London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

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London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Ozzy3213 on Wed 30 Aug 2017, 8:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

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

Technical Director: Brendan Venter
Director of Rugby: Nick Kennedy

Forwards Coach: George Skivington

Defence Coach: Declan Danaher
Attack/Skills Coach: Paul Hodgson
Kicking Coach: Charlie Hodgson

Senior Squad (46)

Hooker: David Paice, Saia Fainga'a, David Porecki, Darren Dawidiuk, Todd Gleave 
Prop: Gordon Reid, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Tom Smallbone, Harry Elrington, Ben Franks, Petrus du Plessis, Lovely Chawatama, Manasa Saulo, Richard Palframan, Ollie Hoskins
Second Row: Sebastien de Chaves, Will Lloyd, Josh McNally, Teofilo Paulo, Franco van der Merwe
Back Row: Blair Cowan, Ofisa Treviranus, Jake Schatz, Connor Gilsenen, Lasha Lomidze, Mike Coman, Max Northcote-Green, Senitiki Nayalo

Scrum Half: Brendan McKibbin, Scott Steele, Ben Meehan
Fly Half: James Marshall, Theo Brophy-Clews
Centre: Johnny Williams, Fergus Mulchrone, Ciaran Hearn, Luke McLean
Wing: Alex Lewington, Joe Cokanasiga, Napolioni Nalaga, Aseli Tikoroituma, Topsy Ojo, Ben Ransom, Tom Fowlie
Full Back: Tommy Bell, Greig Tonks


Senior Academy Squad (10)

Lock: Sam Collingridge
Back Row: Isaac Curtis-Harris, Jack Cooke, Josh Basham
Scrum Half: Rory Brand
Fly Half: Jacob Atkins
Centre: Matt Williams
Wing: Ollie Hassell-Collins, Ben Loader
Full Back: Tom Parton


Preview

It's pretty hard to judge this London Irish squad against the teams that it will face this season, as being newly promoted there is no recent physical evidence with which to make a comparison.  What we can say is that during our last season in the Premiership we were not good enough, that is an indisputable fact.

Much however has changed since then.  Tom Coventry left and in his place stepped up Nick Kennedy as Director of Rugby, with his able deputies from the academy, Declan Danaher and Paul Hodgson alongside him.  Whilst this coaching set up was inexperienced, the man brought in to oversea things was certainly not.  Step forward Brendan Venter as technical director.  Now much has been said about a change in culture at Irish last season but you have to do more than just scratch the surface of names on a piece of paper to understand what that means, and in many regards it is difficult to quantify.

Midway through last season however I was fortunate enough to chat to one of the players, who shall remain nameless, but who told me this.  He said that under the Coventry regime your face either fitted or it didn't.  If you were not in the inner circle there was blame and criticism but little in the way of encouragement or assistance to improve.  Now however he said that the coaches were open and there was dialogue between them and the players, and Venter, whilst fierce and a force of nature who would tell you exactly what you had done wrong in a game, was also approachable and would listen to your viewpoint, and help you to improve from any mistakes you did make, and that honesty and openness was now a feature throughout the squad and coaches.  That, I have to say is a significant shift in mindset and that almost freedom to make mistakes without being paralysed by the fear of failure may be a key factor once this season gets underway.

On paper, which is all we can go by until we see this side play, the squad is stronger than when we went down, and stronger than when we won the Championship in May.  Recruitment, wisely in my opinion has been more forward focused than backs, with a 9-3 split in that regard, including experienced campaigners Petrus du Plessis (from Saracens) and Franco van der Merwe (from Ulster via Cardiff), alongside international front rowers Gordon Reid and Saia Faingaa.  Neither Venter nor Kennedy are daft, our season will not be defined by whether we are able to chuck the ball about at will, we will stand or fall on whether we can gain parity or better up front often enough to pick up points.  To that end, our most important back this year is not likely to be the expansive James Marshall or explosive Napolioni Nalaga, but the metronomic Tommy Bell, who racked up the points from tee in The Championship and will need to do so again in the Premiership this year.

