Leinster Branch Rugby - 2018/19

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

First topic message reminder :

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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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 8:38 pm

Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Don’t you just love watching bobert trying to tackle. The under 12s would be better

Who?
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Post by Geen sport voor watjes on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 8:51 pm

it’s a term of endearment here in Munster for one player. if you are watching the game you will figure it out

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Post by Maine man on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:34 pm

Rob Kearney?

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 08 Feb 2019, 9:51 am

So it looks like Noel Reid is heading off to Leicester next season after all with Conor O’Brien being offered a senior development contract when he completes academy this season.

Sean O’Brien is reported to be considering an offer from London Irish where Kidney is looking to assemble an experienced squad to ensure they stay up if they qualify this season ahead of Ealing Trailfinders.

No contract news yet on F McFadden, D Kearney. McFadden possibly moving up the M1 to Ulster, and Nagle’s loan becoming permanent.

Academy prospects for next season
Hugh O’Sullivan - 2nd Year Scrumhalf - coming through nicely to replace Nick McCarthy heading to Munster
Ciaran Frawley - 2nd Year Flyhalf - featuring more regularly and will need to fill the gap left by Reid’s departure
Conor O’Brien - 3rd Year Centre - due for senior development contract
Jimmy O’Brien - 3rd Year - has featured this season but not as strong as COB. Plays 10 as well as midfield. Regular Ireland 7s player
Hugo Keenan - 3rd Year Winger - Ireland 7s player at Fly half - could be offered a senior dev contract .
Scott Penny - 1st Year Flanker - despite his age already seen as a hit prospect - playing for Ireland U20s in 6N and has already had a couple of senior games with Leinster.
Oisin Dowling - 2nd Year lock - has had a couple of Leinster appearances this season - but looks like he’s on the right path.
Harry Byrne - 1st Year Flyhalf - Ross’s younger brother is another developing well wearing 10 for Ireland U20s in the 6N. Still a bit of time needed before he might break through.
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Post by rodders on Fri 08 Feb 2019, 2:24 pm

Sounds like O'Brien is off to London Irish, didn't see that coming....
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 12 Feb 2019, 12:27 pm

Just looking forward to the Ealing Tailfinders winning the English Premiership next year. Just goes to show you, all they ever needed was just one break. Wish them well.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 12 Feb 2019, 12:36 pm

rodders wrote:Sounds like O'Brien is off to London Irish, didn't see that coming....

It makes sense to me. I think he is not the player he was anyway. Too many injuries and not as physical as before. Leinster also has great cover at 7 and some top academy players coming through.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 12 Feb 2019, 3:00 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:Sounds like O'Brien is off to London Irish, didn't see that coming....

It makes sense to me. I think he is not the player he was anyway. Too many injuries and not as physical as before. Leinster also has great cover at 7 and some top academy players coming through.

If players want to play the money game a team always need to be cautious around the final mega-contract. The one that is negotiated on name and stories of yesteryear rather than on what the player will contribute during the contract itself. Personally I'd prefer if that money went on a number of youngsters or was used securing areas of issue with depth (ie. managing Furlong for hopefully a long career, keeping Stockdale at Ulster, Murray at Munster, Aki at Connacht, etc.).

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:34 am

Scott Fardy has re-signed for another season - he's been enjoying developing the kids - good player to have around

Not sure if Tomane is viewed in the same light.
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:59 am

I have a feeling SOB might have one final flurry that hints at his past before he calls it a day with Ireland. Rob Kearney has had one of two of those rebirths.... might have another if he gets to WC.
Same with SOB, for now it looks like his engine has had it but I just try to climb into his mind.... he doesn't just want to play on to be the player he is now. He must be frustrated both with his stream of injuries and haunted by the fear of getting another one. But that's the stage he's at. If he gets a better run of games now his confidence to try being his old self will naturally bubble to the surface again...especially if it's at a WC game. Nothing then to lose but a chance of glory.

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Post by rodders on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 11:05 am

Pot Hale wrote:Scott Fardy has re-signed for another season - he's been enjoying developing the kids - good player to have around  

Not sure if Tomane is viewed in the same light.  

