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Leinster Rugby 2019/20: Squad & Provincial Team News

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 6:28 pm

*******HISTORY/OWNERSHIP**********

Leinster Rugby is one of four Branches who are the members (Owners / Constituents) of the IRFU.

Leinster Branch is "owned" by the constituent Clubs, Sections and Affiliated Bodies (e.g. the School & Youths Committees & Referee's Assoc) within the Province. The Representatives of each of these meet monthly as the Executive Committee of Leinster Rugby. Only the AGM of Leinster Rugby has authority above the Executive Committee.

Each Club in Leinster is a registered Sporting Body (NFP status) and Leinster Rugby has a separate registered number as a Sporting Body. The property of Leinster Rugby is held in the names of Trustees elected annually at Leinster Rugby AGM.

in 2019, the IRFU established a property holding company to hold all of the property of the IRFU. Prior to that, all of the property of the IRFU was held in the names of the four IRFU Trustees, again, annually elected at the AGM.

In strictly legal terms, each of the four Provincial bodies are "unincorpoated trusts with tax exempt status as sporting bodies". Old-fashioned but effective structures for the control and preservation of voluntary sporting bodies.

20 Senior Clubs can summon an Extraordinary General Meeting of the IRFU to determine a Resolution proposed by those Clubs. However, nowhere within the IRFU Governing documents are Rugby Clubs defined as "members" of the IRFU.

Notionally, the IRFU is "owned by the Clubs", but indirectly through the four Provincial structures.

***********************

Feel free to add in Leinster Rugby news updates, wider news on provincial teams news, comments as you wish.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 12:47 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 7:29 pm

Senior Transfers for 2019/20

Out:
Nick McCarthy to Munster
Seán O'Brien to London Irish
Jack McGrath to Ulster
Tom Daly to Connacht
Noel Reid to Leicester Tigers
Ian Nagle to Zebre
Mick Kearney to Zebre

In:
Cian Kelleher from Connacht
Ciarán Frawley promoted from Academy
Hugo Keenan promoted from Academy
Rónan Kelleher promoted from Academy
Conor O'Brien promoted from Academy
Jimmy O'Brien promoted from Academy
Ireland Hugh O'Sullivan promoted from Academy
Ireland Scott Penny promoted from Academy

Senior Squad for 2019/20

Props
Valhi Abdaladze, Michael Bent, Ed Byrne. Peter Dooley, Tadgh Furlong, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter

Hookers
Bryan Byrne, Sean Cronin, Rónan Keleher, James Tracy

Locks
Scott Fardy (NIE) (contract extension to June 2020), Ross Molony, James Ryan, Devin Toner

Back row
Jack Conan, Will Connors, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris, Dan Leavy, Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock (vc), Josh Van Der Flier

Scrum-halves
Jamison Gibson-Park (Contract June 2020 - IQ in Aug 2019), Luke McGrath, Hugh O'Sullivan

Fly-halves
Ross Byrne, Ciarán Frawley, Jonathan Sexton (c)

Centres
Robbie Henshaw, Conor O'Brien, Jimmy O'Brien, Rory O'Loughlin, Garry Ringrose

Wings
Adam Byrne, Barry Daly, Dave Kearney, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe (Contract June 2020 - IQ Nov 2020), Fergus McFadden, Joe Tomane (NIE - contract June 2020)

Fullbacks
Rob Kearney, Cian Kelleher

Academy (Year) *=capped for Senior Squad

Props: Jack Aungier (3); Michael Milne (2)
Hookers: Dan Sheehan (2)
Locks: Ryan Baird (2)*; Oisin Dowling (3)*; Jack Dunne (2)*
Scrum-halves: Patrick Patterson (2)*
Fly-halves: Harry Byrne (2)
Centres: David Hawkshaw (2); Gavin Mullin (3)*; Tommy O'Brien (3)
Wings: Jack Kelly (4)*; Aaron O'Sullivan (2)
Fullbacks: Michael Silvester (2)
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Post by rodders on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 9:52 am

I have to say, for a side with such high aspirations that isn't the most impressive looking squad. If you look at some of the players they've lost since the 2018 double winning squad -

Carbury, Jordi Murphy, Nacewa, McGrath, Sean O'Brien even Noel Reid they look like they are getting weaker and not stronger.
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:04 am

Blame Nucifora!  Ulster know him of course....   Cool

But look on the bright side, Leinster spreading its seed like a thoroughbred stallion.  The stud book is a good' un.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:31 am

I think there could be trouble ahead for Leinster

The top of the pile is still very impressive but under the surface, in some positions, what is coming through is not top draw.
Back row and Centre seem to have some talent coming through (although I need to see more of Conor O'Brien to be sure but he looks very good) but back three, lock, half back and front row not so much (Porter aside)
One of the worries for me is how they have missed a couple of players - O'Sullivan being the most obvious one.
An obvious caveat is I am not up to speed with the Academy players (I am with the full squad)

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:59 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:I think there could be trouble ahead for Leinster

The top of the pile is still very impressive but under the surface, in some positions, what is coming through is not top draw.
Back row and Centre seem to have some talent coming through (although I need to see more of Conor O'Brien to be sure but he looks very good) but  back three, lock, half back and front row not so much (Porter aside)
One of the worries for me is how they have missed a couple of players - O'Sullivan being the most obvious one.
An obvious caveat is I am not up to speed  with the Academy players (I am with the full squad)

I partly agree with you, Geoff, and clearly Cullen & Co have decided to use next season to develop more Irish players (although from some of Cullen's recent comments, I'm not sure that it was entirely his first choice).

