Ireland 6 Nations chat

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Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by wolfball on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 3:57 pm

First topic message reminder :

Geoff on the Ulster thread created a clever analysis on squad depth and I am taking a crack at a similar one for Ireland in advance of the 6 nations:

My assumptions are based on a squad of 36 (not the 40 Joe named last year). Players categories into 4 ratings:

World class = top three in position in world, and/or Lions test starter
International class = would make the team for other tier 1 nations
Below international class - would not make the team for other tier 1 nations
Exciting prospect - show potential to be a real asset

Ideally we have one world class and 2 international class per position.

TH (3)
World class - Furlong
International class - Ryan
Exciting prospect - Porter

Assessment - Drop off after Furlong, but not as steep as with hooker

Hooker (3)
International class - Best, Cronin (instead of Tracy)
Below international class - Herring

Assessment - Our weakest forward position, with a big drop off after Best

LH (3)
World class - McGrath (Lions bench for all three tests, scrapes in here)
International class - Healy, Kilcoyne

Assessment - Most consistently strong position in front row, all three are great players and Healy may well rereach his world class heights in 2018. Add in Moore and its a great position for us

Lock (5)
International class - Henderson, Toner
Below international class - Dillane, Roux (instead of Treadwell)
Exciting prospect - Ryan

Assessment - good first team pair, with some exciting prospects coming through.

Flankers (6)
World class - POM
International class - VDF, Murphy (Instead of TOD, Ruddock and SOB out due to injury)
Exciting prospect - Leavy

Assessment - embarrasment of riches!

No. 8 (2)

International class - Stander, Conan
Assessment - Very strong, with multiple flankers also able to play there

Scrumhalf (3)
World class - Murray
Below international class - Marmion, McGrath

Assessment - big drop off after Murray. Marmion/McGrath neither have been able to fully translate provincial form to ireland

Flyhalf (3)
World class - Sexton
Below international class - Keatley
Exciting prospect - Carberry

Assessment - Sexton staying fit is essential to winning in Twickenham, the drop off after that is huge.

Centers (5)
International class - Henshaw, Aki,
Below international class -  Farrell
Exciting prospect -Scannell (Instead of Ringrose and McCloskey)

Assessment - strong, if not the most exciting group of players.

Wings (5)
International class - Earls
Below international class - Conway, McFadden (Instead of Byrne, Sweetnam)
Exciting prospect - Stockdale

Assessment - some exciting young players coming through, but think Earls will start

Fullback (2)
International class - Kearney
Exciting prospect - Larmour

Assessment - Kearney continues to show his class in the big games and will start 3/4 of the 6 nations, I think Larmour has a good shot of starting the others. TOH if not.


Last edited by wolfball on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 5:01 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 1:01 pm

Altight Jeff youre right the IRFU Nucifora and Schmit have nothing to do with Stockdales development. Your contacts in Ulster get all the credit.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 1:31 pm

rodders wrote:Some waffle on here today.

Nucifera has done a phenomenal job.

He's been instrumental in bringing in some of the worlds best coaches to the Irish system, such as Lancaster.

Another thing that he has been implementing is closer harmonization in the playing styles of the provinces. This has led to increased skill levels and something Schmidt highlighted as fundamental for him to take the Ireland job.

It is still a work on progress but we are on the cusp of the greatest period of success Irish sport has ever seen, at provincial and National level, and still people moan.

I know we're digesting the prospect of Tommy Bowe now being a regular on Getaways to flog those god awful pink shirts but go easy folks.

Complete agree, never has Irish rugby been organised as well and as strong as it is now. Its unreal.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 2:15 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Altight Jeff youre right the IRFU Nucifora and Schmit have nothing to do with Stockdales development. Your contacts in Ulster get all the credit.

Well thank you for conceding Very Happy

As you will see in my subsequent posts I did state that I accept that once a player has reached International standard then clearly they can benefit from coaching from a wider circle.
My contention was simply that in most players rise to that level it is down to player development within the Province not elsewhere.





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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 2:17 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Altight Jeff youre right the IRFU Nucifora and Schmit have nothing to do with Stockdales development. Your contacts in Ulster get all the credit.

Well thank you for conceding Very Happy

As you will see in my subsequent posts I did state that I accept that once a player has reached International standard then clearly they can benefit from coaching from a wider circle.
My contention was simply that in most players rise to that level it is down to player development within the Province not elsewhere.


So under age rugby has nothing to do with it? He played under 20s in 2015 and 2015 RWCs.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 2:22 pm

Nothing to do with what !!!
It is about who was responsible to getting him to that level picard

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 2:24 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Altight Jeff youre right the IRFU Nucifora and Schmit have nothing to do with Stockdales development. Your contacts in Ulster get all the credit.

