Ulster Rugby 2018-19

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 9:49 am

First topic message reminder :

http://www.606v2.com/t68145-ulster-rugby-2017-2018-part-2


Last thread was at risk of self combusting, so started a new one for you. 


Bye.

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Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 8:13 am

Wasn't he player of the season?

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 10:57 am

Great draw - two games in England, where I have accommodation laid on, and away to the best club atmosphere in the World (although La Rochelle run them close)

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 2:04 pm

Academy Squad Confirmed

ABBEY INSURANCE ULSTER RUGBY ACADEMY 2019/20

Year 4:

Aaron Hall
Position: Back Row
DOB: 26/06/1998
Height: 193cm
Weight: 98kg

Year 3:

Graham Curtis
Position: Scrum Half
DOB: 12/09/1999
Height: 176cm
Weight: 84kg

Matthew Dalton
Position: 2nd Row
DOB: 16/11/1998
Height: 197cm
Weight: 105kg

Joe Dunleavy
Position: Flanker
DOB: 22/12/1998
Height: 190cm
Weight: 101kg

Jack Regan
Position: 2nd Row
DOB: 09/05/1997
Height: 197cm
Weight: 108kg

Year 2:

Matthew Agnew
Position: Back Row
DOB: 20/11/1998
Height: 180cm
Weight: 89kg

Azur Allison
Position: Back Row
DOB: 19/04/1999
Height: 192cm
Weight: 95kg

Bruce Houston
Position: Fly Half
DOB: 16/08/1999
Height: 192cm
Weight: 84kg

Iwan Hughes
Position: Back Three
DOB: 06/04/1999
Height: 174cm
Weight: 79kg

David McCann
Position: Back Row
DOB: 13/06/2000
Height: 191cm
Weight: 103kg

Stewart Moore
Position: Centre
DOB: 08/08/1999
Height: 183cm
Weight: 91kg

Year 1:

Hayden Hyde
Position: Centre
DOB: 15/09/2000

Conor Rankin
Position: Back Three
DOB: 27/05/2001
Height: 186cm
Weight: 83kg

Callum Reid
Position: Prop
DOB: 06/01/1999
Height: 183cm
Weight: 111kg

Aaron Sexton
Position: Back Three
DOB: 24/08/2000
Height: 188cm
Weight: 88kg

Tom Stewart
Position: Hooker
DOB: 11/01/2001
Height: 182cm
Weight: 97kg

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Post by rodders on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 3:21 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Great draw - two games in England, where I have accommodation laid on, and away to the best club atmosphere in the World (although La Rochelle run them close)

Great draw but I think we need to win the group if we have aspirations of getting further than last year. Traditionally we've struggled to get anything in France, that should be a target to overcome that hurdle.
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Post by marty2086 on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 3:59 pm

rodders wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Great draw - two games in England, where I have accommodation laid on, and away to the best club atmosphere in the World (although La Rochelle run them close)

Great draw but I think we need to win the group if we have aspirations of getting further than last year. Traditionally we've struggled to get anything in France, that should be a target to overcome that hurdle.  

I think even if we lost in France topping the group is doable, away to Bath and Quins is something that will not scare Ulster and you fancy Ulster to get three home wins so it could come down to Bonus points etc

That's the possibilities, it'll all depend on if Bath and Quins improve like we expect Ulster to

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Post by profitius on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 4:08 pm

The hooker, Stewart, is a class player. Wouldn't be surprised to see him make the Ireland U20 squad next year even though he's born in 2001.
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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 4:48 pm

Great to see Hall given a 4th year as it suggest the club thing he will make it fitness wise

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 4:29 pm

McPhillips has joined Leicester

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 4:37 pm

marty2086 wrote:McPhillips has joined Leicester

So are 10s next year are Burns, Johnson and Lowery

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 4:41 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
marty2086 wrote:McPhillips has joined Leicester

So are 10s next year are Burns, Johnson and Lowery

Curtis too?

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 5:02 pm

marty2086 wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
marty2086 wrote:McPhillips has joined Leicester

So are 10s next year are Burns, Johnson and Lowery

Curtis too?

From what I read last season Ulster see Curtis as mainly a 12 who can play 10

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 5:04 pm

Correct we will be seeing far more of Curtis at 12 than 10


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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 5:08 pm

marty2086 wrote:McPhillips has joined Leicester

Any good? Advantage for us is he is EQP, but can be progress to more than squad filler?

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 5:14 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:McPhillips has joined Leicester

Any good? Advantage for us is he is EQP, but can be progress to more than squad filler?

Believe he's from Newcastle and represented e gland at u18s before joining Ulster's academy. (I could be wrong)

Haha ignore that I missread your post.