Going through each position, I'd see it like this:

Hooker - Cronin the oldie, Tracy, a bit part stand-in although improved somewhat this season. Brian Byrne is doing good. Ronan Kelleter, Cian's brother, is a promising prospect coming up from academy. But in the short term, there's a lot of reliance on Tracy and Byrne, if Cronin is off at RWC and test duty. Although the RWC may be his last hurrah and Farrell may decide to bring Rhys Marshall into the mix alongside Scannell and Herring for 6N 2020 and beyond.

Props - Healy and Furlong the standouts, with Porter needing to regain his form from 2017/18 season. Abdaladze has only had a few games, and jury is still out on him. Dooley is still relatively young, but he ain't tearing up trees. Ed Byrne is the most promising at loosehead and has got a fair bit of gametime in the season just finished.

Locks - the cupboard looks very bare and no doubt was why Fardy got an extension until next June. Molony is steady, not spectacular. Cullen did try Josh Murphy out for the last couple of games at lock as he's a good lineout option, so maybe that's something they'll look at again for next season. But at the moment, with Toner existing next June and Ryan the only star, they have their work cut out. the performance of Baird, Dunne and Charlie Ryan in the RWC U20 will be looked at closely. Of the three, Baird impresses me the most to date, although Charlie Ryan could outgrow him this RWC.

Back row looks solid as does the pipeline with Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Caelan Doris backing up vdF, Leavy, Ruddock, Conan and Deegan. In fact, I can see their stocks being raided again at some point.

Half-back - McGrath is out front with Gibson-Park an able deputy and Hugh O'Sullivan showing promise. It was interesting that Leinster went in for Craig Casey at Munster but were rebuffed. Patterson in he academy is still too raw. But they have sufficient depth in their first two and it doesn't look like Gibson-Park will get a test call-up just yet.

Sexton has Ross Byrne and Ciaran Frawley backing him, with Ross's younger brother, Harry looking good from the academy. He'd be in Argentina starting if he hadn't got injured. Byrne and Frawley ain't no Sexton, but Byrne has stepped up in important matches.

Both O'Briens will ned more gametime with Conor the more likely of the two to partner Henshaw or Ringrose. Rory O'Loughlin is a solid league player.

Int he back three, it's interesting Leinster have nominated incoming Cian Kelleher as a full-back, rather than Jordan Larmour. Between both, Lowe, Adam Byrne, Daly, Keenan, I reckon they have enough coming through. Although, Tomane seems to be a waste of money to have another season of him.







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Post by rodders on Thu 06 Jun 2019, 11:12 am

So are Leinster writing off next season a bit with the RWC?

They'll probably be the European team most affected with providing the bulk of the Irish squad and the player welfare protocols.
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Post by Brendan on Fri 07 Jun 2019, 11:22 am

While Leinster have lost key players from 2 years ago they probably have the most used second string. Playing real games for many of them will help them. Leinster used 56 players last season and only lost a few games. They have a real squad.

While players like Ross Byrne may not be Sexton he would be good enough to get Leinster to a final in the Pro14 and top 4 in Europe so not a bad player. He has lost his shine recently like Luke McGrath, being overlooked for Ireland games or not performering as well but there is only a little between either making an Irish squad.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 07 Jun 2019, 6:05 pm

Brendan wrote:While Leinster have lost key players from 2 years ago they probably have the most used second string. Playing real games for many of them will help them.  Leinster used 56 players last season and only lost a few games.  They have a real squad.


As a point of fact all the Irish provinces used 50 or more players this season.
In addition, for Ulster, 9 Academy players were promoted this year and will go into next season with only 1 player over 30.
Leinster are not alone playing a lot of second string and academy players

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 11 Jun 2019, 12:35 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:While Leinster have lost key players from 2 years ago they probably have the most used second string. Playing real games for many of them will help them.  Leinster used 56 players last season and only lost a few games.  They have a real squad.


As a point of fact all the Irish provinces used 50 or more players this season.
In addition, for Ulster, 9 Academy players were promoted this year and will go into next season with only 1 player over 30.
Leinster are not alone playing a lot of second string and academy players

How many of them were used in games Ulster won. I'd say it could be right up there with Leinsters.