Well thank you for conceding Very Happy

As you will see in my subsequent posts I did state that I accept that once a player has reached International standard then clearly they can benefit from coaching from a wider circle.
My contention was simply that in most players rise to that level it is down to player development within the Province not elsewhere.

But the Provinces don't operate now in isolation of the full development picture....if indeed they ever did, even when the overall picture was a much less intensely professional one.  The point I'd make again is that it is my belief that nothing happens now in isolation where the dots are only joined when the young players reach a Province and become International prospects.  The structure down the whole way seems to be coming under a comprehensive and thought-through overall plan to have a more  continuous line of talent coming through that will serve the Provinces (1) and then hopefully the International side (2).

Geoff, you seem to keep suggesting that there is still no joined up thinking; that the IRFU, Nucifora and Schmidt are unconcerned with and have no voice in the stages below when these young players become International prospects.  I don't believe that's how it is anymore.... if it ever was so loose a connection.  I don't believe it is anything like so loose and disorganised a pathway and you seem to believe it still is.




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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 2:25 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:Some waffle on here today.

Nucifera has done a phenomenal job.

He's been instrumental in bringing in some of the worlds best coaches to the Irish system, such as Lancaster.

Another thing that he has been implementing is closer harmonization in the playing styles of the provinces. This has led to increased skill levels and something Schmidt highlighted as fundamental for him to take the Ireland job.

It is still a work on progress but we are on the cusp of the greatest period of success Irish sport has ever seen, at provincial and National level, and still people moan.

I know we're digesting the prospect of Tommy Bowe now being a regular on Getaways to flog those god awful pink shirts but go easy folks.

Complete agree, never has Irish rugby been organised as well and as strong as it is now. Its unreal.

Whether Nucifora is a success or not will depend on results - he is the performance director.
The jury must be out

Been here 3 years out of 5
6 Nations not significantly better than what went before
No European success (although Leinster looking good)
A poor WC

As I mentioned whether he is a success or not will stand and fall on the WC

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 2:34 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:

Whether Nucifora is a success or not will depend on results - he is the performance director.
The jury must be out

Been here 3 years out of 5
6 Nations not  significantly better than what went before
No European success (although Leinster looking good)
A poor WC

As I mentioned whether he is a success or not will stand and fall on the WC

Its not all about the world cup. In any case under his watch the under 20s got to the world cup final which Stockdale played in. Check mate, whammy.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 2:37 pm

The players ....the new young ones....... are Performing.  In many people's opinions, they are performing as a whole much better consistently than any generation before them.  They are ready much earlier to be real selection choices for hard games (Euro level and International).  They make less handling errors... they seem to instinctively know their roles much more as those roles relate to intense rugby rather than schools version rugby.

This is no chance occurance in most people's opinion.  It seem to be a system that has taken time to correct and get rolling and it appears the beginning of light at the end of the tunnel for an Ireland that always struggled to find one or two Special players an era.

I can't see how anyone watching rugby in this country the last few years can't see the difference between what we all kind of feared we might get when the big Nations started flexing their financial might.... and what we're getting now with Ireland still being talked about as a hotbed of talent.  Are our best days even ahead of us now rather than having to constantly look back at the cobwebbed old heads of the past 'Golden Generation'?

I think there is too much gloom and anger around for so promising (for all Provinces) a period.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by wolfball on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 1:56 am

SecretFly wrote:The players ....the new young ones....... are Performing.  In many people's opinions, they are performing as a whole much better consistently than any generation before them.  They are ready much earlier to be real selection choices for hard games (Euro level and International).  They make less handling errors... they seem to instinctively know their roles much more as those roles relate to intense rugby rather than schools version rugby.

This is no chance occurance in most people's opinion.  It seem to be a system that has taken time to correct and get rolling and it appears the beginning of light at the end of the tunnel for an Ireland that always struggled to find one or two Special players an era.

I can't see how anyone watching rugby in this country the last few years can't see the difference between what we all kind of feared we might get when the big Nations started flexing their financial might.... and what we're getting now with Ireland still being talked about as a hotbed of talent.  Are our best days even ahead of us now rather than having to constantly look back at the cobwebbed old heads of the past 'Golden Generation'?

I think there is too much gloom and anger around for so promising (for all Provinces) a period.

Agree on most of that, though I get the doom and gloom as well. Leinster is a HOTbed of talent. The other provinces have some talent in the bed. That's not to slag Leinster, it has the biggest population and so having the most talent coming through makes sense. But Carlton house is there. The Aviva is there. The connection between the national setup and the local academy will be strongest there simply by location if nothing else. And so I get the sense that the other provinces feel more distant to Nucifora's positive machinations, because its probably a bit true.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by rodders on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 9:56 am

OK so it looks like Larmour has made it in to the squad.