There isn't really much more to say, we just don't know until the first ball is kicked what we are going to get.  My general thoughts on the Premiership are that Sarries, Wasps, Chiefs, Bath and Tigers are in a league of five competing for the four play off spots, and the remaining seven teams are all fairly even, with all having the positives, but all having some major weaknesses that could be exploited by the others.  What order those seven (us included) finish in is anybodies guess, and luck, injuries and momentum will play a part.  We need to start better than we did two years ago when we picked up zero points from our first five matches, if we can get some early momentum, then who knows, a decent mid table finish may not be out of the question.

Prediction:  Anywhere from 6th to 12th!
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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by stnick88 on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10:19 am

1. Hobbs-Awoyemi
2. Faingaa
3. Hoskins
4. Van der Merwe
5. McNally
6. Coman
7. Northcote-Green
8. Curtis-Harris

9. Steele
10. Tonks
11. Loader
12. Brophy-Clews
13. Fowlie
14. Ransom
15. Parton

Tonks is definitely not the answer at 10. Also, think we should persist with JW at 12 and TBC at 10.
We've really missed Hobbs and McNally. no nonsense players that both carry well and get through a lot of work.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10:50 am

stnick88 wrote:1. Hobbs-Awoyemi
2. Faingaa
3. Hoskins
4. Van der Merwe
5. McNally
6. Coman
7. Northcote-Green
8. Curtis-Harris

9. Steele
10. Tonks
11. Loader
12. Brophy-Clews
13. Fowlie
14. Ransom
15. Parton

Tonks is definitely not the answer at 10. Also, think we should persist with JW at 12 and TBC at 10.
We've really missed Hobbs and McNally. no nonsense players that both carry well and get through a lot of work.

Yes, agreed on those two forwards. Would make a massive difference to the pack.

TBC just doesn't have the kicking game for me and pretty sure JW will be off if we get relegated.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by stnick88 on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 11:00 am

I'm not sure JW has done anything to warrant any big clubs poaching him. has potential but not exactly set the league on fire. another year of regular rugby at 12 will do him good.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Sun 18 Feb 2018, 8:51 am

So last week I thought we were done, but woke up yesterday and decided to give it one more week. Good start to the game, but even at 14-3 up at half time it was so predictable what was going to happen. Unfortunately this is a psychologically weak side and the coaches have to take some responsibility for that. I am now really worried about the future of the club as a second relegation in three years will take its toll. I am not sure what the solution is but number one for me is to start playing the youngsters. I mean really, would Matt Williams at 12 have done any worse than Luke McLean yesterday? My second wish is that we cut all of the journeymen that we signed last year and the year before and focus on EQP youngsters that can be supplemented with quality if/when we get promoted back to the Premiership.

Coaches to stay or go? I have no idea on that one...

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 18 Feb 2018, 9:51 am

Definitely a depressing season. We're not far off, but miles away at the same time. Not getting blown away (apart from ten minute spells...), but a long way off the teams immediately above us.

Not a lot of options at 12 to be fair with Williams, TBC and Mulchrone presumably injured. Matt Williams went off in the Eng U20 game the week before with a bad looking arm/shoulder injury. Not that he would have been picked for this anyway. That said, McLean was always an odd signing. Agree on the journeymen and at least now we know we are recruiting for the Championship, so can concentrate on that. Need to focus on Danny HA, MNG, McNally type signings.

Would definitely like us to concentrate on players that will be here next season (apart from Lewington, who doesn't deserve to be sidelined). That said I'm not sure I'd be chucking the U20s guys in just yet. Would probably be better for them to be part of a successful environment until the end of the U20s 6N, then perhaps look at AP debuts in the final run of games for Loader, Williams, Parton and Brand. Assuming their injuries aren't too bad as the first three all went off (or pulled out before the game) last week.

Really not sure on the coaches. It would depend hugely on who they are being replaced by. Also conscious that the younger guys will have a fair bit of loyalty to them having been brought through the academy by that team. Not that that should necessarily be a valid reason to stick with something that isn't working. Really not sure who the realistic options to come in would be. If someone like Lee Blackett fancied taking it on, I'd be all for a change.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Sun 18 Feb 2018, 12:08 pm

Sorry, had forgotten about M.Williams and his injury.

