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The Ireland Squad Announcement Thread

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Post by Notch Wed 20 Jan 2016, 12:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

Following on from the discussion on the 'Ireland 2016 Squad' thread which can be found here.

Ireland squad has been announced. It contains four uncapped players- Stuart McCloskey, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander. However there is no room for Garry Ringrose. Mike Ross, Cian Healy and Chris Henry have all been omitted due to injury but may feature later as they return to fitness in their provincial set-ups.

Ireland Squad RBS 6 Nations 2016 Rounds 1 & 2

Forwards (19)


Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) Captain
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)*
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) Vice Captain
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Rhys Ruddock (St Mary's College/Leinster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
CJ Stander (Munster)*
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)*
Nathan White (Connacht)

Backs (16)

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
Stuart McCloskey (McCloskey/Ulster)*
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

*Denotes uncapped player


Last edited by Notch on Wed 20 Jan 2016, 2:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by profitius Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:45 am

Sexton seems to get heavy knocks or injuries in EVERY game he plays these days. He has a very slender build too which doesn't help.
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Post by rapidsnowman Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:55 am

Except it doesn't rhyme, which spoils it a bit!


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Post by eirebilly Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:56 am

rodders wrote:
Team against Wales:-

1 McGrath
2 Best
3 White
4 Toner
5 Ryan
6 Ruddock
7 O'Brien
8 Stander  
9 Murray
10 Jackson
11 Fitz
12 McCloskey
13 Henshaw
14 Earls
15 Payne

Bench: Healy, Cronin, Furlong, McCarthy, VDF, Reddan, Madigan, Trimble/Zebo.

Fixed that squad for you rodders, no need to thank me Wink
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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 12:04 pm

rapidsnowman wrote:Except it doesn't rhyme, which spoils it a bit!


Yeah but if it rhymed it might be worth reading, and then it would have an appeal beyond the readers of a crap newspaper angel
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Post by rodders Mon 25 Jan 2016, 1:07 pm

eirebilly wrote:
rodders wrote:
Team against Wales:-

1 McGrath
2 Best
3 White
4 Toner
5 Ryan
6 Ruddock
7 O'Brien
8 Stander  
9 Murray
10 Jackson
11 Fitz
12 McCloskey
13 Henshaw
14 Earls
15 Payne

Bench: Healy, Cronin, Furlong, McCarthy, VDF, Reddan, Madigan, Trimble/Zebo.

Fixed that squad for you rodders, no need to thank me Wink

The old "can't pass, won't pass" wing combo   Wink  .
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Post by eirebilly Mon 25 Jan 2016, 1:42 pm

rodders wrote:

The old "can't pass, won't pass" wing combo   Wink  .

Or the old, score a try from anywhere with individual brilliance with no need to pass combo Wink
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Post by Golden Mon 25 Jan 2016, 3:11 pm

Leinster confirm Moore injured his hamstring and will be out for 6-8 weeks.

Most likely White with Furlong from the bench then.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 25 Jan 2016, 3:16 pm

If anyone in need of entertainment the england thread has some serious toys out the pram reactions about Hartley being named captain

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 25 Jan 2016, 3:17 pm

If anyone in need of entertainment the england thread has some serious toys out the pram reactions about Hartley being named captain

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Post by the-goon Mon 25 Jan 2016, 3:19 pm

eirebilly wrote:I have not made it a secret that I believe that Jackson should play at 10 over Sexton against Wales. I think that he is the key to get Ireland's backline moving against them. I just hope that Schmidt (if Sexton is out) does not go with Madigan.

Payne again showed me exactly why I rate him as a 15, he was sublime today for Ulster.

Totally agree, with all the centre options we have now (that weren't really there last season), there is no real need for Payne to be in the centre. Especially now that our Fullback options are reduced due to Felix Jones retiring and Kearney's dramatic loss in form. We have only Zebo (a part time fullback) or Kearney if we only consider Payne and Henshaw as centres.