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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 10:06 pm

So far in the 2019/20 season, Leinster have now played 6 games and won 6 with a good chunk of their second string and academy players, and have dropped just one bonus point, scoring 32 tries, averaging 6 tries a game, bar their 3-0 victory over Zebre!!

Some of the standouts so far have included academy players such as Harry Byrne at 10, Michael Milne at Loosehead and the very promising Ronan Kelleher at hooker who's scored 6 tries to date. What are the odds on Farrell trying Kelleher out in the 6 Nations next year?

For the first 5 matches - none of Healy, Porter, Furlong, Cronin, Ryan, vd Flier, Ruddock, Conan, McGrath, Sexton, Henshaw, Ringrose, Larmour and Kearney were available due to RWC.

Out of the 480 minutes played in PRO14, here's the breakdown on participation of the 39 players used to date:

LH Prop Ed Byrne - 1 game off bench - 27 mins - 6%
LH Prop - Peter Dooley - 5 games/starts - 277 mins - 58%
LH Prop Michael Milne - 5 games off the bench, 2 tries - 123 mins (academy) - 25%
LH Prop - Cian Healy - 1 game/start - 52 mins - 11%

Hooker Brian Byrne - 1 game off bench - 31 mins - 7%
Hooker - Ronan Kelleher - 5 games/starts, 6 tries - 266 mins - 55%
Hooker - James Tracy - 6 games, 1 start - 183 mins - 38%

TH Prop Jack Aungier, - 1 game off bench - 27 mins (academy) 5%
TH Prop Vakh Abdaladze - 4 games off bench - 120 mins - 25%
TH Prop Michael Bent - 6 games, 5 starts, 2 tries - 281 mins - 59%
TH Prop Andrew Porter - 1 game/start, 2 tries - 52 mins - 11%

Lock - Ryan Baird - 2 games, 1 start - 98 mins (academy) - 20%
Lock - Scott Fardy - 4 games/starts - 306 mins - 64%
Lock - Ross Molony - 6 games, 2 starts - 209 mins - 44%
Lock - Devin Toner - 5 games, 4 starts, 362 mins - 75%

B'row - Josh Murphy - 5 games, 3 starts - 265 mins - 55%
B'row - Will Connors - 4 games, 3 starts - 213 mins - 44%
B'row - Scott Penny - 3 games/starts, 1 try - 240 mins - 50%
6/8 B'row - Max Deegan - 6 games, 5 starts, 1 try - 399 mins - 83%
B'row - Rhys Ruddock - 1 games/bench - 31 mins - 6%
No 8 - Caelan Doris - 5 games, 4 starts - 1 try - 277 mins - 58%

9 - Gibson-Park - 6 games, 5 starts - 326 mins - 68%
9 - Hugh O'Sullivan - 3 games off bench, 1 try - 54 mins - 11%
9 - Luke McGrath - 1 game/start - 61 mins - 13%
9 - Rowan Osbourne- 2 games off bench, 1 try - 39 mins - 8%

10 Ross Byrne - 5 games/starts, 1 try - 350 mins - 73%
10 Harry Byrne - 4 games, 1 start, 2 tries - 130 mins (academy) - 27%
10/15 - Ciaran Frawley - 2 games off bench - 29 mins - 6%

Centre - Rory O'Loughlin - 5 games/starts - 368 mins - 77%
Centre - Conor O'Brien - 2 games, 1 start - 79 mins - 16%
Centre - Joe Tomane - 5 games/starts, 1 try - 346 mins - 72%
Centre/FB - Jimmy O'Brien - 5 games, 3 starts - 272 mins - 57%

Wing - Dave Kearney - 3 games/starts, 5 tries - 230 mins - 48%
Wing Adam Byrne - 3 games/starts, 1 try - 225 mins - 47%
Wing - James Lowe - 4 games/starts, 3 tries - 320 mins - - 67%
Wing - Fergus McFadden - 1 games/start, 1 try - 80 mins - 17%
Wing - Cian Kelleher - 2 games, 1 start - 96 mins - 20%

FB - Rob Kearney - 1 game/bench - 23 mins - 5%
FB - Hugo Keenan - 5 games, 4 starts - 316 mins - 66%



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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 1:50 pm

Leinster have looked fairly good for the first few games of the season. Usually a 2-3 or 3-2 record after the first five rounds would put Leinster in a good place as the Test players are slow in coming back. This start has been very strong, the quality that the academy is producing is very impressive. If Milne, the younger Byrne or Kelleher were at one of the other provinces the press would be waxing lyrical about them. They are all well placed for a promising season. The Leinster backrow hasn't missed a beat. The backline is highly reliant on 'pass the ball to Lowe' as their primary tactic at times.
But Keenan, Hugh O'Sullivan, the O'Brien centres and the backrow continue to put in impressive performances.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 4:27 pm

Very interesting article and comments from Lancaster;

Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster believes Ireland's new management team, under Andy Farrell, need to put their mark on the national team as soon as possible.