I predict the team will be:-

15 Kearney
14 Stockdale
13 Henshaw
12 Aki
11 Earls
10 Sexton
9 Murray
8 Stander
7 Murphy/VDF
6 POM
5 Henderson
4 Toner
3 Furlong
2 Best
1 Healy

Bench:- McGrath, Cronin, Ryan, Ryan, Leavy, Marmion, Keatley, Larmour/ Conway
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 11:03 am

wolfball wrote:
SecretFly wrote:The players ....the new young ones....... are Performing.  In many people's opinions, they are performing as a whole much better consistently than any generation before them.  They are ready much earlier to be real selection choices for hard games (Euro level and International).  They make less handling errors... they seem to instinctively know their roles much more as those roles relate to intense rugby rather than schools version rugby.

This is no chance occurance in most people's opinion.  It seem to be a system that has taken time to correct and get rolling and it appears the beginning of light at the end of the tunnel for an Ireland that always struggled to find one or two Special players an era.

I can't see how anyone watching rugby in this country the last few years can't see the difference between what we all kind of feared we might get when the big Nations started flexing their financial might.... and what we're getting now with Ireland still being talked about as a hotbed of talent.  Are our best days even ahead of us now rather than having to constantly look back at the cobwebbed old heads of the past 'Golden Generation'?

I think there is too much gloom and anger around for so promising (for all Provinces) a period.

Agree on most of that, though I get the doom and gloom as well. Leinster is a HOTbed of talent. The other provinces have some talent in the bed. That's not to slag Leinster, it has the biggest population and so having the most talent coming through makes sense. But Carlton house is there. The Aviva is there. The connection between the national setup and the local academy will be strongest there simply by location if nothing else. And so I get the sense that the other provinces feel more distant to Nucifora's positive machinations, because its probably a bit true.

Well, I know results often colour people's view...and like I said in an earlier post somewhere, we tend to look too much at 'today' when contemplating tomorrow (example - Stockdale:  during the International window.... a Lord and Saviour of future Irish International rugby... a diamond found.  Move on to a Provincial game where he made a number of errors .... "that's Stockdale's time in an International shirt over.... there's better than him around now".  Oh yeah who? - "That lad Larmour....he's the future now".  His last Provincial game turns up and he doesn't exactly light up the occasion.... "I don't think Larmour will get a game this 6N on that performance."

So the Entire Ireland Future Mood is dramatically up and down even through just two or three weekends of Provincial rugby.   It's much too much an up and down mood going round.... do we think Schmidt so fickle that he judges any of these players on a few bad games (or good ones) at Provincial level?  

So let me reword the future then and try it this way.  Head Office is in Dublin...yes.  The big admin boys operate out of Leinster...yes.  A better system has to start somewhere and like you refered to...it's natural that a better/improved system, taking players from boys to man, first begins to see dividends in that area close to the big admin boys with all their ready made resources close at hand.   But a new way of thinking in Ireland about rugby development pathways has to start somewhere and be trialled somewhere and give reports back on progress from somewhere.
So I'd prefer to see any 'enthusiasm' in Leinster as just the first mouthful of the elixir.  It's only in the throat....now it has to travel to the stomach.... get into the bloodstream and travel out to the limbs......  A person has to eat first before the body begins to get the benefits of the meal.  This is not a Leinster centric project.  And if it was, it wouldn't work and I'd be against it.  I don't want a one Great Province Nation.  That's pointless.  All genuine rugby followers would agree with that.  It's a pointless exercise to have Leinster purring and the rest lamenting.  But I think it's mean spirited indeed to assume or claim that that's the perhaps the final result wished for in the minds of IRFU, Nucifora and Schmidt.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by rodders on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 11:24 am

Don't agree with any of that fly ... but I did stop reading it at the first comma.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 11:43 am

Good for you, rodders. A man with sense. OK

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by rodders on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 12:06 pm

Only messing Fly. Like I sort of see what you are saying but I think Joe has been extremely open and consistent in his selection policy since the last RWC.

He has been working with Nucifera to increase depth in each position, Nucifera via focusing provincial recruitment on IQ players and Joe by introducing new faces each camp.

It's obvious to me that he sees Stockdale and Larmour as key players in the long term and will continue to invest in them.

But to facilitate growing the squad  players will move in and out of camps, for example Sean Cronin was left out in the Autumn, but Joe knows what he can do, I don't think it is a reflection on form .

Joe has been very open that he places more emphasis on how players act and perform in the training camps than how the play for their provinces.

For example He's been known to drop players for dropping their car keys. So whereas from the outside some of his selections can seem strange I honestly believe he has his reasons and knows what he is looking for in players.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 12:10 pm

rodders wrote:OK so it looks like Larmour has made it in to the squad.

