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Ulster Rugby 2020/2021

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Post by neilthom7 Thu 04 Feb 2021, 8:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

Thought it was time for an update on the thread so this is the new all things Ulster thread.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 10 Nov 2021, 1:08 pm

About £6.1m down from £6.8m for 20/21.

Big drop in NIQ player contracts - down to 2 players.
Players across the board have taken salary cuts, sometimes sizeable.
Inclusive of central contracts (only 2 players)
Rory retired

Unlike the Premiership that is everything - no International or Home Grown credits and no
exclusion of 2 players. We do have exceptions to cover injuries

We used to match the best in the salary levels in the Premiership, bar Saracens - those days are long gone.

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Post by PhilBB Wed 10 Nov 2021, 4:23 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:About £6.1m down from £6.8m for 20/21.

Big drop in NIQ player contracts - down to 2 players.
Players across the board have taken salary cuts, sometimes sizeable.
Inclusive of central contracts (only 2 players)
Rory retired

Unlike the Premiership that is everything - no International or Home Grown credits and no
exclusion of 2 players. We do have exceptions to cover injuries

We used to match the best in the salary levels in the Premiership, bar Saracens - those days are long gone.

So of the €40m+ spent by the IRFU on coach and player wages, you reckon Ulster got €7.1m for player wages?
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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 10 Nov 2021, 5:44 pm

Well 40 million euro is about £34 million.
I would suggest that Munster are around £7 million, Connacht around £5.5 million, Leinster around £8.5 million.
That is a total of £27 million.

Ulster have reduced their salary bill by more than 10% as I mentioned previously.
So I would suggest your figure of £34 million is out of date and that if a similar cut has occurred across the board your figure is closer to £29 million.

The balance, of £2 million could be explained by coaches, not assigned to particular provinces

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Post by PhilBB Thu 11 Nov 2021, 10:00 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Well 40 million euro is about £34 million.
I would suggest that Munster are around £7 million, Connacht around £5.5 million, Leinster around £8.5 million.
That is a total of £27 million.

Ulster have reduced their salary bill by more than 10% as I mentioned previously.
So I would suggest your figure of £34 million is out of date and that if a similar cut has occurred across the board your figure is closer to £29 million.

The balance, of £2 million could be explained by coaches, not assigned to particular provinces

Leinster's salary bill is known to be €14m.

The 10% cut across the board will need to be repaid, now?
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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 11 Nov 2021, 3:07 pm

Who knows this is Leinster's salary bill, and how do they know it ??

Given the salary cut that has occurred across the board that paradoxically means
we are left with (posting in £ not euros) £29 million (total salary bill for 21/22, as opposed to the higher
figure you quoted from, I assume is 19/20)- £2 million(non Provincial based contracts) - £12 million(Leinster) =
£15 million pounds across 3 provinces.

So is the contention that Ulster's salary bill is infact considerably less than the £6.1 million I stated?

Also the 10% will need to be paid by who to who ?
At Ulster the players took a voluntary wage cut, with the highest paid taking the biggest cut, so
that none of the squad were made redundant which was the alternative.
I suspect it was a similar situation in all provinces.

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Post by PhilBB Fri 12 Nov 2021, 4:56 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Who knows this is Leinster's salary bill, and how do they know it ??

Given the salary cut that has occurred across the board that paradoxically means
we are left with (posting in £ not euros) £29 million (total salary bill for 21/22, as opposed to the higher
figure you quoted from, I assume is 19/20)- £2 million(non Provincial based contracts) - £12 million(Leinster)  =
£15 million pounds across 3 provinces.

So is the contention that Ulster's salary bill is infact considerably less than the £6.1 million I stated?

Also the 10% will need to be paid by who to who ?
At Ulster the players took a voluntary wage cut, with the highest paid taking the biggest cut, so
that none of the squad were made redundant which was the alternative.
I suspect it was a similar situation in all provinces.

Today's IRFU annual report shows the total spend on player and coach salaries for 20/21 to be €65.3m

I think you may need to review those figures.
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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Nov 2021, 5:48 pm

Link please

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Nov 2021, 6:00 pm

Ulster rugby salary bill for 17/18 was £5.1 million.
That comes from the mouth of an ex International Ulster player.
It is higher now but not fantastically so.
I think you need to provide evidence, and context,  for your figures.