Jackson must be at worst 2nd choice outhalf, cracking season.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:01 pm

Jackson has to start in my opinion. He is playing a level above all the other ten's and with the options he could have outside him I could see us running up a mighty score on the welsh

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Post by GunsGerms Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:03 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Jackson has to start in my opinion. He is playing a level above all the other ten's and with the options he could have outside him I could see us running up a mighty score on the welsh

His goal kicking is still a bit un reliable though isn't it? Also he has never really had that same presence on the pitch as Sexton does, would you agree? He always seems a bit too soft spoken and uninfluential.

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Post by munkian Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:07 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Jackson has to start in my opinion. He is playing a level above all the other ten's and with the options he could have outside him I could see us running up a mighty score on the welsh

The Ireland Squad Announcement Thread - Page 4 1347041234
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Post by carpet baboon Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:19 pm

munkian wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Jackson has to start in my opinion. He is playing a level above all the other ten's and with the options he could have outside him I could see us running up a mighty score on the welsh

The Ireland Squad Announcement Thread - Page 4 1347041234

Hey I expect welsh fans to feel that bigger can do the same to Ireland with his backs

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Post by rodders Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:21 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Jackson has to start in my opinion. He is playing a level above all the other ten's and with the options he could have outside him I could see us running up a mighty score on the welsh

His goal kicking is still a bit un reliable though isn't it? Also he has never really had that same presence on the pitch as Sexton does, would you agree? He always seems a bit too soft spoken and uninfluential.

I'd have agreed even 6 weeks ago but for me Jackson is better in every department.

If Sexton can find his A game he'd still by my no 1 no 10 but at the minute I don't even think it is close between the two, Jackson is miles ahead.

Behind Farrell and Carter, Jackson is the form 10 in Europe this season.
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Post by carpet baboon Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:23 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Jackson has to start in my opinion. He is playing a level above all the other ten's and with the options he could have outside him I could see us running up a mighty score on the welsh

His goal kicking is still a bit un reliable though isn't it? Also he has never really had that same presence on the pitch as Sexton does, would you agree? He always seems a bit too soft spoken and uninfluential.

Goal kicking is fine

And don't let the fact he looks 12 fool you. He leads just fine

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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:26 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Jackson has to start in my opinion. He is playing a level above all the other ten's and with the options he could have outside him I could see us running up a mighty score on the welsh

His goal kicking is still a bit un reliable though isn't it? Also he has never really had that same presence on the pitch as Sexton does, would you agree? He always seems a bit too soft spoken and uninfluential.

Soft spoken is one thing, uninfluential is another. There is often no correlation. To me it seems Rory Best is soft spoken and influential whereas Sexton is not soft spoken and influential.

But when Johann Muller was Captain of Ulster he this to say about Paddy Jackson;

“Paddy is still the same person but he has changed a hell of a lot as a player”.

“Basically I just play in front of him and that is about it now — because Paddy is now the outstanding leader and runs this team.

“He has put in a huge amount of work week in, week out, analysing videos making sure the calling system is in place.

“You know we get e-mail every Tuesday night from Paddy telling us exactly what the calls are, where we will be doing what on the field and that takes a special person.”

“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for him, in time he is going to become a world class player if he keeps his head down and keeps on working hard like he does.

“We have 14 guys on the pitch, 22 guys in a squad who have backed him 100 per cent and the management is that way as well.

“Every individual is going to have bad games, it doesn’t matter who you are in the world but it’s important how you bounce back and every time Paddy has been knocked down he has bounced back perfectly.”

Sounds like he is very influential at Ulster. I believe he can become as influential for Ireland. I really trust the judgment of Johann Muller as he was an amazing Captain himself who lead the Springboks out in their 3rd Test against the British and Irish Lions. Ruan Pienaar also played at 10 in that Lions series and has said the same thing as Muller.

Are they biased as his teammates? Could be. Do they say that about every player? No. Just Jackson and Henderson.
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Post by GunsGerms Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:29 pm

It does fool me but you are right his form is good. I would be delighted to see Jackson take the step up to the next level in the six nations and he does deserve a chance but the six nations is a step up.

Personally I think he should be our permanent 10 now that Madigan has gone to France and because I think Sexton should retire for his own good.

