Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

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Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 10:41 pm

Leinster fans - we're a fickle bunch.

As soon as the club gets any kind of success, the fans all disappear from here being far too busy scouring the shops for the new 'four-star' top and associated scarf, hat, rain-jacket (light weather), heavy parka (for visiting Limerick in winter), alternate dayglo away strip with fur-lined collar (for out West), and up to date badges and paraphernalia for the beemer, car-seat, and nappy-bag 3-in-1 holdall/pram/kiddy thingy.

Despite that, Leo and his merry men, have been busy sizing up the latest batch of academy starlets with a number of them being signed on Development contracts to the senior squad.  The departures last season of a few old hands through injury/retirement was accompanied by two high-profile transfers and a number of academy/development players who didn't make the grade moving on or being released:

Departed
Jordi Murphy to Ulster and Joey Carbery to Munster
Jamie Heaslip, Isa Nacewa and Richardt Strauss retired
Oisin Heffernan to Nottingham
Cathal Marsh and Peadar Timmins released

Incoming
Isa Nacewa's dressing-room seat was still warm when newcomer, Australian international, Joe Tomane, was announced as the new Non-Irish Eligible player for the squad.  He's played with Montpelier for the last couple of seasons, and will look to tie down a regular starting slot at wing or centre during the season.  He's of Samoan/Cook Island descent so won't be included in the "two foreign player" limits in the PRO14 and Heineken Cup.

Promoted from Academy: Jordan Larmour (fullback), Vakh Abdaladze (prop), Caelan Doris (No 8), Josh Murphy and Will Connors (flankers)
Joe Tomane from Montpellier - wing/centre.

Squad and Coaching
That makes a 44-strong senior squad and a further 19 players in the Academy including 8 new players starting their first year.

Unlike the other provinces, Leinster now don't have any SA-born players in their squad with just 2 NIE players - Fardy/Tomane (Aus) and 2 NIQ players Gibson-Park/Lowe (NZ) in their ranks.  Vakh Abdaladze, born in Georgia, moved to Ireland at age 5/6, and encouraged by his father, a former No.8 for Georgia, switched from soccer to rugby, and from centre to loosehead prop, and finally to tighthead.  He made it onto the Ireland U20s squad for the World Cup and was part of the team that beat New Zealand before losing to England in the final alongside Ryan, Porter and Stockdale.

On the coaching front, Leo and Stuart still head the bill, with former Leinster No 10 and highly popular Argentina test player/captain, Felipe Contemponi, replacing the departed Girvan Dempsey as Backs Coach.

Upcoming Fixtures
Leinster play Montauban in France and Newcastle at Energia Park in Donnybrook for their pre-season games, before kicking off their PRO14 Championship title defence with a cross-conference game against Cardiff at the Arms Park on August 31.   They stay in Wales to meet Conference B rivals, Scarlets, in Llanelli, the following week.  Their first home game is against Dragons at the RDS on 15 Sept.  They've only one away game in SA this season, against Kings on Sunday, 4 November.  

The first interpro derby is in Galway against Connacht on 29 Sept, followed a week later by the annual Leinster/Munster knees-up at Lansdowne Road on 6 October - good prep for the first two rounds of the Heineken Cup (it's back!) against Pool One rivals Wasps, or Toulouse or Bath during October.

Developments
Coaching has been a big part of summer activities at the club with the usual summer camps being held for kids of all ages sold out around the province and a particular target being met of developing coaches - men and women's - across the 12 counties in the province.  

In the background, planning permission extension is still underway for the planned demolition and redevelopment of the Anglesea Stand next season which will add another 4,000 approx to the RDS Arena for hosting the various public events (including de rugby) during the year.    It's not known at this stage what that's going to mean for ticket prices, particularly for ST holders in Anglesea Stand, but it's likely there'll be some news on the stadium development towards the back-end of the season in 2019.

With a large number of the senior squad on restricted player management, Leinster are going to find their first few matches tough, particularly away in Wales in rounds 1 & 2.   Looking forward to seeing how they get on.

The Academy squad who normally feature in the British & Irish Cup will now be playing in the new U23 comp set up between IRFU and WRU and some will continue to play for Ireland Sevens squad during the season.

