Major League signings for MLR?

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Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Puja » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:41 pm

Utah have made the first real marquee signing of MLR with Fetu'u Vainikolo (of Highlanders, Connacht, Exeter and Tonga fame) - while he's aging and I doubt many Americans would recognise his name, he is a statement of intent as an experienced and hardened professional, as opposed to the semi-pros that have been being signed up for MLR teams so far and he'll raise the standard.

I was trying to think of other players that MLR might want to target and thought I'd throw it out to the board (assuming people from other boards pop in). I would imagine that the kind of players looked for would be experienced professionals willing to impart knowledge, but coming towards the end of a career and so willing to take a similar sort of salary that they'd get in the English Championship (not Bristol) for a significantly shorter season.

The only name I could come up with was Alex Corbisiero, and I've got no idea whether he's let himself get drastically out of shape since retiring and moving to America. Still only 29 though and I suspect a few teams could use a good prop. Anyone got any thoughts?

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Digby » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:47 pm

What sort of money is on offer?

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Re: Transfer rumors, whispers, suggestions, and outright lies - Season 2017/2018

Postby Which Tyler » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:14 pm

So you're after names of player who's normally go to Japan, but would prefer to be paid 1/4 of the salary to avoid the culture shock (language wouldn't be an issue with so many kiwis, Aussies, Shaffer and islanders there).

So basically, were after Americans themselves... So Chris Wyles

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby morepork » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:19 pm

What about VISA issues? Moving a family to a user-pays health clusterfuck and all that. If it is well run (professional) they could scoop some really useful talent/experience. I think a few Fijians have been recruited by clubs over the past year. There could be quite a few Australians looking for work if they don't get their shit together down there pretty soon.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Puja » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:33 pm

Digby wrote:What sort of money is on offer?


Nothing confirmed, but each club has had to put down a £2m deposit just to participate in the league, so they're not poor. The salary cap is $250k, so I'd reckon a marquee could get up to $50k for a 12 week season, but the salary cap has more holes in it than the English one - it only applies during the regular season (so you can get paid big bucks for "exhibition" matches in the off-season), coaching (or "coaching") salaries are not included, and you could go get a contract elsewhere for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, the season's late April-June this year (likely to be moved back to start of March next year), so it doesn't mesh very well with any other leagues.

Which Tyler wrote:So you're after names of player who's normally go to Japan, but would prefer to be paid 1/4 of the salary to avoid the culture shock (language wouldn't be an issue with so many kiwis, Aussies, Shaffer and islanders there).

So basically, were after Americans themselves... So Chris Wyles


Wyles is a good shout, although I'm not sure if Saracens are really done with him yet. They do tend to like keeping on their golden oldies for a while.

They're not really going to be getting anyone who'd get a contract in Japan - more likely people who fancy one last hurrah instead of retirement or lower-league ignominy.

morepork wrote:What about VISA issues? Moving a family to a user-pays health clusterfuck and all that. If it is well run (professional) they could scoop some really useful talent/experience. I think a few Fijians have been recruited by clubs over the past year. There could be quite a few Australians looking for work if they don't get their shit together down there pretty soon.


The league appears to be quite promising (Houston got 5,400 crowd to their first pre-season game on Saturday) and is much more stable than the last Yank league, as it's formed from existing clubs, rather than one rich guy's dream. However, I can understand players being wary of it given the cock-up that was the last league two years ago.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Digby » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:42 pm

Puja wrote:so I'd reckon a marquee could get up to $50k for a 12 week season


I'll give it some thought

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Which Tyler » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:44 pm

Puja wrote:
Which Tyler wrote:So you're after names of player who's normally go to Japan, but would prefer to be paid 1/4 of the salary to avoid the culture shock (language wouldn't be an issue with so many kiwis, Aussies, Shaffer and islanders there).

So basically, were after Americans themselves... So Chris Wyles


Wyles is a good shout, although I'm not sure if Saracens are really done with him yet. They do tend to like keeping on their golden oldies for a while.

They're not really going to be getting anyone who'd get a contract in Japan - more likely people who fancy one last hurrah instead of retirement or lower-league ignominy.
Meh, still sounds like the same player pool that head to Japan for one last hurrah instead of retirement or lower league ignominy - except that Japan IS lower league ignominy, and MLR is even-lower league ignominy - for now at least.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby morepork » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:38 am

Japan has better food and fewer GUNZ.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Tigersman » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:29 am

Mat Tait would be a good target, still a good player just off the pace now in the prem to be a starter IMO.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Puja » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:29 pm

Tigersman wrote:Mat Tait would be a good target, still a good player just off the pace now in the prem to be a starter IMO.


