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does Ireland/Wales/Scotland have the depth for 4/3(scotland) teams and only 20 NIQ that can compete in Europe

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does Ireland/Wales/Scotland have the depth for 4/3(scotland) teams and only 20 NIQ that can compete in Europe Empty does Ireland/Wales/Scotland have the depth for 4/3(scotland) teams and only 20 NIQ that can compete in Europe

Post by Brendan Wed 25 Apr 2012, 5:42 pm

The big three will soon only be able to have 5 NIQ and between them only one in each position
If each of them have/need 44 players (2x22) that is 117 irish players

Add in Connacht who on the same funding and soon will be mid table Rabo (3years) the other 3 will make sure that Connacht will have to abide by the same rules. So that will be another 39 players

So do Ireland have 155 club players of which 60-88 are HC and similar amount as Rabo and then the remaining being fringe players.

It would be great to think they could but I'm not sure.

At present we have about 60 HC players at most (some subs and some from Connacht) of which at least 15 are NIQ

The Rabo is another story as UIlster can't rest a full team and be compeditive.

What do you think


Last edited by Brendan on Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:15 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Brendan Wed 25 Apr 2012, 5:44 pm

I would like to what non irish think aswell as we can be either all or nothing

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Post by Thomond Wed 25 Apr 2012, 5:48 pm

I don't know but it will be interesting to see how it goes. We like to see our young lads develop and from a Munster persepctive next season will be interesting. For example, Nagle is rotting on the bench for Munster (is he good enough I don't know, besides the OZ game he hasn't been great) but why not give him game time in Connacht? Paddy Butler probably won't see much game time there either so why not send him there?


Even Hanrahan would have benefitted from going there for the last 6 months or so, I think a loan type system would work but the IRFU would have to enforce it.

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Post by Shifty Wed 25 Apr 2012, 5:51 pm

Yes you do, 3 of your provinces made it out of the pool stages of the European Cup and all your teams are doing well in the Rabo.

You can only beat who is put up in front of you, and generally Irish teams are doing well. I do think based on results though the Ospreys have stolen a march on the Irish teams in the league.

We have had an awful season overall, yes still won 7 games out of 8 against Irish teams.
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Post by Brendan Wed 25 Apr 2012, 5:55 pm

I think that with connacht improving and if they looked like going places in the Amlin or being compedititve in HC the years they get in more players will look to there to furthur their career.

Right now it is go abroad (mainly england) to improve your chances but I think that will change and we hopefully won't see the stupid situation of Carr who should never of been allowed move.

The IRFU also need to impose that if you aren't first choice for your province then you can't be in the Ireland squad

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Post by Brendan Wed 25 Apr 2012, 5:59 pm

I do think that O's have become the second team but the blues have gone back. I think that the top welsh Team should always be second in the league

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Post by Golden Wed 25 Apr 2012, 6:01 pm

Thought the NIQ was been brought down to 4 some time soon?

Yes think they do. The academies have never produced as many players as they are currently doing. I can see players leaving in the future as they cant get game time.

Leinster and Ulster in the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup, Leinster topping the League, Munster should be about 3rd and ulster disappointed not to get to a playoff place (most likely). I think this shows that they have the numbers of IQ players bar a few positions in each province that need some NIQ.

With the one NIQ per position the only problems I can see here is TH and LH. Munster arguably need both DuPreez and Botha while Ulster rely on Afoa and Leinster need VDM for some depth in the position. I dont think Munster have many props coming though of a high enough standard, Archer i dont think is HC material and not sure about LH prospects (kilcoyne looks decent). Whereas if ulster where to loose Afoa they have Fitzpatrick and then Macklin coming through. VDM is probably second choice LH anyway.

I think they will still have strong HC teams but slightly weaker depth meaning that competing on two fronts may be even harder.

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Post by The Great Aukster Wed 25 Apr 2012, 6:23 pm

Ireland don't have the money for 4 teams. Connacht won't attract or keep players because they don't have the support generating cash.

Fionn Carr thought he could command a higher contract elsewhere, and the player should always be allowed to move wherever he wants.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 25 Apr 2012, 6:33 pm

Yes, there is the player depth.

