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Ulster 2016/2017

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Post by Notch Tue May 24, 2016 6:08 pm

First topic message reminder :

The build up to Ulsters gloriously successful 2016/2017 campaign starts here!

Allow summer optimism to get the better of you or discuss why we are in crisis right here on this thread- before weary resignation over the quality of forwards we have sinks in once again.


Last edited by Notch on Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Pete330v2 Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:59 pm

The telegraph's champions cup dream XV has Piutau and Henderson on it. Just sayin Smile

Also I did hear from a mate that Piutau will be sitting this one out at the weekend. He's worth looking after.

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Post by Don Alfonso Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:19 pm

Where's Geoff?

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Post by SecretFly Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:23 pm

Notch wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Is Bowe injured again?

No, actually he's back fit. He played 80 minutes against Connacht and he said he felt good afterwards. He also created one of our three tries with one of his trademark running lines.

I think they just want him in the As so he can get more game time and get his match fitness back.

OK Oh I knew he was back, Notch; just a little shocked at hearing people talk about him being an absentee again so soon.

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Post by toml Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:25 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:The telegraph's champions cup dream XV has Piutau and Henderson on it. Just sayin Smile

Also I did hear from a mate that Piutau will be sitting this one out at the weekend. He's worth looking after.

As nice as that is the torygraph can pish off and shove their right wing agenda up their hole. boxing

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Post by Notch Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:40 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Notch wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Is Bowe injured again?

No, actually he's back fit. He played 80 minutes against Connacht and he said he felt good afterwards. He also created one of our three tries with one of his trademark running lines.

I think they just want him in the As so he can get more game time and get his match fitness back.

OK Oh I knew he was back, Notch; just a little shocked at hearing people talk about him being an absentee again so soon.

Les Kiss has been playing a rotation policy all season so far. It may seem a little strange right now, all this chopping and changing from week to week, but the idea seems to be to make it so that all our players are peaking in May.
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Post by marty2086 Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:47 pm

Notch wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Seen the pictures on Facebook from this mornings training, think I know where t'other forum is getting their team info

Yeah I saw that as well. And I noticed Piutau wasn't in any of the pictures. Lets wait and see if 2 plus 2 equals 4 though.

If the bibs are anything to go by AOC will start ahead of Browne and Stockdale and Lyttle are fit

And Henry was training, wonder if we will see him over the next few weeks

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Post by Guest Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:24 pm

So probably a starting XV of:

Payne
Trimble
Marshall
Olding
Gilroy
Jackson
Pienaar

Warwick
Best
Ah You
O'Connor
Van der Merwe
Henderson
Reidy
Ross

Less certain about the backrow, but it's what I would like to see.

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Post by Notch Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:28 am

marty2086 wrote:
Notch wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Seen the pictures on Facebook from this mornings training, think I know where t'other forum is getting their team info

Yeah I saw that as well. And I noticed Piutau wasn't in any of the pictures. Lets wait and see if 2 plus 2 equals 4 though.

If the bibs are anything to go by AOC will start ahead of Browne and Stockdale and Lyttle are fit

And Henry was training, wonder if we will see him over the next few weeks

Thats all really good news. I really rate Alan O'Connor very highly. Will be interesting to see if he can push on for higher honours in the next season or two, or whether he falls back down the pecking order.

As much as I don't think we should be forced to let Pienaar go due to a lack of decent Irish players to replace him, we shouldn't be allowed to let Van Der Merwe stay as we now have enough quality Irish locks to do without him. Henderson and O'Connor is a great combination on paper.

If we are allowed to keep Van Der Merwe but are still forced to let Pienaar leave, I'll know that the IRFU have literally lost their marbles.
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Post by marty2086 Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:08 am

Interesting article on Ulsters website

Michael Black has been working in the Hughes Insurance Ulster Academy for three years, first as Age Grade Performance Manager, and more recently as Provincial Talent Coach.

A big focus for Black over the past two seasons has been on developing the youth game, having witnessed a small number of players coming through the club pathway in comparison to the school system.

There have been some successes, with the likes of Johnny Murphy, Chris Farrell and Adam McBurney making an impact in recent times, but it had been identified as a real growth area.