I think they'd be more likely to get Matt Smith rather than Mat Tait for the money on offer - surely Tait could get a sinecure in Pro Deux or Japan.

Actually, Smith's not a bad shout - he's getting on a bit, but could still do a very handy job and pass on some knowledge. Albeit Leicester will probably find a job for him coaching instead. I'd imagine that's likely to be Wyles's destination as well, rather than dropping down a level.

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Re: Transfer rumors, whispers, suggestions, and outright lies - Season 2017/2018

Postby Mellsblue » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:14 pm

Which Tyler wrote:So you're after names of player who's normally go to Japan, but would prefer to be paid 1/4 of the salary to avoid the culture shock (language wouldn't be an issue with so many kiwis, Aussies, Shaffer and islanders there).

So basically, were after Americans themselves... So Chris Wyles

There are plenty examples of footballers going to the MLS rather than more lucrative contracts elsewhere. Admittedly, these are multimillionaires who can move for lifestyle rather than pension pot. However, if the league becomes established, I can see plenty of ex-England players going after they retire from test rugby. They'll already have seven figures in the bank and four months in New York , San Francisco, LA etc etc might appeal above grinding yourself in to the dust in France or the issues of moving to Japan.

I could see the more celebrity inclined/metropolitan players - Robshaw, Haskell, Foden for example - doing it.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Which Tyler » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:22 pm

IF it becomes established, then yes, but it isn't yet, and only the very cream of rugby's talent earn enough that they can sit on their earning once they quit the game; most start looking to their future businesses whilst still playing and using their celebrity (and club endorsements) to get off the ground nice and quickly. Heading to the US whilst trying to establish your UK business doesn't seem sensible.
It still seems that Japan already fulfills all the requirements that those player who want to wind down quietly whilst drawing a rugby wage overseas... except that the cash is better in Japan.
You are right to look at rugby's celebrity obsessed players being wowed by the US, but let's not kid ourselves that the Ciprianis, Haskells and Fodens are in the same celebrity league as Beckham or Gazza
Last edited by Which Tyler on Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Puja » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:38 pm

I would've thought Haskell will definitely do it in 2-3 years. Live in somewhere like New York or San Diego and be the best player in the team in his declining years? Sounds right up his alley.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby morepork » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Puja wrote:I would've thought Haskell will definitely do it in 2-3 years. Live in somewhere like New York or San Diego and be the best player in the team in his declining years? Sounds right up his alley.

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Or picking up Mormon weemin in Salt Lake.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Mellsblue » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:59 pm

Which Tyler wrote:IF it becomes established, then yes, but it isn't yet, and only the very cream of rugby's talent earn enough that they can sit on their earning once they quit the game; most start looking to their future businesses whilst still playing and using their celebrity (and club endorsements) to get off the ground nice and quickly. Heading to the US whilst trying to establish your UK business doesn't seem sensible.
It still seems that Japan already fulfills all the requirements that those player who want to wind down quietly whilst drawing a rugby wage overseas... except that the cash is better in Japan.
You are right to look at rugby's celebrity obsessed players being wowed by the US, but let's not kid ourselves that the Ciprianis, Haskells and Fodens are in the same celebrity league as Beckham or Gazza

As I said in my post, it'll only happen if the league becomes established and it'll only be the high earning players, i.e ex-England. Robshaw, Haskell and the like are all worth £2/3/4 million if not a bit more. Someone such as Haskell may see it as business opportunity, with his business interests, and the $$$ salary may only be a secondary consideration.
I'm not looking at the celebrity players thinking they'll be stars in the US but rather that those sort of personalities will like the New York, LA etc lifestyle.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Puja » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:34 pm

Okay, so this is pretty much the perfect example of the kind of washed up old player who really shouldn't be getting contracts anywhere else: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42628928

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Digby » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:46 am

Clearly if you're going to mention anyone (to blame) on the back of Ulster signed Beaver then you'd be mentioning Paddy Jackson, and then you wouldn't be mentioning beaver

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby BBD » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:52 pm

Careful now

Down with this sort of thing

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Sandydragon » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:54 pm

Corbisiero must be older than that? It feels like he left the international scene a long time ago.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Puja » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:26 pm

Sandydragon wrote:Corbisiero must be older than that? It feels like he left the international scene a long time ago.