You earlier quoted a figure of 40 million euro, which I assume was for 19/20.
We know that salaries have gone down since then but apparently the figure is now north of 60 million euro. Headscratch

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 12 Nov 2021, 6:52 pm

Actually it shows that 65.3 million euro's as Player and Management costs for the professional game, which as far I am lead to believe is not solely salaries for players/coaches at the provinces.

That includes 27 million euros of special covid funding for the provinces so in all likelihood player salaries have dropped since they do say in the annual report from earlier this year that 10% reductions had been agreed with rugby players Ireland.

Although they don't ever specifically mention salaries so hard to say for sure I would guess that Geoff is not far off the mark

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Post by clivemcl Fri 12 Nov 2021, 11:55 pm

What exactly is the point PhilBB is getting at? We overpay players who underperform?

Any merit to that? We have, held on to many a player I guess, despite not producing the silverware. I guess I just always assumed they felt at him with Ulster, or were loyal. Is there a chance we are just known as being good paying employees?

I'm not so sure... but I'd be keen to here other's respond to PhilBB's original comment on that.

I think, we can quite handily claim we still aren't producing enough players, but I do also think, we are far too eager to claim our youngsters to be great before we really know. And particularly when it comes to home grown - I think we have a lower standard for 'top tier' than we have talking about rugby as a whole.

Stockdale, Henderson and Herring are the 'top' Ireland players we have and yet, even they can be lacklustre at times. No?

Yes, a squad needs to have a good standard and abundance of 'squad players', and yet, when it comes to the highest level (international) our 'stars' are the 'squad players' there...

Rory Best perhaps has been the only star among the stars - in the top echelon - type player in modern rugby. Maybe Bowe also (but mostly when he was at Ospreys not Ulster) - the rest have been in and out, not consistent starters, often getting starts due to necessity via injuries or opportunities against weaker sides. Am I wrong?


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Post by neilthom7 Sat 13 Nov 2021, 10:45 am

I think those are all fair questions Clive, heres my take.

On the loyalty thing I do think Ulster have either by luck or by design done well with loyal players coming in. I don't think it's been all about money for most of the players who have came in.

I think if you look at Piatau, he was one of the best paid Ulster players of all time maybe even the best paid but yet he moved looking for that big contract and so that I think shows that there would be chances for some of these players to move if it was all about the money.

Have Ulster under-performed? I would say no, I'd say they have performed about where they are. I'd say over the last 10 years or so they have been the 2nd-4th best team in terms of squad, coaching etc in the Celtic Rugby/PRO landscape. For the most part thats where they have finished in the league etc and so I'd say they performed about right.

The exception to that for me was when they had that great squad for a year or 2 with Muller, Best, Pienaar, Trimble, Payne etc I think they should have done better then and should have won something. Also last year the performance in the Champions cup was disappointing.

But we have been in an unprecedented era of dominance from Leinster and so that has to be factored in too.

That's not to say things are perfect, the end of the Logan era was a shambles, we had the issue off the field with Jackson and Olding and the academy still is too focused on some select schools rather than branching out to other areas (albeit that has improved recently a little bit)

More needs to be done on that front as we cant afford to lose out on players, Dublin alone has a population of around 2 million which is bigger than around 7-8 of the Ulster counties put together so the focus has to be expanded to get the most out of the whole of Ulster.

That is one area we do need to focus on, for everything anyone says about Leinster and their wage budget etc, the vast majority of their players have come from their academy, its a part they have really got right and spent well on.

Coaching for the senior team will also be a big factor in the future, right now you have some young promising players O'Toole, O'Sullivan, Izzy, Doak, Hume and Baloucoune all have potential to be future Irish starters but how they proceed forward will be down to their attitude and to the coaching they receive so getting that right is also of high priority for Ulster as too many of our players with potential have stalled out and never quite got to their best over the last ten years.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 13 Nov 2021, 11:07 am

Firstly Neil thanks for the figures they sound about right

65.3 - 27 = 37.7 million euro, roughly £32 million pounds.
I guested £29 million.
Then it occurred to me that £2 million was nowhere near enough to cover all coaches, at all levels + the administration,
so I would suggest my figures of:
Munster £7 million, Connacht £5.5 million, Leinster £8.5 million Ulster £6.1 million are close to the mark.
Leinster may be nudging £9 million with central contract.
The suggested figure of £12 million is absurd

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 13 Nov 2021, 11:27 am

Clive great questions and I, broadly, agree with Neil's reply.