Agree with all that.

Interesting piece in TRP today with Nigel Melville who heavily suggests that relegation will cease next season for a period of time. Hopefully that doesn't mean promotion will stop as well. He also talks about Championship coaches like Harvey Biljon or Gavin Cattle who deserve a chance at a bigger club. Could do worse than one of those guys coming in to sit under Kennedy. Think the Venter experiment should be ended.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 18 Feb 2018, 8:39 pm

Wouldn't surprise me to see some movement in coaching staff and a fresh perspective wouldn't go amiss. Agree on Venter. It's not worked and often adds a bit of confusion to who is calling the shots when he's in town.

Saw the article in TRP. I think the league would find it hard to lock us out whilst we have the P shares (provided we finished top...), but who knows. Definitely feels like a steady decline at the moment that will only be arrested by new investment or being ring-fenced in.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 9:28 am

Margin_Walker wrote:Wouldn't surprise me to see some movement in coaching staff and a fresh perspective wouldn't go amiss. Agree on Venter. It's not worked and often adds a bit of confusion to who is calling the shots when he's in town.

Saw the article in TRP. I think the league would find it hard to lock us out whilst we have the P shares (provided we finished top...), but who knows. Definitely feels like a steady decline at the moment that will only be arrested by new investment or being ring-fenced in.

I suppose they would also find it difficult to exclude us as we have one of the best/largest academy areas so excluding us would probably require revisiting boundaries which I am sure would not go down well with us. Just have to make sure we finish first or top 2 if it is going to be a closed 14 team league.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 4:35 pm

Good performance today. I think overall, I am just happy for the coaches and the squad who have had to keep going and have taken a lot of criticism. It sounds like morale and effort has remained quite high and it is good that they have something to show for that. Having said that, it is really easy to see why we are bottom as we could have scored so many more than we did. Composure 5 metres out is abysmal. Botha was outstanding and van Zyl was decent too. It would be real coup if we could convince them to stick around for a season in the Championship.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 5:51 pm

Great win for LI today - alas it is likely to be too little too late. What do LI need to do to make their Premiership lifespan more permanent? Bristol are heavily investing so life is only going to get more difficult!

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Heaf on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 10:42 pm

I think it's all about money RDW ... unless we can find a rich investor we'll continue to struggle ... and a bit of luck wouldn't hurt, for example Reid arrived injured and just as we start seeing him on the pitch he gets called up for Scotland due to their injury issues ... and we were already struggling in that position with other long term injuries.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 1:30 pm

Nice win and all, but a little anticlimactic given the points gap still between the two teams. It could have been a real crunch game, but this season has slipped too far already. Definitely happy for Nick and the guys all the same though.

Mentioned it on the other forum and will be preaching to the converted, but this was the first time all season our starting pack had gained more metres than the opposition. Ball carrying forwards should be a priority recruitment wise next season. Botha will likely get a better gig somewhere, but we need to identify a few that can fill that role in the Championship and are young enough to progress from there. More important that getting in experienced campaigners for me.

A guy like Polledri for example was playing NL1 last season.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by stnick88 on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 1:45 pm

agree with that. first time we have burst through tackles and therefore stretched the defence. Trev doesn't quite make the yards he once used to but Botha was a real handful. Williams made some good bursts too. ive said it before but I will say it again, this is where we have missed hobbs and McNally both who carry hard and at a bit of pace. Paulo is too slow and static and I struggle to see what he brings to the team. de chaves is more dynamic.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 1:48 pm

Margin_Walker wrote:Nice win and all, but a little anticlimactic given the points gap still between the two teams. It could have been a real crunch game, but this season has slipped too far already. Definitely happy for Nick and the guys all the same though.

Mentioned it on the other forum and will be preaching to the converted, but this was the first time all season our starting pack had gained more metres than the opposition. Ball carrying forwards should be a priority recruitment wise next season. Botha will likely get a better gig somewhere, but we need to identify a few that can fill that role in the Championship and are young enough to progress from there. More important that getting in experienced campaigners for me.