And he has potential just needs a run of games


Last edited by carpet baboon on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Don Alfonso on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 5:14 pm

He looked pretty good for us when he actually got a run of games at the end of last season, but I know the feeling in the Ulster set-up is that he doesn't have what it takes to push on.

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Post by Don Alfonso on Fri 21 Jun 2019, 5:15 pm

Sorry, the 17-18 season.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 22 Jun 2019, 8:26 am

LondonTiger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:McPhillips has joined Leicester

Any good? Advantage for us is he is EQP, but can be progress to more than squad filler?

Yes he is good. Was in the Newcastle FC academy for five years so has good footballing skills, and played his school rugby as a FB. He is a decent kicker with plenty of range, enough pace to run and a good flat pass on both sides. His defence has let him down at times but he seems level headed and ambitious.
He played in the u20 side in 2016 that beat England in the 6N and lost to them in the JWC final but didn't debut for Ulster until Christmas 2017. When Lealifano left and Ulster were out of meaningful competition he got a run of games and looked the part to everyone but the Ulster selectors. When Billy Burns signed last season Johnny's confidence took a dip, and with Bill Johnston arriving for next season he realised his future wasn't at Ulster.

Hopefully he will get a chance at Tigers to mature and with both parents from Ireland will remain dual qualified.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 22 Jun 2019, 9:39 am

Needs to improve his defence to make it.

Ulster have decided the three they have retained/signed all have more potential

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 10:29 am

Don Alfonso wrote:He looked pretty good for us when he actually got a run of games at the end of last season, but I know the feeling in the Ulster set-up is that he doesn't have what it takes to push on.

He'll need to hit the ground running as he won't get many chances. George Ford is easily first choice but on the games he's unavailable it'll be a case of stepping in and doing a job. With Hardwick (20) and Costelow (18) sitting behind him he might find himself out the door in two years if he doesn't impress.

Murphy said he will be seen as a utility player stepping in at centre and fullback as well. It would take an injury crisis for him to end up at centre as anymore than an in game replacement. At fullback though he might be used as our back three options aren't massive as the board are waiting to see how some of the development players adapt. Has he played any games at 15 for Ulster?

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Post by Don Alfonso on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 5:41 pm

None that I remember. Mike Lowry, our 20 year old, 5'7" outhalf-in-waiting, started European games at fifteen ahead of him.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 6:02 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:None that I remember. Mike Lowry, our 20 year old, 5'7" outhalf-in-waiting, started European games at fifteen ahead of him.

Yes I remember him doing pretty well against us, not that difficult given how poor we were last season. Murphy seemed certain of his abilities there so that'll be interesting.

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Post by rodders on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 9:45 am

LondonTiger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:McPhillips has joined Leicester

Any good? Advantage for us is he is EQP, but can be progress to more than squad filler?

I thought he was excellent in the second half of the 2018 season, stepping up to first choice 10 when Lealiifano left.

I haven't seen much to suggest that he isn't a better player than his replacement, Burns, and for whatever reason this season the Ulster management have ditched him.
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Post by neilthom7 on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 10:51 am

I think one thing you will get at Tigers is a a guy with a chip on his shoulder and wanting to prove something. He will feel he did enough to get a chance after the end of the 2017/2018 season and he never really got that chance so he will want to show that Ulster made a mistake and let a player who could be really good go. We have done that before too with Tommy Seymour so who knows Tigers may have picked up a rough diamond

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Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 4:57 pm

Ulster squad announced for 19-20
Will Addison
John Andrew*
Robert Baloucoune*
Billy Burns
Sam Carter
Marcell Coetzee
John Cooney
Angus Curtis*
Matt Faddes
Craig Gilroy*
Iain Henderson*
Rob Herring
James Hume*
Bill Johnston
Greg Jones*
Ross Kane*
Angus Kernohan*
Michael Lowry*
Louis Ludik
Rob Lyttle*
Luke Marshall*
Adam McBurney*
Kyle McCall*
Zack McCall*
Stuart McCloskey*
Jack McGrath
Gareth Milasinovic
Marty Moore
Jordi Murphy
Alan O’Connor*
David O’Connor
Tommy O’Hagan*

Eric O’Sullivan*
Tom O’Toole*
Marcus Rea*
Matty Rea*
Sean Reidy
Clive Ross
David Shanahan*
Jonny Stewart*
Jacob Stockdale*
Nick Timoney*
Kieran Treadwell
Andrew Warwick*

Those in italics are on development contracts - a lot less than last year.
Those with * came through the Ulster academy


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Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 5:00 pm

Whilst I would agree that Burns hasn't hit the heights, I don't thing McPhillips has shown he can either