Great signing, he's missed out on a few starts in the HEC in the last while but still top class. I think it might have been the Toulouse game recently he was the best player on the pitch.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 5:35 pm

Genuine question but what is Leinsters budget, including; IRFU money, private investment, central contracts. Player’s own private sponsorship outside of that, anything else? Genuinely curious as the regions budget has been set at 19M between the 4 for next season - clearly unsustainable so I thought I’d look at other options with the impending project reset Smile.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 11:21 pm

I'm not one of the Leinster finance eagle fans, so you'll have to wait for one of them to show up, mikey. But in the meantime, can you tell us if that 19 million encompasses everything.... WRU contribution, all private club investment, personal player sponsorship, any properties or vehicles or other inducements that might come in outside budget declarations?
Not being smart here, genuinely asking you whether you know that budget of 19 million is the suefire total of real monies spent on clubs + players next season?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 1:25 am

The budget covers players, coaches and backroom staff (physio’s, etc.) as far as I know, most of it coming from the WRU. Investors can invest but that brings me to would they breach the salary cap? Either way the rich investors aren’t putting in the way the ones backing the likes of Wasps are doing. Most international players get their own sponsorship deals independently, mostly small time; they’ll also usually lease flash cars from local automotives - all of which can be got in most places so perhaps not a great incentive and obviously wouldn’t fall under playing budget. Internationals also get Wales money per game (not the regions budget).
Isn’t Toulousian budget 19M or thereabouts?

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 10:00 am

Another question, probably linked to International. Do Irish Provinces actually put Too Much effort into both Pro14 and Europe rather than what is often claimed, too little (to Pro14)?
Habitually Some Irish Province is gunning for two titles come this time of the year, and to be in that race you have to have applied yourself pretty hard at both contests - neither of them are easy.
Habitually, the Welsh International side arrives at 6N oozing menace and silky speedster skills in equal measure... looking fresh, hungry, full of juice, Duracell endurance levels, all the tricks of the trade up their sleeves that don't always get an outing in Pro14...... and yet it's mostly the Irish provinces that are accused of not giving enough to the Pro14, of disrespecting it, of making it very much a second best option after Europe.

Maybe we should play this smarter.... cool off the gas in both Pro14 and Europe, then arrive at International primed hot for the hard hard hits and the endless running, offloading and tricks we're too lazy to produce in Pro14? Yep, maybe the Welsh way IS the best way.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 27 Feb 2019, 9:17 pm

FFs - now Jack McGrath is making noises about moving up the M1.

We’re being bled dry - that’s what it is.  Leinster MeToos cropping up all over the place.  It’s bad enough having to fend off the Worcester’s and Leicesters of this world but when your own supposed kith n kin are robbing the players out be the back door, something’s gonna have to happen.  

We need a Blue Wall around the M50 corridor and patrolled gates on the M1, M4 and M7 immediately.  Wonder if Leo could give us any cash now that he’s not going to build a border after all?

As for budgets, we haven’t a ha’penny, we’re paying the customers to come in the doors of Donnybrook each week, those pictures of the RDS are on playback loop from the noughties.....
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Post by rodders on Thu 28 Feb 2019, 1:30 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Maybe we should play this smarter.... cool off the gas in both Pro14 and Europe

Totally agree Fly, Leinster should definitely take it handy in the European 1/4 final.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 28 Feb 2019, 1:33 pm

Pot Hale wrote:FFs - now Jack McGrath is making noises about moving up the M1.

We’re being bled dry - that’s what it is.  Leinster MeToos cropping up all over the place.  It’s bad enough having to fend off the Worcester’s and Leicesters of this world but when your own supposed kith n kin are robbing the players out be the back door, something’s gonna have to happen.  

We need a Blue Wall around the M50 corridor and patrolled gates on the M1, M4 and M7 immediately.  Wonder if Leo could give us any cash now that he’s not going to build a border after all?

As for budgets, we haven’t a ha’penny, we’re paying the customers to come in the doors of Donnybrook each week, those pictures of the RDS are on playback loop from the noughties.....

Its good for Irish rugby in my opinion and very sensible. Leinster has by far the biggest academy and this frees up spaces for the next generation of gems. I think its more likely that the next Jack McGrath will be found in the Leinster academy than any where else.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 28 Feb 2019, 5:48 pm

For those asking about Leinster’s finances, here’s an eye-opener article from The Irish Times today:



Leinster Rugby are set to open the first of what it hopes will be five centres of excellence throughout the province in Donnybrook next month.

The 6,000 square foot building is at the Old Wesley end of the ground incorporating the old Leinster Branch offices and the will house a gymnasium, meeting rooms, changing rooms and offices. It was built at a cost of €1.3 million.

Mick Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby, explained the thought process behind the Donnybrook facility and those that will be created in other educational hubs around the province.

