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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 Notch Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:47 pm

No way Pete! Olding is the chosen one. If his knee ligaments hold together that is.

It's an interesting article Sin, but I don't think she gives the front row enough credit. The truth is, they tried a few different things which didn't work but when you have inexperienced props in a pack thats blowing hard having been on from the first half up against experienced operators who are fresh from the bench its never easy. Big learning experience from someone like Furlong coming off the bench, but as much as Best is there to hold his hand one experienced player isn't going to carry a player through through that by himself. And then the referee is very hot on them, so Best has to make the decision of whether he wants to try his patience- and if Ireland do take the scrum down is he going to give a penalty try... and then the likes of Tommy O'Donnell and Stander have tough decisions to make too, because their tight five are in trouble so if they come up early the scrum might just buckle completely but if they stay bound they're relying on the backs to defend themselves- I think Best just about made the right decision not to say "Lets take this scrum down" and O'Donnell definitely made the right decision to stay bound. Ultimately the way France were playing I was happy when they took the ball out of the scrum because the longer they scrummed the more they took out of our legs and the less likely we were to get back into it, and also the number of handling errors they made they were much more likely to blow the chance by going through the hands than just waiting for the penalty try to be awarded. Ultimately they did execute it well and fair play to them- I'm not too critical, we just didn't have the players in the tight five to deal with what they brought on.

You have to say that she hits on the crucial point at the end; the players being touted to come in are all fairly inexperienced at this level and they need time invested in them to get that decision making ability up. If we're going to lose we might as well learn in defeat but I don't think it would be constructive to throw guys in against an England side that look ominously close to hitting some very good form.


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Post by Sin é Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:53 pm

Notch, what I don't understand is why James Cronin was not used and poor McGrath had 2 x 80 minute games within 6 days.

Surely a fresh Cronin would have been better than a jaded McGrath?
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Post by Notch Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:57 pm

Sin é wrote:Notch, what I don't understand is why James Cronin was not used and poor McGrath had 2 x 80 minute games within 6 days.

Surely a fresh Cronin would have been better than a jaded McGrath?

There's maybe some truth in that too. I don't know enough about the mechanics of the scrum to say for sure, but McGrath had to be struggling. The length of the scrums was particularly gruelling looking and by the end our pack looked out on their feet. Furlong was being roasted by Ben Arous so that might have thought keeping on the more solid scrummager was a risk worth taking from keeping things from going completely to pot.

Schmidt pointed out after the game that we were still able to win all the scrum ball on our own put-in, which to be fair is good considering the level of dominance the French exerted on us. That might hint at the reason, but I don't know more than you.
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 19 Feb 2016, 3:15 pm

I do think that Furlong will be an excellent scrummager in the future. He seems like the sort of player who will work very hard to improve as a player and get the better his opponent the next time. He also offers more around the park than any other tighthead prop we have had.

Of all the talk of inexperienced players coming in, I don't think anyone will be under the same pressure that Furlong had to sustain against France.

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Post by Notch Fri 19 Feb 2016, 3:26 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:I do think that Furlong will be an excellent scrummager in the future. He seems like the sort of player who will work very hard to improve as a player and get the better his opponent the next time. He also offers more around the park than any other tighthead prop we have had.

Of all the talk of inexperienced players coming in, I don't think anyone will be under the same pressure that Furlong had to sustain against France.

Me too, and that was a particularly brutal baptism of fire for him. I really think he's an exciting prospect and I really think he should be persevered with. Unfortunately, unlike in other positions, our hands are tied; there's no 'safe' option to pick ahead of him and White isn't an 80 minutes player at this level.

In the back line the impetuousness of youth can even be advantage. But it takes a LOT to be an international tight head. It's such a physically and mentally demanding role, and so technique heavy... It's got to be one of the most challenging roles in any sport. If it was up to me you'd see a lot more man of the match awards going to tight head props, let me tell you!
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 19 Feb 2016, 3:36 pm

Well I think that this tournament has certainly shown us just how essential Mike Ross has been to this team. We clearly need to look at the next generation though and hopefully this time we can have a few strong players in the position. Of course, losing Marty Moore to the Wasps has made this more difficult.

Any other prospects aside from Furlong/Moore?

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Post by profitius Fri 19 Feb 2016, 3:50 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:Well I think that this tournament has certainly shown us just how essential Mike Ross has been to this team. We clearly need to look at the next generation though and hopefully this time we can have a few strong players in the position. Of course, losing Marty Moore to the Wasps has made this more difficult.