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Post by GunsGerms Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:33 pm

Notch maybe Jackson is influential. For Ireland though I have yet to see him back himself make really ballsy calls that ROG and Sexton would do and pull off almost every time they played.

I think if he is to step up to the next level (six nations regular starter) he will possibly have to be a little more commanding in the Ireland jersey IMO. At least to make the position his own.

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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:36 pm

But to be clear, if the players still believe Sexton is necessary for them to perform Schmidt should pick Sexton. A team has to believe in their out half. Sometimes for Ireland it looks like players don't have confidence in players from rival provinces and thats how things go wrong in a team. I remember watching O'Driscoll and Earls basically screaming at each other in frustration in the middle of the pitch right before Kidney left.

At Ulster Jackson, McCloskey etc. have the total confidence of fans, coaches, fellow players and supporters. But not for Ireland. Brian O'Driscoll was on twitter saying he didn't think McCloskey was as talented as Olding or Payne, and if McCloskey is picked he will have to deal with the media challenging him in that way regardless of his performances. I have a lot of time for his opinions but that is why great players never make great coaches.

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.
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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:38 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Notch maybe Jackson is influential. For Ireland though I have yet to see him back himself make really ballsy calls that ROG and Sexton would do and pull off almost every time they played.

I think if he is to step up to the next level (six nations regular starter) he will possibly have to be a little more commanding in the Ireland jersey IMO. At least to make the position his own.

He has to be picked in that position to make it his own in the first place. And if he is, he has to be given a fair chance to do so by fans and the media.

What he needs is a bit of a chip on the shoulder to prove everybody wrong. He should be pinning that George Hook quote about Sexton being out meaning the tournament is over before it started right above his bed.


Last edited by Notch on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by brennomac Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:38 pm

Put money on it, if Sexton is fit Schmidt will start him. Just as he will play Rob K and Heaslip even though all logic points to Payne at 15 and CJ at 8.

Lying in bed last night and finding it hard to nod off, decided to dream up my Ireland team of 2018 and came up with this, reflecting current players getting older and injury proneness:

15 - Payne, 14 - Healy, 13 -Henshaw, 12 - McCloskey, 11 - Earls, 10 - Jackson, 9 - Murray, 8 - Stander, 7 - O'Brien, 6 - O'Mahony, 5 - Henderson, 4 - Dillane, 3 - Furlong, 2 - Best, 1 - McGrath

16 - Tracy/Sherry, 17 - J Cronin/Buckley/McCall, 18 - Moore, 19 - Moloney, 20 - Van der Flier, 21 - Marmion - 22 - Madigan, 23 - Zebo/O'Halloran

Nobody can excuse me of blue-tinted specs - only 7 from Leinster from that lot!

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Post by rodders Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:48 pm

Notch wrote:
At Ulster Jackson, McCloskey etc. have the total confidence of fans, coaches, fellow players and supporters. But not for Ireland. Brian O'Driscoll was on twitter saying he didn't think McCloskey was as talented as Olding or Payne, and if McCloskey is picked he will have to deal with the media challenging him in that way regardless of his performances. I have a lot of time for his opinions but that is why great players never make great coaches.

In fairness Brian is always going to be bias towards some of his Leinster mates and He's on the record as not seeing much of McCloskey until recently.

I don't believe in talent per se but his current ball skills are superb and with his physical attributes he could be one of the few genuine world class players Ireland have, so in that respect to suggest he has inferior natural ability than some of the other guys is rubbish.
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Post by brennomac Mon 25 Jan 2016, 5:02 pm

BOD, not for the first time since he sold his soul to BT, is talking through his arze about McCloskey - and the fact that he then conceded he hadn't seen much of him till recently shows the sort of research that the great one does before he opens his mouth.

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Post by Engine#4 Mon 25 Jan 2016, 5:08 pm

Any time Jackson has started for Ireland I too have felt that he has played within himself, sat too deep and not really taken control of proceedings. However in his defence, most of these starts were 3 years ago, in the Six Nations and vs Samoa. He has been in flying form lately.

A lot has been made of Sexton's form, he wasn't half bad away to the Ospreys the other week. If he is fully fit I would expect him to start ahead of Jackson.