A guy like Polledri for example was playing NL1 last season.

Totally agree on that. Someone on the Craic suggesting that we may be in for Matt Rogerson from Jersey who has started following us on twitter. Only 24 and looks quick and athletic. Probably more in the pacey, rangy category than someone like Botha who just drives through contact, but could be a step up on some of the options we currently have.

Obviously, my real hope is that we can somehow persuade Botha to stick around.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 1:49 pm

stnick88 wrote:agree with that. first time we have burst through tackles and therefore stretched the defence. Trev doesn't quite make the yards he once used to but Botha was a real handful. Williams made some good bursts too. ive said it before but I will say it again, this is where we have missed hobbs and McNally both who carry hard and at a bit of pace. Paulo is too slow and static and I struggle to see what he brings to the team. de chaves is more dynamic.

Paulo hits hard in defence though. Overall I think De Chaves is the better player but he seems to have a few brain farts in him. Paulo obviously is risky as he hits high and is a bit of a penalty magnet, but think for defensive reasons we would rather have him than De Chaves who can seem a bit soft in the tackle. Van der Merwe and McNally is our best lock pairing anyway.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 1:51 pm

Yeah, definitely mention for Williams. Good to have him back. Didn't really break the line, but carried a ton of ball, ran good lines and made yards after contact more often than not. Really impacts the platform you are able to work off.

I get the feeling Paulo is in for the scrum primarily. May be wrong, but it looks a little steadier when he's in the engine room. Also hits pretty hard when doing it legally. Not really a long term option though.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by stnick88 on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 3:21 pm

just think the modern day lock needs to be more athletic than he is.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 3:43 pm

SirBurger wrote:
Margin_Walker wrote:Nice win and all, but a little anticlimactic given the points gap still between the two teams. It could have been a real crunch game, but this season has slipped too far already. Definitely happy for Nick and the guys all the same though.

Mentioned it on the other forum and will be preaching to the converted, but this was the first time all season our starting pack had gained more metres than the opposition. Ball carrying forwards should be a priority recruitment wise next season. Botha will likely get a better gig somewhere, but we need to identify a few that can fill that role in the Championship and are young enough to progress from there. More important that getting in experienced campaigners for me.

A guy like Polledri for example was playing NL1 last season.

Totally agree on that. Someone on the Craic suggesting that we may be in for Matt Rogerson from Jersey who has started following us on twitter. Only 24 and looks quick and athletic. Probably more in the pacey, rangy category than someone like Botha who just drives through contact, but could be a step up on some of the options we currently have.

Obviously, my real hope is that we can somehow persuade Botha to stick around.

Botha staying would be the dream, but the stars would have to align a little. Don't see it myself sadly.

Know very little about Rogerson, other than he would fit the general profile. Didn't break through at a bigger club, dropped down a level and does well. Need lads with a point t prove rather than those that proved theirs 5-10 years ago. You'll obviously pick up a few duds, but they wont cost the world


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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 3:45 pm

stnick88 wrote:just think the modern day lock needs to be more athletic than he is.

Yep, definitely in an ideal world.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Sun 04 Mar 2018, 8:58 pm

No idea what to make of that game. Was encouraging, but at the same time probably the most disappointing loss of the season for me.

Some great stuff in there. Defence was solid for most of it, another good break from Joe, lineout maul finally working after a few false starts and stole a lot of their ball at lineout. Thought Gilsenan had his best game in the AP. Centres went well again (shout out for Fowlie's sliding one handed catch on the touch line to keep an attack alive).

Marshall and Tonks both had games to forget. Shame Theo picked up that injury. Certainly wouldn't have helped our kicking game, but would have liked to see what he could bring.

That ending was a real killer. I was foolish enough to actually believe for a second when PdP scored and Bell was on the pitch.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 6:56 pm

Yes, a win yesterday would have been incredibly positive with Worcester's result and may have just about kept a faint glimmer of hope alive. Unfortunately it wasn't to be and when Bell missed the conversion I suspected we may end up leaving with nothing.