My view is both will fall short, Id take Johnson and Lowry over both of them any day

God help Leicester if McPhillips ever plays centre

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 8:01 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Whilst I would agree that Burns hasn't hit the heights, I don't thing McPhillips has shown he can either

My view is both will fall short, Id take Johnson and Lowry over both of them any day

God help Leicester if McPhillips ever plays centre

It'll only be in the case of an injury crisis that he'd go to centre as we have decent depth. Interesting that his defence is a serious weakness when we've got two young flyhalfs coming through that are perfectly happy putting their tackles in, both can play 12 as well they're just a bit raw. Why we need McPhillips.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 8:36 pm

One thing I would say is I don't think the Ulster coaching team are saying Burns is a better player.

Fact is Burns is three years older than McPhillips and have played something like 125 top flight games.
He is 3 years older than Johnson, and 4 1/2 years older than Lowry.
McPhillips has played 22 games and Lowry and Johnson have both played less.

I suspect the decision was we cannot go into a season with a 22 year old with 22 games under his belt as our most experienced 10.
As such it was a case of Burns + 2 out of 3.
I think they made the right choice.
If Leicester think of him of being at the same level as Billy Burns, who they will have seen, they will get a sense of where he is.
Not saying he plays exactly the same way though, in some ways better, in some ways worse

I would also not discount the possibility that for McPhillips studies were over, gave a Ulster a go for an extra year, but simply decided he wanted to go back to England where he was brought up

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 10:31 pm

I think McPhillips will see Tigers as a short term move to put him in the shop window. George Ford will remain first choice but has international duties and will need the occasional rest which will present opportunities for McPhillips to get game time. I wouldn't be surprised if his signing was also to allow Hardwick the 20yo flyhalf to go and play some Championship Rugby to gain experience. From Tigers point of view McPhillips is cheap and an upgrade on the cheap Ford understudy from last season.

Two seasons at Tigers and McPhillips should have doubled his number of senior appearances (if he remains fit). By then there may be a chance to go to a starting berth elsewhere at 24 as he hits his prime years. Worth remembering that Priestland said that Ford pushed him to train and play at a higher standard because Ford pushes himself so hard in his preparation, good development chance.

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Post by marty2086 on Tue 25 Jun 2019, 10:46 am

Kev Geary is the new head of S&C and Bristol

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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 26 Jun 2019, 2:43 pm

So we could not find an IQ 9 then.

That remains our weakest position

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 27 Jun 2019, 11:01 am

With Coetzee being called up, if Murphy goes as well we could struggle in the back row during the WC.
I can see Murphy going - he needs to take someone else beside de Flier would can play 7.
Leavy is out, SOB is finished, Ruddock, Conan, POM, Stander, Beirne, Henderson - none of them are acceptable 7s

Would leave us with Rea, Reidy, Timoney

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Jun 2019, 11:20 am

geoff999rugby wrote:With Coetzee being called up, if Murphy goes as well we could struggle in the back row during the WC.
I can see Murphy going - he needs to take someone else beside de Flier would can play 7.
Leavy is out, SOB is finished, Ruddock, Conan, POM, Stander, Beirne, Henderson  - none of them are acceptable 7s

Would leave us with Rea, Reidy, Timoney

Plus Jones who did well when he played at the end of last season and Ross

Perfect chance for the young backrows though to show what they are capable of, Allison and McCann both did well in Argentina for the U20s, Hall hopefully back fit and we've yet to see Dunleavy plus Dalton can cover 6 and Rea Jr

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 27 Jun 2019, 11:45 am

I agree Jones and Ross will be the obvious backups.

Rea jnr and McCann I can see getting a look in

Allison may be later in the season
Hall will be rebuilding after the injury - also later I reckon

Dunleavy needs to step up and Dalton will not be considered for the backrow
Don't forget Agnew but like Hall and Allison later in the season I reckon, if at all.

Basically my contention is the backrow pre Christmas will be covered by Murphy, Coetzee, Timoney, Reidy, Rea snr, Rea jnr, Ross, Jones, McCann
With Allison and Hall being added after the New Year

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 1:31 pm

Dalton made his debut in the 17/18 season, and has nine appearances to date - do Ulster not rate him?

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Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 02 Jul 2019, 1:44 pm

Not as a backrower No.
He is 20 years old, made his first appearance a few days after his 19th birthday.
Seen as a player with potential but very raw - sent to Australia this summer to sharpen his game
Reminds me a bit of Ryan Caldwell

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 7:00 am

Struggling to see the similarity with Caldwell, who always played as a lock and captained Inst to the Schools Cup.
Dalton was an athlete first and foremost who came to rugby late and his coaches are trying to find a position for him.

