London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

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London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

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

First topic message reminder :

  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 42-29T: 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 Dec15:00Cornish PiratesHMadStadB & I CupW 33-24T: Atkins, Gilsenan, Porecki, Nayalo, M.Williams.  C: Tonks 4.
Sat 17th Dec14:30Cornish PiratesAMennaye FieldB & 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 12 Dec 2016, 5:21 pm; edited 27 times in total
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 6:19 pm

Williams is a hell of a prospect. Just looks so at home at this level with pace, power and good hands. We're lucky that he's still 19, as it gives us a decent chance of keeping hold of him. If he'd been a year further on in his development I think it would be a lot harder. We'll see though. I've definitely resigned myself to relegation and staying up would be a massive bonus at this point.

That Tonks miss was unreal, just so glad it didn't come down to that 2 points in the end. That would have been too much to take.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 7:59 pm

How are we feeling ahead of Sunday? Me - blimmin nervous! I am a bit worried about the back row selection truth be told as Newcastle are strong there and I don't think we have our best guys on the paddock. I also question Court ahead of Smallbone these days, but other than that I am happy with the side and we have some very good impact to come off the bench...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:50 pm

Would have gone for Trayfoot myself and Jebb to lock (yet to be completely convinced by Lloyd and guessing Trev isn't 100%), but we're at a point where I doubt the selection of one or two players will be a game changer. Hopefully the don't die wondering and give it a proper go rather than play a cagey game. This is such a huge game. Arguably bigger than the big games we were playing at the other end of the table in 08/09.



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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Sat 16 Apr 2016, 10:32 am

Much bigger. Like you I hope we don't die wondering. Let's just go out there and give it a lash.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Sat 16 Apr 2016, 1:54 pm

The big plus for me is that we have Lewington available and they are missing Sinoti. That might end up being the difference.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by stnick88 on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 10:08 pm

Team for the champ then! I am assuming cowan, franks and maitland and aulika leave.

1 smallbone
2 ellis
3 palframan
4 de chaves
5 symons
6 coman
7 northcote-green
8 treviranus
9 steele
10 marshall
11 tikoratuma
12 williams
13 fowlie
14 lewington
15 bell

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Welly on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 10:39 pm

Will be interesting to see what Lewington does.

Esp if he really was close to an england call up.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by yappysnap on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 11:11 pm

Treviranus and Symmons will both be courted too IMO

Did Coventry end up signing too many foreign players who just couldn't gel quickly enough and when the going got tough perhaps just weren't committed enough?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 11:14 pm

Would be surprised if Lewington stayed. Will cause a lot of damage in a better team and has a limited window career-wise to press a convincing international claim. Wouldn't begrudge him.

Will be interesting to see where the dust settles with players leaving/not arriving over the summer.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 11:17 pm

yappysnap wrote:Treviranus and Symmons will both be courted too IMO

Did Coventry end up signing too many foreign players who just couldn't gel quickly enough and when the going got tough perhaps just weren't committed enough?

Treviranus isn't getting any younger and has struggled all year with injuries. He may end up staying.

Symons sounds like he is pretty keen on playing with his brother next season and hasn't done things the easy way so far in his career. Will definitely be clubs after him though, so we'll see

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 4:59 am

Lewington is a hell of a player, he surely can't say???

I really fail to see this thing about Symons, I watched him closely yesterday and thought he was very run of the mill.

You've got some cracking youngsters, I really hope you give them a run next season.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 6:22 am

Symons is a very unflashy player, but he'd certainly be my player of the season (for what it's worth in a relegated team).

Big engine and doesn't miss tackles, which is nice in a team that has missed a lot. Think he went 15 or 16/0 yesterday, which is pretty standard for this season. Pretty sure he's also the reason our scrum was vastly more competent this year after being pretty much the worst in the league last time out.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:49 am

That's kind of a given for a decent AP lock for me MW. Every time Ive seen him I've been underwhelmed tbh, talk of England is well wide of the mark I think.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by stnick88 on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:56 am

Agree pooly he is way down england pecking order, but a good prem lock. Same with lewi, quality player but way down on pecking order.