Defence has improved throughout the course of the season and the back row probably out-performed their Wasps counterparts (although question marks remain about the long term make-up of the back row). Centres were, as you say, very good. Williams had his best game since the relegation season in my opinion.

Fly half has to be resolved. I thought Tonks might be the answer, but I have to admit I had completely forgotten his ability to have a complete shocker. When he is bad he is really bad. Marshall possibly the best bet as at least he can put runners through holes and make the odd break. Bell at 15 is an option for the goal-kicking but he also can have the odd defensive howler. I would never really back him to make a one-on-one tackle. Moving forwards I would hope to see Theo and Parton filling those two roles, although that does admittedly leave question marks over goal-kicking.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 8:14 pm

Williams has been great since getting back to fitness. Nothing too flash, but has been rock solid in defence, carrying really hard and almost error free. Haven't missed Mulchrone much at all.

Tonks always has one of those games in him. Two stand out moments were the kick he hammered into touch on the full under no pressure and the forward pass along the floor that he doubled down on with the seat-belt tackle. Agree that I wouldn't want to go in with him as first choice.

I'd be looking at Marshall or TBC at ten. Think Parton's time has to come from next season. Will just offer the kind of skill set we haven't had for a long time at 15. Just a lovely player to watch and also offers a very good line kicking option if Theo's at 10.

Just dreading the end of season departure announcements now. Bound to be someone unexpected out for the door on top of the Cokanasiga's that most expect to leave. Primarily thinking of younger players there.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 12:06 am

Yes, absolutely agree that there are likely to be a few unexpected departures that end up really upsetting me. Elrington, Hobbs-Awoyemi, Hoskins, McNally, Northcote-Green, Curtis-Harris, Brand, Brophy-Clews, Williams, Fowlie, Loader and Parton are the core for me that we need to be building around. If any of those left it would be a real blow. Of course there are others that I think it would be beneficial to try and keep (Porecki, Van der Merwe, Coman spring to mind) but generally I think most other players can be up for discussion.

Of course, the real hope is that we can hang onto Botha and van Zyl but I don't hold out much hope on that front.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by yappysnap on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 2:35 am

Looking back to the start of the season, what happened after beating Quins?

Have you had a lot of injuries, did your players play above themselves and never repeat it or were Quins too poor on the day?

Genuinely curious as you showed so much promise in that game.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 8:34 am

I think the reality is that we got a bit lucky as Quins were well off their best that day. Everything we tried seemed to work for us that day (e.g. the Marshall cross-field kick) whereas in other games this season the luck of the bounce has seemed to go against us. Even then, I think some of the signs were there to see. Our defence was far too porous from set-piece (see the Marchant try). That trend then continued, with our defence getting gradually worse and worse (until recent weeks), but we didn't have the same success in attack. Injuries to our defensive leaders in Coman and Mulchrone did not help, but as the season has gone on it has been our lack of creativity and incision in attack that has really held us back.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Heaf on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 10:15 am

Losing Danny didn't help either ...

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 11:26 am

The other aspect is the lack of ball carriers in the pack. Margin Walker highlighted some stats where the only games we have won have been the only two where our pack have made more metres than the opposition (although that could be different after the Wasps game). Heaf is right that losing Hobbs-Awoyemi and also McNally didn’t help in that regard and Botha’s arrival was too late in the season really.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Thu 08 Mar 2018, 5:22 pm

Fascinating news coming out in the press yesterday evening and today. Sounds like Declan Kidney and Les Kiss are coming in. Two high pedigree coaches with lots of experience and it is hard to be disappointed by that. The really intriguing thing is what happens to those currently in the roles. They have made mistakes, but improvements have been made and it would be a shame for them to be lost to the club. Personally, I would be looking to keep at least Kennedy and Skivington (and possibly Dec depending on whether Kiss ends up running defence). Attack is probably the one area where there hasn't been any real improvement so a specialist coach in that area may be required.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Thu 08 Mar 2018, 8:52 pm

Certainly raises a lot of questions and I'm sure things will become a lot clearer when some kind of announcement is made. Overall is seems like positive news and more than anything shows that there is some ambition (and cash) floating about. Won't have been cheap to lure Kidney from his cosy Uni job. A few random thoughts

Hope this is a full time gig for Kidney and he's in 100%/moving over here etc for it. Would rather have someone lower profile living in SW London than a glorified consultant jetting in.