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Post by rodders Wed 25 Apr 2012, 7:18 pm

I'd say in some positions - particularly 3/4s and backrowers we certainly have the depth, however in some other positions particularly the front row we may struggle.

The depth has improved markedly over the past decade and hopefully in the next few season we'll see it improve further.
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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 9:48 am

I know we have the dept for 3 teams as many have said/shown but it is getting the forth team up to the required level.
Right now Connacht have alot of NIQ players. I think as Connacht improve more Irish players will look to go there and it is only 2 hours from Dublin or Cork so not exactly a massive distance.
If you look at players like Jarvis who was brought in to Connacht but now that they have improve he has been let go.

I don't think money is an issue as if connacht get to the Amlin quarter or semi each year and mid table Rabo they would be getting 5k atendance a game maybe more and the IRFU really need 4 good teams weather it be 3 in ireland and a full team of players overseas or four here.

I think that we will have enough players for 4 Rabo squads but not for the HC/Later Amlin stages which is really what we need if we are going to make Connacht viable.

Rodders how much better do you think the Ulster second 22 needs to improve to be in a shout for both competions each year. Ulster seem to use 30 players at most (others only for injuries) and I would say their non IRFU palyers have played alot more then Mun or Lein

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Post by geoff998rugby Thu 26 Apr 2012, 9:53 am

The OP has the wrong premise Munster and Leinster have squads about 42 strong, Ulster has a squad about 34 strong. That is 116 players not 150

That makes 101 IQ - and no I dont think it is the problem.
Just the opposition problem in fact - Ulster are losing players this year who are decent players but cannot get enough game time - Faloon, Whitten, Porter etc

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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:00 am

geoff998rugby wrote:The OP has the wrong premise Munster and Leinster have squads about 42 strong, Ulster has a squad about 34 strong. That is 116 players not 150

That makes 101 IQ - and no I dont think it is the problem.
Just the opposition problem in fact - Ulster are losing players this year who are decent players but cannot get enough game time - Faloon, Whitten, Porter etc

That would explain why it seems ulster don't seem to use as many players.

Don't you really need at 45 for a squad to compete in both competions.

Also I'll fix the OP.

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Post by red_stag Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:01 am

I would say we are at least 5-10 years away from having 4 professional teams of a suitable standard each with only 5 NIQ.
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Post by rodders Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:02 am

Brendan wrote:
Rodders how much better do you think the Ulster second 22 needs to improve to be in a shout for both competions each year. Ulster seem to use 30 players at most (others only for injuries) and I would say their non IRFU palyers have played alot more then Mun or Lein

Personally speaking, and other Ulster fans may disagree, not that much.

I think we need to rotate the squad a bit better trhoughout the season, the way Leinster do, so that if there are injuries the back up players can just slot in.

There are some areas like Hooker where there is a big drop off in quality from Best to Cronin or Brady but my feeling is there a lot of talented players there who just lack a bit of experience and regular gametime.

I think we've overplayed some players like Henry, Tuohy, Cave, Gilroy, Terblanche, Pedre, Afoa etc. whilst others like Spence, D'arcy, Macklin, Jackson, Porter, L Marshall etc haven't got enough regular gametime but there are good squad players there.

The problem I think is when you drop off below that, the 3rd - 4th choice players of sufficient standard and experience aren't there the way Leinster and even Munster have.

With Anscombe coming in next season hopefully he'll be more adept at rotation and giving young players gametime and with McLaughlin moving to academy hopefully the young players coming through will be more ready to step up.

We've definitely improved our depth from last season but need to improve further to compete on two fronts.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:08 am

Less NIQ players will just mean more opportunities to Irish players that would have otherwise had to wait and play games at lower tiers of seek their fortune elsewhere whilst waiting for a province spot. That may not necessarily improve the level of the top core of players but it will mean that there will be a lot more options for the Irish selectors.

It may also be good for Irish age grade rugby where the likes of the Irish under 20s struggle against for example their English counter parts because of the first team experience that is available to England.