We need to ship some of the older lot. Court, leo, narraway, mulchrone. I even think i hope cowan goes so we can get northcote-green plenty of game time as he has big potential.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:04 am

Agree with that Nick. I think he's a at a similar level to Robinson actually, they had a good battle yesterday.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by HongKongCherry on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:15 am

Whilst Symons may be down the pecking order for English locks that's more a reflection on the overall strength in depth than a slight on his ability. I would expect him to be in high demand in the Jeff; Glaws have been in the market for a new lock, there are rumours that Charteris is looking to back out of his Bath deal and with Bradley Davies likely to leave Wasps they're likely to want additional cover.

Unless the miracle does happen, good luck in the Jeff Jnr and I'm sure you'll come back on the first attempt and as a better team OK
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by GavinDragon on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:17 am

HongKongCherry wrote:Whilst Symons may be down the pecking order for English locks that's more a reflection on the overall strength in depth than a slight on his ability.  I would expect him to be in high demand in the Jeff; Glaws have been in the market for a new lock, there are rumours that Charteris is looking to back out of his Bath deal and with Bradley Davies likely to leave Wasps they're likely to want additional cover.

Unless the miracle does happen, good luck in the Jeff Jnr and I'm sure you'll come back on the first attempt and as a better team OK

Where have you heard this HKC?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:18 am

Both teams were poor yesterday. Both have too many non premiership standard players.

Our defence was solid (despite falling off too many tackles) but with the possession you guys had...a bit of quality in there and you would have won.

Both sides deserve to go down to be fair...we're both horribly bad!

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:23 am

Sgt - Don't disagree re Symons and England. Him being player of the season material this year just means he's been the best of a bad bunch, so to speak.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by HongKongCherry on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:37 am

GavinDragon wrote:
HongKongCherry wrote:Whilst Symons may be down the pecking order for English locks that's more a reflection on the overall strength in depth than a slight on his ability.  I would expect him to be in high demand in the Jeff; Glaws have been in the market for a new lock, there are rumours that Charteris is looking to back out of his Bath deal and with Bradley Davies likely to leave Wasps they're likely to want additional cover.

Unless the miracle does happen, good luck in the Jeff Jnr and I'm sure you'll come back on the first attempt and as a better team OK

Where have you heard this HKC?

As I'm getting old my memory fails me, but I think it was in TRP a few weeks ago
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Welly on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 8:45 am

Can see Symons staying he has
Launch
Kruis
Itoje
Lawes
Attwood
Slater
Barrow
Kitchener
All ahead of him ATM IMO.

Can see Marshall not going now as well.

Although Quins might be interested.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:28 am

Welly wrote:Can see Symons staying he has
Launch
Kruis
Itoje
Lawes
Attwood
Slater
Barrow
Kitchener
All ahead of him ATM IMO.

Can see Marshall not going now as well.

Although Quins might be interested.

And Robinson! Who'd I'd have ahead of Barrow tbh.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Welly on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:33 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:

And Robinson! Who'd I'd have ahead of Barrow tbh.

Nah.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:52 am

As Robinson will be the Lions captain next season I hope he is ahead of Barrow.

Barrows current form probably has him ahead of Kitch and Slater though.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:59 am

Welly wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:

And Robinson! Who'd I'd have ahead of Barrow tbh.

Nah.
Yeah Very Happy

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by nlpnlp on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:43 pm

The Falcons look like a team who can't attract top quality players - there are quite a few experienced Scottish players who presumably aren't good enough to get decent contracts at Edinburgh or Glasgow - and who lose all their good players to teams 'down South'.  It has largely been the same with Sale for a long time now.  I think both teams could put out pretty decent sides made up of ex-players.  I really don't see what the answer to this is, unless you get a Mourad Boudjellal type owner ready to throw shed loads of money at it.  I appreciate that the salary cap is meant to even this up, but looking at the playing squad at Saracens compared to the Falcons or Sharks, I don't think this is the case.

The worrying thing for LI is that I guess they have thrown a bit of money at it this year with the coaching staff and several new players, but on the basis of what I have seen they just are not good at anything in particular that is going to worry opponents.  The only real positive is the young players who have come through and the performance of their academy.  This seems to be the way forward for them, with some good honest club players like Bob Casey of yesteryear.  The loss of 'mercenaries' like Cowan who seems to have stated his intention of leaving if/when the club is relegated, doesn't seem to be too big a loss.