"There is no doubting the raw material and physical potential of players in the club game, it's about developing it and providing opportunities," said Black. "This is being done by investing more time in these players and the support network around them."

One of the challenges in the past has been talent identification, but that has steadily improved and has been buoyed further by the introduction of Jonny Gillespie as Talent Development Officer last year.

Along with a big network of club and school coaches, he collates a large amount of information on players on a weekly basis.

"For club players, their first step on the development pathway is at U16 Regional Development Squad (RDS) level. This programme from U16/U17 level through to U18s has seen significant changes in recent season," explains Black.

"There are now four U16 RDS with two sessions per month from October through to April. These squads are run by Ulster Rugby staff and eight Talent Coaches, in addition to the relevant managers, who are all volunteers.

"Further investment in these players at U17 and U18 level can be seen in them training centrally as a squad each week. Jonny Gillespie is the Head Coach of these squads and puts together the technical and tactical content. This is delivered by a mix of staff and volunteer coaches including Academy staff and specialists. Identified players at this level also have S&C coaching support and access to a physiotherapist, when required."

Black is keen to praise the work of clubs but recognises that the new structures afford players more exposure to training and development games.

"The clubs are doing a great job at youth level in terms of growing the game and coaching these players. However, most clubs only train once per week and have matches that can be sporadic. The aim is to supplement this good work being done by providing additional coaching sessions centrally per week, as well as visiting key players during their school day and squeezing in a 1-on-1 session.

"I also organise a series of 'development' games during the season where we play competitive matches against Grammar Schools, which is worked around the club youth league structure. This provides additional rugby as well as stretching players beyond the levels of their current environment, which is key to their development in high performance."

This added investment, which has been supported by Ulster Carpets and Hughes Insurance, combined with a very strong working relationship with the Ulster Branch Youth Committee, has started to show tangible results…

This season there are two new entrants into the Hughes Insurance Academy who have come from the club youth game; hooker Adam McBurney (Randalstown RFC, now playing at Ballymena RFC) and back row Aaron Hall (Ballyclare RFC, now playing at Ballynahinch RFC).

For the first time in three years, Ulster had representation in the Ireland U18 squad in the form of Rainey RFC second row John McCusker and Armagh RFC tighthead prop Paul Mullan.

During the summer, two of the best U18 club players trained with their Grammar School counterparts and then played in the Schools Inter-provincial Championship. These were tighthead prop Callum Smyth (Rainey RFC) and second row Oisin Kiernan (Virginia RFC) and both performed very well throughout.

Furthermore, Joe Dunleavey (Letterkenny RFC back row) and Cormac Fox (Armagh RFC flyhalf) were instrumental in helping Ulster to secure the recent U19 Inter-provincial Championship, with fine wins over Munster, Leinster and Connacht.

"Results in the U18 Clubs Inter-provincial Championship in recent years may not have gone as well as we'd hope. However, we now have a number of players pressing for places at the next level in Ulster and Ireland representative teams as well as a good number of our U17 and U16 players coming through strongly.

"The next challenge though is to bring through more quality players in a 'winning' environment so that they go on to represent successful Ulster and Ireland teams of the future," concluded Black.

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Post by marty2086 Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:37 pm

Ulster team and replacements to play Bordeaux-Bègles, Sunday 16th October, Stade Chaban-Delmas (kick-off 2.00pm local time, 1.00pm BST):
(15-9): Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble (captain), Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar;
(1-8): Andy Warwick, Rory Best, Rodney Ah You, Alan O'Connor, Franco van der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Clive Ross, Sean Reidy;
Replacements (16-23): Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Ross Kane, Pete Browne, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Jacob Stockdale, Rob Lyttle.


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Post by carpet baboon Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:42 pm

Has stockdale played Fullback?

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Post by marty2086 Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:47 pm

Think he played there for the Ravens but Lyttle, Olding and Gilroy can all cover fullback

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Post by Guest Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:50 pm

Match thread  Very Happy

BordeauxBeglesVUlster

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:16 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Has stockdale played Fullback?

