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Ulster Rugby 2022/2023

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Pot Hale
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WELL-PAST-IT
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Ulster Rugby 2022/2023 - Page 15 Empty Ulster Rugby 2022/2023

Post by neilthom7 Thu Feb 04, 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.


Last edited by neilthom7 on Tue Aug 30, 2022 8:21 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by clivemcl Sun May 01, 2022 1:23 am

Just caught up on the game. I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep after that with the adrenaline flowing.

We were telling the young boys at minis on Thursday night 'defence wins matches'.

Tonight was a prime example. Edinburgh threw everything at us. (made a good few mistakes at crucial moments which I'm thankful for) but fantastic effort and desire for the win at the end.


Sorry to end on a negative note - but still looking a little blunt in terms of creating opportunities of late. If we are to have any chance of going further, the home advantage would certainly come in useful.

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Post by Unclear Sun May 01, 2022 10:59 am

It wasn't pretty, but it was a win which was what was needed most. Not sure what was going on with a lot of the box kicking, Boffeli was very solid and we weren't really competing for many, just turning possession back to them. Thank goodness they botched those excellent chances in first quarter otherwise it would have been a hell of a chase to get backing the game. We can't expect many other teams to mess up such clear chances in the future.

I thought Matty Rea and Timoney played well again, and while Vermeulen was okay there wasn't much of the "World Cup winner" about him. I hope as he continues to settle in and gets a rest over the summer so we see him at his best next season.

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Post by Old Man Sun May 01, 2022 12:15 pm

Vermeulen is past his best, I don't think he is there to be just a player, I think he is at Ulster for the leadership and experience his brings. Whilst he might be over his physical peak his knowledge and defensive organisation is top class

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Post by neilthom7 Sun May 01, 2022 2:18 pm

I agree with Old Man on that, when he was signed that was something that was heavily pushed.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon May 02, 2022 10:44 am

Vermeulen has been a disappointment.
A step down from Coetzee.
Age has caught up with him.

For the first time in years Ulster will go into a season without a single key NIQ player and as mentioned elsewhere
if wages have to be cut further then 2023-24 could easily be a season with no NIQ and no project players on the books

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Post by Maine man Thu May 05, 2022 2:50 pm

Ulster ‘A’ team to play Munster, Friday 6 May at University of Limerick, 3pm kick-off:
(15-9) Shea O’Brien (City of Armagh), Conor Rankin (Ballynahinch), Angus Curtis (Malone), Ben Carson (Banbridge), Aaron Sexton (Malone), James Humphreys (Queen’s University), Conor McKee (Queen’s University);

(1-8) Callum Reid (Banbridge), James McCormick (Ballymena), Scott Wilson (Queen’s University), Harry Sheridan (Trinity College), Cormac Izuchukwu (Ballynahinch), James McNabney (Ballymena), Reuben Crothers (Ballynahinch), David McCann (Banbridge) (Capt.).

Replacements: Jack Boal (Belfast Harlequins), George Saunderson (Queen’s University), Joe Charles (Ballynahinch), Adam McNamee (Malone), Paddy Browne (Ballymena), James Wright (Ballymena), Ethan Graham (Monaghan / Belfast Met), Reece Malone (Loughborough University/IQ Rugby).
Recognise a few names. Is this Cormac Izuchukwu first game back after injury?

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Post by neilthom7 Mon May 09, 2022 6:37 pm

Prices frozen for all Ulster tickets for next season, Season tickets and the individual match tickets.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri May 20, 2022 10:22 am

Good to see Robbie Diack on the TV last night.

He went back to SA in 2018 built a new home but decided last year to return to Northern Ireland
because of the violence in SA.
Always a easy going personable individual.
Thats him and Louie Ludik settled here now.
Also the prop deMerwe who never quite made it.
I would not be shocked if Pienaer decided to settle here when he stops playing.

When Diack was asked why Saffers like it here he said that they make a big effort to become part of the community
and not just play Rugby.
I detected a hint of a criticism of players from elsewhere in his reply.