After much promise off the back of a Grand Slam in 2018, which was bookended with a couple of victories against then world number one-ranked New Zealand, hopes were high heading into this year's World Cup.

Ultimately Joe Schmidt's swansong competition ended at the quarter-final stage, with a heavy defeat against the All Blacks, as Ireland remain the only original Five Nations side never to have reached the last four of the World Cup.

It led Isa Nacewa, who previously played under Schmidt at Leinster, to say that Ireland had become too conservative in 2019.

And Lancaster has added that Farrell and his coaches will have to move things on quickly.

"The next step for Ireland is for Andy (Farrell), Mike Catt, Simon Easterby, and John Fogarty to create their identity, and their way of playing," he said.

"They can rely on my support. Those four coaches I know better than anyone really. I'm looking forward to having a conversation with them, and moving forward.

"There's no right or wrong way to win a game of rugby. Leinster haven't got it right, and somebody else has got it wrong."

Lancaster knows the feeling of having an underwhelming World Cup.

Four years ago he led his native England as they failed to emerge from their pool in the competition, thus becoming the first solo host nation to fail to make the knockout stages.

But he says that the disappointment in Japan doesn't define Joe Schmidt's time working in professional rugby in Ireland.

"What you need to be successful is complete clarity on what you're trying to do," according to Lancaster.

"In the big tournaments, you need to deliver that on the day. There's no doubt in my mind that Ireland had real clarity in what they were trying to achieve.

"But as I found out in 2015, sometimes little moments go against you, and then you've lost a game you could have won and the whole narrative changes.

"Since my time at Leinster they (Ireland) have had a huge amount of success. 2018, a Grand Slam, obviously beating New Zealand, and Joe's coaching is everywhere I see.

"In Leinster, even the way people greet you, or talk about the breakdown, the way they talk about the detail... that all comes through Joe.

"I think he's got a lot to be proud of what he achieved, and of what he's given to Ireland rugby."


Leinster begin their Champions Cup campaign this Saturday against Benetton Treviso at the RDS.

Last season ended on a disappointing note, as they missed out on back-to-back European titles with a defeat to Saracens in the final at Newcastle.

Lancaster says he'll be trying to get the returning Ireland players back into provincial mode as quickly as possible.

"For me it's getting the boys back into Leinster's way of playing, which is different," he admits.

"It's not better or worse, you just have to make sure they're clear on your system.

"They're all at different stages, because some of them played a lot (in Japan), and some didn't play as much. They're all disappointed not to have progressed.

"I had a chat, and let them talk about their experiences, which then allows them to move on I think.

"They have to turn the page very quickly. If you're sat feeling sorry for yourself for too long, you wouldn't get picked for Leinster."


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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 11 Nov 2019, 8:49 pm

I like Lancaster's style of talking - very straightforward and clear.

The academy is still producing some good potential and it will be interesting to see how much they use them this season given the RWC workload on some of the senior players.

Who are they likely to look at for Saturday against Benetton given some of the Ireland players haven't played yet? Sexton, Furlong, Henshaw, Ringrose.

My guess is something like:

Healy, Kelleher, Porter
Fardy, Toner
Ruddock, Penny, Deegan

McGrath, R Byrne
Lowe, Henshaw, O'Loughlin, D Kearney
R Kearney

Reps: Tracey, E Byrne, Furlong, Ryan, Murphy, Gibson-Park, Sexton, Ringrose
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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 12 Nov 2019, 3:24 pm

Pot Hale wrote:I like Lancaster's style of talking - very straightforward and clear.

The academy is still producing some good potential and it will be interesting to see how much they use them this season given the RWC workload on some of the senior players.  

Who are they likely to look at for Saturday against Benetton given some of the Ireland players haven't played yet? Sexton, Furlong, Henshaw, Ringrose.

My guess is something like:

Healy, Kelleher, Porter
Fardy, Toner
Ruddock, Penny, Deegan

McGrath, R Byrne
Lowe, Henshaw, O'Loughlin, D Kearney
R Kearney

Reps:  Tracey, E Byrne, Furlong, Ryan, Murphy, Gibson-Park, Sexton, Ringrose

Can we have Fardy, Lowe and Gibson-Park in a european matchday squad yet? If that remains the case then Fardy and Lowe are both required. Would be happy for little Hugh to take JGP's place on the bench.
I'd let Henshaw, Sexton, Furlong and Ryan recover. I'd play any of the others.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 12 Nov 2019, 8:51 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:I like Lancaster's style of talking - very straightforward and clear.

The academy is still producing some good potential and it will be interesting to see how much they use them this season given the RWC workload on some of the senior players.  

Who are they likely to look at for Saturday against Benetton given some of the Ireland players haven't played yet? Sexton, Furlong, Henshaw, Ringrose.