It's just sad that it seems like it is the same old teams struggling at the bottom - LI, Falcons, Worcester, whichever team is promoted from the Championship. At least Sale have pulled themselves out of this relegation league for now.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 6:56 pm

Well that was a tough one to take yesterday. 70% possession in the second half translated into 0 points is why we are where we are, as it’s not the first time this season. Would take a turnaround of epic proportions now for us to stay up, so whilst I will be there at the MadStad against Quins on May 1st willing the boys on, I am pretty resigned as most are to life in the Championship for at least a year.

What will be interesting to see is how the club deals with it through the summer.

- Which players stay and which go?
- Do we bring any other players in who’ve not already been announced?
- Does TC stay?
- Do the coaches under TC need changing?
- How many of the successful under 18 and AASE sides get senior academy contracts, and how much game time will they get?

I suspect that Cowan and Maitland as current internationals will go. Lewington as a top player with international aspirations may also head to pastures new. Aulika is off to Sale and Franks has been linked with Exeter and Bath. My opinion with Franks is that he will stay. He does not have international aspirations and is studying at St Mary’s with the course arranged and paid for by the club. He missed a lot of rugby this season and if he and his family are settled he might not want to up sticks. Symons I think will also stay, as he is on record as looking forward to playing with his brother who is arriving from Worcester.

There are a number of current players whose contracts are up and there have been no announcements, McCusker and Narraway being tow that spring to mind. I wouldn’t be surprised to find those guys on their way out the door.

TC for me needs to stay and prove that he can turn things round, however I think we have to look at the coaches below him and see if they have actually added value to the set up or not. Being completely honest I question whether they have, and a couple of guys with decent experience in NH rugby may be called for. I also hope that we keep a lot of the U18/AASE guys, at least on 1 year academy contracts, and give them opportunities to gain experience and show what they can do.

Based on players who we have announce (and presuming that they still come), and players who are under contract for next season, I’d quite like to see this side running out for our first game in the Championship…..

15. Tommy Bell
14. Alex Lewington
13. Tom Fowlie
12. Johnny Williams
11. Aseli Tikoroituma
10. James Marshall
9. Brendan McKibbin

1. Tom Smallbone
2. Gerard Ellis
3. Ben Franks
4. Sebastien de Chaves
5. Matt Symons
6. Mike Coman
7. Joe Trayfoot
8. Ofisa Treviranus

16. David Paice 17. Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi 18. Richard Palframan 19. George Skivington 20. Conor Gilsenan 21. Scott Steele 22. Theo Brophy-Clews 23. Ciaran Hearn

If that 23 can’t get us out of the Championship then we know for sure that the problem lies outside of the players and with the coaching staff/set up, as every player in that 23 could compete individually at Premiership level (in other sides) in my opinion.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by yappysnap on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:05 pm

What's your view on Paice Ozzy? If I was you I'd want him gone, guy seems to be a walking penalty magnet. He's made a few games far harder for you this season by having 10 mins on the naughty step

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by yappysnap on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:07 pm

Also is Toby Booth a really good coach?

As it seems a lot of Irish's problems came about when he left, and Baths resurgence (bar this season) happened when he arrived.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:09 pm

I have mixed views on Paice. His commitment is undoubted, but he does attract yellow cards in a manner nobody else does. In fairness to him he's taken a fair few team yellows this year, but it is a concern for me. I said pre the Falcons game that I wouldn't have picked him as we couldn't afford to play with 14 men at any point, but he played and carried well, hit his jumpers and secured a really important breakdown turnover on our 5 metre line.

I do however want Ellis to push on. He has been really hampered with injuries and his darts can go awry, but he looks to have all the tools to be a really good hooker. Hopefully a year in the Championship will be the making of him and he can go on and be our first choice hooker for the next few years.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:12 pm

yappysnap wrote:Also is Toby Booth a really good coach?

As it seems a lot of Irish's problems came about when he left, and Baths resurgence (bar this season) happened when he arrived.