I predict the team will be:-

15 Kearney
14 Stockdale
13 Henshaw
12 Aki
11 Earls
10 Sexton
9 Murray
8 Stander
7 Murphy/VDF
6 POM
5 Henderson
4 Toner
3 Furlong
2 Best
1 Healy

Bench:- McGrath, Cronin, Ryan,  Ryan, Leavy, Marmion, Keatley, Larmour/ Conway  

So it's the Ireland of the slog'n'hassle'n'defend-for-your-life in the first half, and the Ireland we'd all like to see (the cut-loose number) coming on sometime in the second half? Maybe Joe got it the wrong way round in my eyes but...but....... well, I'm happy................................ (,)

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 12:59 pm

rodders wrote:OK so it looks like Larmour has made it in to the squad.

I predict the team will be:-

15 Kearney
14 Stockdale
13 Henshaw
12 Aki
11 Earls
10 Sexton
9 Murray
8 Stander
7 Murphy/VDF
6 POM
5 Henderson
4 Toner
3 Furlong
2 Best
1 Healy

Bench:- McGrath, Cronin, Ryan,  Ryan, Leavy, Marmion, Keatley, Larmour/ Conway  

It will be VDF over Murphy but that team is pretty much spot on. I'd say Carbery will be on the bench for the Italy game and maybe Leavy.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 1:30 pm

We're on the cusp of having good depth in the squad now and consistent skill level. We should start to develop set-ups. I don't think necessarily a precast XV for any match no matter the weather, the opposition, the referee or the location.

I'd like to see us develop a crew that can handle a dog-fight in Paris/Twickenham, the heavy duty outfit to throw haymakers.
An outfit to take on the poor weather and technical whistle-blower.
An outfit to run absolute riot when a ref doesn't let the breakdown become a competition and the ground is firm for a high pace game.

Outside of Furlong, Murray and Sexton having a drop off in terms of depth chart options making them key cogs in any XV, I don't mind who is picked in any of the other positions (starting or bench) as they can all 'do your job' in classic Belicheck style.

I don't think we need to have a XV that have to be able to do all things for all eventualities, could we develop options to have an on-the-road-beat-em-up side and an at-home-blitz-tempo side. We'll grind you down on the road and put 40 points on you at home.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Golden on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 4:06 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:We're on the cusp of having good depth in the squad now and consistent skill level.  We should start to develop set-ups.  I don't think necessarily a precast XV for any match no matter the weather, the opposition, the referee or the location.  

I'd like to see us develop a crew that can handle a dog-fight in Paris/Twickenham, the heavy duty outfit to throw haymakers.
An outfit to take on the poor weather and technical whistle-blower.
An outfit to run absolute riot when a ref doesn't let the breakdown become a competition and the ground is firm for a high pace game.

Outside of Furlong, Murray and Sexton having a drop off in terms of depth chart options making them key cogs in any XV, I don't mind who is picked in any of the other positions (starting or bench) as they can all 'do your job' in classic Belicheck style.

I don't think we need to have a XV that have to be able to do all things for all eventualities, could we develop options to have an on-the-road-beat-em-up side and an at-home-blitz-tempo side. We'll grind you down on the road and put 40 points on you at home.

Main problem with that been that there is not enough game time at International level to develop these different combinations for different occasions.

EDIT: Closest we could probably get would be like Joe's Leinster, where we have a couple of players that rotate depending on the game plan. Ala Reddan and Healy for home (more open) games and Boss and VDM for away (or games we were looking to keep tight).

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 4:26 pm

Look, the GREAT thing about having so many fringe players that seem so promising is not really that they're there and that all of them will get onto the field one day and blast the bejaysus out of all opponents in a firestorm of speed and invention!!!! Yahoo

No, that's the fantasy that we'd all love to happen but know it ain't going to...well, so clearly as that anyway.

The real thing I love about all the young firefly boys coming through concerns something I've always said about why I feel/believe/know that the ALL Blacks are always so good............... the first team gets to train with a set of players that are more often than not sharper and smarter with a ball than anything they're going to face in the test approaching.  
Now yes, that's becoming less so nowadays and I genuinely see a few teams pressurising the ABs more to keep that step ahead of the posse.

But that's why I think the gap is closing...the training field quality rather than the actual quality of the eventual players putting on the shirt and going to play the big game.

With Larmour and people like that in training, he and they are just bound to put the first team through their paces and sharpen up the instincts for the games ahead.  
So, it's not so much wondering about which of the new whizz boys will make it, which will fall away, etc.... ; as long as we can keep the numbers of quality players high, the International training camps will improve the preparedness of those few players that DO make it through to the wearing of the shirt. Competition for places yes... that will hone the skill levels. But also that practical work on the training ground, when the shirt holder is embarrassed by the fleet feet of the rookies and has to try harder to beat them.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by wolfball on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 4:46 pm

Updating the header post to reflect the squad just announced and point out areas of difference.

