London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

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London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:53 pm

  Welcome to this seasons thread for talking about all things London Irish. 

Senior Squad (39)

Technical Director: Brendan Venter
Director of Rugby: Nick Kennedy
Assistant Coach: Clark Laidlaw
Forwards Coach: George Skivington
Defence Coach: Declan Danaher
Skills Coach: Paul Hodgson

Hooker: David Paice, Gerard Ellis, David Porecki, Jason Harris-Wright, Todd Gleave (dual registered with Rosslyn Park).
Prop: Tom Court, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Tom Smallbone, Ben Franks, Richard Palframan, Ollie Hoskins.
Second Row: Sebastien de Chaves, Jerry Sexton, Jebb Sinclair, George Robson, Will Lloyd.
Back Row: Blair Cowan, Ofisa Treviranus, Luke Narraway, Connor Gilsenen, Joe Trayfoot, Mike Coman, Max Northcote-Green, Senitiki Nayalo.
Scrum Half: Brendan McKibbin, Scott Steele, Darren Allinson (on loan to Bath).
Fly Half: Greig Tonks, Tommy Bell, Theo Brophy-Clews.
Centre: Johnny Williams, Fergus Mulchrone, Ciaran Hearn, Tom Fowlie
Back Three: Topsy Ojo, Alex Lewington, Aseli Tikoirotuama, James Marshall, Ben Ransom


Senior Academy Squad (12)

Hooker: Matt Kouris (dual registered with Esher)
Prop: Harry Elrington (dual registered with Rosslyn Park), Austin Hay (Academy Plus)
Back Row: Isaac Curtis-Harris (dual registered with Esher), Jack Cooke (Academy Plus)
Scrum Half: Conor Murphy, Rory Brand (dual registered with Rosslyn Park)
Fly Half: Tom Parton
Centre: Ross Neal, Matt Williams
Wing: Joe Cokanasiga, Jacob Atkins


Fixture List

Date Time Opponents H/A Venue Competition Result Scorers 







Sat 13th Aug15:00 HarlequinsAThe Stoop FriendlyW 28-12 T: Cowan, Neal, Nayolo, Atkins  C: Bell 3, Tonks.
Fri 19th Aug19:30NottinghamHHazelwood FriendlyW 43-14
Fri 26th Aug19:30Loughborough StudentsHHazelwoodFriendlyW 46-21
Sat 3rd Sep15:00Doncaster KnightsHMadStadChampionship W 19-0T: Fowlie, Tikoroituma  P: Bell 3.
Sat 10th Sep15:00RichmondHMadStadChampionshipW 36-12T: Paice, Cowan 2, Ellis, McKibbin, Elrington. C: Bell 3.
Sat 17th Sep15:00Bedford BluesAGoldington RoadChampionshipW 30-23T: Franks, Williams, Ojo, Northcote-Green. C: Bell 2. P: Bell 2.
Sun 25th Sep15:00Ealing TrailfindersHMadStadChampionshipW 32-12T: Ransom, Trayfoot, Marshall, Steele C:Bell, Marshall 2 P:Bell 2.
Fri 30th Sep19:45NottinghamALadyBay SportsChampionshipW 29-7T: Steele Tikoroituma Northcote-Green Mulchrone C:Bell 3 P:Bell. 
Sat 8th Oct15:00London WelshHMadStadChampionshipW 35-12T: Mulchrone, Paice, de Chaves, McKibbin. C: Bell. 3 P: Bell 3.
Sat 15th Oct15:00Ospreys Prem SelectAThe GnollB & I CupW 25-14T: Neal, Ransom, Nayalo, Palframan.  C: Tonks.  P: Tonks.
Sat 22nd Oct15:00Connacht EaglesHMadStadB & I CupW 34-3T: Elrington, Hoskins, Harris-Wright, Parton, Cokanasiga.  C: Tonks 3 P: Tonks.
Sat 29th Oct15:00London ScottishARAGChampionshipW 62-12T: Paice, McKibbin, Cokanasiga, Bell 2, Tikoirotuma, Steele, Cowan C: Bell 8, P: Bell 2.
Sat 5th Nov15:00Yorkshire CarnegieHMadStadChampionshipW 41-17T: Ransom 2, Tikoirotuma, Marshall 2. C: Bell 5. P: Bell 2.
Sat 19th Nov13:00Cornish PiratesAMennaye FieldChampionshipW 35-24T: Ransom 2, Franks 2, Northcote-Green  C: Marshall 2.  P: Tonks 2.
Sun 27th Nov15:00Jersey RedsHMadStadChampionshipW 42-29
T: Ransom, Paice 2, Palframan, Fowlie  C: Bell 4  P: Bell 2  DG: Bell.
Sat 3rd Dec14:00Rotherham TitansAClifton LaneChampionshipW 38-10T: Cokanasiga 2, Bell 2, Steele.  C: Bell 5  P: Bell.
Sun 11th Dec
15:00
Cornish Pirates
H
MadStad
B & I Cup