Leinster Senior Squad 2018/19 - 44 players

Hookers: Bryan Byrne, Sean Cronin, James Tracy
Props: Vakh Abdaladze, Michael Bent, Ed Byrne, Peter Dooley, Tadgh Furlong, Cian Healy, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter
Locks: Scott Fardy, Mick Kearney, Ross Molony, Ian Nagle, James Ryan, Devin Toner,
Flankers: Will Connors, Dan Leavy, Josh Murphy, Seán O'Brien, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier,
Number 8s: Jack Conan, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris
No 9s: Jamison Gibson-Park, Nick McCarthy, Luke McGrath
Out-halves: Ross Byrne, Jonathan Sexton
Midfielders: Tom Daly, Robbie Henshaw, Rory O'Loughlin, Noel Reid, Garry Ringrose
Wings: Adam Byrne, Barry Daly, Dave Kearney, James Lowe, Fergus McFadden, Joe Tomane
Full-backs: Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour.

Leinster Academy Squad for Hiberno-Welsh U23 Competition and Ireland 7s. - 19 players

Hooker: Ronan Kelleher (year 2) Hooker
Props: Jack Aungier (year 2), Michael Milne (year 1)
Locks: Ryan Baird (year 1), Oisin Dowling (year 2), Jack Dunne (year 1)
Flanker: Scott Penney (year 1)
Scrum-half: Hugh O'Sullivan (year 2), Patrick Patterson (year 1),
Fly-half: Harry Byrne (year 1)
Midfield: Ciaran Frawley (year 2), Gavin Mullin (year 2), Conor O'Brien (year 3), Jimmy O'Brien (year 3), Tommy O'Brien (year 2)
Wings: Hugo Keenan (year 3), Jack Kelly (year 3), Aaron O'Sullivan* (year 1)
Full-back: Michael Silvester (year 1)


Last edited by Pot Hale on Sun 12 Aug 2018, 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by carpet baboon on Sat 28 Jul 2018, 4:43 pm

Do you think Vakh will get more game time this year?. I remember him playing for the u20s a few years back and he looked a bit of a beast

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by sensisball on Sun 29 Jul 2018, 2:49 pm

Watched Tomane play a fair bit for Montpellier over the last two seasons and he aint no Nacewa. He wasn't even the best or second best centre at Montpellier. Dont think he is quick enough for the wing, except in some easier Pro 14 fixtures. So he wont provide the same class or versatility as Isa did for so many seasons. Although with a few good, young wingers establishing themselves in the first team squad he probably wont be required to play out wide very often.

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by George Carlin on Sun 29 Jul 2018, 7:49 pm

Have you lads managed to pin down precisely where it all went wrong?
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 30 Jul 2018, 4:57 pm

George Carlin wrote:Have you lads managed to pin down precisely where it all went wrong?

I think it was that moment during the match against Benetton at the RDS when one player looked at another and said sheeite were going to lose this.

The shameful hiding out west followed.

Still, the Heino is back this season, and so is Contemponi, so there’s hope yet.....
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 01 Aug 2018, 2:31 pm

I'd see Frawley in the academy as more of an outhalf and Tomane being used in the centres.

There are reservations around Contepomi. Argentina and the Jaguars haven't had create backs play during his time so the popular assumption that he'll be more creative than Girve the Swerve might not turn out to be true. I really think we've left a class coach slip away in letting Dempsey go overseas.

With the world cup being the end of the summer, I'll presume that the controlling of test player minutes will ramp up further. Leinster will be drawing on their academy more often.

Trip to SA for a single match the week before the November internationals are on, I can't see any potential Irish squad player or starter being put on a plane and flown round the world the week before a series of test matches.

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by SecretFly on Sun 05 Aug 2018, 9:49 am

Pot Hale wrote:Leinster fans - we're a fickle bunch.

As soon as the club gets any kind of success, the fans all disappear from here being far too busy scouring the shops for the new 'four-star' top and associated scarf, hat, rain-jacket (light weather), heavy parka (for visiting Limerick in winter), alternate dayglo away strip with fur-lined collar (for out West), and up to date badges and paraphernalia for the beemer, car-seat, and nappy-bag 3-in-1 holdall/pram/kiddy thingy.


Good writing has gotta be praised... loved that chunk of the stuff Pot Wink

I have all that stuff already...some of it on the black market of course Whistle .... everything that is except the 'gold dust' Four Star Calvin Klein blue boxers that haven't been even negotiated yet. Oh I look forward to that day when I can push my jeans down to Noughties Heaslip levels and expose that lovely Band of Elitist Exclusivity!

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 08 Aug 2018, 7:53 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Leinster fans - we're a fickle bunch.