When Booth was here as head coach under Brian Smith as DoR he was fantastic. He was innovative and drilled the players well. When Brian left for the job with England Toby became DoR and his people management skills were not up to scratch, with him falling out with a number of our top players.

I'd definitely consider having him and Hatley back as coaches, but not sure who that would work under Tom Coventry who is effectively a combined DoR/Head Coach, which doesn't seem to have really worked.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:41 pm

Ozzy3213 wrote:Well that was a tough one to take yesterday.  70% possession in the second half translated into 0 points is why we are where we are, as it’s not the first time this season.  Would take a turnaround of epic proportions now for us to stay up, so whilst I will be there at the MadStad against Quins on May 1st willing the boys on, I am pretty resigned as most are to life in the Championship for at least a year.

What will be interesting to see is how the club deals with it through the summer.

- Which players stay and which go?
- Do we bring any other players in who’ve not already been announced?
- Does TC stay?
- Do the coaches under TC need changing?
- How many of the successful under 18 and AASE sides get senior academy contracts, and how much game time will they get?

I suspect that Cowan and Maitland as current internationals will go.  Lewington as a top player with international aspirations may also head to pastures new.  Aulika is off to Sale and Franks has been linked with Exeter and Bath.  My opinion with Franks is that he will stay.  He does not have international aspirations and is studying at St Mary’s with the course arranged and paid for by the club.  He missed a lot of rugby this season and if he and his family are settled he might not want to up sticks.  Symons I think will also stay, as he is on record as looking forward to playing with his brother who is arriving from Worcester.

There are a number of current players whose contracts are up and there have been no announcements, McCusker and Narraway being tow that spring to mind.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find those guys on their way out the door.

TC for me needs to stay and prove that he can turn things round, however I think we have to look at the coaches below him and see if they have actually added value to the set up or not.  Being completely honest I question whether they have, and a couple of guys with decent experience in NH rugby may be called for.   I also hope that we keep a lot of the U18/AASE guys, at least on 1 year academy contracts, and give them opportunities to gain experience and show what they can do.

Based on players who we have announce (and presuming that they still come), and players who are under contract for next season, I’d quite like to see this side running out for our first game in the Championship…..

15. Tommy Bell
14. Alex Lewington
13. Tom Fowlie
12. Johnny Williams
11. Aseli Tikoroituma
10. James Marshall
9. Brendan McKibbin

1. Tom Smallbone
2. Gerard Ellis
3. Ben Franks
4. Sebastien de Chaves
5. Matt Symons
6. Mike Coman
7. Joe Trayfoot
8. Ofisa Treviranus

16. David Paice 17. Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi 18. Richard Palframan 19. George Skivington 20. Conor Gilsenan 21. Scott Steele 22. Theo Brophy-Clews 23. Ciaran Hearn

If that 23 can’t get us out of the Championship then we know for sure that the problem lies outside of the players and with the coaching staff/set up, as every player in that 23 could compete individually at Premiership level (in other sides) in my opinion.

Thought provoking stuff Ozzy. If we can get that 23 out on the pitch then we will walk the Championship (I hope that doesn't sound arrogant). However, in reality, I would expect Symons, Lewington and Franks from that list to be off. I saw on the Bath board that one of their lot was speaking to Ben's Mother at a recent game and she confirmed he was in talks with Exeter. Lewington deserves to be playing at a higher standard and so does Symons truth be told (although I am more hopeful on him).

Your last paragraph is interesting and I see the logic behind it, but can we afford to take that risk? Would the likes of Gilsenan and Trayfoot be happy to carry on under Coventry? He has bizarrely ignored both of them for most of the season, yet most fans rate them very highly. My main issue with Coventry is that he just doesn't get selection right. He has never operated in a league where relegation is a factor and although we should in theory do well in the Championship it is another tough, competitive league where teams will be out to put one over on us every week. I just am not sure that Coventry can handle that sort of pressure...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:58 pm

Agree with most of that SirB. Would expect Lewington and Franks to be off (the latter may not be the worst thing financially)

Has Gilsenan not been injured most of the year? Would certainly expect him to be first choice seven next year, so hope he stays. If Coventry is still around I'd expect Trayfoot may have an offer or two from elsewhere and wouldn't really blame him given that he hasn't had too much of an opportunity.

