HEC Opponent watch

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Dave Cahill
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HEC Opponent watch

Post by Dave Cahill »

Stephen Donald's proposed move to Aviva Premiership side Bath has collapsed after the Kiwi playmaker failed to secure a work permit.

The 27-year-old All Blacks international had been expected to make the switch from the Chiefs to England later this year after agreeing terms with the West Country giants but after hitting a stumbling block he has committed to the Blues for next year's Super Rugby campaign.

The Sunday Star Times reports that work permits are granted to those New Zealand players who have UK ancestry or alternatively have started a Test for the All Blacks in the past 18 months. But none of Donald's grandparents were born in the UK and his three international appearances in the required timeframe have come off the bench. And while All Blacks coach Graham Henry has talked up Donald's value, the Waikato No.10's failure to secure a place in New Zealand's Tri-Nations squad means he is unlikely to earn any Test caps in the near future.

Donald has still opted to end his seven-year stay at the Chiefs and move to the Blues to fill the void set to be left by Stephen Brett and Luke McAlister, who are both heading overseas, while Aaron Cruden has already been recruited as his replacement in Hamilton.
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cormac
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by cormac »

Are they now stuck with Sam Vesty at 10?
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CiaranIrl
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Post by CiaranIrl »

All a bit random.
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ribs
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by ribs »

Immigration department distinguishing between "starting" and "off the bench" sounds a bit far fetched to me. Must be something else going on.
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CiaranIrl
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by CiaranIrl »

ribs wrote:Immigration department distinguishing between "starting" and "off the bench" sounds a bit far fetched to me. Must be something else going on.
Good oint. It would amusing if there was actually a specific sub section of immigration law that said "Rugby players from New Zealand must have started an international game in the last 18 months to be considered for a work permit. Coming on as a substitute will not suffice."
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by totalrandomer »

ribs wrote:Immigration department distinguishing between "starting" and "off the bench" sounds a bit far fetched to me. Must be something else going on.
I would guarantee that there is something fishy there OK.

Hope they don't nab someone better.

I believe Sean Berne is free...... He knows the setup in Bath very well. :)

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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by ceemec »

Very odd. I wonder what the knock on affect will be. Will Bath be back in the market for a big name 10/12 and, if so, will they be approaching players that Munster may be in talks with also? I doubt that will be the case as I think it's going to be Toeava for Munster but it's a possibility. Quite an odd decision though. What is the situation in relation to signing players who have never represented their national side like Flutey 5 years ago? Or Filipo who has signed for Wasps having last played for NZ in 2008?

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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by sheepshagger »

Yep, there is something fishy about this story, a sportsman not being given a UK work permit is unusual - don't think 'hes not deemed good enough' is the real reason :?

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Dave Cahill
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by Dave Cahill »

Its not that unusual, it happens quite regularly, I remember Mark Gonzalez not getting one when he was originally signed by Liverpool.
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Darce
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by Darce »

yeah, it happens in soccer quite a bit. If you're none EU you have to have played a number of internationals before getting a permit
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Post by sheepshagger »

Maybe for football as there are more europeans (EU Nationals) that play it but never heard it of a rugby player (thats not to say it doesn't happen of course), anyway its the line that supposably came from Immigration that makes it sound dodgy to me.

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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by Leinsterman »

English rugby is full of “foreign” tens though. I reckon they’re stopping him signing so Bath might be forced to look at an English option instead.
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ronk
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by ronk »

They can always appeal. Exceptions are made from time to time but they do like to put their foot down occasionally.

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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by Peg Leg »

Any chance the lad has a serious criminal record that he didn't want made public?
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ceemec
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by ceemec »

Peg Leg wrote:Any chance the lad has a serious criminal record that he didn't want made public?
Stephen Donald: guilty or murdering overlaps and killing NZ's chances in several games.

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cormac
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by cormac »

Blues deny signing Bath reject Stephen Donald

Monday 18 July 2011

Auckland Rugby boss Andy Dalton has rubbished reports that former All Black first five-eighths Stephen Donald will be joining the Blues for next year's Super Rugby season.