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 25 Jan 2016, 6:06 pm

I would agree with BOD that McCloskey isn't as naturally gifted as Olding or Payne but I would argue that he is as naturally gifted as Henshaw or Marshall.

Frankly natural ability doesn't really matter, it is effectiveness for the team that counts. McCloskey has a physical presence that others don't have, but crucially comparing him to similar specimens like Basteraud, Tuillagi or even Roberts, he has a subtlety that they don't have. He has an off-loading and kicking game that make him an ideal inside centre much closer to Nonu, so that's more than good enough for me.

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Post by Marshes Mon 25 Jan 2016, 6:28 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:I would agree with BOD that McCloskey isn't as naturally gifted as Olding or Payne but I would argue that he is as naturally gifted as Henshaw or Marshall.

Frankly natural ability doesn't really matter, it is effectiveness for the team that counts. McCloskey has a physical presence that others don't have, but crucially comparing him to similar specimens like Basteraud, Tuillagi or even Roberts, he has a subtlety that they don't have. He has an off-loading and kicking game that make him an ideal inside centre much closer to Nonu, so that's more than good enough for me.

Nature maybe gifted Olding better technical ability (not by much as I think McCloskey has a great passing and awareness), but McCloskey seems to have drawn the athletic ability that will make him a test player before Olding. That is what makes the potential McCloskey Henshaw partnership so promising, they have both the physical and technical abilities to form an immense partnership.

I wonder will Olding find it difficult to nail down a place when he is able to play 10-15.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 25 Jan 2016, 6:32 pm

BOD, as great as he was, is an awful pundit. Its almost as if he feels that he has to put down the up and coming centres in order to protect his own image...
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Mon 25 Jan 2016, 7:01 pm

I think he just has a preference towards centres in the same mould as himself.

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Post by Marshes Mon 25 Jan 2016, 8:32 pm

Nobody else seems to have said, but Marty Moore is out for the tournament, so probably Nathan White starting with Furlong on the bench?

Finlay Bealham has also been called up, plays both sides of the scrum and has played well for Connacht this year when called on.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 25 Jan 2016, 8:36 pm

Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...
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Post by Gretgael1 Mon 25 Jan 2016, 9:10 pm

Notch wrote:But to be clear, if the players still believe Sexton is necessary for them to perform Schmidt should pick Sexton. A team has to believe in their out half. Sometimes for Ireland it looks like players don't have confidence in players from rival provinces and thats how things go wrong in a team. I remember watching O'Driscoll and Earls basically screaming at each other in frustration in the middle of the pitch right before Kidney left.

At Ulster Jackson, McCloskey etc. have the total confidence of fans, coaches, fellow players and supporters. But not for Ireland. Brian O'Driscoll was on twitter saying he didn't think McCloskey was as talented as Olding or Payne, and if McCloskey is picked he will have to deal with the media challenging him in that way regardless of his performances. I have a lot of time for his opinions but that is why great players never make great coaches.

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

BOD has retracted them comments about McCloskey and said that he didn't realise how talented he was, obviously he's been taking notice after his original comments.

Actually Ferris had one criticism of McCloskey that he said was very frustrating. He said his lack of urgency to get off the line and make massive hits in defence needs to be resolved. For a big man he needs to be more aggressive in defence and not rely on just holding up players.

By the way, the Irish media have equal amount of contempt for certain players, not just Ulster players. I think your comment is way off. What Ulster player gets the amount of abuse that say Zebo gets or Gopperth got last year?

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Mon 25 Jan 2016, 9:42 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...

Do you honestly think this doesn't happen?

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Post by eirebilly Mon 25 Jan 2016, 9:59 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...

Do you honestly think this doesn't happen?

No I do not. It does not happen anymore to Ulster players as it does to any other players in Ireland, no matter what province they represent.
I guess you believe the same as Notch on this? If so, you are both on the borderline of bringing politics into sport and that is a disgrace.

I am a Munsterfan but also an Irish fan so could not give two shoites what province they come from.
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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:06 pm

Marshes wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:I would agree with BOD that McCloskey isn't as naturally gifted as Olding or Payne but I would argue that he is as naturally gifted as Henshaw or Marshall.