As soon as the club gets any kind of success, the fans all disappear from here being far too busy scouring the shops for the new 'four-star' top and associated scarf, hat, rain-jacket (light weather), heavy parka (for visiting Limerick in winter), alternate dayglo away strip with fur-lined collar (for out West), and up to date badges and paraphernalia for the beemer, car-seat, and nappy-bag 3-in-1 holdall/pram/kiddy thingy.


Good writing has gotta be praised... loved that chunk of the stuff Pot Wink

I have all that stuff already...some of it on the black market of course  Whistle .... everything  that is except the 'gold dust' Four Star Calvin Klein blue boxers that haven't been even negotiated yet.  Oh I look forward to that day when I can push my jeans down to Noughties Heaslip levels and expose that lovely Band of Elitist Exclusivity!

Well the four star jerseys are out. I just love the blurb that comes from the designers for these.

The new green alternate strip could be the fashion must have for 2018/19.
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by SecretFly on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 1:35 pm

That's not just green, that's Survivalist, Military Fatigues Kkaki Green!

Oh BOY! We're going to War. Armageddon is upon us!!!! Trump is going to press the button and we're going to win it by four straight tries!!!!

I love the smell of Adidas in the morning.

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by XR on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 2:27 pm

I like the new blue Leinster top, not sure about the green.

Just a shame you guys will start the season with a loss Sad

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by SecretFly on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 2:35 pm

Loss has been written out of Leinster contracts this season! They're chewing razor blades as toothpaste.

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by St John The Enforcer on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 2:39 pm

gcBlues wrote:I like the new blue Leinster top, not sure about the green.

Just a shame you guys will start the season with a loss Sad
Probably 2. I'd say the Scarlets will fancy a crack at us without our internationals

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by SecretFly on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 2:44 pm

Leinster without their Internationals. Methinks that'll be the norm this season. Without a shadow of a doubt it's a season for other teams to do the honours - unless the Leinster rookies really knuckle down and decide they're going to carry the load with serious intent.

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by Pot Hale on Thu 09 Aug 2018, 5:41 pm

Yep - they’ll drip feed them in.

At a guess, the available players will be
Bent, Abdaladze, Dooley, E Byrne, maybe Porter
Tracy, B Byrne
Kearney, Nagle, Fardy, Molony
Josh Murphy, S O’Brien, Ruddock, Connors, Doris, Deegan
L McGrath, Gibson-Park, McCarthy
R Byrne, N Reid, Frawley
T Daly, O’Loughlin, Tomane
A Byrne, B Daly, Lowe, D Kearney, McFadden

Hopefully, there’ll be an opportunity to field a Leinster side with
O’Brien, O’Brien, O’Brien, O’Brien, Byrne, Byrne, Byrne, Byrne, Byrne, Kearney, Kearney, Kearney, Daly, Daly, McGrath, McGrath, O’Sullivan, O’Sullivan.
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Fri 10 Aug 2018, 9:45 am

I'd say you're on the money there Pot.

Squad travelling to the Montauban game;

LEINSTER: James Lowe; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Joe Tomane, Barry Daly; Noel Reid, Nick McCarthy; Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne, Michael Bent; Ross Molony, Ian Nagle; Josh Murphy, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Max Deegan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Vakh Abdaladze, Mick Kearney, Will Connors, Jamison Gibson-Park, Jimmy O’Brien, Dave Kearney, Oisín Dowling, Conor O’Brien, Tom Daly, Jack Kelly, Gavin Mullin.

Looks like the core squad for the league this season.

Could be round 4/5 (Connacht/Munster) before we get Test players back (they are barely into preseason routine at this stage)

Also, Leinster's trip to SA for a single game is the week before the November internationals. Can't see us taking ryan/leavy/sexton/furlong or any key test player half way round the world and back the week before they're needed for Ireland.

Glasgow and Ulster in the final two rounds of the season. If we are to make the playoffs we need to have it locked up prior to those two games.

On the positive side, the odd fixture is at home this season, last year we had to contend with a 10-11 home-away split.

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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 10 Aug 2018, 4:39 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:I'd say you're on the money there Pot.

Squad travelling to the Montauban game;

LEINSTER: James Lowe; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Joe Tomane, Barry Daly; Noel Reid, Nick McCarthy; Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne, Michael Bent; Ross Molony, Ian Nagle; Josh Murphy, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Max Deegan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Vakh Abdaladze, Mick Kearney, Will Connors, Jamison Gibson-Park, Jimmy O’Brien, Dave Kearney, Oisín Dowling, Conor O’Brien, Tom Daly, Jack Kelly, Gavin Mullin.

Looks like the core squad for the league this season.

