachman said he was against moving grounds as the supporters were key men and women with an important role to play, and engendering the Saints to the local community was fundamental to the club's approach.
"The supporters are the people we really want to keep. But it has got to be a balance. This club is about producing fans to support at the best stadium we are capable of building" O'Peachman said
"Look at the Wasps support - they don't know where they stand, they changed their name to London and promptly cleared 30 miles out of town, leaving many people aimlessly turning up at the wrong ground for the next six months not noticing because the atmosphere stayed the same. Its got to a stage now where theres so few of them they even have a round of applause after some poor soul shouts Oggi oggi oggi." O'Peachman said
"One section of the support has even rebranded themselves the 'Drunken Wasps' as they are now of no fixed abode and are often seen sitting in Wycombe town centre on a Saturday morning swigging from cider and sherry bottles asking passers by for change for a programme, surely Wasps must show some loyalty to these people before its too late."
"They really are in danger of losing their identity."
â€œBut thatâ€™s the choice they have made, however this club has been very clear about the way forward.â€
Davids and O'Peachman were pressed on reports that they allowed supporters born outside England to become season ticket holders and Davids stressed the point that â€œThe Irish, Welsh, Australian, South African, Scottish, French and New Zealand supporters we have are like the Brazilians of the northern hemisphere,â€ he said. â€œEvery club seems to have one but we've got lots because boy they are good at supporting their team, and boy do they like to party.â€
Surely you bring in the best players available to you? After all, all they do is steal your English internationals whenever there's a Test on and leave you with the rest. The manager of a rugby club's duty is to his club and to his nation second, if he so chooses.
Ospreys: Stefan Terblanche; Richard Mustoe, Sonny Parker, Leigh Davies, Aled Brew; Matthew Jones, Jason Spice; Paul James, Barry Williams (capt), Andrew Millward, Andy Newman, Lyndon Bateman, Alan Wyn-Jones, Steve Tandy, Andy Lloyd. Replacements: David Bishop, Andrew Bishop, Shaun Connor, Richard Rees, Rhodri Wells, Duncan Jones, Huw Bennett, Richard Hibbard, Cai Griffiths, Ian Evans, Brent Cockbain, Lee Beach, Richard Pugh.
Wasps: Mark Van Gisbergen; Paul Sackey, Ayoola Erinle, Stuart Abbott, Tom Voyce; Alex King, Eoin Reddan; Tim Payne, Ben Gotting, Peter Bracken, Martin Purdy, Richard Birkett, John Hart (capt), Jonny O'Connor, Joe Worsley. Replacements: Raphael Ibanez, Jonathan Dawson, Alistair McKenzie, Mark Lock, James Honeyben, Fraser Waters, Rob Hoadley, Tom Rees, George Skivington, Jeremy Staunton, James Brooks, Joe Mbu.