What other signings are we likely to make? Obviously no one high profile, but I'd expect us to bring in a winger, given we'll be a touch light there. And a tighthead or two, given we'd be light there if Franks and Aulika went and with Halavatau out of contract, I think. Would be nice to re-sign Leo as he would be a decent squad option in the Championship, if he hasn't had better offers.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 10:12 pm

As a back row forward himself, Coventry's selections there were so frustrating. It was clear to anyone who watched us regularly that it was the area of the pitch that we were really lacking. Whenever Trayfoot played he was very good indeed and it is that sort of waste of talent that I find almost unforgivable.

In terms of new signings, Glenn said we had one more to be announced and then we would add more over the summer depending on who stays etc. But yes, we are likely to be very light at tighthead. Especially when you consider that Palframan has had a really tough time with injuries.

I fully expect Symons to start for us at 13 outside Williams, at least to begin with. Having said that I really do hope that Fowlie gets more game time next season. Hearn has done well for us and I know he extended, but I wouldn't be too gutted if he fell by the wayside.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 10:34 pm

Yeah, I think Symons will be a really solid addition to the midfield. Won't begin to guess who will play where though and what the pecking order will be given that a none of our centres we thought would be playing for us this season ended up making any impression. Fowlie just seems to lack a touch of confidence whenever he plays. Not sure if it's a body language thing or if there's more to it. I think he could be a fantastic player though, so will be interesting to see if he plays with a bit more freedom in the Championship.

Seems a shame to be talking about next season already. It would be just like us to go out an beat Quins this weekend, now the pressure is off a touch.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by SirBurger on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 10:35 pm

Also, are we sure that Marshall will be coming? I have doubts...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 10:39 pm

We'll see on that one. Would be a big step down for him. Guess he said he was coming regardless in that infamous tweet, but it's a lot more real now. Really would be great to have him, as he's a top quality player, but wouldn't put my house on it.

Guess Coman is a bit of an unknown as well, although I guess he would likely pitch up if Coventry is staying. No international ambitions / worked with TC in the past etc.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by yappysnap on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 11:02 pm

What's the difference with the two roles? DoR does all the off field bits and head coach deals with on field training?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:11 am

nlpnlp wrote:The Falcons look like a team who can't attract top quality players .

I think that's very true. We have an exceptionally low budget...indeed our chairman is pumping money in just to keep the club running.

On the pitch We do have some decent players in the squad, but too many non premiership standard. We have also had a raw deal with injuries (haven't everyone) that some of our better players have been unavailable for so long.
Others like Todd Clever, USA's Captain etc...was a load of gash.

Fortunately many of the non premiership standard and injury prone players will be off this summer (out of contract). I think theres about 10/11 all being moved on. That should allow us some good recruitment in the summer.

We have another clutch of academy lads ready to come in...so I would be looking to spend the budget and really get some quality in key positions...especially 9 and 10 - specifically 10.

My other concern is the coaching. I just don't seem to see any improvement in performances, tactics etc, and I have said for a while is Dean Richards good enough? Ill give him one more season to show that he is the man to take us forward.  If we're still in this position next season...ill be shouting for a change.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:04 am

So there’s plenty of speculation flying around about who will and won’t be here next season, and I think it’s fair to say we will be needing to cut the wage bill a bit. I was chatting with some other Irish fans last night and we discovered that when Worcester went down the year before last they got rid of 17 players, although we weren’t sure how many they then brought in.

Incoming for us are David Porecki, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Sebastien de Chaves, Max Northcote-Green, Mike Coman, James Marshall, Tommy Bell and Andy Symons. I believe that we also have another player to announce, which means 9 confirmed signings.

We know some definite outgoings…

Tom Cruse - Wasps
Halani Aulika - Sale
Nic Rouse - Retiring
Dom Waldouck - Ohio
Eoin Griffin – Connacht

We have a number of players who were only on short term deals to the end of the season, or loans, so they are all likely to go, particularly given that a number of them have never or rarely featured in the first team…

Ian Nagle
Jerry Sexton
David Sisi
Tom Halse
Tom Preece
Rob McCucker
Christian Lewis-Pratt

If all of the incoming players arrive, then we will have a number of 10’s so I would suspect that we will look to offload what we have had in that position…

Shane Geraghty
Chris Noakes (contract is up at the end of the season anyway)

We have one player who’s contract is up and I understand is in negotiations, but not sure how that is panning out….

