Super Rugby Trade Machine

Blurred Super Rugby Players

Team building is obviously pretty difficult. If it was easy we wouldn’t be paying coaches money to build them, the Wallabies would have one the World Cup and Australian Super Rugby franchises would win the title every year.

One of the reasons I love the NBA 2K series (apart from the MyCareer) is the ability to be a GM and turn a team into a title contender. I’ve always thought it would be cool if we could make trades in Rugby. It’s something that hasn’t really made its way into Australian sports. The AFL being the exception, but even then it’s not as highly publicised as in American sports.

With that in mind, what if we could make trades in Super Rugby? Rather than cutting players or paying them $800,000 to play Club Rugby what if we could flip them for additional assets?

There would have to be some caveats:

  1. Players may only be traded within their country
  2. Player salaries aren’t widely known so for this experiment players will be traded at their level (E.g international for international).

Let’s see if trades would be able to help any of our Australian Super Rugby teams make the jump.

Brumbies Flip Slipper for Playmaker

I understand better than most the value of a front rower (particularly a tight-head prop). Loose-heads However, are slightly easier to come across and the Brumbies already have Sio, up and comer Harry Lloyd and Les Makin (who can cover both sides).

When looking at the Brumbies stocks they’re lacking a little in experience in those playmaking roles. Noah Lolesio looks like he might be ready to make the jump and take hold of that number 10 jumper. Noah is quite an accomplished young footballer at only 20 years old he’s already steered a club rugby team to two grand finals (one win), played in an NRC grand final and almost won an under 20s world cup. But, he needs a running mate. Someone who’ has some experienced and is maybe looking for some more playing time in 2020. Someone like Billy Meakes?

Two years ago before the Western Force were famously axed from Super Rugby, Bill Meakes was the best number 12 in Australia. He’s exactly what a number 12 should be, creative and skillful while also being a powerful and devastating ball carrier. However, he’s spent the better part of his Melbourne Rebels career playing behind the likes of Campbell Magnay, Reece Hodge and Matt To’omua . With an opportunity to play inside Tevita Kuridrani and outside (most likely) Noah Lolesio, Meakes would have an opportunity to show his full range of skills and not to mention the damage Kuridrani and Meakes could do…

The Brumbies come off slightly better in this trade in my view however Melbourne get an experienced front rower injected into a forward pack that really lacked punch at the back end of the 2019 season.

Rebels Acquire Scrum Half of the Future

With Will Genia finishing up at the Melbourne after just one season. The Rebels are in need of a long-term solution at Scrum-Half.

The Brumbies have announced that Nick White will return to the Brumbies for the 2021 season. The 2020 season will be an audition between Joe Powell, Ryan Lonergan and Isaak Fines to decide who will be Nick’s back-up in 2021. But, perhaps the Brumbies would be willing to part with one of these young men in exchange for a big body upfront.

In this alternate rugby universe we can makes trades. It wouldn be irresponsible of the Rebels to no enquire about one of the Brumbies Scrum-Halves. What if the Rebels offered Esei Ha’angana in exchange for Ryan Lonergan?

Ha’angana is one of the youngest players to make their Super Rugby debut (18 years and 15 days). He’sĀ  a product of the the Junior Wallaby Set-up having spent the last two years contributing to the u20s campaign. He’s a large (198cm and 119kgs) physical ball carrier and is a tough defender. Additionally he could prove an ideal long-term lock partner for Brumbies up-and-comer Darcy Swain.

Lonergan has long been a highly touted prospect. He captained the Australia Schoolboys and Under 20’s and help guide the Tuggeranong Vikings to a premiership at 19 years old. However, he is yet to really be given an chance while sitting behind Powell and Lucas. He has the most consistent pass in the Brumbies set-up currently, he’s a skilled playmaker and steady goal kicker. 2020 might be the year takes the job from Powell but knowing Nick White is arriving in 2021 might be enough for the Brumbies to ship him off for the right offer. Pairing him with the experience of Matt To’omua would prove invaluable.

I think this trade works for both teams and perhaps if you packaged them together in the one trade there’s significant value for both teams.

What do you think? Let us know who you’d trade for.

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