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Reds 2014

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Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
This is a joke. How does Ben McCalman get a 2 year top up when he can't even start for his Super team and Gill, who would be close to the best Australian Super player so far this year not get a look in.

As mentioned McCalman doesn't necessarily have a top up because he's signed with the ARU, as all Australian players sign with the ARU........

If you want to aim your frustration at a legitimate target look no further than a certain inexperienced, uncapped Waratahs' fullback.........
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
I makes you wonder about who they are putting in the top 25 above gill. Granted on last seasons test form the pecking order is Pocock, Hooper and then Gill, but Gill is easily the best player in the country not in the starting 22.

I think it is fair to say he is in the top 25 in the country. If I was handing out contracts I certainly be giving Gill one ahead of say Rob Simmons, McCalman, Dennis or Phipps.

I know the aforementioned don't play the same position as gill, but they are all 'third choice' in the same way he is.
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
The bloke the reds really need to lock down is Hanson. He's hitting his straps and while I love Saia I think Hanson is the better player.

Not to mention TPN is looking very average. Hanson could find himself becoming a regular wallaby for the next couple of seasons leading up to the WC.
 

Forcefield

Ken Catchpole (46)
Sounds to me a bit like Gill needs to harden up. He'll get an ARU top up in time and will make a lot of money out of rugby, but at the moment he is 3rd in line for his position and 4th if George Smith became available.
 

No4918

John Hipwell (52)
Sounds to me a bit like Gill needs to harden up. He'll get an ARU top up in time and will make a lot of money out of rugby, but at the moment he is 3rd in line for his position and 4th if George Smith became available.

I haven't seen the article. Is he really whinging about it?
 

Sully

Tim Horan (67)
Staff member
Sounds to me a bit like Gill needs to harden up. He'll get an ARU top up in time and will make a lot of money out of rugby, but at the moment he is 3rd in line for his position and 4th if George Smith became available.
I'd say the pecking order has changed.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk HD
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
I makes you wonder about who they are putting in the top 25 above gill. Granted on last seasons test form the pecking order is Pocock, Hooper and then Gill, but Gill is easily the best player in the country not in the starting 22.

I think it is fair to say he is in the top 25 in the country. If I was handing out contracts I certainly be giving Gill one ahead of say Rob Simmons, McCalman, Dennis or Phipps.

I know the aforementioned don't play the same position as gill, but they are all 'third choice' in the same way he is.

Not everyone is contracted at the same time so there is some overlap. I'd guess that there are currently more than 25 people with guaranteed contracts but they're trying to drop the number to around 25.

I'd be guessing very roughly that currently you'd have:
Props: Robbo, Alexander, Slipper, Kepu
Hookers: Moore, TPN, S Fainga'a
Locks: Horwill, Simmons (Sharpe last year. I don't think Douglas or Timani played enough games to lock in a top up and Timani is almost certainly going overseas later in the year)
Backrow: Pocock, Hooper, Higginbotham, Dennis, Palu, Samo
Halfback: Genia, Phipps
5/8: Cooper, Beale
Centres: AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper), McCabe, Barnes, A Fainga'a
Wing: Ioane, Mitchell, JOC (James O'Connor)
FB: all included elsewhere.

That's already 26 players. I might have missed a couple who might have contracts that haven't expired yet. Not positive the Fainga'as are on guaranteed top up contracts.
 

Forcefield

Ken Catchpole (46)
I'd say the pecking order has changed.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk HD

I'd strongly disagree. You know what you get with Michael Hooper and George Smith at Test level and both are proven starters. Super form is all well and good but everyone looks shit playing for the Waratahs and the physicality of the Lions is likely to be well beyond what Super Rugby teams offer up. Sure it's only one game, but in the Force vs Reds game Gill was fantastic at winning turn-overs by being quick to the breakdown but didn't impress that much physically.

I haven't seen the article. Is he really whinging about it?
A bit. The article mentioned that he is looking into playing in Japan. That seems a bit petulant to me. Europe is one thing but Japan is hardly going to be good for his development as a player.
 

Scoey

Tony Shaw (54)
A bit. The article mentioned that he is looking into playing in Japan. That seems a bit petulant to me. Europe is one thing but Japan is hardly going to be good for his development as a player.

I can't be sure I have the right article but this is the only one on the Australian that I could find. It's about Smith and doesn't contain a single quote from Gill so how he can sound to you a bit like he's having a whinge, when he hasn't said anything is beyond me. It's flat out rough to call him petulant.

Meanwhile, Gill is exploring options in Japan after being refused an ARU top-up in his contract re-negotiations.
Gill, who has played eight Tests since making his debut against the All Blacks last year, is regarded as one of the most exciting young players in Australian rugby. But he is behind Pocock and Waratahs No 7 Michael Hooper in the pecking order for Australian openside flankers.
Gill will make his return from injury as one of four changes for the Reds' match with the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday night. He missed the Reds' 23-18 win against the Bulls in Brisbane last Saturday night with a minor knee complaint.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/spo...h-feast-on-lions/story-e6frg7o6-1226607155792
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
Not everyone is contracted at the same time so there is some overlap. I'd guess that there are currently more than 25 people with guaranteed contracts but they're trying to drop the number to around 25.