Any other prospects aside from Furlong/Moore?


Conan O'Donnell is highly rated. Oisín Heffernan in Leinster. Rory Burke in Munster. Finlay Bealham isn't far away. There are others there or there abouts as well a some abroad.

There are plenty coming through but getting games is the big roadblock for them. Its a chicken and egg situation for tightheads. They need games to improve but need to improve to get games, from a coaches point of view. For example Furlong has had very few starts for Leinster.

It'll be 2 or 3 years before those mentioned will be up to international level, they'll reach that level. Until then it looks like White and Ross short term, Furlong long term with Moore probably being used until others come along.
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Post by lostinwales Fri 19 Feb 2016, 5:11 pm

SOB, McCarthy and Dave Kearney ruled out of the rest of the 6N.

Not upset about not seeing SOB from the point of view of the upcoming game, but its sad seeing him hit such a bad run of injuries.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 19 Feb 2016, 5:44 pm

Is there any significance in the team sheets for this weekend? TOD and Ruddock start for their respective provinces while Josh van der Flier is missing entirely. I doubt it means anything but I did find it interesting with SOB ruled out. Henry starting for Ulster as well with a chance to force Schmidt's hand.

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Post by Notch Fri 19 Feb 2016, 5:47 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:Is there any significance in the team sheets for this weekend? TOD and Ruddock start for their respective provinces while Josh van der Flier is missing entirely. I doubt it means anything but I did find it interesting with SOB ruled out. Henry starting for Ulster as well with a chance to force Schmidt's hand.

It'll be very difficult for Henry to force his way in given that Tommy O'Donnell has done very well so far and Henry is still just getting back to full fitness. But putting some form together will be important for him in terms of getting into the squad for South Africa.

To be honest, despite the fact we're currently not playing well, at least its not the case that we don't have some depth and options.
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Post by carpet baboon Fri 19 Feb 2016, 6:10 pm

Will another second row be called up? Or will we see Ultan getting game time?

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Post by Notch Fri 19 Feb 2016, 6:28 pm

Who else is there? Alan O'Connor? Aly Muldowney?

Scraping the barrel a bit, as much as I hate to say it. No disrespect to those players intended.
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Post by JmD Fri 19 Feb 2016, 6:28 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:Is there any significance in the team sheets for this weekend? TOD and Ruddock start for their respective provinces while Josh van der Flier is missing entirely. I doubt it means anything but I did find it interesting with SOB ruled out. Henry starting for Ulster as well with a chance to force Schmidt's hand.

Not a back row, but McCloskey is notable by his absence from the Ulster squad this week.

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Post by profitius Fri 19 Feb 2016, 10:55 pm

Saw this earlier.

http://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/2016/0219/769398-schmidt-tells-young-guns-to-seize-their-chance/

Joe Schmidt has urged some of his fringe players to take their chance against England in Twickenham next week as Ireland's injury crisis continues to bite.


Who the fringe players he is talking about I don't know. Could be the solid pros he likes or it could be uncapped players.
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Post by Notch Sat 20 Feb 2016, 7:36 am

Schmidt is definitely hinting heavily that the next three games are an opportunity to give younger guys a chance. Very much a function of the Championship being gone, but there is a silver lining to that particular cloud.
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Post by brennomac Sat 20 Feb 2016, 8:22 pm

Hope Joe switched over to TG4 after the Leinster game today to watch Connacht. OK, Zebre are crap but Healy was electric on the wing and got a hat trick of tries, O'Halloran was superb at FB and Marmion was excellent too - got a very nice sneaky quick tap try.

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Post by Notch Sat 20 Feb 2016, 8:51 pm

To be fair Marmion was picked ahead of Reddan for the first game then Reddan was picked in France- would say Marmion is already considered to be head of Reddan in many instances and it won't be long at all until he ousts him completely.
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Post by Engine#4 Sun 21 Feb 2016, 12:42 am

Reddan got away with a few hair-brained moments today.  Conditions were admittedly difficult, but he wasn't exactly a calming influence in the second half when Leinster were trying to play into a gale that was sending their kicks flying back at them.  They would have lost without Nacewa on the pitch.

On a positive note, Healy was decent, Ruddock was everywhere and Ross made mincemeat of the Blues scrum when he came on.