My summary of how the changes effects squad strenght:

  • Hooker = Cronin instead of Tracy. (Improves Squad)
    Lock = Roux instead of Treadwell (Little effect on Squad)
    Backrow = Murphy, Instead of TOD, Ruddock and SOB out due to injury (Weakens Squad)
    Centre = Scannell, Instead of Ringrose and McCloskey (Slight weakening of squad)
    Wing = McFadden, Instead of Byrne, Sweetnam (Weakens Squad)


Cooney can feel the most hard done of those who miss out.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Golden on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 5:13 pm

Here's the squad btw;

FORWARDS (20)
•Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) c 106 caps
•Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 5 caps
•Sean Cronin (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 56 caps
•Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 11 caps
•Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 19 caps
•Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 73 caps
•Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 34 caps
•Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 cap
•Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 22 caps
•Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
•Jack McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 42 caps
•Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 18 caps
•Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 42 caps
•Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
•Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 3 caps
•James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
•John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 11 caps
•CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 18 caps
•Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 53 caps
•Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps

BACKS (16)
•Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 2 caps
•Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 6 caps
•Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps
•Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 62 caps
•Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 2 caps
•Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 31 caps
•Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 78 caps
•Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster) 7 caps
•Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
•Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 18 caps
•Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 32 caps
•Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 6 caps
•Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 59 caps
•Johnny Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 68 caps
•Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 3 caps
•Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 4 caps

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 5:54 pm

When you look at that squad............... the time for excuses is getting slim now. These players, as a collective, should be winning competitions now. There should be no need for One Big Game policy or One Gameplan policy.

You look at it and you say to yourself if these guys can't pull out a Championship or a Slam then some serious questions need answering of the International coaching panel. We have to find a way of letting them play more rather than just sitting at home defending slim leads.

But anyway...that's for the weeks ahead. For now, that's an impressive squad that Ireland can call on.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by wolfball on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 6:22 pm

SecretFly wrote:When you look at that squad...............  the time for excuses is getting slim now.  These players, as a collective, should be winning competitions now.  There should be no need for One Big Game policy or One Gameplan policy.

You look at it and you say to yourself if these guys can't pull out a Championship or a Slam then some serious questions need answering of the International coaching panel.  We have to find a way of letting them play more rather than just sitting at home defending slim leads.

But anyway...that's for the weeks ahead.  For now, that's an impressive squad that Ireland can call on.

Agreed. We should expect a championship. If Sexton/Murray stay fit for 3/4 of the big games and we don't win the tournament we need to ask serious questions.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by profitius on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 10:42 pm

All I want is the team to play well. Put themselves in a position and then see. One area where I see an improvement is in the general mentality of players. These lads have a lot more belief than previous generations. That translates into big game performances.


I think SOB is a big loss and the second row depth is weak although its good to see James Ryan in there. Ryan though gets injured in every game he plays so I'm not sure how long he'll last.


Larmour is the inclusion most fans wanted to see. The back 3 is now looking good and unlike Ireland of the past, I think this Ireland team are capable of scoring tries from longer range.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 11:09 pm

SOB is a great abrasive player but I think his importance these days is over stated.  He's a driver and a mood creator and sometimes he can have a monumentally explosive game.... but then too he can have his misty moments of red, react to something that doesn't need a reaction, draw a card, lose ten minutes ..or more.... or get seriously injured trying to do everything and too much.

Obviously it's nice to see him in a squad or on a team but I feel there is often too much latent frustration in him lately that stalls his better stuff.  Heaslip went through a period some years ago when everything on the field seemed to annoy him, always the scowl and barking and moaning.  He passed through that phase and became his old self again and played better.  I think SOB is in a similar period now and I'd like to see him emerge from it and love his rugby again. No need for the constant glowering.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by rodders on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 9:45 am

wolfball wrote:Updating the header post to reflect the squad just announced and point out areas of difference.

My summary of how the changes effects squad strenght:


  • Hooker = Cronin instead of Tracy. (Improves Squad)
    Lock =  Roux instead of Treadwell (Little effect on Squad)
    Backrow = Murphy, Instead of TOD, Ruddock and SOB out due to injury (Weakens Squad)
    Centre = Scannell, Instead of Ringrose and McCloskey (Slight weakening of squad)
    Wing = McFadden, Instead of Byrne, Sweetnam (Weakens Squad)


Cooney can feel the most hard done of those who miss out.

I think Billy Holland can feel hard done by to be left out for Roux. I wonder if Schmidt felt we needed a more physical edge in case Henderson gets injured?

With Beirne joining Munster next season second row is a real position of strength which is great to see.

Cooney must have been close but as an Ulster fan I can acknowledge Luke McGrath's form, I'm not a massive fan of Marmion but given how much Schmidt has invested in him as Murrays understudy he was always going to make it.