“The schools system is fantastic but also there are an awful lot of other kids outside the traditional rugby playing schools who are playing rugby.

“For them to thrive and develop a lot of the time their parents have to drive them to Dublin for extra sessions. The likes of Sean O’Brien and Tadhg Furlong, whose parents were fantastically supportive, we would like to have a centre closer to where they live. We are looking at working with IT Carlow, King’s Hospital and IT Dundalk, where we would partner those people.

“We are nearly finished the one in Donnybrook. We will be able to cater for more of the sub academy, those in their first year out of school, just developing them, giving them better facilities and also our underage teams. We will also be able to cater for the IRFU underage teams and maybe their Sevens programme if they want to train there.

“Donnybrook will cost about €1.3 million. We have been helped by philanthropy, a number of people have contributed towards that cost. It will be known as the Ken Wall Centre of Excellence.”

In terms of funding the overall project, Leinster will look to apportion a percentage of any surplus arising from a Celebration Dinner to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the province’s Heineken Cup victory in 2009. A donation will also be made to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, at the behest of the players who were involved in the Michael Cheika-coached European winning team.

The dinner for 1,000 people will take place in the RDS Main Hall on May 28th with tables of 10, costing €2,900, €4,500 and €7,500 of which there are a limited number remaining.

Anglesea Stand

Dawson said: “There are no raffles, no auctions. We have never gone near the Leinster corporate market. This is not an attempt to raise money. If there is any surplus it will go to the Children’s Hospital and the development of the Leinster centres of excellence.”

The then head coach Cheika, Rocky Elsom and the remainder of the 2009 squad will be in attendance, including three members of Leinster’s current coaching cadre, Leo Cullen, Felipe Contepomi and John Fogarty.

Leinster are also in the process of fine-tuning their application to redevelop the Anglesea Stand at the RDS under the Government’s large capital infrastructure fund for large scale sports development. The project is estimated to cost €30 million and the paperwork has to be submitted by April 17th.

It is a joint venture from Leinster rugby and the Royal Dublin Society who together will raise 50 per cent of the required finance while seeking Government funding for the balance. The project already has a naming rights partner. It would increase the capacity of the stadium to 21,000 from its current 18,500. There is full planning permission for the venture.

Dawson said: “You can only make application through a national governing body or county council. The RDS/Leinster rugby will be making an application through the IRFU. Deloitte are helping us put it together.

“We would see it as a game-changer from a Leinster point of view. We are a multifaceted organisation in that we run a professional organisation but also run the game. An awful lot of the money that is generated through the professional team goes back into developing the game.

“We are not trying to blow the capacity out of the water, just get better facilities for punters. We would like to think that this would be the start of the ultimate redevelopment of the RDS; this would be the first part of the jigsaw.”

If they receive the requisite finance then the project might start in the summer of 2020, although that is considered a tight timeline given the tender process and a need to upscale the drawings.
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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 28 Feb 2019, 5:53 pm

Rhys will captain the side for Friday’s match against Cheetahs at the RDS. Nige is reffing proceedings.

15. Dave Kearney (131)
14. Adam Byrne (49)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (57)
12. Conor O’Brien (14)
11. Fergus McFadden (174)
10. Ross Byrne (64)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (67)
1: Peter Dooley (58)
2: Bryan Byrne (36)
3: Michael Bent (117)
4: Ross Molony (80)
5: Scott Fardy (37)
6: Rhys Ruddock (155)
7: Max Deegan (37)
8: Caelan Doris (11)

16: James Tracy (86)
17: Ed Byrne (37)
18: Andrew Porter (47)
19: Mick Kearney (47)
20: Josh Murphy (17)
21: Hugh O’Sullivan (10)
22: Noel Reid (116)
23: Barry Daly (32)

Noel Reid must be counting down his games left at this point with his departure to Leicester now confirmed. If Henshaw and Ringrose regain and remain fit, presumably they’ll feature prominently once April comes around for the business end of the season with playoffs and H Cup knockouts.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 28 Feb 2019, 10:02 pm

Pot Hale, there’s no doubt Leinster would have a lot of cash tied up in assets, but was referring to playing squad, how Leinster and the rest of the Irish manage that. I’m sure it differs a little between province.

Would moving up the M1 be going to Ulster, or no?

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 01 Mar 2019, 12:17 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Pot Hale, there’s no doubt Leinster would have a lot of cash tied up in assets, but was referring to playing squad, how Leinster and the rest of the Irish manage that. I’m sure it differs a little between province.

Would moving up the M1 be going to Ulster, or no?