Could be round 4/5 (Connacht/Munster) before we get Test players back (they are barely into preseason routine at this stage)

Also, Leinster's trip to SA for a single game is the week before the November internationals. Can't see us taking ryan/leavy/sexton/furlong or any key test player half way round the world and back the week before they're needed for Ireland.

Glasgow and Ulster in the final two rounds of the season.  If we are to make the playoffs we need to have it locked up prior to those two games.

On the positive side, the odd fixture is at home this season, last year we had to contend with a 10-11 home-away split.

Interesting lineup but purely a trial runout. I see Leo has included Oisin Dowling, Jimmy & Conor O’Brien, Jack Kelly and Gavin Mullin from the academy in the squad for tonight’s game.   Useful bit of experience and an early dip for the young lads.   Looking forward to seeing them run out in Donnybrook.

I wonder if the player management schedule will change a bit this season as there’s no SH June tests. Prep for RWC instead in July and August. So maybe an opportunity to start test players a week sooner than normal.

Mind you, if you’re a standard player for Connacht, Dragons, etc you could be finishing in early May and then wait for new global season start in late September.
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 11 Aug 2018, 7:08 pm

Good result for the Boys in Blue winning 17-18 against US Montauban in France. Tracy and O’Loughlin the try scorers and penalties from Noel Reid and a conversion from Tom Daly. Montauban narrowly failed to get promoted last season and were tough opposition for the full 80 minutes.

Next week, it’s Newcastle Falcons at Energia Park in Donnybrook. Wonder how many from this week make the side. Lowe went very well at full-back and might be tried there more often if Kearney and Larmour are test-tied. O’Loughlin and Tomane could be a great alternate pairing for the PRO14 in place of Henshaw and Ringrose.
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by Pot Hale on Sun 12 Aug 2018, 1:48 pm

David Nucifora’s concluding phase to his current contract is not going according to plan.

Nucifora and other IRFU managers have proposed a new structure for the third tier of Irish rugby to link in with the start of the new U23 comp between Irish and Welsh sides (and hopefully Scottish for 2019/20 season).

The proposal is to abandon the current all-Ireland AIL league based on performance and promotion/relegation by artificially creating two top divisions (8 in each instead of current 10) and do away with limits on the number of semi-pro/contracted players who can participate. The four provincial branches have reacted negatively to what they see as the Union trying to usurp their power and control of the grassroots club game. With the largest amount of clubs across the 12 counties, the Leinster branch has been to the fore in seeking to reject the proposals. Ulster, Munster and Connacht are biding their time to see what occurs.

The IRFU hoped to postpone an executive branch committee meeting this week in Leinster but were unable to prevent it going ahead and decision being made against the change due to no promotion/relegation, reduction in club numbers, clubs in divisions based on location rather than performance, professional players taking the place of amateurs in squads.

The ball is now back in Nucifora’s court to see if a solution can be found and if not, where he can play the lower rank contracted players not involved in PRO14 or European games.
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Re: Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Fri 17 Aug 2018, 2:23 pm

Leinster take the head to head with Bath at Christmas.
Looking forward to these fixtures


2018/19 Heineken Champions Cup – Pool 1 Fixtures (all times local)

Round 1
Friday, 12th October
Leinster v Wasps, RDS Arena (KO 7.45pm, BT Sport)
Saturday, 13th October
Bath v Toulouse, The Recreation Ground (KO 1pm, TV3/Channel 4/BT Sport)

Round 2
Saturday, 20th October
Wasps v Bath, Ricoh Arena (KO 3.15pm, BT Sport)
Sunday, 21st October
Toulouse v Leinster, Stade Ernest Wallon (KO 4.15pm, BT Sport)

Round 3
Saturday, 8th December
Bath v Leinster, The Recreation Ground (KO 3.15pm, BT Sport)
Wasps v Toulouse, Ricoh Arena (KO 5.30pm, BT Sport)

Round 4
Saturday, 15th December
Leinster v Bath, Aviva Stadium (KO 5.30pm, BT Sport)
Toulouse v Wasps, Stade Ernest Wallon (KO 4.15pm, beIN Sports)

Round 5
Saturday, 12th January
Leinster v Toulouse, RDS Arena (KO 1pm, TV3/Channel 4/BT Sport)
Bath v Wasps, The Recreation Ground (KO 3.15pm, BT Sport)

Round 6
Sunday, 20th January
Toulouse v Bath, Stade Ernest Wallon (KO 4.15pm, BT Sport)
Wasps v Leinster, Ricoh Arena (KO 3.15pm, BT Sport)

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