Loyalty, players not wanting to leave home, prospect of an Ireland call up all play a factor in not being attracted by bigger wages for some players. Perhaps the best example is a NIQ player - Ruan Pienaer who turned down a doubling of his salary to move to Toulon. Look at the thanks he got for that from the IRFU steam
Others play like Afoa and Piatau came for the money and as soon as they got better offers they were off.

I think we have produced enough backs but our forward production line has been, quite frankly, pathetic.
We are most certainly guilty of over rating the prospects of our players coming through.
For the sake of clarity my take on the potential of those we have in the works is as follows:

Have the ability to be Ireland regulars - Izzy, Doak, Baloucoune
Solid Provincial level jury still out on International potential - Hume, Moore, O'Toole
Early days but exciting prospects - Reid
Very Early days but real potential - Sheridan , Stewart
Not good enough for International level - McCann, Marcus Rea, Sexton, Mclroy

Regarding top players in the past you have to include Trimble but above all Ferris.
Ferris and Pienaer are the two players in the last 15 years who were truly World Class
Piatau, at least in an Ulster shirt, came up short.
If you listed the best 10 backrowers to come out of Ulster and Leinster, in that time 9 of them would be Leinster men but Ferris
was better than any of them.

Players can be lacklustre Clive but that is true of all players, at Leinster a player gets a rest and comes back rejuvenated, Hendo has to soldier on. He remains Irelands best lock in my book.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 13 Nov 2021, 11:41 am

A few more points
Regarding not winning things - do not forget the death of Nevin Spence, in the middle of when Ulster were at their best.
He was the most popular player in the squad and it hit everyone to the core.
You could not have met a more decent and genuine human being.

Regarding EOS - I disagree with Neil, I don't see him as regular International material. I do see him as a 100% committed player who will give years of top service to the Province.

The reality of our squad is it is very young, it is only 39 full professionals and 6 development contracts (albeit they are all guaranteed full contracts next year). This is smaller than virtually all English squads.
We also have some very weak players
Milasinovich is not cutting it, Dave O'Connor doesn't belong at this level, Carter will be leaving, Roberts will be leaving, Coney may well leave, Jones and the Rea's are not good enough.
Add in the injury track records of McGrath, Marshall and Anderson and we have a lot of rebuilding to do

The backrow is a huge cause of concern - what do we have:
Vermuelan - he is quite good  Very Happy
Reidy, Murphy - now decent provincial level players, international days are over, both the wrong side of 30 and not much in evidence so far.
McCann decent prospect but not looking as good as some hoped
Rea x2, Jones, Allison - not good enough
Sheridan great prospect never played
Crothers - way to early to tell

That is a very weak set up - Essentially we have Vermuelan, Reidy, Murphy, McCann to play and occupy the bench - after that is players not good enough, or kids

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 14 Nov 2021, 3:52 pm

My assessment for next year and NIQ is

Carter out, Roberts out

We will looked to sign 2/3 to cover TH, back row and 10/15.

The TH and the 10/15 will be based on an assessment on where we think Moore and Madigan are

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Post by neilthom7 Sun 14 Nov 2021, 4:00 pm

Yeah those are the positions that need reinforcing for sure, do you think it is likely we would be allowed another NIQ backrow since we have Vermuelen or would they be trying to get in another IQ player

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 14 Nov 2021, 4:39 pm

The preferred option from a IRFU perspective would be an IQ player but given how weak we are I suspect it would be allowed.


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Post by neilthom7 Sun 14 Nov 2021, 6:17 pm

We could take that guy Caelan Doris off Leinsters hands since they probably have too many backrows, ease their burden a bit Wink

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Post by clivemcl Mon 15 Nov 2021, 11:32 am

Does Ulster's recent history of signings from other provinces actually encourage more moves or less?
Unfortunately, even though solid, the cast offs from other provinces haven't used their opportunity at Ulster to get themselves in the international election discussion have they? Maybe I'm wrong.