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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:10 am

red_stag wrote:I would say we are at least 5-10 years away from having 4 professional teams of a suitable standard each with only 5 NIQ.

See that is one of the problems I see is we are pumping out more players but will the IRFU keep putting money into Connacht if they don't get out more then 5k.
If Connacht are seen as a viable opition that will also weaken the other teams as Ulster saw

Will the IRFU just say look we tried but there isn't the support for Connacht and then they will let the players go aboard.

The IRFU aren't known for seeing the bigger picture when it comes to Connacht. Any idea on how their season tickets are looking next year

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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:16 am

I do think that more u20s should be sent to connacht. If madigan who should only have been 3rd choice at leinster was playing for connacht he may well have pushed ROG out of the squad but as second choice he hasn't

Marshall also seems to only come on as sub as Pinear is not rested but if he was playing regularly we would not be able to say " oh its only because he comes on when eveyone is tired"

Is it visable to say that if you don't start say if you not first choice for you province you aren't in the squad. Then Donners would not be in the squad and others would have a go. It would also make connacht more attractive.

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Post by red_stag Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:20 am

They seem to be growing nicely Brendan. I work for a rugby tour company. We took a few hundred Connacht fans down to Toulouse for the ERC match this year.

A lot of them said they had never been to a Connacht game before but were there with pals who were fans. After the game, some said they'd be checking out the home matches.

Their A team have gained entry into the British and Irish Cup so that will help them in terms of developing their own talent. That has been a massive issue - they have to sign Munster, Leinster academy lads instead of their own.

But we are seeing the likes of Eoin Griffin, Ronan Loughney, Andrew Browne and Tiernan O'Halloran reversing this trend.
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Post by rodders Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:26 am

red_stag wrote:I would say we are at least 5-10 years away from having 4 professional teams of a suitable standard each with only 5 NIQ.

Thats pretty grim assessment Stag. Why do you say that?

Leinster could probably field 2 teams that could reach the latter stages of the HEC and Munster topped their HEC pool unbeaten with a whole raft of injuries.

Ulster are in the HEC SF and Connacht have had their best season ever.

Yes NIQ's have contributed a lot but if you look at some of the guys who aren't starters for their province there is serious quality and talent about in many positions.

"Reject" IQ XV:

15 Adam D'arcy
14 Dave Kearney
13 Nevin Spence
12 Ian Whitten
11 Fionn Carr
10 JJ Hanaran
9 Peter Stringer
8 Robbie Diack
7 Niall Ronan
6 Rhys Ruddock
5 Tim Barker
4 Mick O'Driscoll(c)
3 Adam Macklin
2 Niall Annett
1 Paddy McCallistar
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Post by red_stag Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:31 am

rodders wrote:
red_stag wrote:I would say we are at least 5-10 years away from having 4 professional teams of a suitable standard each with only 5 NIQ.

Thats pretty grim assessment Stag. Why do you say that?

Grim? You think?

I think that if by 2017 we had brought Connacht up to Heineken Cup knockout standard and Ulster, Munster and Leinster maintain their level along with a reduction in foreign players in Ireland it would be an amazing achievement.

I think its a very optimistic assessment.
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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:34 am

rodders wrote:
IQ XV:

15 Adam D'arcy
14 Dave Kearney
13 Nevin Spence
12 Ian Whitten
11 Fionn Carr
10 JJ Hanaran
9 Peter Stringer
8 Robbie Diack
7 Niall Ronan
6 Rhys Ruddock
5 Tim Barker
4 Mick O'Driscoll(c)
3 Adam Macklin
2 Niall Annett
1 Paddy McCallistar

See If some of them played for Connacht that would help them massively the only problem is some are close to retiring.
Rodders the only problem with those players is that it would weaken the Rabo challage of the 3 teams.

I think it is stupid that Mcfadden get picked for the irish squad when he doesn't play enough HC games and is clearly second to a rubbish Darcy. If they brought in not first choice can't play for ireland you would see Cave and others get a go, even Paddy who may not be the best Ireland have but if he can get a team to the HC final he must be better then McF
Stag it is good to here that their A team is in the B&I as that is really needed.