He could also be covering 13 (his favoured position). I don't think I've ever seen him play there though.

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Post by carpet baboon Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:25 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Has stockdale played Fullback?

He could also be covering 13 (his favoured position). I don't think I've ever seen him play there though.

Yes I was thinking I read he felt he was a 13. Just playing fantasy reshuffle the back line in my head.
We have lots of options with the subs. Olding and ruan can cover 10. Marshall and if we had to Jackson can do 12. Olding stockdale Trimble and Jared can all do 13 and the back 3 is well covered.

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Post by clivemcl Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:02 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Has stockdale played Fullback?

He could also be covering 13 (his favoured position). I don't think I've ever seen him play there though.

Yes I was thinking I read he felt he was a 13. Just playing fantasy reshuffle the back line in my head.
We have lots of options with the subs. Olding and ruan can cover 10. Marshall and if we had to Jackson can do 12. Olding stockdale Trimble and Jared can all do 13 and the back 3 is well covered.

It's crazy to think that the coaching team has an initial plan to cover every potential injury. But then when theres a second or third injury, Les and co have to pretty quickly have an opinion on something bizarre like who is better at 12? Jackson or Trimble?? (as an example) And we've seen matches where that has happened in the past. Paul Marshall has covered wing of all places at least a few times in his career.

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Post by Guest Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:49 pm

We've just been incredibly unlucky with a few injuries to our centres over the last few weeks, but fortunate with the timing. No international duty and we get Olding and Marshall back for the Begles game. It just goes to prove how big squads have to be now with the rate of injuries. It also proves the value of versatile players like Ludik who can play different positions, and play them well.

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Post by Artful_Dodger Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:02 pm

Guys, what is with Tommy Bowe playing for Ulster A against Jersey and not being involved with the senior team?

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Post by Guest Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:31 pm

He isn't up to match fitness yet, would be my guess. A run out for the full 80 he had tonight will do him more good, and Ulster, than playing on Sunday. The A's managed to win Very Happy It's also right that Stockdale and Lyttle get the bench ahead of him if we are honestly rewarding form.

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Post by marty2086 Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:50 am

I think we'll see more big names in the Ravens, with the depth thats available when everyones fit and with someone always coming back from injury, its a great opportunity especially if they are trying to create a winning culture throughout the club. Ulster A have had a losing mentality for far too long

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Post by marty2086 Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:25 pm

Louis Ludik has signed a new 3 year contract extension

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Post by Guest Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:34 pm

Great news. Ludik tends to miss the plaudits, but is becoming a key player for us. Very much underrated.

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Post by Pete330v2 Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:56 pm

He's really kicked on this year and raised his already high standards so this is most definitely a great retention. When is he officially Irish ?

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Post by marty2086 Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:58 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:He's really kicked on this year and raised his already high standards so this is most definitely a great retention. When is he officially Irish ?

September 2017

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Post by carpet baboon Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:32 pm

Ok file this under very idle gossip but......... Today I was talking to a good friend (ex player from another province) arranging a Christmas get together for old freinds. Chatting about rugby in general and mentioned the ruan leaving thing and Ulster being a bit screwed in the 9 department for next season, he said that yesterday he was talking to his agent ( god I hate that rugby players have them) and he said his agent said " I wouldn't worry to much about Ulster's 9 they are sorted for next season"
Now I pressed for what his agent meant by this and his reply was, and I quote " how the fu*k should I know"

So either his agent has a lot of faith in Marshall or he knows something we don't.
I did ask if he could ask and his reply " don't you think I do enough sending you free kit?"

So no real info but it's fun to speculate

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Post by Notch Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:48 pm

If it's true and it's an Irishman then I would finally see the logic.

Of course, if its a NIQ player I would... be less impressed.
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Post by carpet baboon Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:53 pm

Well that's what I was pushing him to find out. It can't be a NIQ or there was be riots. But what irish 9s world be available?

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Post by Notch Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:55 pm

Of the ones that would be current or potentially future internationals there is Kieran Marmion- McGrath and Hart are under contract.
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Post by clivemcl Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:00 pm

Considering Caolin Blade has looked quite promising, this wouldn't entirely surprise me.