Certainly when you consider the return on the investment in Saffers we have got a far higher return than from
Aussies or Kiwis
(Honourable mentions for Payne, Steinmitz and Harrison (who was nuts but always gave his all))
By large other Aussies and Kiwis have been poor investments

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri May 20, 2022 2:34 pm

It was indeed really nice to Robbie on the show although not so nice to hear how things were for him in SA. Guarding your property armed with firearms is never going to be a healthy environment lets face it. There's a growing South African community beginning to build in Belfast because of Ulster Rugby Smile

On another note I just saw the Leinster side to face Munster, it's not one that'll help Ulster's cause at all.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed May 25, 2022 8:57 am

Ross Kane toTrailfinders
Jack McGrath out with hip issues - finished

So we are seriously short at Prop
LH - Warwick (who has been a star this year), O'Sullivan and Reid
TH - Moore, O'Toole, Milanisovich
If the view is McGrath is not going to make it then I would except a new LH, Reid is only just out of the Academy


Also hearing Moore the hooker from Munster will  not be staying

Going into next year with Herring, Andrew, Stewart, McCormick at hooker
The club feel the latter two are very exciting prospects and no point denying them 1st XV exposure by
retaining Moore

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Post by neilthom7 Wed May 25, 2022 7:32 pm

If we are doing a new LH are they likely to be IQ Geoff?

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu May 26, 2022 9:28 am

I think there is a chance.
Remember we were looking at Kitshoff in the New Year.
We could afford the salary but not the buy out requirement on top of that.

Having said that money is tight.
One thing is for sure if McGrath is done we have to get a LH in

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Post by Unclear Thu May 26, 2022 3:14 pm

Presumably if McGrath goes that will free up some money to go to the market. There seems to be a lack of "good" Irish looseheads at the moment, but I don't know if there are many youngsters about. What about this years under 20s? They didn't seem the biggest physically but they seemed to be able to work out ways to deal with the English and French packs. Even if there is a great young prospect it would seem prudent to get an additional experienced option to provide cover.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu May 26, 2022 4:08 pm

so Jack McGrath, Ross Kane, David O'Connor, Mick Kearney and Sean Reidy the confirmed leavers before next season

We definitely will need a LH
No surprises there

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu May 26, 2022 5:02 pm

Contract update - please point out any errors you see
* Jude Postlewaite will be on a development contract for one year
Angus Curtis just dont know
Declan Moore I am confused,. Initially talk of a two year contract, but at the same time he seems to have been shipped back to Munster

2022

Hooker - Declan Moore ?
Centre - Angus Curtis (re sign ?)

2023

LHP - Andrew Warwick, Callum Reid, Eric O'Sullivan
Hooker – John Andrew, Rob Herring, Tom Stewart
THP - Gareth Milasinovich
Lock - Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Sam Carter, Iain Henderson, Cormac Izuchukwu, Frank Bradshaw
Backrow - Nick Timoney, David McCann, Duane Vermeulen, Jordi Murphy, Sean Reffell, Marcus Rea, Greg Jones
SH - John Cooney, David Shanahan
10 - Ian Madigan, Jake, Flannery
Centre - Luke Marshall
Back 3 Player - Rob Lyttle, Jacob Stockdale, Aaron Sexton,  Will Addison , Craig Gilroy, Ben Moxham

2024

THP - Tom O’Toole, Marty Moore
Backrow - Matthew Rea
10 – Billy Burns
Centre - James Hume

2025

Centre – Stuart McCloskey, Stewart Moore
Back 3 Player – Ethan McIlroy, Robert Baloucoune
10/15 - Michael Lowry

2026

SH – Nathan Doak
Centre - Jude Postlethwaite *

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu May 26, 2022 5:13 pm

As for those up next year I would say the following are out the door

Carter, Vermuelen, Milasinovich, Cooney

Pass their sell by date?