16/17/18 Dec

Cornish Pirates
A
Mennaye Field
B & I Cup


Sat 24th Dec
15:00
Richmond
A
RAG
Championship


Sat 31st Dec
15:00
Bedford Blues
H
MadStad
Championship


13/14/15 Jan

Connacht Eagles
A

B & I Cup


Sat 21st Jan
15:00
Ospreys Prem Select
H
MadStad
B & I Cup


Sat 28th Jan
15:00
Ealing Trailfinders
A
Vallis Way
Championship


Sun 5th Feb
14:00
Nottingham
H
MadStad
Championship


Sat 18th Feb
14:00
London Welsh
A
Old Deer Park
Championship


Sat 25th Feb
15:00
London Scottish
H
MadStad
Championship


Sun 5th Mar
15:00
Yorkshire Carnegie
A
Headingley
Championship


Sat 18th Mar
14:00
Cornish Pirates
H
MadStad
Championship


Sat 25th Mar
14:00
Jersey Reds
A
St Peter
Championship


Sat 8th Apr
15:00
Rotherham Titans
H
MadStad
Championship


Sat 15th Apr
15:00
Doncaster Knights
A
Castle Park
Championship

Season Preview

Well it's been an interesting summer in the aftermath of relegation.  It was clear from the outset that we would lose some players and would have to cut our cloth accordingly.  Initially it appeared that Tom Coventry was staying, but a late u-turn from him meant a new coaching set up was required.  New coaches, loss of big names, new players to integrate, sounds like a recipe for disaster, and we've certainly been there many times over the past few years.  This however, does not feel like that at all.  Perhaps it's because we are a league down, but there is real optimism around, primarily because of those things.  The holy trinity of Nick Kennedy, Declan Danaher and Paul Hodgson have been promoted to the first team after overseeing a successful academy season last year, and have Brendan Venter overseeing them as technical director.  This is exciting.  A proven winner overseeing a young, hungry and exciting coaching team.  On the playing side, the main losses being Matt Symons and Sean Maitland are more than offset by the likes of George Robson, James Marshall and Tommy Bell coming in.  If anything it feels as if we may have a stronger squad this year than we've had for the past 4 or 5.

Two games into pre season and things look positive.  Comfortably beating an admittedly understrength Quins, and a high scoring win against Nottingham have given plenty of optimism for the season ahead.  There were still defensive lapses, which will need to be ironed out, but barring complacency or an absolute stinker in terms of form, we should have more than enough to comfortably make the dreaded play offs, where it then becomes a test of mental strength rather than ability.



Ozzy'sprediction: Champions


Last edited by Ozzy3213 on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:37 am; edited 26 times in total

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by exileray on Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:22 pm

if you think we will finish 10th we must still be very weak in certain areas.
where would you say those areas are and how do we go about putting them right.
as everybody I speak to say to me I really like the new signings and the new coaching staff

if irish finish anywhere near 10th and players like Symonds have a good season as he is expected to do he will be off and irish will be back where they were.
we have just released Jamie hagan and james short so I am hoping that we can bring in two more to replace these as they were both first team squad members.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:43 am

exileray wrote:if you think we will finish 10th we must still be very weak in certain areas.
where would you say those areas are and how do we go about putting them right.
as everybody I speak to say to me I really like the new signings and the new coaching staff

if irish finish anywhere near 10th and players like Symonds have a good season as he is expected to do he will be off and irish will be back where they were.
we have just released Jamie hagan and james short so I am hoping that we can bring in two more to replace these as they were both first team squad members.