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Post by Guest Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:51 pm

It would be a real lift if someone of quality is to replace Pienaar. I'm not going to get my hopes up yet though.

Say we do bring in a real prospect, it would have been great to have Pienaar mentor him throughout his last playing season with us, and then to continue mentoring him as part of the coaching set up.

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Post by clivemcl Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:48 pm

That said, for a young9, you would think a promise of Pienaar joining the coaching staff would at least have some attraction.

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Post by marty2086 Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:58 am

Darren Cave and Robbie Diack have recovered from their respective injuries and are available for selection this week versus Munster.

Luke Marshall (knee) and Dan Tuohy (hip) picked up low grade injuries in their respective games at the weekend. They will continue to be monitored this week but it is hoped that they will be fit for selection.

Stuart Olding (hip flexor) and Kieran Treadwell (ankle) are doubtful for this weekend.

Peter Browne, Alan O'Connor (both concussion), Iain Henderson (shoulder), Rodney Ah You (knee) and Ross Kane (facial laceration) sustained injuries in the game against Exeter and will be unavailable for selection this week.

In addition, Mark Best is ruled out due to a thumb injury sustained while playing for Ulster A versus London Scottish.

Chris Henry, Marcell Coetzee, Louis Ludik, Stuart McCloskey, Peter Nelson, Matthew Rea and Ricky Lutton remain on the current injured list

Do we have any tightheads left?

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Post by clivemcl Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:26 pm

Surely Peikrishvili is back from his minor injury. Is he a tight head?

Also, Herbst played for the As so should be available.

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Post by marty2086 Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:39 pm

clivemcl wrote:Surely Peikrishvili is back from his minor injury. Is he a tight head?

Also, Herbst played for the As so should be available.

Forgot about Herbst being back

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Post by Don Alfonso Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:40 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Darren Cave and Robbie Diack have recovered from their respective injuries and are available for selection this week versus Munster.

Luke Marshall (knee) and Dan Tuohy (hip) picked up low grade injuries in their respective games at the weekend. They will continue to be monitored this week but it is hoped that they will be fit for selection.

Stuart Olding (hip flexor) and Kieran Treadwell (ankle) are doubtful for this weekend.

Peter Browne, Alan O'Connor (both concussion), Iain Henderson (shoulder), Rodney Ah You (knee) and Ross Kane (facial laceration) sustained injuries in the game against Exeter and will be unavailable for selection this week.

In addition, Mark Best is ruled out due to a thumb injury sustained while playing for Ulster A versus London Scottish.

Chris Henry, Marcell Coetzee, Louis Ludik, Stuart McCloskey, Peter Nelson, Matthew Rea and Ricky Lutton remain on the current injured list

Do we have any tightheads left?

Can we field 23?

I hope we can keep Munster to 4 points rather than 5...

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Post by clivemcl Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:54 pm

Will any of Gilroy/Trimble/Bowe get call ups? I'm not convinced they merit it. It would be nice to keep all three and play Piutau at 13.
Backrow of Reidy Ross and Wilson with Diack at lock???

Surely now if ever is a time to have a look at Dow.

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Post by Don Alfonso Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:55 pm

Isn’t there an Ireland camp on as well? So who will we be missing this weekend, that we could reasonably expect to make a 23 for a big interpro?

Best, Ah You, Kane, Lutton, Browne, O’Connor, Henderson, Henry, Coetzee, Jackson, Marshall, Olding, Trimble, Bowe, Ludik, McCloskey, Payne

Potentially also Gilroy and Herring (Ireland camp) and Tuohy (Injury). But unlikely.

Treadwell, Rea, Best and the ever-absent Nelson also gone.

Leaves us with:

McCall
Herring/Andrew
Herbst
Van Der Merwe
Diack
Ross
Reidy
Wilson
Pienaar
Herron
Lyttle
Cave
Stockdale
Gilroy/?
Piutau

Heaven help us. That’s poor. Maybe Herron/Lyttle/Cave/Piutau/Stockdale/Gilroy as a back line.