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Post by Marshes Sun 21 Feb 2016, 5:02 am

brennomac wrote:Hope Joe switched over to TG4 after the Leinster game today to watch Connacht.  OK, Zebre are crap but Healy was electric on the wing and got a hat trick of tries, O'Halloran was superb at FB and Marmion was excellent too - got a very nice sneaky quick tap try.  

O Halloran has been killling it all season. Whatever persistent ignorance exists against him getting his chance is running out of excuses. He may or may not be of the quality required, but I dont see what more he can do more to get his chance aside from move to one of the viewed provinces

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Feb 2016, 6:59 am

Just watching the highlights of this pre-season game in New Zealand and it's... depressing me! The skills, the support play, the decision making after the break is made- this is a pre-season game over in NZ and it makes the game between Ireland and France look like a bunch of schoolboys and amateurs slugging it out. Just lightyears ahead, and the Six Nations is supposedly the pinnacle of the NH game.

Now I know thats jus the highlights, and the mistakes and the rustiness and the stuff that doesn't work doesn't make the highlights, but you'd be struggling to make five or six minutes of highlights out of our games so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX7cObQSs5I&ebc=ANyPxKr669D9EYA5Eim-e4GOspYmRLOESFGkA1wF1Lc6fh8rajlBcjrzkRQnUTgN5MEqurgG6GOb

Note the tighthead prop picking up a low pass from his laces and accurately playing it on in one smooth movement Shocked
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Post by Notch Sun 21 Feb 2016, 7:01 am

We need to consider moving our season to summer rugby, or putting more of an emphasis on Sevens, or something...
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Post by eirebilly Sun 21 Feb 2016, 8:33 am

Marshes wrote:

O Halloran has been killling it all season. Whatever persistent ignorance exists against him getting his chance is running out of excuses. He may or may not be of the quality required, but I dont see what more he can do more to get his chance aside from move to one of the viewed provinces

Every time I see him play I get more and more impressed by him. He is definitely pushing his cause for selection better than some of the incumbents.
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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 21 Feb 2016, 10:26 am

Marshes wrote:

O Halloran has been killling it all season. Whatever persistent ignorance exists against him getting his chance is running out of excuses. He may or may not be of the quality required, but I dont see what more he can do more to get his chance aside from move to one of the viewed provinces

You mean move to Leinster - looking at selection Ulster certainly aren't one of the viewed provinces Rolling Eyes

What are the odds on the following being selected 10  to 15
Sexton, Trimble, Madigan, Henshaw, McFadden, Kearney

Now I don't believe it will but it is not 100% inconceivable Whistle

What is the situation with Earls and Zebo injuries ?

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Post by eirebilly Sun 21 Feb 2016, 10:35 am

If Madigan goes into 12 and we see that backline Geoff, I will be fuming.

For a start, I would actually give Marmion either the start or certainly on the bench. Not sure about Sexton's fitness but if there are any doubts then get Jackson in there.

McCloskey - Marshall 12 - 13 (especially if Jackson starts) with Henshaw dropping to 15 seems like a good move to me.

Trimble and Earls on the wings as well with TOH and Gilroy on the bench.

Given the injuries in the backline, that's the move I would make. Exciting and actually a very good balance there.
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Post by profitius Sun 21 Feb 2016, 10:52 am

Word is - wait for it - Earls trained at 13 in Mullingar during the week. Whistle
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Post by JmD Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:00 am

profitius wrote:Word is - wait for it - Earls trained at 13 in Mullingar during the week.  Whistle

I called it a week ago. It's the Schmidt mantra. Go with someone you know will be average rather than risk somebody who might play well.

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Post by eirebilly Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:03 am

Sad, as much as I rate Earls as a 13, he is much better being on the wing and I would prefer to try the Ulster pairing in the centres.
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Post by carpet baboon Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:13 am

Why o why o why. Let's try something else for a change

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:53 am

geoff999rugby wrote:What is the situation with Earls and Zebo injuries ?