My guess is something like:

Healy, Kelleher, Porter
Fardy, Toner
Ruddock, Penny, Deegan

McGrath, R Byrne
Lowe, Henshaw, O'Loughlin, D Kearney
R Kearney

Reps:  Tracey, E Byrne, Furlong, Ryan, Murphy, Gibson-Park, Sexton, Ringrose

Can we have Fardy, Lowe and Gibson-Park in a european matchday squad yet?  If that remains the case then Fardy and Lowe are both required.  Would be happy for little Hugh to take JGP's place on the bench.
I'd let Henshaw, Sexton, Furlong and Ryan recover. I'd play any of the others.

Gibson-Park is now European qualified, so all three can be in the squad.  Henshaw was going to play last week but got ill just before match and was withdrawn.  He was back in training this week.   I reckon Cullen will want to give the other internationals some game minutes against Benetton before they come up against tougher opposition away from home against Lyon who are leading the Top14 currently.

They have a tough run of games coming up in the next 8 matches after this weekend - Lyon (a), Glasgow (a), Northampton (h/a), Ulster (h), Munster (a), Connacht (h), Lyon (h).
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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 13 Nov 2019, 3:25 pm

Thanks for clearing that up Pot. Hard to think JGP has been over here the requisite number of years already. (the rules are the rules though).

That's a nice run of games, pretty much a season defining stretch of matches. Cannot wait.

The youngsters have been doing well so far this season, I hope he keeps a couple of them around as reward for good form for the bigger matches coming up. Freshen things up, give youth an opportunity and manage the minutes of the top end talent.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 14 Nov 2019, 10:52 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Thanks for clearing that up Pot. Hard to think JGP has been over here the requisite number of years already. (the rules are the rules though).

That's a nice run of games, pretty much a season defining stretch of matches.  Cannot wait.

The youngsters have been doing well so far this season, I hope he keeps a couple of them around as reward for good form for the bigger matches coming up. Freshen things up, give youth an opportunity and manage the minutes of the top end talent.


It looks like Cullen may start some of the Irish internationals this weekend.   Front row as above with Healy and Porter propping and Kelleher continuing as hooker.  Ryan and Toner in the second row, and vd Flier coming in to partner Ruddock and Doris in the back row.   Sexton also to start but with Tomane outside him as Henshaw has not recovered, and Ringrose wearing 13 again (O'Loughlin has had 6 matches).   Larmour could also start instead of Rob Kearney.

Leo has dropped Dan Leavy, Jack Conan, Fergus McFadden, Barry Daly and Vakh Abdaladze who all have injuries from his original named European squad for the first two rounds. Penny, Baird, Cian Kelleher, Ciaran Frawley and Bryan Byrne have been named instead.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 14 Nov 2019, 11:04 am

It'll be nice to see the Leinster International contingent playing like Leinster players again (if it happens.... with a 3 - 0 win still fresh in the memory!)
But seriously, one of the most irritating things for me looking at Ireland sometimes, was listening in the media to individual player's reputations being dragged down to the ranks of presumed amateurs who just couldn't compete with more skilled players on virtually all other teams.
So Leinster, and indeed other provinces, always provide a certain sanctuary where they can reclaim reputations tarnished by Ireland's one dimensional style. We have plenty of players who can play a game called rugby.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 15 Nov 2019, 1:55 pm

Cullen has named his side for Benetton on Saturday.

Jordan Larmour; Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Joe Tomane, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (capt), Luke McGrath;

Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Michael Bent, Scott Fardy, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin.

O'Loughlin gets the 23 shirt and with his performances to date is a great asset on the bench. Deegan and Doris trading places each week for the back row.

Doris and Ronan Kelleher will both make their European debuts.
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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 16 Nov 2019, 11:03 pm

Fair play to Ronan Kelleher - he gets another try on his European debut and was in the running for man of the match. But Ringrose deserved it.

Good to see that Henshaw made it onto the pitch because of Tomane's last-minute withdrawal.

The game was a bit spotty overall but the team played well even with the returning internationals clunking into the established patterns that have been put in place. Porter did very well and is gradually reaching the level of Furlong where the two can become interchangeable as the starting TH. Van der Flier put himself about a fair bit, although the unfortunate Doris had to leave earlier than planned. I suspect that this season will see Rob Kearney slowly being eased out as his contract only runs until end of season, and Larmour is proving himself adept for the big occasion matches.

The trip to Lyon should be interesting although we'll know more once the match tomorrow between them and Northampton is complete.
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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:30 am

So Lyon got hammered last weekend. They're at home this week against the boys in blue. Will they be looking for revenge?

Squad injury update from Leinster is:

Joe Tomane will be further assessed on his hamstring before a final decision is made on his involvement this weekend.

Caelan Doris’ head injury means he's following the Graduated Return to Play Protocols and is unlikely to be available.

Rory O’Loughlin picked up a shoulder injury - further assessed this week.

Tadhg Furlong has a minor back complaint and will be further assessed.

Robbie Henshaw was a replacement against Benetton and training as normal.

Will Connors has successfully come through the Graduated Return to Play Protocols and is available for selection.