Leinster dont own the RDS. The RDS do. Yes up the M1 is to Ulster.

Playing squad budget. Hmmm.
Short answer - I reckon probably 36 senior players for about €7m. Central contract players are paid by the IRFU so that’s Kearney, Henshaw, Sexton, SOB, Toner, Healy and Furlong covered and Leinster don’t have to worry about them, but they have some top-up arrangements in place for a couple of players - Sexton and Healy. There may be other corporate commercial arrangements for other players organized through their agents but they’re not in Leinster’s budget. IRFU covers some of the admin and management costs of the academies - though not sure about the payments to players - about €8k each per year plus match fees if theyre picked for senior squad games - which some of them are e.g. Ciaran Frawley, Conor O’Brien,etc. There’s 20 players approx in each of the academies. So about 56 players to be paid directly in total and there’s also 110 approx non-playing staff who have to be paid.

Income
Excluding the central contract salaries - the provinces all now get the same contribution to player costs from IRFU apparently, but each year provinces may have particular needs around S&C, or facilities, etc which IRFU contribute to. I estimate total IRFU provincial direct contribution is about €22m. (The provinces generate about €11-12m of that through PRO14 and European Competition Income)

If you simply divided it by 4 - about €5.5m each. However, critically, on top of that, the provinces have their own income streams from ticket sales and sponsorships, advertising, promotions, merchandising, etc. The gate numbers for the four provinces last season were about 560,000 from PRO14, and another 260,000 from European games.

Leinster had about 184,000 of those incl 2 games at Aviva for PRO14 plus another 100k for European games. (According to a report last year, as part of the planning permission submission, it was said that the direct spend by fans attending Leinster games per season was €24.7m - about €1.9m per match at the RDS.) If you priced tickets at say €35 each, it would give them about €10m in ticket income plus their levy on drink/food sales and merchandising.

Club sponsorship income is probably around 1.5m-2m per year. I reckon Leinster’s income turnover is about €15-16m per annum aside from IRFU contribution. They own Donnybrook, but rent RDS and Lansdowne so they have some substantial costs to pay as well. And they have to pay their coaching team, CEO, backroom staff and admin. But they earn enough to pay well enough, but not supersonic. Connacht don’t as much. Munster better than Connacht. Ulster also.

Hope that helps. It’s my estimate not based on annual accounts - because there aren’t any publicly published - for Leinster anyway.
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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 22 May 2019, 2:51 am

Leinster have announced new senior contracts and departures for 2019/20:

1. Bryan Byrne, 41 Leinster Caps (LC), 12 Leinster Tries (T)
2. Jack Conan, 14 Ireland Caps (IC), 88 LC, 21 T
3. Max Deegan, 45 LC, 11 T
4. Scott Fardy, 39 Australia Caps, 43 LC, 9 T
5. Ciarán Frawley, 14 LC, 1 T
6. Jamison Gibson-Park, 70 LC, 15 T
7. Cian Healy, 2 British & Irish Lions Caps (BIL), 88 IC, 2017 LC, 22 T
8. Robbie Henshaw, 4 BIL, 37 IC, 36 LC, 7 T
9. Dave Kearney, 17 IC, 136 LC, 29 T
10. Hugo Keenan, 5 LC, 1 T
11. Cian Kelleher, 7 LC, 1 T
12. Rónan Kelleher, 2 LC
13. Dan Leavy, 11 IC, 63 LC, 16 T
14. Fergus McFadden, 34 IC, 178 LC, 27 T
15. Luke McGrath, 10 IC, 112 LC, 29 T
16. Josh Murphy, 21 LC, 1 T
17. Conor O’Brien, 17 LC, 6 T
18. Jimmy O’Brien, 7 LC, 3 T
19. Hugh O’Sullivan, 14 LC
20. Scott Penny, 6 LC, 2 T
21. Johnny Sexton, 14 BIL, 83 IC, 159 LC, 25 T

Academy Players Promoted to Senior Squad:
1. Ciarán Frawley
2. Hugo Keenan
3. Rónan Kelleher
4. Conor O’Brien
5. Jimmy O’Brien
6. Hugh O’Sullivan
7. Scott Penny
Leinster Rugby – Departees 2018/19:
1. Tom Daly, 12 LC, 2 T
2. Mick Kearney, 51 LC, 1 T
3. Nick McCarthy, 35 LC, 4 T
4. Jack McGrath, 7 BIL, 54 IC, 145 LC, 12 T
5. Ian Nagle, 19 LC
6. Seán O’Brien, 11 BIL, 56 IC, 126 LC, 20 T
7. Noel Reid, 1 IC, 121 LC, 17 Tries    