Cooney, would technically be a major success story minus the glaring omission of international selection.

Have we lost our ability to market ourselves as the place for Leinster/Munster backups, to get more starts and muscle their way into the international selection discussion?

I think the best we can hope for is to sign IQ players who are missing out entirely. Those who are getting subs bench, or being rotated in and out of the first team are surely very unlikely to see the merits of starting at Ulster.

No? Have we just become the place where washed up Irish players go to enjoy a few more years of club games before they retire?

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Post by PhilBB Mon 15 Nov 2021, 1:31 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Ulster rugby salary bill for 17/18 was £5.1 million.
That comes from the mouth of an ex International Ulster player.
It is higher now but not fantastically so.
I think you need to provide evidence, and context,  for your figures.

You earlier quoted a figure of 40 million euro, which I assume was for 19/20.
We know that salaries have gone down since then but apparently the figure is now north of 60 million euro. Headscratch

That £5.1m was the recharge bit, wasn't it?

The evidence for my figures is in the recently released IRFU accounts. The link is on the IRFU website.
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Post by PhilBB Mon 15 Nov 2021, 1:32 pm

neilthom7 wrote:Actually it shows that 65.3 million euro's as Player and Management costs for the professional game, which as far I am lead to believe is not solely salaries for players/coaches at the provinces.

That includes 27 million euros of special covid funding for the provinces so in all likelihood player salaries have dropped since they do say in the annual report from earlier this year that 10% reductions had been agreed with rugby players Ireland.

Although they don't ever specifically mention salaries so hard to say for sure I would guess that Geoff is not far off the mark

What are the other costs for players and coaches?
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Post by PhilBB Mon 15 Nov 2021, 1:33 pm

clivemcl wrote:What exactly is the point PhilBB is getting at? We overpay players who underperform?

The IRFU pays heavily and Ulster are under performers, therefore.
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Post by PhilBB Mon 15 Nov 2021, 1:35 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Firstly Neil thanks for the figures they sound about right

65.3 - 27 = 37.7 million euro, roughly £32 million pounds.
I guested £29 million.
Then it occurred to me that £2 million was nowhere near enough to cover all coaches, at all levels + the administration,
so I would suggest my figures of:
Munster £7 million, Connacht £5.5 million, Leinster £8.5 million Ulster £6.1 million are close to the mark.
Leinster may be nudging £9 million with central contract.
The suggested figure of £12 million is absurd

The costs "at all levels and administration" are accounted for differently in the IRFU annual report

So your figures are miles off the mark.

https://twitter.com/RuaidhriOC/status/1443127439685824516?s=20

See that twitter exchange.
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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Nov 2021, 2:06 pm

Stay in your fancy world Phil
Ulster have 38 full time contracts, 6 development contracts, 12 Academy contracts.

The development and Academy contracts come to 400,000 tops
By my figures that leaves £5.7 million for 38 full time professionals
or £150,000 for the average contract.




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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Nov 2021, 2:10 pm

Absolutely classic you are using your own twitter posts as evidence of your argument Rolling Eyes

When asked to back it up your argument is that someone on twitter has put it across as fact
That person is 'you' !!

Please supply evidence from someone other than yourself !

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Post by PhilBB Mon 15 Nov 2021, 3:01 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Stay in your fancy world Phil
Ulster have 38 full time contracts, 6 development contracts, 12 Academy contracts.

The development and Academy contracts come to 400,000 tops
By my figures that leaves £5.7 million for 38 full time professionals
or £150,000 for the average contract.




I don't know what you mean by "Stay in your fancy world", sorry.

If you think the Ulster share of well over €40m is so low, so be it.
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Post by PhilBB Mon 15 Nov 2021, 3:01 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Absolutely classic you are using your own twitter posts as evidence of your argument  Rolling Eyes

When asked to back it up your argument is that someone on twitter has put it across as fact
That person is 'you' !!

Please supply evidence from someone other than yourself !

I used the word of the journalist as evidence, Geoff.

You seem to have misunderstood. Very badly.
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Post by neilthom7 Mon 15 Nov 2021, 6:14 pm

PhilBB wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Actually it shows that 65.3 million euro's as Player and Management costs for the professional game, which as far I am lead to believe is not solely salaries for players/coaches at the provinces.