Murphy, Madigan, Gilroy

Something to prove

Bradshaw, Reffell, McCann, Sexton, Jones, Flannery, Marshall, Lyttle, Addison, Moxham

The following are probably safe

Warwick, Reid, O'Sullivan, Andrew, Marcus Rea, Shanahan, Andrew

The following are certain to stay

Herring, Stewart, O'Connor, Treadwell, Henderson, Izuchukwu
Timoney, Burns, Stockdale

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Post by clivemcl Mon May 30, 2022 11:17 am

So we’ve signed Toomaga-Allen on a short one year contract.
Must confess, I don’t know much about him.
Does he start? Or is he a squad player?

Can he play both sides or is he an out and out tight head?

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon May 30, 2022 12:36 pm

I would not say a starter but a significant step up from Milasinovich.
With O'Toole away with Ireland we simply has to get a credible alternative to Marty Moore at TH.
A decent enough signing in my book.

We still need a top LH though.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Jun 09, 2022 2:06 pm

Read elsewhere Angus Curtis has a 1 year contract for next year

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Post by Intotouch Fri Jun 10, 2022 3:06 pm

Why do you think that Cooney is leaving? I though he was playing well and was happy at Ulster.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:26 pm

He will still be here next year but the reason he is leaving is because it has been made clear he has no chance of making the Ireland squad and can get better monetary offers so might as well take them.

Can't blame him really on that front, he has done a good thing and stayed for an extra year to help out with Nathan Doak's development so have a lot of respect for that.

This is the second starting scrum half IRFU have essentially forced out of Ulster, not that we are bitter or anything lol

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Post by Intotouch Sun Jun 12, 2022 4:21 am

Neilthom7 are you sure about this? I heard that long interview with him on the rugby pod and he sounded happy and settled there, no whisper of moving.

If it is true, we’ll, Nathan Doak is excellent and I’ve not a bit of sympathy for you. I wish we had such a fine young scrum half at Munster. I don’t know that he needs help finding his way at all. The first time I saw him play he looked like he’d played pro rugby for years. Not a bother to him.

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYWNhc3QuY29tL3RoZXJ1Z2J5cG9k/episode/Y2U2ZDliYmEtYWQ2Yy00ZDUyLTg0ZjktMDFiYTIyMzA4MDZh?hl=en-IE&ved=2ahUKEwjUv-ud-ab4AhXzS0EAHYXhAfgQjrkEegQIAxAF&ep=6

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Post by neilthom7 Sun Jun 12, 2022 12:14 pm

He might decide to stay, who knows what happens in a years time but if he leaves it will be for some extra money and because he has no chance with Ireland.

Its great to have him there, Doak can develop and still play and not have the pressure of being the only choice at scrumhalf.

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Post by clivemcl Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:12 pm

Now that the dust has settled a little, I wonder could tell me if I'm naive here. With 90 seconds left, even if you are in your own 22, do you not just pick and go and let the clock run?
Was it not a daft decision to kick and give them line out possession again?
WIth 90 seconds left, we gave them a further 7 minutes of attacking rugby till the Stormers eventually broke through.

Also, I seen an article somewhere about the Stormers poor sportsmanship. I didn't notice at the time, but sure enough, a few players were goading/gloating/pushing Ulster players as they celebrated their winning try.

Ulster actually played very well, attacked well, defended well. Perhaps gave away too many penalties, but ultimately I feel game management is what let them down in the end. As good as our defence is, we gave them far too much ball to come at us with.

And Billy Burns double kick break could have been an absolute sensation. I actually think his pop of the ball off the floor would have been a certain score for Ulster if it hadn't come off the Stormer's players' backside.

Woulda coulda shoulda. It is what it is.

Much happier with how Ulster closed out the season. Still pretty annoyed about lacklustre performances that made the race for playoffs unnecessarily tight.

Will be kick on? With not too many signings, we are pretty reliant on the players themselves improving and stepping up. And I guess, like every season, being luck enough to avoid injuries plays a big part.

Will Addison's last social media post was hinting at his 'comeback' - it was a rocky Balboa parody shot of him running some steps in the stands at Kingspan. That post was at the start of February. Did he play since then and injure himself that I forgot about or something?
If not - what's the actual story?

And Lukę Marshall - he came back and played a few times and think he travelled to SA. Did he get injured, or is he just not making the squad with Hume and McCloskey in such fine form?