Seán Cronin (neck) will again increase his training load this week but remains unavailable for selection.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 4:22 pm

A few oul test heads in this squad over in France to play Lyon:

15. Rob Kearney (211)
14. Jordan Larmour (40)
13. Garry Ringrose (66)
12. Robbie Henshaw (38)
11. James Lowe (35)
10. Johnny Sexton (161) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (115)
1. Cian Healy (210)
2. Rónan Kelleher (8)
3. Tadhg Furlong (102)
4. Scott Fardy (49)
5. James Ryan (32)
6. Rhys Ruddock (163)
7. Josh van der Flier (74)
8. Max Deegan (53)

16. James Tracy (99)
17. Ed Byrne (46)
18. Andrew Porter (55)
19. Devin Toner (237)
20. Josh Murphy (26)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (77)
22. Ross Byrne (77)
23. Dave Kearney (140)

Cullen not taking any chances then.

Injuries
Cronin and Abdaladze in the front row
Leavy, Conan, Doris in the backrow.
O’Loughlin, McFadden, Tomane, Daly in backline.

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 4:59 pm

It's a French team at home so they'll be a different beast than when travelling... I hope not... Whistle

Quite an anomaly it would appear in Top14 to have Lyon on top, especially with the hammering they got last week.

Someone more in tune with regular viewings of Top14 might be in a position to explain it.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 10:42 pm

Only noticed that it’s an all French weekend for the provinces.
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Post by Pot Hale on Sun 01 Dec 2019, 6:23 pm

Great result for the Boys in blue last night at Scotstoun where they hadn't won in a few seasons.

Must have particularly pleasing for a good few of the players as well - many of whom played together in the match against Zebre in late October and just about came away with a dreadful 3-0 win

With such a mix and match side, it was a good chance to see the depth that Leinster are continuing to build and who might be coming through in the next year or so as some of the older heads finally have to call time.


LH: Cian Healy (32) remains the first choice.   Ed Byrne (26) off the bench at loosehead is coming through well against the likes of  Dooley (25), and Porter (23) able to deputise there as well. Michael Milne has had a tryout from the academy.  
Hooker: Sean Cronin (33) the first choice but inj.   Ronan Kelleher (20) has come through from academy to get to the top of the rank, and might even be in with a shout for the 6N at some point.  James Tracey (28) and Brian Byrne are good backups.  
Tighthead:  Tadgh Furlong (27) the incumbent.  Benty (33) is long in the tooth and may be on his last season.  Abdaladze (23) seems to have stalled somewhat.  Jack Aungier is in final academy year.  But Porter is the obvious next cab on the rank.

Lock:  Scott Fardy (35) is on his last season and Devin Toner (33) is only central contracted until end of season too - he's second in line to Gordon Darcy for the most Leinster caps, but at 20 less, he'd need another season to beat the record.  That's a lot of experience potentially going out the door.   It'll put James Ryan into the driving seat and possibly as captain as well for next season.   Ross Molony is a capable deputy and captain during the season.   He'll likely have Oisin Dowling who's in third/final academy year with Ryan Baird and  Jack Dunne still only in 2nd academy year.   Leinster may look for someone to come in if both Fardy and Toner are gone.  You sense that Toner could get an extension for another year to help with the juniors.

Backroow - we're flying.   Probably vd Flier and Ruddock the incumbents with Leavy out injured.  Conan the older head at No. 8.  But with Deegan, Doris, Connors (very impressive against Glasgow with 25 tackles and none missed), Penny, and Josh Murphy, the machine keeps churning them out.

Scrum-half:  Luke McGrath the incumbent. Gibson-Park now residency-qualified is straining at the leash to get considered in the Spring for 6N against Murray, McGrath, Marmion, Cooney, and Caolin Blade.   An embarrassment of riches for Farrell to consider.   Hugh O'Sullivan and Rowan Osbourne are the other Leinster choices but well down the ranking.

Outhalf:  Sexton the incumbent, but no doubt, Farrell will want to start promoting others and Ross Byrne continues to press his case within Leinster as well for test matches.  Ciarán Frawley may start to fret about getting game time, as Ross' younger brother, Harry is coming fast up the track.   Possible move for Frawley to another province perhaps at some point?  Munster are stocked well enough, do Ulster or more possibly Connacht need a back-up?  Horwitz over in Connacht is not playing much (6 caps since he arrived last season) and young Conor Fitzgerald (22) has done well enough to displace Carty as the starting 10.

Centres:   Henshaw and Ringrose the first-choice.   Joe Tomane (29) is in his second and last season - he won't get a renewal.  That leaves O'Loughlin, Conor O'Brien, Jimmy O'Brien, fighting it out, and may be joined next season by either or both of Tommy O'Brien and Gavin Mullin as next cabs off the rank for development contracts with the senior squad.  Haven't seen enough of them yet to have an opinion.