I would hazard a guess that they'll probably be fit unless they get another knock in training. They were close enough to being picked last time that they had to delay the press conference for 30 minutes to talk about it.
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Post by Notch Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:59 am

profitius wrote:Word is - wait for it - Earls trained at 13 in Mullingar during the week.  Whistle

Nice hand grenade prof. True or not, I'm loving your work  OK

If it's true its not actually a bad thing. He could be on the bench, he could be preparing in case he has to move over during the game- heck, maybe the logic is he covers centre and Jackson replaces Madigan on the bench. Of course, probably none of those things is true. I just made them all up. But since we're all very desperate to jump to conclusions, why not throw a few more hypotheticals in there? Wink

Stuart McCloskey and Josh van der Flier weren't released back to their provinces this week either. My tea leaves are telling me that definitely means something! Maybe McCloskey will turn up today for Ulster. If he doesn't its encouraging but we're all still speculating aren't we.

I always think we should judge selection across the whole tournament. Even if Schmidt picks a conservative side and we lose, I'll be happy so long as he gives some new blood a chance in the last two games. Then we'll be in a pretty good place going into the Summer Tour in terms of developing towards a good performance in the Autumn Internationals.
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Post by eirebilly Sun 21 Feb 2016, 12:30 pm

Of course its hypothetical's, isn't that a major part of forums and discussions?

I (and others) are basing opinions due to Schmidt's history of selection's since he has been in charge and I think that its a fair to assume certain selections will come to fruition. Its not 'jumping to conclusions', its discussing possibilities...
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Post by Sin é Sun 21 Feb 2016, 2:30 pm

All but 15 were released back to their Provinces this weekend to give the Provinces as dig out (or that was the way I read it). The context was that the IRFU/Ireland were saying that they worked with the Provinces. Presumably they held back 15 so that they could do open training in Mullingar.

Munster would have needed really needed TOD & Ryan, but not Murray, Earls or Zebo.

I expect changes to be minimal for England as it really is a big ask to throw a rookie international like McCloskey v England in Twickers and perhaps against Scotland and Italy we might see VdeF & McCloskey and maybe Jackson.



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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 21 Feb 2016, 2:36 pm

To be honest I can't see Henshaw being moved or dropped from 12 for the entirety of the tournament. His move to Leinster cements his claim for the shirt as well. He is being groomed as a permanent inside centre.

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Post by eirebilly Sun 21 Feb 2016, 2:40 pm

McCloskey may be a rookie at International level Sin é but he has already built up a lot of experience playing for Ulster both in the Pro-12 and European cup where he has more than shone against full international players. The risk, in my eyes, is minimal and the rewards could be great.

Get him in there and let him have a go with Marshall beside him and Henshaw at 15.

That and for the love of god, get Jackson on the bench at least. He should be ahead of Madigan...

With the injuries and now low(is), expectations, its time to reward the form players in Ireland.
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Post by eirebilly Sun 21 Feb 2016, 3:36 pm

Olding, Marshall and Jackson are again playing well for Ulster...
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Post by Notch Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:58 am

Squad announced for Round 3. 18 forwards, 16 backs. Dave Foley, Jordi Murphy, Cian Healy, Mike Ross and Craig Gilroy all added.

Forwards (18)
Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht)*
Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) c
Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)*
David Foley (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) vc
Jack McGrath (St Mary's College/Leinster)
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
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)
Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Patrick Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster)
Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)
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Post by Notch Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:59 am

No Furlong? James Cronin also dropped.
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Post by carpet baboon Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:05 am

How's foley been playing? And they must see a lot in bealham

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Post by profitius Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:07 am

Furlong has a high injury and Cronin was part of a Munster scrum that Glasgow smashed.

Jordi Murphy and Dave Foley, more reserves. Alan O'Connor, Muldowney, O'Donoghue, Conan are just 4 who can feel hard done by
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Post by profitius Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:10 am

carpet baboon wrote:How's foley been playing? And they must see a lot in bealham


Not going great this season. It's partly down to Munster being badly coached. Most players are not playing well. Foley's main problem has always been that he is a little light for international rugby. Especially attritional rugby Ireland play.


Bealham has surprised me. He looks a solid prop in the making. That's why the IRFU wanted Ah You to move to Ulster. They wanted to clear the path for Bealham.
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Post by Notch Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:42 am

profitius wrote:Bealham has surprised me. He looks a solid prop in the making. That's why the IRFU wanted Ah You to move to Ulster. They wanted to clear the path for Bealham.

Of course, given Bealham was in the Ulster Academy and went to the Connacht Academy after not getting his contract renewed that doesn't reflect that well on Ulster!
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Post by profitius Mon 22 Feb 2016, 12:14 pm

Notch wrote:
profitius wrote:Bealham has surprised me. He looks a solid prop in the making. That's why the IRFU wanted Ah You to move to Ulster. They wanted to clear the path for Bealham.