Hopefully Cooney gets an opportunity in the Summer. Its a sign of the depth that Ulsters best player this season doesn't even make the squad.

Cronin, McFadden and Scannell are form picks so no issues with these selections. McCloskey didn't really do enough in the Autumn to change Joe's view on him but hopefully he'll get another opportunity in Australia as he has so much potential.

Re SOB: He is world class and a force of nature on his day, I don't think any of the other back rowers can fill his boots at what he does but VDF or Leavy probably gives the backrow more balance.

Overall this is a very strong squad. I think we have a great chance of winning the championship but it is not a given. It is very hard to win at Twickenham and Scotland look very dangerous under Townsend, so forseeably we could play great rugby and still finish in the bottom half of the table.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by marty2086 on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 9:49 am

wolfball wrote:
Lock =  Roux instead of Treadwell (Little effect on Squad)

Disagree with that, Treadwells a lot more aggressive and probably more mobile. He's been going under the radar a lot at Ulster but don't think he's had a bad game this season even with some of Ulsters poor performances

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by carpet baboon on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 9:53 am

I have to say McFadden in the team is a pleasant surprise. I always thought he was a good player but nothing to exciting, a steady reliable chap, when picked I knew he would do his job but not explosive.
This season though.. he seems 3 or 4 yards quicker, there is an excited hum about him, he's bouncing around the pitch looking to make stuff happen.
And it's not just him, prof has already mentioned it but a lot of the players seem, well ,excited to be playing. It's not a slog for them anymore, they want to go out and give everything while enjoying what they are doing.
It's bloody great to see

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 9:54 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Nothing to do with what !!!
It is about who was responsible to getting him to that level  picard

Nothing to do with his development Jeff. The topic we have been discussing.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 9:56 am

carpet baboon wrote:I have to say McFadden in the team is a pleasant surprise. I always thought he was a good player but nothing to exciting, a steady reliable chap, when picked I knew he would do his job but not explosive.
This season though.. he seems 3 or 4 yards quicker, there is an excited hum about him, he's bouncing around the pitch looking to make stuff happen.
And it's not just him, prof has already mentioned it but a lot of the players seem, well ,excited to be playing. It's not a slog for them anymore, they want to go out and give everything while enjoying what they are doing.
It's bloody great to see

IMO McFadden has always been a really busy player. Any time I have seen him play he looks really hungry to get on the ball. That goes back to his school days in Clongowes too. Punched above his weight.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by rodders on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:04 am

marty2086 wrote:
wolfball wrote:
Lock =  Roux instead of Treadwell (Little effect on Squad)

Disagree with that, Treadwells a lot more aggressive and probably more mobile. He's been going under the radar a lot at Ulster but don't think he's had a bad game this season even with some of Ulsters poor performances

Sorry Marty but I think he's been dreadful. The lineout has been a disaster when he's played and he has been passive physically. He has poor hands and looks generally clueless.

He impressed last season but this year along with Ah You and Deysel he's been one of Ulsters worst players.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by marty2086 on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:08 am

rodders wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
wolfball wrote:
Lock =  Roux instead of Treadwell (Little effect on Squad)

Disagree with that, Treadwells a lot more aggressive and probably more mobile. He's been going under the radar a lot at Ulster but don't think he's had a bad game this season even with some of Ulsters poor performances

Sorry Marty but I think he's been dreadful. The lineout has been a disaster when he's played and he has been passive physically. He has poor hands and looks generally clueless.

He impressed last season but this year along with Ah You and Deysel he's been one of Ulsters worst players.

Our lineout has been awful no matter who has played

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by rodders on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:12 am

marty2086 wrote:
rodders wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
wolfball wrote:
Lock =  Roux instead of Treadwell (Little effect on Squad)

Disagree with that, Treadwells a lot more aggressive and probably more mobile. He's been going under the radar a lot at Ulster but don't think he's had a bad game this season even with some of Ulsters poor performances

Sorry Marty but I think he's been dreadful. The lineout has been a disaster when he's played and he has been passive physically. He has poor hands and looks generally clueless.

He impressed last season but this year along with Ah You and Deysel he's been one of Ulsters worst players.

Our lineout has been awful no matter who has played

True but around the park Treadwell has done nothing. In my opinion he should be playing for the Ravens not tacked about as an International.

Don't get me wrong, he has a bit of potential, he's a big lump and decent athlete but he has really gone backwards since last year.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Geen sport voor watjes on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 12:19 am

So let’s see. Tadhg Beirne is not picked cos it’s complicated ( maybe joe can’t pronounce his name). Zebo has bad form ( unlike bobert who has been brilliant at catching and erm running into people - thankfully he hasn’t had to tackle anyone).

Not to worry though the effervescent Ferg will save us all.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 9:51 am

Tadhg Beirne isnt picked because most players arent picked until they have had some prior involvement in camps before. Also you cant pick every one.