Back three:   Incumbents?  Rob Kearney living on borrowed time in his last central contract year.  But with four Heineken Cups, 5 PRO 14 titles, 1 Challenge Cup, 4 6N titles incl 2 slams, and a couple of Lions tours in SA and Oz, the 2012 European Player of the Year may figure he's done enough by next June, particularly if he can add to that tally this season.

Jordan Larmour is the heir apparent, but young Ireland 7s Hugo Keenan is coming through rapidly .   Cian Kelleher is the other nominated full-back.  On the wings, McFadden and Dave Kearney are the old heads, with McFadden (33) likely to be having his swansong season.  Adam Byrne, the much underrated Barry Daly, and of course, James Lowe.  Lowe's 3 year contract ends this season, and he won't qualify until mid-November next season, so there should be some news about him in the near future.  Jack Kelly is in his 4th year in the academy and is next in line to come up, but he hasn't had much game time - wait and see.

All in all, the team looks in good shape.  If Toner, Gibson Park and Lowe stay on, then arguably Leinster could have an all Irish-qualified squad next season with no need for further foreign players to come in.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 10:14 am

Good write up Pot.

Lock doesn't seem quite so well prepared on the production line compared to the other positions. I could see them trying to bring Fardy and Toner through for an extra season, it would give them flexibility.

Being close to an all irish-qualified squad next season, if we were to bring in a foreign player you'd have to think it's around the lock position as Ryan's minutes will be managed very tightly outside of Test games and HC / playoff matches.

Molony is becoming the poorer version of Cullen, key club guy but where Cullen was up to HC grade (and could 'do a job at Test level') Molony is up to Top14 grade (and can 'do a job at HC level').

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 3:53 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Good write up Pot.

Lock doesn't seem quite so well prepared on the production line compared to the other positions. I could see them trying to bring Fardy and Toner through for an extra season, it would give them flexibility.

Being close to an all irish-qualified squad next season, if we were to bring in a foreign player you'd have to think it's around the lock position as Ryan's minutes will be managed very tightly outside of Test games and HC / playoff matches.

Molony is becoming the poorer version of Cullen, key club guy but where Cullen was up to HC grade (and could 'do a job at Test level') Molony is up to Top14 grade (and can 'do a job at HC level').

Did you mean Top14 or PRO14? 😃
Agree about Molony - but seen as a very reliable club head and captain.
I think they can only afford to keep one lock or else the newbies won’t get the game time.

Ideally - at a national level - one of them could go to Connacht but I don’t think that’s a runner.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 4:13 pm

Pot Hale wrote:All in all, the team looks in good shape.  If Toner, Gibson Park and Lowe stay on, then arguably Leinster could have an all Irish-qualified squad next season with no need for further foreign players to come in.

Given that Leinster's 2nd team have been dominating the league, that's an impressive feat. Imagine if they also kept the players they gave away to other provinces...

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 02 Dec 2019, 9:36 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:All in all, the team looks in good shape.  If Toner, Gibson Park and Lowe stay on, then arguably Leinster could have an all Irish-qualified squad next season with no need for further foreign players to come in.

Given that Leinster's 2nd team have been dominating the league, that's an impressive feat. Imagine if they also kept the players they gave away to other provinces...
It wouldn't make sense to do so Mikey.

If they keep them, then they stifle the growth and output of the academy.  Jordi Murphy simply wasn't getting the game time.  O'Brien was too crocked.  Heaslip retired through injury.   Carbery being used at 15 instead of 10, etc, etc.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 12:18 am

I know, I was just highlighting the strength in depth. All these were very good players and they've moved on, and up come able replacements.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 9:19 am

Second string seem to be genuinely playing better than the first string, as it were; and there is perhaps good reasons for that given how much more the non International contingent have been together as a cohesive unit pre-season and into the conferences.  
But a spade is still a spade - and if they are a smoother engine right now then that is what they are. So perhaps Leo should let himself fully appreciate it and the 2nd string should get the bulk of European rugby for the time being whilst the First string bring themselves more up to speed and sharpness by taking on Pro14 duties?

Heresy Fly!!!!!!!!  Damn you!

Calm down you fellow Lady chaps! It was merely a pondering kweskin Wink

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Post by profitius on Tue 03 Dec 2019, 10:49 am

If you've a squad strong enough then the second team can be as good as the first. I'm not saying Leinster's seconds would beat their firsts but there are some players who could be better than the firsts at least on form. Gibson-Park Vs McGrath, Porter Vs Furlong, Henshaw Vs other centers, Keenan Vs Kearney etc.


So while Leinster had a good win in Glasgow, I don't think Glasgow should be embarrassed by it. Especially considering they had a heavier schedule lately while the Leinster lads were fresher.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 12:46 pm

Cullen has named his squad for the match vs Northampton in the Heineken:
Gibson Park gets rewarded for his form as does the young fella, Kelleher, at hooker.   Rob Kearney on the bench must be a new feeling for him - he hasn't worn the 23 shirt for much of his career.  Porter's start to the season sees him get ahead of Furlong who makes up a strong bench.  Fardy and Deegan are good reinforcements to call on.


