Friday, January 4, 2008

Flankers Galore?

... the back row is made up of the two flankers (#6 and #7) and the number 8. The flankers bind on each side of the scrum — next to a lock and behind a prop. Generally the #7 flanker is referred to as the openside flanker, and with the #6 flanker as the blindside flanker. "Openside" and "blindside" refer to the wide and narrow side of the pitch respectively, as scrums usually occur closer to one of the touchlines than the other. The openside flanker's job is to get to the next ruck or maul as quickly as possible, so he will usually bind on that side. The number 8 binds behind the two locks, with his/her head between them

-Courtesy of Wikipedia. For more information please visit

With the recent signing of Joel Leong to the team of flankers, the SMU back-row looks to be no push over this season. There has been recent talks that Joel Leong, is to be hailed as the next "Lionel Poh" or the next "natural robber" and the youngster who recently signed for the City boys showed on his first outing against the All Star Old Boys why he is associated with such a speculative tag as he recorded a good game, inflicting more turnovers than veteran Poh(picture right), as well as finishing off the game with a well-deserved try.

At the moment, the team consists of 7-9 loose forwards who are competing for the spots of open-side and blindside flanker, as well as the #8 position.

The depth in the team has caused a very healthy scene of competition and rivalry in the team, as team-mates battled it out and push each other during training, attempting to cement their places in the starting 15. Shen Sijie aka The Animal, has been seen hitting the gym on a more regular basis and was even reported to be on time for training for the first time since signing for the City Boys.

Stiff competition for flankers is also likely to force National flanker Daniel Marc Chow to possibly be pushed to second-row while Joel Leong, Shen Sijie, Lionel Poh, Chong Wei Nurn, Benjamin Teong and Daniel Lee battle it out for spots in the back-row.

When interviewed by SMUrugby News, Captain Amos Siow said,

"Its good to see such depth in the team, but it also has given us a bit of a headache of who to pick to start. Nevertheless, it's a good problem to have in the team and hopefully in time we will find the best combination for the team."

Its has been reported that the management has issued a statement to the players, that attendance for training will be a factor to be considered in their selection for the upcoming Tri-Universities Rugby Championship.

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