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Post by Redman on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 1:43 pm

Your memory is better than most Aukster. I remember Caldwell being a good player with a serious discipline problem. Could get into an argument with his own shadow and picked up idiot yellow cards left and right. Went to England were he did fairly well, cleaned up a bit but then his late career was marred with injury.

I vaguely remember an article saying he was living on the Belvoir estate these days.

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Post by Redman on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 1:46 pm

Anyway, Geoff can confirm, but I suspect the similarity is more in terms of attitude. I’m sure I heard that Dalton was pretty full of himself. Time away learning the basics in Oz, without a safety net should do him good.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 8:36 am

Don't think Dalton is any more full of himself than Henderson or Olding who went to the same school, or indeed any other player from school rugby cliques.
He is undoubtedly raw but a big difference between him and Caldwell is that in his few outings so far he seemed to be learning from his mistakes. It looks as if he already has enough sense to avoid the need for someone like Paul O'Connell to knock it into him.

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 12 Jul 2019, 11:50 am

Will Addison called up to the Ireland training squad. Good for him
A bit of another kick in the tits for stu

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 12 Jul 2019, 12:51 pm

McCloskey is purely a centre and not first choice so has no chance of making Japan unless as a call up for both Henshaw and Aki injuries. Even then both Farrells might still be ahead of him.
Addison did well in his Test outings before injury and covers 13 & 15 so can't understand how his call-up is in any way a slight on McCloskey.

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 12 Jul 2019, 1:03 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:McCloskey is purely a centre and not first choice so has no chance of making Japan unless as a call up for both Henshaw and Aki injuries. Even then both Farrells might still be ahead of him.
Addison did well in his Test outings before injury and covers 13 & 15 so can't understand how his call-up is in any way a slight on McCloskey.

I understand that will covers more and Stu is an out and out 12, and will was playing brilliantly before he got injured.
But for McCloskey not to get called up into the wider training squad at all when he was fit all season and arguably the best Irish 12 must sting a little.
I get that Addison will be looked at as more back 3 cover but for me I would want McCloskey in there as if we do get injuries to henshaw and aki I would start him ahead of both Farrell's and for me he's ahead of Bundi too.

But I can't pick the squad so my opinion matters not one bit

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 12 Jul 2019, 5:47 pm

After McCloskey's debut at Twickenham in 2016 he was replaced by the returning Payne for Italy and Schmidt said:
"We try with the bench to have as little disruption as possible when we make a substitution. So people with a little bit of versatility is an advantage. Stu really has only played and trained at 12 and so that would mean we'd have to shift somebody else elsewhere."

That was a clue as to Schmidt's position with Stuart - not a first choice then and not versatile enough for the bench.

Schmidt said ahead of awarding McCloskey a third cap in November (v USA 2018):
“I wanted Stu to get in between a couple of ball players, but challenge him to be a ball player as well. I think we know he’s a ball carrier, we know how strong he is.”

Schmidt obviously thinks Stu needs to be a better distributor rather than just a carrier to fit into his team. McCloskey has had great individual stats for the past season, but will be in no doubt about the areas he has to improve to make Schmidt's Ireland.

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Post by Kingshu on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 12:02 pm

Milasinovich out for 9 months. Tore acl in training.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 4:44 pm

Kingshu wrote:Milasinovich out for 9 months. Tore acl in training.

What is it with Ulster Rugby and knees injuries, we've known for years that Belfast was a great place to get your knees done but this is getting ridiculous.

The only silver lining is that Milasinovich would really only have been injury cover, we just need our props to remain injury free.

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Post by Kingshu on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 6:02 pm

If McGrath or Moore get called into the WC (either direct or as injury replacements) it makes thigs a little light.

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Post by Kingshu on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 4:15 pm

Cooney cut from squad without even getting playing time, JS has been harsh on him the last few years and he has earned more gametime. Well ots back to Ulster and good to have him for start of the season.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 11:17 am

Joe doesn't like players that have and show individual, unpredictable talent and flair. He only likes those who stick strictly to the plan, even if the plan doesn't seem to be working very well.

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Post by rodders on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 11:56 am

Good for Ulster bad for Cooney. I think if Joe went with 3 9s he'd have made it as it looked like the Italy game was a shootout between McGrath and Marmion.

With Carbury injured they've adjusted their plans now to take Carty as extra cover at 10.
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Post by carpet baboon on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 5:38 pm

I think Joe not using him during the 6ns should have signalled that he wasn't in his plans.
Shame as he's been the best Irish 9 for the last 12 months.
But will be good to have him for the start of the season

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