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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 1:57 pm

I like the look of that side. Saints are a good team this season so this will be a tough fixture.

This feels more like the big boi older wiser heads for the trip away to try and sneak a canny win on the road. Mightn't be high scoring, but Leinster have enough there to put up a fight.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 1:58 pm

These double headers for all of the provinces probably drive a lot of who Farrell picks as no.8 for the 6Ns. Who can do it on the road/at home over the course of a week? (I'm talking all provinces here).

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Post by SecretFly on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 9:54 pm

Pot Hale wrote: Rob Kearney on the bench must be a new feeling for him - he hasn't worn the 23 shirt for much of his career.  

As you said, that's not exactly a bench that you'd be embarrassed sitting on....so no blushes for Kearney yet, the charmed bastereaud!

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 4:05 am

I've been doing a bit of analysis on Leinster and Northampton squads around playing times given their double header and Boyd's comments about Leinster players being rested the week before the first match.

Leinster have played 11 games so far, Northampton have played 9.

Leinster have used 29 players in the 4 Euro matches to date, and Northampton 35.

Leinster use more players (17) to play all 4 matches, whereas Saints use the most players for 3 matches (11).
Leinster used 7 players who hadn't played league matches due to RWC or injury.
Northampton only used 4.

The average number of league games played per Euro squad is 3.1 (L) vs 3.2 (S)
The average number of euro games is Leinster 3.2 vs Saints 2.6 due to difference in number of players used.

When it comes to average minutes played, the differences are a little more striking.
The average minutes played by each player involved in both PRO14 and Euro is 341 mins for Leinster players against Saints players in Prem and Euro average of 292 mins.

For the top 10 most minutes players in each squad it is very equal but spread over different number of matches. They range from:
436 -631 minutes - Saints across 7-8 games
432-640 minutes - Leinster across 8-11 games

The highest in each squad are two wingers with 8 games each playing nearly all of the games - James Lowe and Tom Collins. The second highest is the test lock with the incredible engine is next, Devin Toner on 634 mins.

At this stage of the season, the clock is higher overall with Leinster but that will likely change over the Xmas break and the next round of European matches.
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Post by profitius on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 9:44 am

Pot Hale wrote:I've been doing a bit of analysis on Leinster and Northampton squads around playing times given their double header and Boyd's comments about Leinster players being rested the week before the first match.

Leinster have played 11 games so far, Northampton have played 9.

Leinster have used 29 players in the 4 Euro matches to date, and Northampton 35.

Leinster use more players (17) to play all 4 matches, whereas Saints use the most players for 3 matches (11).
Leinster used 7 players who hadn't played league matches due to RWC or injury.
Northampton only used 4.

The average number of league games played per Euro squad is 3.1 (L) vs 3.2 (S)
The average number of euro games is Leinster 3.2 vs Saints 2.6 due to difference in number of players used.

When it comes to average minutes played, the differences are a little more striking.
The average minutes played by each player involved in both PRO14 and Euro is 341 mins for Leinster players against Saints players in Prem and Euro average of 292 mins.

For the top 10 most minutes players in each squad it is very equal but spread over different number of matches. They range from:
436 -631 minutes - Saints across 7-8 games
432-640 minutes - Leinster across 8-11 games

The highest in each squad are two wingers with 8 games each playing nearly all of the games - James Lowe and Tom Collins. The second highest is the test lock with the incredible engine is next, Devin Toner on 634 mins.

At this stage of the season, the clock is higher overall with Leinster but that will likely change over the Xmas break and the next round of European matches.


Good work there, Pot. The narrative is taking a bashing.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 12:22 pm

12th senior game of the season and so far, it's all been wins with the 3-0 win in Zebre the closest call so far.



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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 7:48 pm

Good start by both teams. Looking lively.

7-7 after 11 mins.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 7:50 pm

Gibson park showing signs of being on his 12th match.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 7:54 pm

Scott Penny gets over the line. And converted.

14-7.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 7:55 pm

Jeez - Faddes nearly took O’Brien’s head off there.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 7:56 pm

On review, O’Brien slipped. But Faddes still gets a yellow.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 8:02 pm

Penny in for his second whilst Ulster down to 14.

Lyttle taken off.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 8:06 pm

Harry Byrne steering the ship well. Lovely cross field kick to Henshaw who goes over for the bonus point try.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 8:15 pm

Dave Shanahan giving it socks for Ulster.

And Matt Faddes picks up a loose ball and goes 60m to score.

28-14 after 37 mins.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 8:19 pm

McFadden gets one back on FT.

33-14. angel Doh Ale


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Post by Brendan on Fri 20 Dec 2019, 10:23 pm

Ulster will be happy to pick up a TBP. Considering their team Ulster did well and a good sign for the future.

It's the closest game Leinster have had in the league at home in a while

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