Of course, given Bealham was in the Ulster Academy and went to the Connacht Academy after not getting his contract renewed that doesn't reflect that well on Ulster!


Strange goings on in Ulster's academy.
I think they also left Chris Taylor leave. He looked good at U20 level.
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Post by Notch Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:13 pm

Yep, they let him go to. This is from the same people who also wanted to turn Kyle McCall into a hooker and sent Alan O'Connor to play AIL while we were starting Lewis Stevenson every week.
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Post by Sin é Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:19 pm

profitius wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:How's foley been playing? And they must see a lot in bealham


Not going great this season. It's partly down to Munster being badly coached. Most players are not playing well. Foley's main problem has always been that he is a little light for international rugby. Especially attritional rugby Ireland play.


Bealham has surprised me. He looks a solid prop in the making. That's why the IRFU wanted Ah You to move to Ulster. They wanted to clear the path for Bealham.

Interesting how CJ Stander has not been affected by the 'bad coaching' at Munster. Also interesting how Cronin, Zebo & Earls have all stayed for more 'bad coaching'.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:26 pm

Sin é wrote:
profitius wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:How's foley been playing? And they must see a lot in bealham


Not going great this season. It's partly down to Munster being badly coached. Most players are not playing well. Foley's main problem has always been that he is a little light for international rugby. Especially attritional rugby Ireland play.


Bealham has surprised me. He looks a solid prop in the making. That's why the IRFU wanted Ah You to move to Ulster. They wanted to clear the path for Bealham.

Interesting how CJ Stander has not been affected by the 'bad coaching' at Munster. Also interesting how Cronin, Zebo & Earls have all stayed for more 'bad coaching'.


I thought they stayed for the love of munster not the coaching? angel

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Post by profitius Mon 22 Feb 2016, 2:05 pm

Sin é wrote:
profitius wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:How's foley been playing? And they must see a lot in bealham


Not going great this season. It's partly down to Munster being badly coached. Most players are not playing well. Foley's main problem has always been that he is a little light for international rugby. Especially attritional rugby Ireland play.


Bealham has surprised me. He looks a solid prop in the making. That's why the IRFU wanted Ah You to move to Ulster. They wanted to clear the path for Bealham.

Interesting how CJ Stander has not been affected by the 'bad coaching' at Munster. Also interesting how Cronin, Zebo & Earls have all stayed for more 'bad coaching'.


"In spite" of the coaching would be more accurate.
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Post by Marshes Mon 22 Feb 2016, 2:31 pm

Notch wrote:
profitius wrote:Bealham has surprised me. He looks a solid prop in the making. That's why the IRFU wanted Ah You to move to Ulster. They wanted to clear the path for Bealham.

Of course, given Bealham was in the Ulster Academy and went to the Connacht Academy after not getting his contract renewed that doesn't reflect that well on Ulster!

Bealham and Buckley have been killing most scrums they come into contact with, both very strong this season! Looked solid for a while but has really come into his own this year. Rodney is solid and a tough man to put the brakes on, so hopefully he turns up for Ulster!

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Post by RubyGuby Mon 22 Feb 2016, 3:51 pm

Healey and Ross both back to fitness and McCloskey alongside Henshaw in the centre for me. All 4 of those are big game players irrespective of how young McCloskey is. With Murray and Sexton you have good 1/2 backs so its a case of getting parity up front. That might be difficult given the injuries to your back row and 2nd row. Your normal strength in the lineout might now be a target for the oppo. But on a windswept Twickenham the scene is made for the Irish underdogs who are past masters of rampaging through where others have feared to tread (apart from Wales of course) thumbsup

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Tue 23 Feb 2016, 9:30 am

Looking back at the two games so far with a bit more of a level head and I'm really excited about where the team is headed.
It feels like Schmidts first few months in charge of Leinster,I think we'll click soon and then we'll be a real force.

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Post by Marshes Tue 23 Feb 2016, 9:58 am

asoreleftshoulder wrote:Looking back at the two games so far with a bit more of a level head and I'm really excited about where the team is headed.
It feels like Schmidts first few months in charge of Leinster,I think we'll click soon and then we'll be a real force.

Agree to some extent, making a lot more clean breaks and seeing a bit less kicking when other options are on which is encouraging. Big worry is sorting out the set piece. Scrum is faltering and lineout has been iffy as well.

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