Frankly natural ability doesn't really matter, it is effectiveness for the team that counts. McCloskey has a physical presence that others don't have, but crucially comparing him to similar specimens like Basteraud, Tuillagi or even Roberts, he has a subtlety that they don't have. He has an off-loading and kicking game that make him an ideal inside centre much closer to Nonu, so that's more than good enough for me.

Nature maybe gifted Olding better technical ability (not by much as I think McCloskey has a great passing and awareness), but McCloskey seems to have drawn the athletic ability that will make him a test player before Olding. That is what makes the potential McCloskey Henshaw partnership so promising, they have both the physical and technical abilities to form an immense partnership.

I wonder will Olding find it difficult to nail down a place when he is able to play 10-15.

Olding already has two Ireland caps Smile

What we don't know is how Olding will come back after injury and whether he will still have the burst of acceleration and be able to step off both feet. It's not Olding's technical ability that sets him apart but rather his mental awareness of the game around him that allows him to make better decisions and have so much time on the ball. I'd personally prefer to see him play 10 a lot more without the punishing tackle workload in midfield.

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Post by Marshes Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:31 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Marshes wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:I would agree with BOD that McCloskey isn't as naturally gifted as Olding or Payne but I would argue that he is as naturally gifted as Henshaw or Marshall.

Frankly natural ability doesn't really matter, it is effectiveness for the team that counts. McCloskey has a physical presence that others don't have, but crucially comparing him to similar specimens like Basteraud, Tuillagi or even Roberts, he has a subtlety that they don't have. He has an off-loading and kicking game that make him an ideal inside centre much closer to Nonu, so that's more than good enough for me.

Nature maybe gifted Olding better technical ability (not by much as I think McCloskey has a great passing and awareness), but McCloskey seems to have drawn the athletic ability that will make him a test player before Olding. That is what makes the potential McCloskey Henshaw partnership so promising, they have both the physical and technical abilities to form an immense partnership.

I wonder will Olding find it difficult to nail down a place when he is able to play 10-15.

Olding already has two Ireland caps Smile

What we don't know is how Olding will come back after injury and whether he will still have the burst of acceleration and be able to step off both feet. It's not Olding's technical ability that sets him apart but rather his mental awareness of the game around him that allows him to make better decisions and have so much time on the ball. I'd personally prefer to see him play 10 a lot more without the punishing tackle workload in midfield.

I totally blanked that North American tour, I thought you must have been referring to an emerging Ireland squad he was with! My mistake!

Would be great if he could develop into another option for Ireland at 10.

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:37 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...

Do you honestly think this doesn't happen?

No I do not. It does not happen anymore to Ulster players as it does to any other players in Ireland, no matter what province they represent.
I guess you believe the same as Notch on this? If so, you are both on the borderline of bringing politics into sport and that is a disgrace.

I am a Munsterfan but also an Irish fan so could not give two shoites what province they come from.

To be fair to Notch he is specifically talking about Francis and I would add Hook. Now that Hook is off screen he is less influential, and Francis has toned down his comments after he got pulled for homophobic ones two years ago.

Here's a comment from George who picked up on it at the time:
George Carlin wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Francis is a bigger wind-up merchant than anyone on here. His history of Ulsterphobia is even longer than that of his homophobia. He was wrong about Rory Best being a single cell amoeba and Bowe being the slowest winger to ever play for Ireland, and he is wrong in his latest playground name-calling.

George C you got his house wrong, Franno is a Slytherin from his forked tongue to his scaly tail.

Smile There's some of that about amongst Irish pundits, mind.

I think I was watching the after match RTE show on Glasgow v Ulster earlier in the season and Mr George Hook was, how can I put this, slightly disparaging about "faaaaarighnars" playing for Ireland.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:37 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...

Do you honestly think this doesn't happen?

No I do not. It does not happen anymore to Ulster players as it does to any other players in Ireland, no matter what province they represent.
I guess you believe the same as Notch on this? If so, you are both on the borderline of bringing politics into sport and that is a disgrace.

I am a Munsterfan but also an Irish fan so could not give two shoites what province they come from.