Reports emerged over the weekend stating that Donald's Visa - which he applied for so that he could play for Bath - had been denied as he had not made three starts for the All Blacks over the last 18 months.

The Reports also stated that as Donald would not be able to join Bath that he had signed with the Blues as a replacement for Stephen Brett and Luke McAlister.

However Dalton says that Donald joing the Blues is news to him and to Blues coach Pat Lam.

"It's a surprise to me. Pat (Blues coach Lam) and I had a chat today and it's a surprise to him too," Dalton told the NZHerald.

http://www.rugbyweek.com/news/article.asp?id=31199
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by aisling7 »

Cory Jane mentioned on twitter over the weekend that Donald was going to the Hurricanes.

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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by LeRouxIsPHat »

I'm not buying that story either. Would the fact that New Zealand is part of the commonwealth (I think) not make it quite easy to get one? Even if thats irrelevant it doesn't make sense. Scott Hamilton is the player that springs to mind. There are players like Gopperth who could end up being qualified for England through the residency rule but that doesn't change the fact that he wouldn't fulfill the requirement that Donald didn't. I think Waldrom is another because if memory serves me correctly he only discovered recently that he was eligible for England but was unaware of it when he went to the tigers.

If only the news of the world was still around to hack some phones...sigh...

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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by [Jackass] »

I believed it at face value until the denial by the Blues. This type of thing happens regularly in sport, and immigration don't discriminate between code. (i.e. football or rugby).

But there's something up alright, hopefully they get caught up in it and end up with no one.
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[Jackass]
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Re: HEC Opponent watch

Post by [Jackass] »

http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/news/14576.php

Schmidt eyes 2011/12 opponents8 June 2011, 2:00 pm

Joe Schmidt lead his side to Heineken Cup glory this season
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Leinster will be up against Bath Rugby, Glasgow Warriors and Montpellier in the Pool stages when they defend their Heineken Cup crown in the 17th tournament for the elite of European club rugby which will climax in the final at Twickenham Stadium on the weekend of 19 / 20 May, 2012.

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The 2011 champions will be attempting to match Leicester Tigers and become only the second team to win back-to-back titles but coach Joe Schmidt is well aware that they will the ones everyone else will want to beat.
"Obviously I hope it is not harder to defend the title than it is to win it - we struggled to win it in the first place - but now you are the target everyone is lining up, you are sitting there to be knocked off," said Schmidt, back home on holiday in his native New Zealand .

"Clubs already target Toulouse - they are the real benchmark - along with teams like Leicester Tigers and Munster because they have been at the top in Europe for such a long time and we know they will want to beat the champions.

"As for next season and who we will be up against in Pool 3 we know it is going to be tough.Bath are former Heineken Cup winners, they have a real pedigree in the tournament and showed a bit of resurgence last season, just missing out on a top four finish in the Premiership.

"And you can never take Glasgow lightly - just talk to Wasps about the threat they can be - because they are regularly a bogey side for teams at the top end of the tiers.

"As for Montpellier, I see them as a genuine coming team in Europe and I have a lot of respect for their coach Fabien Galthie, though I guess it largely depends on how they approach the Heineken Cup and if they are looking to take the next step up.

"But I really like their forward pack and the massive work rate of their half backs, who are among the best in France, plus some young guys really showing they are up to the mark.

"They have a massive ball carrier in Mamuka Gorgodze, he can be a nightmare for opponents to stop, and any team who can beat Toulon and then Castres away to qualify for the French Championship final - where they led Toulouse for such a long time - has to be a huge threat.

"Overall it looks like a great draw with the teams well spread and that we are in for another cracking tournament."

Leinster made it two Heineken Cup titles in three years with their 33-22 victory against Northampton Saints last month with Schmidt ending his first season in charge in Dublin with the world's most coveted club prize.

"After the final we looked at what we had done right and what we had done wrong but I guess it wasn't until I got back to New Zealand and watched the match with a quiet beer that it really sank in as to what we had achieved," said Schmidt.

"Then I realised just what a hell of a game of footie it had been, the way things had unfolded and the presentation - what a fantastic evening.I had to pinch myself and perhaps the problem now is how you top that because I would hate us to slip off what we have achieved."
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