Luke Narraway

Current internationals are likely to want away so they can stay in their international set ups…

Blair Cowan
Sean Maitland

You then have a couple of guys who have featured on 0 occasions this year…

Johnny Harris
Geoff Cross

That’s 19 players, and doesn’t include the likes of jimmy Stevens, Joe Trayfoot and Tom Guest, all of whom although under contract for next season may want away, and the club may be happy to lose, based on the fact that they were very rarely picked by TC. It is also rumoured that Andy Fenby hasn’t been offered a new contract and will be off. That’s 23 players trimmed from the squad which should in effect bring the wage budget doen considerably.

Potentially therefore we don't NEED to lose any more than that, so hopefully the club will be doing everything to keep guys like Franks, Symo and Lewi.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:27 am

Jimmy Stevens signed for Nottingham yesterday.

Would love to keep Lewington, but don't see it happening. Realistically if we want to drive the wage bill down Franks is probably the place to start where it can be done with the least disruption. I would imagine he is on plenty. Would be a real shame, but may be for the best.

Think Symons of that final 3 is most likely to be here next season.

Edit - Would also be a shame to lose Trayfoot and Guest, but given their lack of opportunities they may well fancy a move away if they get any interest from AP clubs.

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:34 am

Franks I don't think is on as much as you might think. I'm pretty sure he's not our top earner.

Obviously there will be lots of factors in play, not least whether players want to stay or go, but ultimately if Franks was on £200,000 a year, potentially we are better off losing 4 average players who are on £50,000 a year and keeping him to build the side around.

I do agree though that of effectively the big three of Franks, Symo and Lewi, Symo is the most likely to stick around.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Margin_Walker on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:49 am

That is surprising. Given how tightheads are often the best paid players (and his high profile), I thought he would have been pretty comfortably our best paid player. Every day's a school day though

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:54 am

I think he's up there in the top 3 or so players, but him coming I don't think was about money. He's studying over here as well, and we are paying for that I believe (not sure if that falls in or outside of the salary cap).
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 8:16 am

Sadly, relegation and what our team will look like is taking up a lot of my brain space at the moment. Was just looking at our first choice pack for this season and potential first choice pack for next year.

1. Tom Court (35)
2. David Paice (32)
3. Ben Franks/Halani Aulika (both 32)
4. George Skivington (33)
5. Matt Symons (27)
6. Luke Narraway (32)
7. Blair Cowan (30)
8. Ofisa Treviranus (32)

That’s 1 player under the age of 30 in this seasons offering.

1. Tom Smallbone/Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (both 22)
2. Gerard Ellis/David Porecki (both 23)
3. Richard Palframan (22)
4. Sebastien de Chaves (25)
5. Matt Symons (27)
6. Conor Gilsenan (23)
7. Max Northcote-Green (22)
8. Ofisa Treviranus (32)

That’s 1 player over the age of 30, with 6 of the guys 25 or under. Whilst there is still a potential lack of carrying in that pack, there is an opportunity for those guys to develop that aspect of their game and that pack has the potential to be very competitive in the Championship. We also should have Mike Coman who is 28, so younger than the outgoing guys but more experienced than the guys I’ve listed.

Looking at that I am slightly less concerned abou the experienced leavers now, as that packs potential does excite me a lot.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 8:23 am

We'll take Sean Maitland back thanks Very Happy Cool
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by yappysnap on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 8:33 am

Looks like a really strong pack Ozzy. I think you'll do fine in the championship. The only teams that can compete will be Bristol, Leeds and Pirates.

Do you think it'll have a big impact on season ticket sales? And out of curiosity are the club lowering the price for a season in the lower division?

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 9:08 am

ST renewal packages were advertised last week. My understanding is that those who purchased will get a partial refund in the event of relegation but I’m not sure of the details.
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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by Heaf on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:11 pm

Still don't understand why Fenby seems to have been out of favour ...

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Re: London Irish 2016/17 Championship Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 3:10 pm

Narraway signed a contract extension.

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