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Post by rodders Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:37 am

You said at least 5-10 years stag.... thats a bit different from saying 2017! 10 years would be 2022 man! Very Happy

I'd 3-5 seasons is an achieveable target to have 3 very strong provinces in Europe plus another challenging for the Amlin and top 7 in the Rabo.

We are amost there already we just need to plug some of the gaps filled by NIQ's.
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Post by red_stag Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:39 am

Even by 2022 I would be impressed if we got that.

Teams generally tend to have cycles. They improve and they decline.

I agree that 3-5 years is acheiveable for 3 strong in Europe and 1 for Amlin.

I am looking for 4 teams that could/should make the knockouts of Heineken in a given year.
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Post by rodders Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:41 am

Brendan wrote:
See If some of them played for Connacht that would help them massively the only problem is some are close to retiring.
Rodders the only problem with those players is that it would weaken the Rabo challage of the 3 teams.

Brendan yes of course it would. I'm just illustrating the point that there a lot of really good player, IQ, who are not starting for their province regularly, with many not even on the bench on a regular basis.

More and more players are coming through the academies and we are already saturated with talent in many positions.

The challenge is getting players regular gametime in big games.
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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:41 am

Connacht will never establish a bigger level of support if they keep getting sent u20s from other provinces. They need any u20s they have to develop into decent 24 yr olds and that means keeping them when they're good. They are seeing a few of their own coming through in McKeon, Griffin and O'Halloran and that is a far better way to sustain the team. Some of the Galway youth may be tempted away from GAA when they see some local success stories in rugby.

Don't agree about Madigan or Marshall going to Connacht. Niall O'Connor and Paul O'Donoghue both went there with arguably more experience and better rep, yet is anyone talking about taking them to NZ?

I also don't agree that second choice provincial players shouldn't be considered for Ireland selection. The selectors will undoubtedly take into account whether a player is a starting HEC player or not, but they should pick the best players for the team irrespective of province or pecking order.

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Post by red_stag Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:44 am

rodders wrote:
"Reject" IQ XV:

15 Adam D'arcy
14 Dave Kearney
13 Nevin Spence
12 Ian Whitten
11 Fionn Carr
10 JJ Hanaran
9 Peter Stringer
8 Robbie Diack
7 Niall Ronan
6 Rhys Ruddock
5 Tim Barker
4 Mick O'Driscoll(c)
3 Adam Macklin
2 Niall Annett
1 Paddy McCallistar

Can they really be spared? Some of these guys play a lot of Pro 12.

Paddy McAllister has played 16 games in the league this season so far. Last year he played 18.

Mick O'Driscoll has played 17 games in the league this season so far.

Niall Ronan could arguably be starting for Munster next season and even with long term injury has played 12 times in the league as well as starting games in Europe this year.

Not a hope these type of players could simply go to Connacht.
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Post by rodders Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:45 am

red_stag wrote:
I am looking for 4 teams that could/should make the knockouts of Heineken in a given year.

That one is a bit of a false economy because we only have 3 slots.

Connacht will be the weak link for the forseeable future but even in their first season they showed how difficult to beat in Galway. They beat Quins but were very close to winning a couple more. It was the lack of squad depth that caught them in my opinion, often tiring around 70 min.

It doesn't take a huge stretch of the imagination to see them reach a HEC QF with a bit of luck and a favourable pool.
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Post by rodders Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:49 am

red_stag wrote:
Can they really be spared? Some of these guys play a lot of Pro 12.

Some of them yes, most no. I'm just pointing out the depth we have now and I would expect this to improve markedly in the coming season with the IRFU really focusing now on the academies to take up the slack from the NIQ's.
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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:52 am

red_stag wrote:
rodders wrote:
red_stag wrote:I would say we are at least 5-10 years away from having 4 professional teams of a suitable standard each with only 5 NIQ.

Thats pretty grim assessment Stag. Why do you say that?

Grim? You think?

I think that if by 2017 we had brought Connacht up to Heineken Cup knockout standard and Ulster, Munster and Leinster maintain their level along with a reduction in foreign players in Ireland it would be an amazing achievement.