Will be interesting to see if this is coupled with any new investment.

Possible increase in the Irish presence at the club on the playing side. We had a handful until recently, but never really of the right quality, with the utmost respect to Sexton, Griffin et al. See Copeland is leaving Munster at the end of the season. He'd be a solid signing.

Think Kennedy is pretty vulnerable here. I just don't see what role he would fill if Kidney is there full time. Kidney is more of a manager than a nuts and bolts coach. Putting structures in place etc. Similar to the role Nick fills now. Skivs probably the most secure, but we'll see.

Will be interesting to see what the reaction of the squad is. Saw Cokanasiga's agent (ex academy manager Billy Clark) on Twitter today saying it was a big mistake. Despite everything the spirit of the squad seems much better this season than last time we went down, would be a shame if too much of that was lost.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Thu 08 Mar 2018, 10:09 pm

I don't necessarily see Kennedy's role as being at risk. Kidney could be coming in as a full time technical director (i.e. taking the Venter role but on a full time basis). Venter's tweet that he couldn't take on the technical director role full time does make me wonder whether that means Kidney will be stepping into that slot.

Yes, the squad reaction will be interesting. I suspect we would be seeing a fair amount of churn in any case due to relegation.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Smudge21 on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 7:59 am

Saw that tweet too margin walker, interesting that about 5 or 6 players liked it suggesting they are all for the current coaches staying...

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 9:57 am

SirBurger wrote:I don't necessarily see Kennedy's role as being at risk. Kidney could be coming in as a full time technical director (i.e. taking the Venter role but on a full time basis). Venter's tweet that he couldn't take on the technical director role full time does make me wonder whether that means Kidney will be stepping into that slot.

Yes, the squad reaction will be interesting. I suspect we would be seeing a fair amount of churn in any case due to relegation.

Would look a little too crowded for me assuming Kiss is coming in to a head coach type role and Kidney is full time. All just guess work at the moment though as there are no details, so hope you are right.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 10:44 am

Kidney, Kennedy, Kiss and Venter - that is way too crowded and fraught with danger
All of them have been a Head Coach - far too many fingers in the pie

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 10:51 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Kidney, Kennedy, Kiss and Venter - that is way too crowded and fraught with danger
All of them have been a Head Coach - far too many fingers in the pie

Venter's already gone. Confirmed it on Twitter yesterday

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 11:03 am

Ok thanks

Still doesn't seem right to me though.
Kiss has gone there to work with Kidney. They were together for years for Ireland
If Kennedy remains in the middle of them in the hierarchy not sure that is a good.
Kiss is quite likely to go behind Kennedys back to speak to his old buddy.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 5:02 pm

Announced and for the time being it looks like the current team remain in place with Kidney and Kiss coming in as set out above.

Perhaps something like:

Kidney - Structure/recruitment/selection
Kennedy - Selection/youth development
Kiss - head coach
Danaher - defence
Hodgson - attack
Skivington - forwards

It all seems to make sense. I suppose the big question is how the top role is split between Kennedy and Kidney. Aside from that, Kiss coming in as a head coach seems to be exactly what we were asking for.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 5:38 pm

Perhaps Nick into some kind of Operations Manager role like Glen held a few years ago.

There's obviously a financial commitment there that's encouraging, so hard to see this as anything else other than good news. Hopefully Kidney is on site a lot more than Venter

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 5:48 pm

Yes, indicates that there’s money to be spent and hopefully they can help bring in some more.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 10 Mar 2018, 9:01 am

SirBurger wrote: , Kiss coming in as a head coach seems to be exactly what we were asking for.

I would not be so sure.
A man Schmidt ditched from the Ireland set up as soon as he could.
A man who has only be a Head Coach once - at Ulster - and in his 2 1/2 spell he was a complete and utter failure
A man some describe as a one trick pony (choke tackle) which he has been living off for years.