That includes 27 million euros of special covid funding for the provinces so in all likelihood player salaries have dropped since they do say in the annual report from earlier this year that 10% reductions had been agreed with rugby players Ireland.

Although they don't ever specifically mention salaries so hard to say for sure I would guess that Geoff is not far off the mark

What are the other costs for players and coaches?

Well theres the 27 million euro of what is called special covid funding for starters that is included in the figure as stated in the report.

That alone brings it down to 38 million euro, so even if the rest was all salaries for players and coaches and you remove the likely costs for the international coaches its probably close to what Geoff is saying. Also you are assuming players and management costs is only players and coaches, management does not distinguish that it is only coaches but is a broader term that could include other things. Also what way does insurance work etc is that in there too which would not be salaries.

For example what does the special covid funding go on, it's very unlikely that is anything to do with players salaries unless somehow their wages have shot up and almost doubled in the last year when we are told they are likely to have actually dropped a little. So if they have that in there it would be a reasonable assumption they have other stuff in there too. I would ask IRFU direct but I doubt they would tell us

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Post by neilthom7 Mon 15 Nov 2021, 6:26 pm

clivemcl wrote:Does Ulster's recent history of signings from other provinces actually encourage more moves or less?
Unfortunately, even though solid, the cast offs from other provinces haven't used their opportunity at Ulster to get themselves in the international election discussion have they? Maybe I'm wrong.

Cooney, would technically be a major success story minus the glaring omission of international selection.

Have we lost our ability to market ourselves as the place for Leinster/Munster backups, to get more starts and muscle their way into the international selection discussion?

I think the best we can hope for is to sign IQ players who are missing out entirely. Those who are getting subs bench, or being rotated in and out of the first team are surely very unlikely to see the merits of starting at Ulster.

No? Have we just become the place where washed up Irish players go to enjoy a few more years of club games before they retire?

I think by and large most of the people who came to Ulster had already fallen out of international selection and were unlikely to get back in. Moore has been good for Ulster and secured our srcums well so I'd say he is a success, Cooney obviously should be playing for Ireland, Jordi Murphy has been fairly average and not got back in the ireland squad because of the deluge of high quality back rowers. The real disappointment for me has been McGrath who has been a fairly constant injury issue and has not demonstrated any real quality games for Ulster (albeit the injury issues won't have helped for that)

I think in terms of it players would have to decide can they get enough game time at Leinster to make it worth it, that may change over time as we play less games during international breaks etc but for now a lot of guys who are close to the 23 would prefer to take that chance since they have a higher likelihood of being selected when they play in Leinster and therefore its only players who don't believe they can get those minutes or someone who is unhappy sitting on bench for long periods.

I don't necessarily think its Ulster record with players that will stop them coming north more likely they prefer to stay closer to home and think they are more likely to get selected for Ireland playing for Leinster which is true to be fair, until that changes and people are getting selected more elsewhere guys will take their chances in Leinster

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Nov 2021, 7:30 pm

PhilBB wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Stay in your fancy world Phil
Ulster have 38 full time contracts, 6 development contracts, 12 Academy contracts.

The development and Academy contracts come to 400,000 tops
By my figures that leaves £5.7 million for 38 full time professionals
or £150,000 for the average contract.




I don't know what you mean by "Stay in your fancy world", sorry.

If you think the Ulster share of well over €40m is so low, so be it.

First it was 40 million euro, then it was 63 million euro, now it is back to 40 million euro so be it.

As I explained there have been wage cuts across the board in Ireland, and I suspect elsewhere.
From what Neil posted we probably down to 36 million.
That is £30.5 million.

As I mentioned that quite reasonable breaks down to something like:
Leinster something like £8.5 to £9 million
Munster something like £7 to £7.5 million
Ulster £6.1 million
Connacht £5.5 million
Coaching contracts the rest

That puts Munster near the top of the Premiership and Ulster somewhere near the bottom

What so hard to understand?

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Nov 2021, 7:37 pm

I don’t think that you can talk of Ulster taking players washed up at Leinster.