I think it's more a reflection on how strong the league is these days. Personally think we are likely to be stronger than Worcester and Newcastle, but after that you have to start deciding which other teams we are likely to finish above. Most bookies have the three of us adrift on fairly similar odds. While we could have a stellar season and climb a few places, I'm a realist (or pessimist) and the first target is always to avoid relegation.

That said I'm very encouraged by the progress made behind the scenes and with recruitment over the last 6 months and feel we are definitely heading in the right direction. Takes time for these things to bed in though, especially with the player turnover (many arriving late). Personally would predict a 9th or 10th finish, but would be very pleased if we did any better. Feel Sale may be dragged into difficulty a little this year as they are standing still a little imo.

Few key areas for me:

Scrum - Optimistic here. We will struggle to climb the league without improvements here. Was a massive handicap for us throughout much of the year, but feel that Palf's performances at the end of the year were very encouraging. Assuming he can replicate and build from there, the addition of Franks (with Court possibly fromt he bench) on the LH could provide a little more solidity. Symons is also a big lump, which can't do any harm as we tended to have lightweight locks paired with Skivs last year.
Discipline - No brainer. Our discipline was the worst in the league by a distance. While it could be argued that this was a symptom of being under pressure and of a poor scrum, Welsh and Newcastle did a lot better on this front. We won't go anywhere averaging 12+ pens a game.

Should be fun though and am looking forward to the season. Am struggling to predict the first choice team at this stage, which is probably indicative of having more depth this year.

On the other points, I don't think Symons will be going anywhere if we finish 10th (or near 10th). He is probably being groomed for captaincy. Assuming it works out I wouldn't be surprised to see him start next year as captain. He's signed a three year deal I think and wouldn't have done so with his eyes closed. He knows he's going to a club likely to finish in the bottom half. Hagan was surplus to requirements with Smallbone and Palf promoted. It's possible that Short may be replaced, but with no LV this year, I think they are more likely to try and save a few quid given the reduced demands on the squad.

Edit - Good OP by the way Ozzy

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:04 am

Good post Ozzy.

Totally agree with MW. We have strengthened, but the league is just so competitive now that a 10th place finish is still likely. I think the Premiership will end up looking like the French Top 14 with very few points separating top and bottom. Ultimately, that means we need to win more of our home games. Therefore, I would take a higher points tally (as we achieved in 2014/15 compared to 2013/14) as the real measure of improvement, rather than where we are placed in the league.

In terms of an actual prediction though, I think somewhere between 7th and 10th is about right. I personally would go for 9th though as I think we should be better than Worcester, Newcastle and Sale, but the rest are probably still a bit ahead of us. Quins and Gloucester would be the next two within our sights, but Gloucester in particular are likely to have a bit too much I think.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:25 am

What do we hope for the 7s squad for next week? I hope to see the academy lads plus a couple of extra older heads in there - in particular guys who haven't had much Rugby over the past few years due to injuries. I realise we have three guys with the Under 18s who won't be back until a few days before the tournament starts but I think they should still be involved in a reduced capacity:

Ellis
Langdon
Curry
Narraway (c)
Trayfoot
Watson
Murphy
Brophy-Clews
Williams
Neal
Waldouck
Ojo

I realise in actuality we will probably see a side of just the academy guys and then some ringers making up the numbers, but I would like to see something like the above.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:05 am

I'd like to see something like this.

Langdon
Ellis
Cruse
Curry
Gilsenan
Watson
Brophy-Clews
Williams
Neal
Fowlie
Waldouck
Ojo

So very similar to what you have gone for SB.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:40 am

I hope we both get something close to what we want on the 7s front. Coventry and co may want to use it as an early chance to cast an eye over one or two players and further enhance the winning mentality he is trying to build. On the other hand, it is probably more likely we will have a host of guys we have never heard of Very Happy...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:06 pm

When do TBC, Langdon and Williams get back from South Africa? May be cutting it a bit fine for them.