Zebo is a grand player but such is our strength now he will not be midsed that much. Conway, Earls, Kearney and Larmour are all better players now.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 11:26 am

Tadhg Beirne isn't picked because to pick a player only on his way back into the Irish system, you couldn't then so much justify not picking a player on his way out of the Irish system.

I'm glad to be of continued service in translating Joe Schmidt policy to those that don't seem to know the language of Nodnodwinkwink.

............... Wink

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by BamBam on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 11:48 am

The best explanation I saw for the Beirne/Zebo cases was something that went like this

If Zebo is picked because he's still in Ireland till the end of this season, and Beirne is picked because he's coming back next season, that 2 year contract offer in France doesn't look so bad all of a sudden for the top Irish players

Play for Ireland through to the end of the current season (like Zebo did), miss a year because you're in France, then sign to come back to Ireland at the start of your 2nd year in France and because Beirne was picked as he's coming back, that's the precedent for you to be picked

Missing 1 year of international rugby for 2 years of massive pay might be worth it to some, but would cause a big knock on effect on the provinces and national team

Think Ireland have got this one right with Zebo and Beirne

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 12:24 pm

BamBam wrote:

Think Ireland have got this one right with Zebo and Beirne

True, I also think Ireland are getting it right for the reasons stated.  Ruthlessness is required to make sure all players know the score.


There is something else going on too though.  Despite the decision taking away their International shirt time with it, certain grades of players might still drift away now.

This conveyor belt system (that is getting press time here in Ireland now and even over in the UK) is beginning to give headaches to a Nation the size of Ireland.  Academies are starting to churn out real options with high skill levels at an earlier stage and more of them.  So even established Internationals are beginning to sense that the environment has become much more competitive.  

Not only is your International role under threat from a bunch of newbies that are doing the business at Provincial levels, you also have to be nervous about your bread and butter stuff (the daily Province job itself).  If you begin to not play so well there, then nothing is now guaranteed - not the International shirt and not the Provincial shirt.

Older more familiar Internationals are now I'm sure beginning to weigh up their option about when is the right time to go.  Do they go now when their price is still high in European terms or wait that bit longer and maybe lose everything - International, Provincial and the potential of a big pay packet for going to France/England with a reputation still intact.

The going away bit from here on in mightn't be such a smug affair as it perhaps once might have been.  In the past, the few world class players in the soup once had the attitude that Ireland needed them more than they needed Ireland.  Those days appear to be disappearing and with it might go some top end players wanting to catch a nice big salary before they lose the advertising window they sell themselves with (international)

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by wolfball on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 6:43 pm

Interesting stats analysis on last 6 nations with a focus on Ireland. Our kicking and turnover stats were most interesting to me.


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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 9:26 pm

Proof that Schmidts selections arent as conservative as people say relative to all other sides. Wales are significantly more conservative for example.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by eirebilly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:03 pm

wolfball wrote:Updating the header post to reflect the squad just announced and point out areas of difference.

My summary of how the changes effects squad strenght:


  • Hooker = Cronin instead of Tracy. (Improves Squad)
    Lock =  Roux instead of Treadwell (Little effect on Squad)
    Backrow = Murphy, Instead of TOD, Ruddock and SOB out due to injury (Weakens Squad)
    Centre = Scannell, Instead of Ringrose and McCloskey (Slight weakening of squad)
    Wing = McFadden, Instead of Byrne, Sweetnam (Weakens Squad)


Cooney can feel the most hard done of those who miss out.

Not sure how Scannell coming in weakens the squad?

McFadden ahead of Sweetnam or Byrne is something I will not understand. I think that at 31, he is not really the future and I would have been happy to see either of the other 2 ahead of him.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by eirebilly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:06 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Tadhg Beirne isnt picked because most players arent picked until they have had some prior involvement in camps before. Also you cant pick every one.

Zebo is a grand player but such is our strength now he will not be midsed that much. Conway, Earls, Kearney and Larmour are all better players now.

Hard to compare Conway and Earls against Zebo as he is predominantly a fullback now and they are pretty much full time wingers (although Conway is handy at 15). Larmour is certainly in some fine form and looks a real star in the making but it is hard to say that he is better than Zebo as he is untried at International level fully. Kearney was once very good and he wont let the side down but I would not say that he is currently a better player than Zebo.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:12 pm

McFadden may not be the future but he's been getting back there recently quite a bit! If he can make 31 look like 24 again through four or five 6N games then I'd wait for the future a bit longer.

We need a 6N title. We don't want one. This squad needs one to prove they are actually going somewhere rather than it just being another media big-up going nowhere.