We have only taken two full professionals from Leinster Murphy and McGrath
MCGrath has hardly played and Murphy knew his international career was over.
We haven’t taken any one of note from directly, or indirectly, Munster, more the other way.

Coney, Madigan and Moore all come from elsewhere.

Also some of our Leinster signing show a failure of Leinster to sign player who would improve their squad

Izzy, O’ Toole, EOS and Timoney all fit the bill.
I am not saying they would be starters but they are all better than players on Leinster books in their positions.

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Post by clivemcl Tue 16 Nov 2021, 9:37 am

Good points Geoff and Neil!

If you were to browse Leinster's (or Munsters's) squad, which players would you say could do well to come up and have more opportunity to shine at Ulster?

Of course... it's still not the solution we should be hoping for either way. We shouldn't have to rely on the over abundance from other provinces, as Geoff has pointed out before.

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 16 Nov 2021, 11:07 am

Its a good question Clive, for me I'd be looking mostly at Leinster as Munster probably don't have as many top players in terms of squad depth.

Then you would have to rule out starting xv players and anyone who is getting consistent gametime.

The most likely to leave would probably be one of the backrowers or a 10 since they have the 2 Byrnes, sexton and such there.

I'm not sure which of the backrowers wouldn't get as much gametimes once the season had settled down but there would be a few decent options in there if they were so inclined.

As for 10, you would be realistically looking at 1 of the Byrnes and I cant say either would be an upgrade on what we have now

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 16 Nov 2021, 11:31 am

The only 10 who is not a starter who would be a significant upgrade would be Healy and he isn't coming.
Historically there has been very little movement between Ulster and Munster

If anyone comes it would be a Leinster backrower.
Basically are Deegan, Penny and Connors happy as a Leinster reserve or would they prefer a first XV place at Ulster.
Past history suggests the former

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 16 Nov 2021, 1:56 pm

That depth then blocks backrow options coming out of the academy if they keep the current depth intact. Josh Murphy (now more of a lock) would have been another in the muddle along with Ruddock. There won't be the budget to carry that kind of depth in backrow. You can have that depth with early 20s (possibly mid 20s depending on when they move from academy contract onto professional) but once a player is late 20s or hitting that second professional contract it has to be weighed up.  Granted injuries in the backrow helps has the consolation of spreading the minutes around the depth chart, and the more that players in the squad have faith that Leo will go with the form player/hot hand and not default to 'coach's favourites', a larger number are content to stay and keep fighting for their place.
Timoney can be the opportunity for other teams.

I do agree with you on a 10.  I've always thought Frawley would be a class 10, much better playmaker in my eyes than either of the Byrnes, but rotating 2 Byrnes and Sexton to keep them all fresh leaves no time to play and develop Frawley at 10. He'd be a great steal for the likes of Ulster.  Frawley and Doak, the ginger nuts, given playing time together could punch a wildcard combo-option for the RWC. That would be the pitch to Frawley.

Connors, Leavy and VDF probably all look at the injury rate of each other and in their minds think that 1-2 of them don't reach the RWC and the other 1-2 get in the squad.  Penny is outside that conversation, Ulster would benefit from his kind of play, prove yourself with us and usurp the Leinster cohort.

For Deegan, if he sees it as similar to the above, just with him, Doris and Conan then he won't be budged.  However he should be nervous of POM, Coombes, Beirne (and Timoney) being ahead of him, for the RWC, if he wants to make that squad, same as above, Ulster would benefit from his kind of play and get to the top of the 6/8 depth chart.

Just adding, as a Leinster fan I'd prefer to see all of these guys playing in Leinster. Long term for Ulster they need to bring their own through, too many exiles can damage the support and the province too. However if we want a truly competitive Ireland squad going into the RWC, it would be better for Ireland for some of these to happen.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 16 Nov 2021, 3:14 pm

I don't think Ulster supports have an issue with Leinster players who have become professional players within our own ranks.

Timoney, AOC, EOS, Izzy, Jones etc
As I mentioned we have only taken two direct and one of them, McGrath, we never see and he has almost been forgotten.