Will be an interesting squad. Glen was definitely a ringers and academy kids kind of bloke after it was taken a little more seriously under Booth. Guess we'll soon find out with Coventry.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:16 pm

The final game is on Saturday, so I expect they will be back for Monday. I definitely think that would give them enough time to play some part. It depends on their fatigue levels I guess though. Watson might also be away as I have seen he has been picked for the Commonwealth Youth Games, although I'm not sure on the dates of that.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:22 pm

Yeah, that should be enough time for them to be involved then. Would be good to see a few of the senior guys involved this year, especially given the long pre season.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:49 pm

I'll be very surprised if we have a load of ringers in as we have done in previous seasons. TC will surely want to look at a few players, and as has been mentioned, it's a long pre season, so no real need to resting guys ready for the big kick off.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:16 pm

Hope you're right. Interesting to see that we trained with London Scottish today. Looks like Symons is getting involved which is good to see. Sheriff looks like a bit of a unit too.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:46 pm

Yeah, I reckon that might have got a bit competitive, which is great. Was great to see them doing a live scrummaging session against Scottish as well.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:21 pm

7s Squad announced

London Irish Singha 7s Series Squad:
Ross Neal
Connor Murphy
Johnny Williams
Callum Watson
Tom Parton
Joe Cokanasiga
Curtis Langdon
Matt Williams
Rory Brand
Ryan Jeffery  
Sam Bellhouse
Paul Hodgson

No 1st team squad (or TBC). A mix of senior academy, U18s, ringers and Hodgson dusting off his boots.

Anyone know much about Matt Williams? Seem to remember hearing he was a good prospect at some point, so will be interesting to see him play.

Edit - Looked Rory Brand up as I hadn't heard of him before. The kid has an awesome step.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuQ7GuGNUq0

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:34 pm

I thought I recognised Rory Brand's name. I believe he was up north and in the Sale academy but Wellington offered him a scholarship. I didn't realise we had snapped him up though. A real coup if so as he is meant to be top notch. I don't know much about Williams apart from the fact that he's very well regarded. He has a very good outside break from the little I have seen.

4 scrum halves in that squad!

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by MacWigan on Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:58 pm

Rory Brand is the inaugural recipient of the Jimmy Higham Scholarship at Wellington College and as well being with London Irish he is also a capped England U18s and England Academies U17s player. Check out his google+ account.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:02 pm

Looks a prospect MacWigan.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:46 pm

Like the look of the side for tomorrow's match with Munster. Great to see Symons straight in at captain, although worried that we are already without our first three fly halves.

Most importantly, I am very pleased to see Ellis in the 2 shirt and hope he can push on and stay injury free.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:51 pm

Yeah, the 10 situation is a little concerning, although thankfully there is still a long time before the start of the season. Looks like every man and his dog in the squad for the Munster game. Off the top of my head I'm guessing this means that the following all have niggles of some description:

Goode (know about that one)
Shane
Noakes
Fowlie
Guest
Rouse
Trayfoot (aware of that one too)
Mulchrone

Hey, at least our hookers are all fit for a change.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:01 pm

Noakes has a niggle, not being risked. Goode is in recovery, and should be fit for the start of the season. Shane I am told will be fit at the end of October. Great opportunity for Brophy-Clews to gain some experience during pre-season.

The one I am looking forward to seeing is Waldouck. From all accounts I've heard, he's been pulling up trees in training. He was a cracking prospect a few years back, but injuries have really held him back. If we can keep him fit, he could prove to be a tremendous signing.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:22 pm

Centres are definitely interesting this year in relation to competition for places. Honestly wouldn't be surprised to see almost any combination of Waldouck, Griffin, Mulchrone, Fowlie and possibly Shane establish themselves. Hopefully Dom's put his injury issues behind him, seems to have been without a serious issue for a while now.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:15 am

What is Trayfoot's injury?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:03 am

SirBurger wrote:What is Trayfoot's injury?

Not sure. My old man was at the season ticket holders thing last week and said he was walking round in a plastic boot. Hopefully nothing serious, as I'm looking forward to see how he gets on and whether he can force his way into the back row equation.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:45 pm

The latests episode of The Blarney podcast is available for download now. Has Eoin Sheriff talking about tonights game with Munster and Glenn Delaney talking about Alex Lewington on it.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:52 pm

Actually able to watch the Munster pre season game as they are streaming it on periscope

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aLCbIjU4OTg2fDFCUktqcEx3QXBWSnc3HMJY3LcxUCG1ZRVvgLF3tfyRRSOU9D9lOaawvcBU9w==

Munster 7 - 0 LI @ HT

Conway try.