I think its a very optimistic assessment.

I don't think that Connacht will get to the HC knockout level but pushing for second is fine or winning their Amlin Group. And to be fair as long as they are able to mix it with a 4-6 English/french team infront of 5-7k i'd be happy

I expect the HC to get bigger with the next review as the English and French look for more places and All Rabo teams will get in. (I would much perfer to have a top comp of 16 teams and then a middle comp for the remaining 16 teams)

Of the NIQ we are short at LH to have 3 HC standards. If there was a shuffle we could do 3 TH given there won't be much cover of the required standard.

When the 1 NIQ comes in how short will we be. I am sure that they will say you can keep player X but we want your player Y who is IQ for that position or another one

The reason people are talking about Marshall and madigan are they have stepped up. They would have done it at Connacht aswell. It just seems stupid that the pecking order seems to be 1st munster & leinster 2nd Ulster munster bench and Leinster bench and 3rd who ever is left

When the provincal bench players step up to international they can't get a place and why should they. Look at McF he will never get an Irish place till he gets one at Leinster

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Post by gowales Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:02 am

Personally don't think there is, big mistake by the IRFU imo

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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:09 am

gowales wrote:Personally don't think there is, big mistake by the IRFU imo

Out of curiosity do you see wales being able to mantain their 4 teams with welsh players and being compeditive. I know there is talk of wales can do 5 teams. Wales also have alot of young people coming through. Do you see Wales having 4 compeditive teams in five years if they could keep them at home. I think they could but not fully sure.

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Post by geoff998rugby Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:17 am

People are not cattle to be moved around as Dublin wishes.
That is why the new system (from 2013) wont work.

We have already seen Ruddock, McLaughlin and Conway turn down Ulster.
Marshall would refuse to go to Connacht.

On a note about game time though - Marshall has played more than any other IQ SH so hardly lacks game time

As for the rejects XV Ulster are releasing two (Whitten and Barker) - of the rest there is absolutely no way we could release any of the others, it would leave us criminally short of players. On the 'cattle' point as well even if offered Connacht Whitten would have gone to Exeter. Better pay and I would argue better standard. To keep Whitten in Ireland Munster would have had to sign him instead of Downey or Lualua - they showed no interest.

Bottom line if Connacht want long term success they will need to grow there own

As for 5 NIQ in 5 to 10 years - no chance. Dublin will have it down to about 3 before the end of the decade mark my words.


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Post by gowales Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:19 am

Brendan wrote:
gowales wrote:Personally don't think there is, big mistake by the IRFU imo

Out of curiosity do you see wales being able to mantain their 4 teams with welsh players and being compeditive. I know there is talk of wales can do 5 teams. Wales also have alot of young people coming through. Do you see Wales having 4 compeditive teams in five years if they could keep them at home. I think they could but not fully sure.

To be honest no. Maybe one or two teams at most, we just don't have enough depth especially in the front row to stay competitive on all fronts. wWe'll be alright in the Pro 12, which isn't saying much, but we'll struggle in Europe if things stay as they do.

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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:31 am

Surely with some better management they could do better and get 3. What is the rising generation like surely there is more coming through or have wales always been producing its max

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Post by rodders Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:33 am

Brendan wrote:
gowales wrote:Personally don't think there is, big mistake by the IRFU imo

Out of curiosity do you see wales being able to mantain their 4 teams with welsh players and being compeditive. I know there is talk of wales can do 5 teams. Wales also have alot of young people coming through. Do you see Wales having 4 compeditive teams in five years if they could keep them at home. I think they could but not fully sure.

I think we have to but in Wales they are a bit more physically developed come 18, 19, 20 because they being developed by the clubs and regions, whereas a lot of our guys are playing school boy rugby until they are 18.

I think they are better at givig young players a chance in Wales but then there isn't the same pressure or expectation on the regions as our provinces.
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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:39 am

geoff998rugby wrote:People are not cattle to be moved around as Dublin wishes.
That is why the new system (from 2013) wont work.