In the backrow it is a 6 to play alongside Vermuelen and Timoney that we could really do with.
Murphy on the bench, Reidy and McCann as cover

Of course we would prefer our own to Leinster players but I think most would prefer IQ to NIQ regardless of where they come form

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Post by Kingshu Tue 16 Nov 2021, 6:20 pm

My take on this is fringe players don't move away from Leinster as there is no benefit to do so. The National team coaches could change this but they seam happy with the status quo. It counts more for Ireland selection to mange to break into the Leinster team and play 3/4 games while the internationals are away than it does to play regularly in the URC for another province in terms of Ireland selection, this leads to 2 things.
1) players feel getting international recognition is easier if they stay in Leinster and try to get a run of games rather than move and play regularly. Henslce they dont see moving as improving their international chances.
2) as its easier get an international chance, it means more players are called up durning international windows, giving more fringe players gametime and hence a chance to leapfrog someone playing regularly elsewhere.

This is naturally going to change with the new format of the URC, with less games durning international windows it will give Leinster players less opportunity to get gametime while the internationals are away and hence less opportunity to jump ahead of someone elsewhere. Secondly if the Irish mangement team really wanted to encourage player movement for more gametime, they need to put less emphasis on breaking into the Leinster team and more on playing regularly when picking the international squad.

Currently I dont think Irish management want to encourage player movement and think players are better served staying and training with Leinster rather than regular gametime elsewhere, which maybe reflects that they have a lower opinion of the coaching elsewhere, in that training with Leinster is better than playing elsewhere.

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Post by clivemcl Tue 16 Nov 2021, 6:39 pm

You could be right Kingshu.
Perhaps Ireland selection still rates limited gamete at Leinster over regular gamete elsewhere.
How many of the current autumn squad are Leinster players who would arguably be the backup for their position at the club?


(Hopefully this is a good question too - am I on a roll? I think I've found my place - asking questions as opposed to attempting to provide insight! Very Happy )

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Post by Unclear Tue 16 Nov 2021, 8:35 pm

Great discussion. Is it worth selling the experience that can be gained from playing and training with Vermeulen to Penny and Deegan as well? Does the tax situation affect things as well?

Not as good as Clive's questions, bt I'll keep trying ....

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Post by Kingshu Tue 16 Nov 2021, 9:21 pm

clivemcl wrote:You could be right Kingshu.
Perhaps Ireland selection still rates limited gamete at Leinster over regular gamete elsewhere.
How many of the current autumn squad are Leinster players who would arguably be the backup for their position at the club?


(Hopefully this is a good question too - am I on a roll? I think I've found my place - asking questions as opposed to attempting to provide insight! Very Happy )

I make it 6-8
Sheenan, Healy/Porter, is Baird first choice?, same with JVDF, and JGP, Byrne, Frawley and Lamour

About 15-18% of the squad, think most deserve to be called up but for others there are equally as good players playing regularly elsewhere. But Its not just this squad its the different squads over the years meaning that as more Leinster fringe players are picked over the years, they get more caps and it makes them easier to pick again as they are experienced and have credit in the bank where as someone else who didn't get the 50/50 doesn't.

Think we all agree Cooney is a better SH than JGP, but even if the Irish team were to start picking him, it would be difficult for him to push past JGP who now has 14 caps and guided Ireland to victory over the all blacks. He missed out in getting that experience and Credit in the bank. Same could be said for a lot of Ulster and Connacht players.


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Post by Kingshu Tue 23 Nov 2021, 4:14 pm

https://rugby365.com/tournaments/united-rugby-championship/news-united-rugby-championship/stormers-bok-linked-to-europe-move/

According to this Ulster were intrested in signing a new LH, but the release cause put them off.

Wonder if that means that Ulster think JMcG is done? After all with JmcG and EoS why would we be in the market for a LH?

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Post by clivemcl Tue 23 Nov 2021, 4:29 pm

It seems a little odd that this would have come out. I mean, he's not out of contract, so nobody would have been expecting transfer news. Why would Ulster even have spoke to him seriously if he had no early release clause.

These stories always hint at something else. Either his agent wanted to put his name in the shop window, or Ulster wanted world props to know they were out shopping.

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Post by Unclear Tue 23 Nov 2021, 5:10 pm

If McGrath is done we need a replacement and a World Cup winner would be a great addition, but how in the heck could we afford it? And what impact would it have on the rest of the squad?