Nobody can be accused of bringing in anything for highlighting what has already been there. Surely you can accept why the likes of George Hook can be accused of diverting criticism mostly towards certain Ulster players? I've had to hear it for years.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:50 pm

Media is media, like it or lump it but its part of life.

Some fans just have to lose that chip...
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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:58 pm

Is that the chip of pointing out the inequitable nature of the Dublin press, or the chip of pointing out the equitable nature of the Dublin press?

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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:25 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...

It's often shocking when people speak honestly. But before you rush to condemn me let me ask you this;

How did you feel when Neil Francis said the only reason Andrew Trimble was in the Ireland team was because of "positive discrimination" on the IRFUs behalf? Did you think it was fair? And how would you feel if only one Munster player made the Ireland team and the Belfast telegraph called him a token selection to be 'politically correct', even if other players weren't playing anywhere near as well as him and were being praised to the rafters?

If you don't think that was a fair criticism of Trimble's selection then you and I are on the same side and we shouldn't waste time fighting.


Last edited by Notch on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:30 pm

Gretgael1 wrote:Actually Ferris had one criticism of McCloskey that he said was very frustrating. He said his lack of urgency to get off the line and make massive hits in defence needs to be resolved. For a big man he needs to be more aggressive in defence and not rely on just holding up players.

By the way, the Irish media have equal amount of contempt for certain players, not just Ulster players. I think your comment is way off. What Ulster player gets the amount of abuse that say Zebo gets or Gopperth got last year?

I agree with all of that apart from I disagree that there are equal amounts of contempt. There is contempt for being a crap player, and there is contempt for having the wrong accent. Many more Munster and Leinster players get a bad rep from the media than Ulster players and 99% of the Irish media is very positive, welcoming and celebrating of Ulster Rugbys contribution to Irish Rugby. Occasionally a bigot will crawl out from under a rock and if that bigot is attacking an Ulster player there is far more chance of their comments being printed than if they are being bigoted against people from the South.
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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:34 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Is that the chip of pointing out the inequitable nature of the Dublin press, or the chip of pointing out the equitable nature of the Dublin press?

The chip is having an opinion in the first place I assume.

I should add that I exclusively read about Irish Rugby in the Dublin Press. I read the Irish Times everyday and the Irish Independent every week. I would not do that if I thought they were all bad and out to get us. They are both good newspapers with some minor editorial oversight issues.

However reading both papers being so Positive about an Ulster player as Ireland Captain made me actually feel genuinely emotional. There were still some people in the comments saying it was a disgrace Rory Best was selected for Ireland in the first place as he is not 'one of us' and 'he doesn't even sing the national anthem'. But they were in the minority and were shouted down by almost every other Irish fan.

The portrayal of Ulster Protestants in the Irish media has become so much more positive in the last ten years than ever before and it really means a lot to me to see that as we move towards the future.


Last edited by Notch on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by profitius Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:36 pm

Notch wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...

It's often shocking when people speak honestly. But before you rush to condemn me let me ask you this;

How did you feel when Neil Francis said the only reason Andrew Trimble was in the Ireland team was because of "positive discrimination" on the IRFUs behalf? Did you think it was fair? And how would you feel if only one Munster player made the Ireland team and the Belfast telegraph called him a token selection to be 'politically correct', even if other players weren't playing anywhere near as well as him and were being praised to the rafters?

I think you're right, Notch. Look at the treatment Penney got compared to Foley. Foley can do no wrong while Penney could do no right despite Penney being so much better. There's incredible bias in the Irish media.
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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:42 pm

I think you're right, Notch. Look at the treatment Penney got compared to Foley. Foley can do no wrong while Penney could do no right despite Penney being so much better. There's incredible bias in the Irish media.

People stick together and praise people they feel are similar to them, and they also criticise people they feel are different to them. Its not rocket science and its not hypocrisy to point it out. Good people do this as often as bad people, stupid people do this as often as intelligent people, right wingers do it as much as left wingers, women do this as often as men. It happens on this forum on every single thread since I joined and since becoming a moderator I've noticed even all the posters I am most fond of do it regularly. I do it all the time but I don't beat myself up about it because every single person in the world does it!