We have already seen Ruddock, McLaughlin and Conway turn down Ulster.
Marshall would refuse to go to Connacht.

I do think that Ulster need more in their squad but Leinster are at breaking point so there will be more movement from them as they aren't losing many but have loads coming through

[/quote]As for the rejects XV Ulster are releasing two (Whitten and Barker) - of the rest there is absolutely no way we could release any of the others, it would leave us criminally short of players. On the 'cattle' point as well even if offered Connacht Whitten would have gone to Exeter. Better pay and I would argue better standard. To keep Whitten in Ireland Munster would have had to sign him instead of Downey or Lualua - they showed no interest.

Bottom line if Connacht want long term success they will need to grow there own [/quote]

Witten is right to go to Exeter as they are better then connacht and he isn't getting game time in Ulster. If connacht improved I think more would look to go there.
As stated above it is fine for the second string players at leinster to say they wont go but the ones under them will as they will see other provinces less crowded so a better chance.

IRFU have to stop picking provinal subs if they want to implement the new requirements otherwise like you say it will fail

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:42 am

Brendan, spotted that you've expanded the title of your thread to include Scotland (and Wales). There's a listing here: https://www.606v2.com/t27967-scottish-players-plying-their-trade-outside-of-scotland-at-the-professional-level of Scottish players plying their trade outside of Scotland, and I think if you could get them all back then we could comfortably manage a third squad of decent quality, but equally a fourth might be a stretch too far OK

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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:42 am

rodders wrote:
Brendan wrote:
gowales wrote:Personally don't think there is, big mistake by the IRFU imo

Out of curiosity do you see wales being able to mantain their 4 teams with welsh players and being compeditive. I know there is talk of wales can do 5 teams. Wales also have alot of young people coming through. Do you see Wales having 4 compeditive teams in five years if they could keep them at home. I think they could but not fully sure.

I think we have to but in Wales they are a bit more physically developed come 18, 19, 20 because they being developed by the clubs and regions, whereas a lot of our guys are playing school boy rugby until they are 18.

I think they are better at givig young players a chance in Wales but then there isn't the same pressure or expectation on the regions as our provinces.

would it be better to have a provisonal u20 in the AIB league so they could be against men. In soccer if you are good enough you play but not in rugby. Saying that the uni teams don't do the best.

Could be do an A league in the Rabo or an u20/u23

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Post by Brendan Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:45 am

AsLongAsBut100ofUs wrote:Brendan, spotted that you've expanded the title of your thread to include Scotland (and Wales). There's a listing here: https://www.606v2.com/t27967-scottish-players-plying-their-trade-outside-of-scotland-at-the-professional-level of Scottish players plying their trade outside of Scotland, and I think if you could get them all back then we could comfortably manage a third squad of decent quality, but equally a fourth might be a stretch too far OK

That is why I kept Scotland at 3 but ye are producing alot of youngsters which is the only way ireland will get to 4 squads.

Right now would they have big enough squads if they brought back the exiles to form a third team. I know you definately have enough for a first 15-22

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Post by gowales Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:49 am

Brendan wrote:
rodders wrote:
Brendan wrote:
gowales wrote:Personally don't think there is, big mistake by the IRFU imo

Out of curiosity do you see wales being able to mantain their 4 teams with welsh players and being compeditive. I know there is talk of wales can do 5 teams. Wales also have alot of young people coming through. Do you see Wales having 4 compeditive teams in five years if they could keep them at home. I think they could but not fully sure.

I think we have to but in Wales they are a bit more physically developed come 18, 19, 20 because they being developed by the clubs and regions, whereas a lot of our guys are playing school boy rugby until they are 18.

I think they are better at givig young players a chance in Wales but then there isn't the same pressure or expectation on the regions as our provinces.

would it be better to have a provisonal u20 in the AIB league so they could be against men. In soccer if you are good enough you play but not in rugby. Saying that the uni teams don't do the best.