Reid needs gametime to see his full potential, but Warwick isn't exactly pushing for greater recognition, and O'Sullivan seems to have stalled (carrying a niggle or has he reached his level?), so a top quality LH wouldn't be a bad move. But how much can we afford?

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 23 Nov 2021, 5:28 pm

clivemcl wrote:It seems a little odd that this would have come out. I mean, he's not out of contract, so nobody would have been expecting transfer news. Why would Ulster even have spoke to him seriously if he had no early release clause.

These stories always hint at something else. Either his agent wanted to put his name in the shop window, or Ulster wanted world props to know they were out shopping.

Totally agree, you'd wonder is his agent negotiating with a French club who have put forward a decent salary, and the agent needs to have 'interest from other clubs' in order to get better terms. Just like BOD, Heaslip et al always being linked to 'insert french club name here' 3 months before agreeing a new contract.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 23 Nov 2021, 5:39 pm

As I mentioned I thought they would be looking for TH.

If it’s a LH it says two things to me.
1 They are confident that Tom O’Toole is the real deal and alongside Marty Moore   they are fine at TH
2 Jack McGrath is broken and we need someone to play at LH as EOS is doing all the heavy lifting.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 24 Nov 2021, 9:21 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Contract wise we have:

2022 (18)

Billy Burns, John Cooney, Tom O’Toole, Stuart McCloskey, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Dave Shanahan,
Angus Curtis, Dave O'Connor, Craig Gilroy, Greg Jones, Marcus Rea, James Hume, Eric O'Sullivan, Bradley Roberts, Ross Kane


2023 (26)

Will Addison, Jordi Murphy, Rob Lyttle, Stewart Moore, Jacob Stockdale (cc) Luke Marshall, Alan O’Connor, Robert Baloucoune,
(Aaron Sexton), John Andrew, (Nathan Doak),  Iain Henderson (cc), Rob Herring, Kieran Treadwell, Ian Madigan, Sam Carter,
Nick Timoney, Gareth Milasinovich, Michael Lowry, (Tom Stewart), (Callum Reid), (Ethan McIlroy) , Andrew Warwick, David McCann, (Cormac Izuchukwu), Duane Vermeulen

Those with() around there names have a Year Development contract automatically followed by a 1 year full contract



Quoting myself to ponder next year contract renewals
Firstly I had forgotten Carter is contracted till 2023
As Madigan is also 2023 there will be no NIQ in the backs
I have also been asking around, I think the general assessment Is McGrath is unlikely to come back to the required level.

So we have Cooney who may, or may not leave. If he does I suspect Finlay will be given a full 1 year contract
McGrath retiring to be replaced by a NIQ
Reidy and Moore to be given new contracts
Dave O’Connor to go, especially if Kearney stays
Roberts will be released
Rea x2, Jones, Curtis waiting nervously on whether or not they are retained.
My guess is at least one of the backrowers will go
Allison to be dropped
Sheridan, probably, to be given a development contract, followed by a full contract in 23/24
Those not mentioned to be automatic new contracts
A new player in the back row who could be IQ or NIQ

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Post by Kingshu Wed 24 Nov 2021, 11:03 am

Wonder if a move will be made again for IQ Tom Willis?

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 25 Nov 2021, 10:20 am

He signed a contract in 2020 - no idea how long.
If it was 2 years worth a go, especially if Eddie doesn't pick him for the 6N squad.
Back in for Deegan ?

Sounds like Irish squad guys might be away, if so some seriously understrength sides.
Worst case scenario gives us a side of:

EOS, Andrew, Moore, Carter, AOC, Reidy, McCann, Rea, Cooney, Burns, McIlroy, Curtis, Moore, Gilroy, Lowry
Bench: Warwick, Stewart, Kane, Treadwell, Jones, Doak, Madigan, Lyttle

Assumes Ulster injury update is accurate and all Irish squad players are not available.
Mind you Leinster will be missing a few !

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Post by Kingshu Thu 25 Nov 2021, 11:28 am

Herring and McCloskey can be added, as the Munster squad traveling to SA includes Zebo and Coombs so it appears players that got zero minutes will be allowed to play.

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Post by Maine man Thu 25 Nov 2021, 12:29 pm

What are the timescales for the injured players to return?

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