I'd be guessing very roughly that currently you'd have:
Props: Robbo, Alexander, Slipper, Kepu
Hookers: Moore, TPN, S Fainga'a
Locks: Horwill, Simmons (Sharpe last year. I don't think Douglas or Timani played enough games to lock in a top up and Timani is almost certainly going overseas later in the year)
Backrow: Pocock, Hooper, Higginbotham, Dennis, Palu, Samo
Halfback: Genia, Phipps
5/8: Cooper, Beale
Centres: AAC (Adam Ashley-Cooper), McCabe, Barnes, A Fainga'a
Wing: Ioane, Mitchell, JOC (James O'Connor)
FB: all included elsewhere.

That's already 26 players. I might have missed a couple who might have contracts that haven't expired yet. Not positive the Fainga'as are on guaranteed top up contracts.

The faingaas are not on top ups, but folau is - which rounds off the 25 players.

But yeah, of those staying I'd give Gill a top up over:
Kepu/Slipper, Simmons, Dennis and Phipps. There is also an argument for McCabe IMO, but its one thats been done to death.

Then you take into account those who are leaving: Timani, Barnes, Samo, Mitchell?, Palu?, Beale?

Surely there is some space in there somewhere. Furthermore I dont understand why the number of 25 is rigid. Surely someone like Folau could be signed outside the 25 as part of the advertising budget or something considering he had never played super rugby let alone for the wallabies.

How I'd pick my 25 is to pick the best 22 we could put out, deduct those leaving, and then add the 3 next most crucial players. The ARU are obviously taking a punt on the fact that Gill will stick around on less money out of a desire to play for the wallabies. They are then offering the money to the fringe players in order to keep them around. The down side to this is you lose guys who are expected to hang round on the cheap out of pure desire like Timani, Kimlin and Palmer. Whilst not starting wallabies, these blokes still have value to the wallabies and aus rugby.

You can't tell me the loss of Kepu/Slipper, Simmons, Dennis and Phipps, would impact australian rugby in the same way the loss of Gill would. The props you could make an argument for since we are pretty weak in the front row, but in the grand scheme of things they aren't great players and wouldn't make the 30 man in any other top 5 rugby nation.

I realise the above is a little off topic, but I just think it is somewhat dumb to risk losing Gill in order to give Phipps or Simmons or Dennis a contract.
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
I also think it is a bit risky to be deciding top ups at this stage considering the lions tour is just around the corner.

Where do White, Tapuai, Lealifano, Mogg, MMM, Mowen, Hanson etc. fit in? If they are put in brilliant performances then they'll have to get a top up, but if they get one to early and then flop at test level it will be wasted money....
 

kiap

Steve Williams (59)
Here's an excerpt from an article yesterday with some actual quotes from Gill:

Gill says he realises it is a decision for Deans and the ARU whether the rules are changed to allow Smith to return for the Wallabies.​
"It's great for Australia to have him back here playing and it is completely out of my control about what happens down the track," Gill said.​
The 20-year-old Gill admits he was a fan of Smith when he was growing up and he welcomes his return to Super Rugby.​
"He's a fantastic player, the first week he came straight back into Super Rugby he was one of the best players in the whole competition," he said.​
"He's a super talent. He has 110 Tests to his name. It's no surprise to anyone how good a player he is."​
Doesn't mention Japan.
 

Scoey

Tony Shaw (54)
The ARU are obviously taking a punt on the fact that Gill will stick around on less money out of a desire to play for the wallabies.

If they select Smith for the Wallabies against the Lions at Gill's squad spot's expense then that is a very big punt! I wouldn't hang around after that.
 

Bowside

Peter Johnson (47)
If they select Smith for the Wallabies against the Lions at Gill's squad spot's expense then that is a very big punt! I wouldn't hang around after that.

I think smith should start, but I would have Gill on the bench. After smith he is the most rounded of the elite Australian Flankers.
 

Forcefield

Ken Catchpole (46)
I can't be sure I have the right article but this is the only one on the Australian that I could find. It's about Smith and doesn't contain a single quote from Gill so how he can sound to you a bit like he's having a whinge, when he hasn't said anything is beyond me. It's flat out rough to call him petulant.

I am assuming what Harris wrote is true. Sure there is no direct quote of him saying that, but I feel pretty confident that Harris didn't just pick a place at random- otherwise he would have just said overseas and chosen his words more carefully. It sounds like he is having a whinge because, as a 21 year old who is 3rd in line for his position, he expects more than what he is being offered. If he didn't expect more, would he be looking at options in Japan? You just get a bit cynical and a bit fed up with both the ARU and with players when the contracting media circus starts. You can blame the ARU all you like but it is the players choice to buy into it and there are plenty of players with the strength of character not to. Maybe it is a rough call. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens next.
 
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