Only 27 when he retired. Classic case of too much propping too young. Not sure if he actually would be interested in making a comeback - I've heard him say in interviews that he was sad with how his career ended and he'd love to have come back, but couldn't manage 35 game seasons anymore, which would suggest this'd be right up his alley, especially with a NY team next year.

On the other hand, he's had two years to get old and unfit, and he might not want to jeopardise his new career in TV presenting as the face of Premiership rugby in America to have one last hurrah.

Speaking of last hurrahs, this is who the MLR teams are picking up: https://djcoilrugby.com/2018/01/09/seat ... ter-smith/

Ex-Ospreys and ex-Kubota Spears, so he ticks the "experienced professional" box, but I'm not sure he's going to be raising the bar too high.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Mellsblue » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:52 pm

Puja wrote:
Sandydragon wrote:Corbisiero must be older than that? It feels like he left the international scene a long time ago.


Only 27 when he retired. Classic case of too much propping too young. Not sure if he actually would be interested in making a comeback - I've heard him say in interviews that he was sad with how his career ended and he'd love to have come back, but couldn't manage 35 game seasons anymore, which would suggest this'd be right up his alley, especially with a NY team next year.

On the other hand, he's had two years to get old and unfit, and he might not want to jeopardise his new career in TV presenting as the face of Premiership rugby in America to have one last hurrah.

Speaking of last hurrahs, this is who the MLR teams are picking up: https://djcoilrugby.com/2018/01/09/seat ... ter-smith/

Ex-Ospreys and ex-Kubota Spears, so he ticks the "experienced professional" box, but I'm not sure he's going to be raising the bar too high.

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I’m not sure it’s a case of too much too young. Did he do any more propping than any other age group player? Marler was a regular for Quins from 19/20 and he’s not had too many injury worries. Granted, the numerous rests due to various bans may have helped. Corbisiero may have just had a body that couldn’t cope with pro-rugby. He wouldn’t be the first and he wouldn’t be the last.

I saw the news about that signing, accompanied by the ex-Ospreys line. I was mildly excited until I did some research in to his time there. I can only presume he makes a good cup of tea.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Which Tyler » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:24 pm

Mellsblue wrote:I’m not sure it’s a case of too much too young. Did he do any more propping than any other age group player? Marler was a regular for Quins from 19/20 and he’s not had too many injury worries. Granted, the numerous rests due to various bans may have helped. Corbisiero may have just had a body that couldn’t cope with pro-rugby. He wouldn’t be the first and he wouldn’t be the last.

You had to ask didn't you?
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=30&p=129#p129
Basically, yes, yes he did. corn.s is the poster boy for playing too much too young, I first wrote that what? 6 years ago?

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Mellsblue » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:46 pm

Which Tyler wrote:
Mellsblue wrote:I’m not sure it’s a case of too much too young. Did he do any more propping than any other age group player? Marler was a regular for Quins from 19/20 and he’s not had too many injury worries. Granted, the numerous rests due to various bans may have helped. Corbisiero may have just had a body that couldn’t cope with pro-rugby. He wouldn’t be the first and he wouldn’t be the last.

You had to ask didn't you?
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=30&p=129#p129
Basically, yes, yes he did. corn.s is the poster boy for playing too much too young, I first wrote that what? 6 years ago?

Doesn't answer my question of has he played more than any other young prop or does he just have an inherent weakness exposed by playing. I’m not dismissing the idea that players of that age put too much stress through still maturing bodies, but he must be an extreme case given the amount of props who are first team regulars at a young age but are still playing after Corbs had retired.

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Re: Major League signings for MLR?

Postby Which Tyler » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:50 pm

Mellsblue wrote:Doesn't answer my question of has he played more than any other young prop or does he just have an inherent weakness exposed by playing. I’m not dismissing the idea that players of that age put too much stress through still maturing bodies, but he must be an extreme case given the amount of props who are first team regulars at a young age but are still playing after Corbs had retired.

Like who?
Give me names and I'll happily run the stats over the next couple off days.
There really aren't many who played more rugby at a young age than those in that post. Basically, you're looking at front rowers who are first choice starters by 22.


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