LI doing okay (although may fall apart when we change half the team as is customary in these games), couple of nice breaks with Lewington pulled into touch in the corner twice. Not bad considering that this is Munster's last pre season game.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:58 am

From my vantage point in Berkshire watching the periscope feed on my phone, it looked like a decent enough first hit out. I thought we actually played better in the first half than the second, but lost the first half 0-7 and won the second 15-14.

Of the new guys, I though Symons, Sheriff, Waldouck and McKibbin when he came on looked decent. Still some work to do on discipline, and Paice is going to have to really cut down his personal card count (albeit this one was more of a team card) as Ellis and Cruse would appear to be breathing right down his neck this season.

Some work to do for the coaches, but encouraging to see us trying to keep the ball alive a bit.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:11 am

Sounds like McKibbin was good when he came on and very useful to have a 9 who can slot difficult kicks.

Also pleasing to hear that TBC looked at home. A small part of me feared it might be a bit soon for him.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:51 am

Managed to watch most of the game in the end (until the Saili injury - so saw neither of our tries). Overall pretty encouraged by that given where the teams are in their respective pre seasons.

Was difficult to see a lot of what was happening / identify players at the other side of the pitch, but overall I was impressed with our intensity in defence. Barring a lapse for the first Conway try through the middle and a poor 15 minute spell in the 2nd half, we seemed to cope pretty comfortably and managed to turn their ball over. The backs also looked threatening in both halfs and Lewington (i think) especially was hauled down in the corner just short a couple of times. Also had a nice try called back for a forward pass. McKibbin's service was very good, so will be interesting to see who ends up getting the nod at 9 come the start of the season.

Still a few too many pens conceded, especially during the spell after half time. Couldn't pick out the Paice infringement to get binned, but wasn't surprised to hear his name mentioned. A shame they went to sleep for the subsequent tap pen, although better to go to sleep there and concede than on the first day of the season.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:08 pm

Rumour across the Twittersphere that Blair Cowan has been left out of the Scotland squad. Their loss is our gain, but absolutely gutted for him.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by George Carlin on Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:15 pm


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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by George Carlin on Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:58 pm

Ozzy3213 wrote:Rumour across the Twittersphere that Blair Cowan has been left out of the Scotland squad.  Their loss is our gain, but absolutely gutted for him.
Yes, Cowan missed out which is probably tied in joint-first place as being the most inexplicable of Cotter's judgement calls (the other being Tim Swinson included instead of Hamilton, Harley or Toolis).

Most Scotland fans saw a great loose forward combination as 6. Cowan 7. Hardie 8. Denton/Strauss but now we aren't going to get the chance to see it.

Reciprocally, Scarlets are going to have a boiling mad John Barclay available to them for the season opener against Glasgow.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:14 am

GC - I don't remember your personal take on Cowan, but on this forum it did seem like most Scotland fans were pushing for Cowan to be left out of the squad. However, when they realised that Strokosch was the alternative, suddenly it seems as if Cowan's exclusion was a big controversy!

To be honest, I have never quite understood the fact that a fair few on this forum don't rate him. I watch him every week for Irish and have probably seen at least 90% of his international appearances and for me he has performed very well. I'm not the only one who rates him so highly - almost all pundits have been very complimentary about his performances for Scotland.

(Realise I am probably repeating what I have said numerous times on the Scottish International Thread)

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by George Carlin on Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:36 pm

SB - the problem with Cowan was that he was blocking the emergence (or continuation) of some very good opensides - John Barclay, Hamish Watson, John Hardie and Hugh Blake. He also concedes a lot of penalties, even for an openside - probably a product of having to do a lot of the breakdown work himself.

Then, in the warm-up games - lo and behold, Vern Cotter started playing him at 6 and with some jackalling help from the likes of Hardie, he looked a much better player - being a big enough barsteward to do a lot of the defensive work that blindsides are chosen for. Given that Scottish opinion is mixed on David Denton at blindside (with the superior Rob Harley being told that VC sees him as a lock for some reason), there seemed to be a very good reason for playing Cowan at 6, with someone like Hardie at 7 and big Josh Strauss at 8. Very nicely balanced.

So it's not that we don't like Cowan or don't think he's effective. It's just that we don't think we've found our best back row balance yet.

Incidentally, another one of your favourite sons, Mr Sean Daniel Maitland is playing his first game for Scotland for a v long time this weekend. Let's hope that the shoulder is fine.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:03 pm

Ok GC - that makes sense and helps me to understand a little bit! To be honest I dip in and out of the Scottish threads so no surprise that I didn't get the full picture.