If I was an Irish fan I'd be concerned


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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 10 Mar 2018, 10:27 am

Kiss' failure at Ulster is not especially an indicator of how he could perform in the right set-up. He is a details man, and not cut out to be an autonomous DoR.
Kidney is the opposite. He is a strategic thinker who is a great man manager.
Both need each other to make up for each other's weaknesses and together they might just make a good team.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 10 Mar 2018, 10:36 am

Kiss was a DoR in name only - he actually acted like a Head Coach.
His supposed speciality was defence and that has been Ulsters biggest weakness
For me Kidney was great in the day but the game has moved on



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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 12:43 pm

Nick Kennedy gone with immediate effect

https://www.london-irish.com/news/club-statement-nick-kennedy/bp1770/

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Sat 28 Apr 2018, 6:29 pm

Officially down. Hope we have some good signings lined up and we can cut some of the crap. I went through the squad the other day and genuinely would be happy if we lost almost everyone except the following (not counting Lewi, Franks, Joe and Williams who it seems are definitely off):

Front Row: Hobbs-Awoyemi, Elrington, Smallbone, Porecki, Hoskins, Du Plessis (probably worth keeping for a year)
Second Row: McNally, Van der Merwe, De Chaves (hasn't impressed this season but probably worth keeping as he is under contract and was good enough for the Championship last time around)
Back Row: Coman, Botha, Northcote-Green, Basham, Curtis-Harris
Scrum Half: Van Zyl, Brand
Fly Half: Atkins
Centre: Brophy-Clews, Mulchrone, Fowlie, M. Williams
Back three: Loader (although could be off from reports), Nalaga (if healthy), Ransom (was good last time around in the Championship), Parton, Hassel-Collins

That obviously leaves a lot of gaps for us to fill. Rumours I have heard are of Barney Maddison the Ealing lock and Matt Rogerson the Jersey number 8. Without knowing too much about these two, the idea of adding some Championship forwards sits well with me. Also Tom Stephenson and Stephen Myler have been loosely connected. Again, would be happy with both of those.

Anyway, hopefully we can announce the leavers quickly and then start giving us some positive news of incoming players to lift spirits a bit.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by Margin_Walker on Sat 28 Apr 2018, 8:26 pm

Given relegation was virtually certain before the weekend I actually don't mind that it happened this way without us playing a game. Never great seeing relegation confirmed on the pitch, at least the players can relax a bit and go out and try to play some positive rugby tomorrow.

Just hope the leavers are announced fairly swiftly so we can have an idea of what we're looking at for next season. Hopefully Kidney can spring a few surprises on the recruitment side. Going up against Ealing will be interesting. Not really sure what to make of them as they are putting together a decent Championship squad on paper, but turning over more than half of their squad (20+ signings and counting) is hugely difficult to get right integration wise.

Would agree with pretty much all those listed above (had almost forgotten Nalaga was on the books). Assuming he recovers, I'd expect him to be around next season as I can't see there being too much interest. Think he could have been pretty useful this year, but it wasn't to be.

I'd keep Gilsenan too personally. Not going to set the world alight but is a decent Championship player. Smallbone is a bit of an unknown these days, but would be nice to see him getting back in the mix. Would also keep Marshall as he's got that bit of experience and versatility that's always good to have in the squad.

Of the younger players, would be good keep Theo and Parton as they are the sort skilful players we need to build around. Not too gutted about losing Williams. He'll be a good player, but you'll usually be able to find a big hard running 12 somewhere. Cokanasiga is more of a loss, but he was always going to be impossible to keep in this situation.

Nice to see Atkins getting gametime at 10 for LS at the moment. Not really lauded but I think he's a bit of a dark horse to have a very decent career.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

Post by SirBurger on Sat 28 Apr 2018, 9:33 pm

Yes, would probably also keep Marshall on balance, but I don't think he's a 10 and I want Parton to get time at full back. Gilsenan isn't going to cut it for me, but I expect he will stay.

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Re: London Irish 2017/18 thread - Return to the Premiership.

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