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Post by clivemcl Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:39 pm

And if you think that could be the backline, who on earth is on the bench??? Shocked

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Post by Don Alfonso Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:42 pm

Henderson probably missing both All Blacks games.

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Post by rodders Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:43 pm

Tomas O'Leary to replace Pienaar?
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Post by clivemcl Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:01 pm

You wash your mouth out Rodders! Where did you hear that???

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Post by neilthom7 Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:08 pm

So according to BBC Paddy Jackson won't be playing v New Zealand this weekend due to personal reasons, any idea what these are?
Also Luke Marshall has not been choosen in the travelling squad so should be available for us this weekend barring some injury I am not aware off.

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Post by Notch Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:25 pm

neilthom7 wrote:So according to BBC Paddy Jackson won't be playing v New Zealand this weekend due to personal reasons, any idea what these are?
Also Luke Marshall has not been choosen in the travelling squad so should be available for us this weekend barring some injury I am not aware off.

I've seen rumours that its just visa issues, he can't enter the USA because he's in ISIS or something. Which would be good because he'll play for Ulster on Friday!
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Post by neilthom7 Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:49 pm

Notch wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So according to BBC Paddy Jackson won't be playing v New Zealand this weekend due to personal reasons, any idea what these are?
Also Luke Marshall has not been choosen in the travelling squad so should be available for us this weekend barring some injury I am not aware off.

I've seen rumours that its just visa issues, he can't enter the USA because he's in ISIS or something. Which would be good because he'll play for Ulster on Friday!

Oh right, makes sense he does look like ISIS material lol if that's the case then that will be great and our backline might not be as bad as I thought with him and Luke in it

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Post by marty2086 Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:44 pm

Notch wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So according to BBC Paddy Jackson won't be playing v New Zealand this weekend due to personal reasons, any idea what these are?
Also Luke Marshall has not been choosen in the travelling squad so should be available for us this weekend barring some injury I am not aware off.

I've seen rumours that its just visa issues, he can't enter the USA because he's in ISIS or something. Which would be good because he'll play for Ulster on Friday!

Visa issues would be a strange one its usually a serious crime makes you ineligible for a Visa in the US

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Post by neilthom7 Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:06 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Notch wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So according to BBC Paddy Jackson won't be playing v New Zealand this weekend due to personal reasons, any idea what these are?
Also Luke Marshall has not been choosen in the travelling squad so should be available for us this weekend barring some injury I am not aware off.

I've seen rumours that its just visa issues, he can't enter the USA because he's in ISIS or something. Which would be good because he'll play for Ulster on Friday!

Visa issues would be a strange one its usually a serious crime makes you ineligible for a Visa in the US

Something minor could hold it up though, a friend of mine had a problem where he was caught trespassing when he was younger, was only a warning from the cop but held his us visa up a couple of weeks so might be that he can't get it in time

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Post by marty2086 Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:16 pm

neilthom7 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Notch wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So according to BBC Paddy Jackson won't be playing v New Zealand this weekend due to personal reasons, any idea what these are?
Also Luke Marshall has not been choosen in the travelling squad so should be available for us this weekend barring some injury I am not aware off.

I've seen rumours that its just visa issues, he can't enter the USA because he's in ISIS or something. Which would be good because he'll play for Ulster on Friday!

Visa issues would be a strange one its usually a serious crime makes you ineligible for a Visa in the US

Something minor could hold it up though, a friend of mine had a problem where he was caught trespassing when he was younger, was only a warning from the cop but held his us visa up a couple of weeks so might be that he can't get it in time

There are usually expedited processes though for things like this though and Im pretty sure he was in the US last year though wouldnt have required the visa he needs now

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Post by Notch Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:44 pm

Who knows, if he plays for Ulster its probably a visa thing and if he doesn't its probably a none of our business thing.
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Post by clivemcl Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:18 pm

If i remember right from various instagrams, some of those lads were holidaying in the states a few summers back before they were internationals. Who knows, maybe they got in some trouble that didn't reach our local media. Maybe they dressed up as black men again or something... Shocked

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Post by Notch Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:36 pm

But he looks so angelic
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