Really hoping Maitland goes well at 15. No doubt, a very talented player. I seem to remember he did play at 15 in a couple of the Autumn Internationals back in 2013 and seemed to go quite well. Let's hope for more of the same on Saturday.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by George Carlin on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:14 pm

Maitland played half of his games for the Crusaders at 15, so don't worry about that for a moment. Maitland has also said in interviews that he prefers 15 to 14 as he can get more involved.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:06 pm

George Carlin wrote:Maitland played half of his games for the Crusaders at 15, so don't worry about that for a moment. Maitland has also said in interviews that he prefers 15 to 14 as he can get more involved.

I think the fact he actively wants to play 15 and the fact that it was a big reason for him coming to Irish is very reassuring indeed. It may well suit his attributes better than being on the wing.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:45 pm

Just listened to the Blarney podcast. It was an academy special, with an interview with TBC, Ross Neal and Ollie Curry. It was interesting to hear that Curry wants to focus on playing as a lock moving forwards. I have to admit that despite him playing there as a youngster, I thought the coaches saw him as a 6 in the long run, so happy to be proven wrong on that front. TBC speaks very well and sounds like he will be a leader in the not too distant future.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:14 pm

I really rate Curry, I think he has the potential to be very good. Would like to see him get some senior game time this season.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:37 am

Listened to the podcast too. Quite enjoying the content being produced by the club these days.

Will be tough for the academy guys this year to get the kind of exposure they usually might without the LV in the schedule. TBC does speak very well for an 18 year old, will be interesting to see how much involvement he has with the England U20s this season.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:13 am

Rugby Paper saying Andy Goode set to retire.

I know he is 35 but that is a big loss from my perspective. We signed him as a general who would put us in the right positions on the pitch and kick his goals. No disrespect to Shane or Noakes, but they aren't in the same class in terms of those crucial areas. I hope we have our eyes on someone for after the World Cup, but sadly I doubt it.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:24 am

I thinks they'll probably try and get by without, but we'll see. They have Christian Lewis-Pratt in for three months as utility cover. Guessing TBC won't be loaned out and will be pretty involved with the senior squad as 3rd/4th choice. Guess fitness was always going to be a worry with him, but it's unfortunate that it may have come to a head earlier than expected.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:12 pm

Goode has his weaknesses, but is at least a natural fly half and in all likelihood would have been our first choice. I now see this season as another where we just have a fly half merry-go-round which is a bit frustrating. A top class 10 for 2016/17 will have to be a priority.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:51 pm

Sure, assuming we don't get a 1st line replacement in (and that's unlikely at this late stage), we are definitely going into the season in a weaker position than we would have.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:04 pm

Now confirmed

http://www.london-irish.com/news/andy-goode-calls-time-on-his-playing-career/bp493/


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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by exileray on Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:46 pm

as an example why can't we bring in someone from say south Africa they are a massive rugby country with only 5 super 15 teams there must some quality tens out there.
Irish must of known about this for a couple of weeks so may be there is something being sorted behind the scenes. if we don't bring in even a temporary 10 and one who can kick that could well be the difference between finishing 6/7 0r 9/10 in the league.
I was not keen on Goode at 34 when it was first announced but the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea of 9 out of 10 kicks going over. Sad

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:36 pm

I pretty sure a decent kicking ten wouldn't have got us to 6th this season.

That said, it is an issue and I wouldn't put my house on Noakes or Shane making pressure kicks on a regular basis. The only real unknown is McKibbin's competency these days. It's the situation they find themselves in though, so they'll just have to deal with it as they see fit.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:59 pm

I get the feeling we will be sticking with Lewis-Pratt. Someone on the Craic who is a 7s fan says we have got a gem but I will need convincing to be honest. I feel a lot less confident about our overall finishing position now.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:58 pm

Lewis-Pratt could prove to be a diamond for us. He is a real talent who is very attacking. I suspect we'd need McKibbin starting at 9 as not sure what CLP's kicking is like.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:23 pm

When did Guy Armitage leave? I notice he got a hat trick for LW at the weekend.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:42 pm

End of last season. Never really got fit for a sustained period to have a proper crack at things after some promising form at the end of the 12/13 season.

Hope he goes well at Welsh and has better luck with injuries.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

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