Could be do an A league in the Rabo or an u20/u23

I think a Rabo A league would be a step in the right direction. The AIL and Welsh Prem are just not up to standard

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Post by geoff998rugby Thu 26 Apr 2012, 11:54 am

Money is the issue:

Scotland can't afford a 3rd team.
Ulster can't afford a bigger squad

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:04 pm

Could be do an A league in the Rabo or an u20/u23

Is there much in the way of a loan/dual registered structure where the younger players can gain experience in the competition below the Rabo? It's a big thing for English club when developing young players to get them playing both A League and Championship rugby in order to prepare them for playing with the first team. As an example Twelvetrees points to his season with Bedford and Cole to his season with Nottingham as keys to their development with Leicester. Playing against fully developed professionals in competitive games (albeit not ones at the top level) forces the development of the required physicality (especially for young front rowers like Cole).

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:07 pm

Brendan wrote:If you look at players like Jarvis who was brought in to Connacht but now that they have improve he has been let go.

You sure? Where's he going?

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Post by geoff998rugby Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:10 pm

There is Sam but the standard in the AIB is not good enough - nowhere remotely close to the likes of Bedoford, Cornish Pirates, Rotherham etc.

Means if a players doesn't make the Provincial squad they are not being tested. Also means a much bigger step up for Irish youngsters than English youngsters.

What we really need is a national league of about 12 clubs - but too many vested interested ala Welsh club rugby for that ever to ever happen.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:15 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Could be do an A league in the Rabo or an u20/u23

Is there much in the way of a loan/dual registered structure where the younger players can gain experience in the competition below the Rabo? It's a big thing for English club when developing young players to get them playing both A League and Championship rugby in order to prepare them for playing with the first team. As an example Twelvetrees points to his season with Bedford and Cole to his season with Nottingham as keys to their development with Leicester. Playing against fully developed professionals in competitive games (albeit not ones at the top level) forces the development of the required physicality (especially for young front rowers like Cole).

The All-Ireland League (AIL) is full of petty parochialism resulting in some young players playing several divisions below AIL 1A, where the standard is already low. Some of the club sides are verging on bankruptcy and can't afford a higher level of competition. Personally I'd scrap the AIL in favour of amateur regional club competitions, and start a new 8/10 team franchise league that would operate on an all Ireland basis.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:17 pm

geoff998rugby wrote:Money is the issue:

Scotland can't afford a 3rd team.
Ulster can't afford a bigger squad

That is correct, geoff, so realistically it would have to be an outside sugar-daddy type backer prepared to work with the SRU - and then you'd need the right calibre of Scottish players with their contracts expiring at the same time, etc. - so regrettably I can't see it happening in the next 3-4 years

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Post by SecretFly Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:50 pm

Didn't read all the posts so just commenting on the initial comments by Brendan.

Isn't the new rules designed to force the concept of having more Irish players that are up to standard. Perhaps there is a real dearth of talent right now (I mean to fill the gaps the foreign players will leave) but the new rules (and I'm not saying I think they are perfect or right) but as they stand, their objective is to end the constant dearth of home grown talent.

Will it be difficult for Provinces if the rules go forward just as they were detailed a few months ago (with no significant modifications)? Yes, it will probably be difficult times - but the very idea is to advance the number of top end Irish players in this country, not to impose self-destructive and long lasting restrictions on the ability of Provinces to compete in League and in Europe.

The objective is to drag Irish players out of their present bench-warming positions and actually give them the quality time needed in League to perfect their skills so that in time the pool of Irish players in all position actually will grow and be sustainable.

But yes, obviously the initial years of implementation (if implemented without modifications) will be tough for most Provinces. Positions in League and Europe might even be sacrificed but the goal is that Ireland won't need to be so dependent on the foreign imports - and as an ideal, that can only be a good thing.

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Post by geoff998rugby Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:53 pm

But to work it needs players willing to move around the Provinces.

The reality is southerner wont move north - so Ulster will suffer.
Also the business of allowing players to no longer re sign has not been thought threw properly.

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Post by geoff998rugby Thu 26 Apr 2012, 12:55 pm

Also what it will encourage is the Provinces to sign promising teenagers from the SH so that they become IQ in three years.

So we might have stronger Irish team - trouble is they will all speak with SH accents - not something I would like to see.

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