The media is just giving people what they want. We have a biased media for biased human beings.
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Post by profitius Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:48 pm

Anyway my Ireland back line based on the 35 man squad

9 Murray - not guaranteed selection imo
10 Jackson - playing his best rugby ever. Really maturing now.
11 Earls - he is looking sharpe and wing is his best position.
12 McCluskey - he is ready.
13 Marshall - his confidence is back and he is getting better with every game. Offers some creativity.
14 Trimble - just gets the nod ahead of Fitzgerald.
15 Payne - he really isn't needed at center now. He is an excellent fullback who can offer Ireland a much needed new attacking threat.

I've leaned towards Ulster because they know each other and are playing great rugby but as I always say, there should be plenty of rotation throughout the tournament. Henshaw should get a few starts too.
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Post by Sin é Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:54 pm

profitius wrote:
Notch wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Notch wrote:

But O'Driscoll is totally fair in what he says even if you disagree with him. Neil Francis on the other hand? It sounds like a complaint but the Irish press always know Ulster players are easy targets if things go wrong because their readers are all from the South and they can get away with saying things about Ulster players that are absolutely scandalous if they want.

Having Rory Best as Captain is massive in Ulster because of this.

Shocked I have no words...

It's often shocking when people speak honestly. But before you rush to condemn me let me ask you this;

How did you feel when Neil Francis said the only reason Andrew Trimble was in the Ireland team was because of "positive discrimination" on the IRFUs behalf? Did you think it was fair? And how would you feel if only one Munster player made the Ireland team and the Belfast telegraph called him a token selection to be 'politically correct', even if other players weren't playing anywhere near as well as him and were being praised to the rafters?

I think you're right, Notch. Look at the treatment Penney got compared to Foley. Foley can do no wrong while Penney could do no right despite Penney being so much better. There's incredible bias in the Irish media.

That is complete nonsense. Munster have had plenty of non-Irish coaches who were treated no differently than one of our own (and Munster have had a lot of non Irish coaches like Gaffney, Jim Williams, Tony McGahan, Jason Holland, Laurie Fisher who were well liked and respected.

And for the last time, Penney left Munster because he got offered a 3 year contract on huge money in Japan which Munster could not match. He has said on twitter that he would like to come back.

As for people like people who are like them - CJ Stander is nothing like any Irish person, yet within 3 years at 25 years of age he is captaining Munster. That suggests huge acceptance of him even if he isn't 'like us'.
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Post by Notch Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:57 pm

For me its the whole Ulster back line because the other teams are rubbish Laugh

No but seriously

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. DevinToner
5. Donnacha Ryan
6. CJ Stander
7. Sean O'Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip
9. Conor Murray
10. Paddy Jackson/Johnny Sexton if fit
11. Luke Fitzgerald
12. Stuart McCloskey
13. Robbie Henshaw
14. Keith Earls
15. Jared Payne/Rob Kearney if Sexton is fit

Thats my latest team. Sexton and Kearney if we are playing a kicking game. Jackson and Payne if we are playing a running game.

Up until now I have strongly, strongly favoured a game based around a kick chase and a solid defence first and foremost but since Payne hasn't played 13 since the World Cup and Sexton is up and down in form and injury, we may need to start to play much more attacking rugby out of necessity.
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Post by Sin é Mon 25 Jan 2016, 11:59 pm

Worth listening to interview with Brian O'Driscoll on 'an Irishman Abroad' podcast. God is he very bitter towards Munster!

https://soundcloud.com/an-irishman-abroad

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Post by Notch Tue 26 Jan 2016, 12:00 am

Sin é wrote:As for people like people who are like them - CJ Stander is nothing like any Irish person, yet within 3 years at 25 years of age he is captaining Munster. That suggests huge acceptance of him even if he isn't 'like us'.

Munster fans are some of the most gentlemanly, polite and generous rugby fans in the world. I'll never forget how many Munster fans came up to me to shake my had after we beat them in the European Cup quarter-final and congratulate me as an Ulster fan for winning that game

No-one is all bad and I'm not trying to tar all people with the same brush.
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