Rob Kearney still not signed up yet - he wants a central contract, and if not, could head overseas.
Robbie Henshaw and Johnny Sexton are on central contracts  and Cian Healy has negotiated a two year extension on his central contract.   Garry Ringrose was on a Leinster contract, so he may be negotiating a central contract for his future - possibly uo to RWC 23 given his age.  Gibson Park, who's current contract finishes next month, has got a new one for 19/20 but doesn't say for how long - probably 2 years at least.   Tomane - waste of money in my view - has another year left unfortunately.  

With Ronan Keleher moving from academy to senior squad, that'll mean 4 hookers between himself, Cronin, Tracy and Byrne - will one of them be moving on?
And with Ian Nagle departing along with Mick Kearney, that's going to leave lock stocks fairly bare as none of the academy guys - Dowling or Baird - have been given the nod.  However, Cullen has used Josh Murphy there a couple of times this season I think, and at 6'6", he has the height if not the weight (yet) for it - he's a useful lineout operator.

The good news as ever is that 9 academy players were used this season, and 7 of them have been promoted to the senior squad for next season.  The conveyor belt keeps turning.

23 Irish test-capped players in the senior squad for next season.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 22 May 2019, 12:55 pm

That's a good list of activity.
Reckon 4 hookers might be on the expectation that Cronin and Tracy may end up in Ireland squads/camps once the inevitable injuries arise for that position. More rotation required with it being a rwc year perhaps.
The kid Dunne at lock appeared promising, along with Fardy and Moloney will be expected to cover the lock positions while Toner and Ryan are away. Dowling hasn't been too bad, locks take longer to develop.
Sad to see Jack McGrath go, it's been known for so long kind of forget he's been around the team as a key cog for the many seasons that Healy was flattering to deceive.
Can easily imagine Rob Kearney off with Toulon for a season.

Very quick progression for Scott Penny and Hugh O'Sullivan through the academy and into the senior contracts already. Big expectations.

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Post by Pot Hale on Sun 26 May 2019, 3:36 pm

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS - AGAIN!

Thanks to Sean O’Brien (and commiserations), Jack McGrath, Ian Nagle, Nick McCarthy, Noel Reid, Mick Kearney and Tom Daly for sterling service to the club.
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Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 May 2019, 12:07 pm

Ireland - dodgy performances.  Schmidt hinting after one of the games (perhaps Scotland, can't remember) that the team's mind was perhaps on other things.

Leinster - cruise mode to get to the knockout stages of Pro 14 then suffering the ignominy (ignominy, they all got it ignominy! - sorry Whistle ) of being seen as the lesser skilled of the two finalists ... and falling to the brute beast Saracens in Europe.

Nucifora being shockingly (for us Irish) direct in backing Ireland to..... well, my Irish modesty forbids me from saying it here....., let's just say that despite Ireland's impotency in the 6N and Leinster's less than convincing end of year performances, Nucifora - a foreign outside set of eyes- still has the balls to back us for a good WC.

Did Ireland and Leinster collectively and intentionally take the foot off the gas since February in an attempt to ease burn-out issues and work towards some kind of top yearly form later in this year?

Has it all just been an evil Schmidt/Nucifra plan all along to have us looking shyte in recent months....or are we just genuinely pretty shyte in the hi-jinx rugby stuff lately?

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 27 May 2019, 2:08 pm

NO Ireland and Leinster didnt take their feet of the gas they just slumped but no big deal they just need to win a couple of big games to get to the semi and there is enough talent to do so.

Assuming we meet SA we really should be good enough to beat them.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 May 2019, 2:29 pm

I believe the holding-back-something more because I look at Schmidt body language and words during and post 6N and now I listen to Nucifora.  I think Irish Internationals have been in a holding pattern of sorts...not applying 100% intensity either to International or Provincial.

Now of course every manufactured prep strategy has risks.  We've had periods when Ireland chose to look very potent heading into WCs before and we've seen them just drain away from such levels when the contest actually started.  Holding off is also a risk game as nothing is guaranteed no matter how you choose to prepare.

I'm just not believing that players are so off colour in unison or that a team so slick under Lancaster suddenly starts settling for plod.  I believe the drop off in intensity required for these competitions (Pro14 and Europe) is long term planning for all that comes next.  It might work, it mightn't work, but I think design more than chance.

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