If McFadden doesn't make a world cup, I don't care. If he's in a final splurge top form mood over these next few months then I say let him at it.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by eirebilly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:21 pm

But is McFadden really better than Sweetnam or Byrne? I know neither of the two have been fully tested at International level like McFadden but I feel (like I do with Larmour) that this is the perfect tournament to give them a shot in 1 or 2 games.
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:30 pm

eirebilly wrote:But is McFadden really better than Sweetnam or Byrne? I know neither of the two have been fully tested at International level like McFadden but I feel (like I do with Larmour) that this is the perfect tournament to give them a shot in 1 or 2 games.

You're after saying what you said about Larmour in relation to Zebo, billy. Larmour certainly showing as much if not more than Zebo showed at the same period in his career but the question being about experience at high end International in a tough old contest like 6N. Untested against seasoned.

I'd say right now, on current form yep... McFadden is the equal of those two you mentioned if not in better form than both. It might be a final blow out in his career but if the spark is there why not avail of it. Before 2009 most people thought a man called BOD was all washed up and should probably be dropped for newer models. I'm all for dropping old models that can't handle it anymore. But McFadden is showing that he can.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by eirebilly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:59 pm

SecretFly wrote:
eirebilly wrote:But is McFadden really better than Sweetnam or Byrne? I know neither of the two have been fully tested at International level like McFadden but I feel (like I do with Larmour) that this is the perfect tournament to give them a shot in 1 or 2 games.

You're after saying what you said about Larmour in relation to Zebo, billy.   Larmour certainly showing as much if not more than Zebo showed at the same period in his career but the question being about experience at high end International in a tough old contest like 6N.  Untested against seasoned.


Not sure what your point is here? I am saying that I feel that Larmour has been very good for Leinster and feel he deserves 1 or 2 games in the 6N to see how he performs. I think he will do well myself as he seems to have, not only, good feet but a very good rugby brain. I still feel Zebo is the best 15 option for Ireland but Larmour has more than earnt his chance.

As for McFadden, there is a reason why he only has just over 30 caps in 7 years since his Irish debut...
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by SecretFly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 1:08 pm

eirebilly wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
eirebilly wrote:But is McFadden really better than Sweetnam or Byrne? I know neither of the two have been fully tested at International level like McFadden but I feel (like I do with Larmour) that this is the perfect tournament to give them a shot in 1 or 2 games.

You're after saying what you said about Larmour in relation to Zebo, billy.   Larmour certainly showing as much if not more than Zebo showed at the same period in his career but the question being about experience at high end International in a tough old contest like 6N.  Untested against seasoned.


Not sure what your point is here? I am saying that I feel that Larmour has been very good for Leinster and feel he deserves 1 or 2 games in the 6N to see how he performs. I think he will do well myself as he seems to have, not only, good feet but a very good rugby brain. I still feel Zebo is the best 15 option for Ireland but Larmour has more than earnt his chance.

As for McFadden, there is a reason why he only has just over 30 caps in 7 years since his Irish debut...

Yeah, he wasn't picked. That's the reason...only 15 men on a team, billy. And 23 in the stadium. He wasn't picked because other players allegedly were better than him at the stuff out on the edges.

You yourself many times have said we haven't really blown people away with the beauty of our attack play these last numbers of years, have we? Our backs can have very quiet days indeed. Some of them will blame coaching for that and say they were under orders but............ I don't think I've ever seen McFadden have a day where he just goes through the motions and blames tactics for being very quiet and virtually unseen.
When McFadden plays, he's always seen. In the past that's been a pretty wild party and sometimes erratic and almost too-driven. But he's a back that always tries to prove he's one - and in recent weeks/months he hasn't been a lesser player to any Irishman that calls himself a back.

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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by eirebilly on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 1:13 pm

Fly,

I mean this with the greatest of respect but you really do speak some guff at times thumbsup
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Re: Ireland 6 Nations chat

Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 1:46 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Tadhg Beirne isnt picked because most players arent picked until they have had some prior involvement in camps before. Also you cant pick every one.

Zebo is a grand player but such is our strength now he will not be midsed that much. Conway, Earls, Kearney and Larmour are all better players now.

Hard to compare Conway and Earls against Zebo as he is predominantly a fullback now and they are pretty much full time wingers (although Conway is handy at 15). Larmour is certainly in some fine form and looks a real star in the making but it is hard to say that he is better than Zebo as he is untried at International level fully. Kearney was once very good and he wont let the side down but I would not say that he is currently a better player than Zebo.

Fair enough response. Comparing Kearney and Zebo is kind of pointless though IMO.

Schmidt prefers Kearney because he fits the Ireland game plan much better as he sees it. I am fully in favour of picking players to arrive at the overall team that you want rather than picking a team to include the players you want which is a legacy issue in Ireland. We have in the past put way too much stock in individuals.

I believe that Schmidt does the former so at the end of the day if he thought Zebo was better it wouldn't bother me that much or at all really.

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