Lastly... do we think we might see Nathan Doak play even more games next season? At some point we need to invest in the future, and if there is an inkling Cooney will not resign anyway, it might be time to give Doak more experience.

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Post by Old Man Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:14 pm

It wasn't poor sportsmanship, When Gelant went in for the try he recieved a knee to the kidneys, and him and his teammates reacted to that.

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Post by Old Man Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:51 am

Link for video of Libbock final conversion, a guy in the crowd behind the posts on his cellphone

https://twitter.com/StanderMartin/status/1535753810609684485

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Post by clivemcl Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:02 am

Didn't need the second angle personally. The tv coverage angle didn't show it clearly enough, but no reason to assume the touch judges wouldn't have made the correct call from their position.

As for the 'knee to the kidney' - do you mean they dived on the player to try and disrupt the grounding just like 100% of defending players would do in the same situation? Are you suggesting that Madigan knew it was too late and decided to try and hurt the player intentionally? Give me a break.

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Post by Old Man Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:14 am

clivemcl wrote:Didn't need the second angle personally. The tv coverage angle didn't show it clearly enough, but no reason to assume the touch judges wouldn't have made the correct call from their position.

As for the 'knee to the kidney' - do you mean they dived on the player to try and disrupt the grounding just like 100% of defending players would do in the same situation? Are you suggesting that Madigan knew it was too late and decided to try and hurt the player intentionally? Give me a break.

No, I don't think there was malice in it, but the reaction of the Stormers were in response to that, they weren't gloating.

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Post by neilthom7 Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:12 am

Well that was a dissapointing end to the season but credit the lads they put in a really good performance but just ran out of steam.

I think in general this year our issues have been caused by a lack of squad depth in areas. When we get our first team all fit and rested and out there they can match up to anyone, see wins v Leinster, Clermont, Munster and Toulouse.

However where we have struggled is having the ability to rotate players in giving first teamers a rest and also during injuries. This meant that players were playing week in week out against big physical teams and caused our end of season slump which cost us a home semi.

Also just look at that game itself, Tom O'Toole had to be not fit to even stand up before anyone thought yeah Malisinovic is a better player to be playing now. That's not ideal.

If I look at our squad for next season its a mixed bag in terms of depth

Loosehead- With the guys leaving we are left dangerously weak at Loosehead. Warwick has done great but O'Sullivan has had some injury issues and then we are into the academy.
Hooker- Decent, lack of real first team experience after Herring but solid options.
Tighthead- Should be good, with Allen coming in alongside O'Toole and Moore that should be plenty.
Lock- Probably our strongest position. 3 guys who challenge for the first team, Izzy coming through, the new signing Ryan and then Carter too.
Back Row- Getting better but still lacking. Vermuelen and Timoney are class acts, Marcus Rea has really stepped up which will help. Matty Rea doesn't have it, Murphy is too injury prone to judge and McCann is only young. Reffell comes in so will be interesting to see what he has.
Scrumhalf- Good options here, Cooney and Doak to rotate with Shanahan to back them up.
Outhalf- Don't really know what to think here, Burns and Madigan both there but both have their flaws, Flannery could be good but is completely unproven. No one here really stands out as the kind of 10 you need if you are going to win championships.
Centre- A great starting centre combination then a lot of questions. Can Marshall stay fit, can addison stay fit? The answer to those so far has been no and if that continues to be the case we look extremely weak here. Postlewaite is a big lad and looks very talented but hasn't played a lick of senior rugby.
Wing- Actually not a great deal of quality depth here. Rob has obviously been fantastic and is our best. McIlroy has by and large done well but is young and shouldn't be forced to play week in week out. Gilroy is probs past his best at this stage. Stockdale has been out injured all season so who knows what he is going to be like when he gets back and Moxham is just not good enough.
Fullback- Lowry and thats kind of it really. Addison never stays fit and anyone else is really a wing coverted to fullback.

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Post by clivemcl Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:51 am

Great summary Neil. You did however omit Stewart Moore who has really taken his opportunities in recent weeks.
Not quite at the level of excitement as we would have for Lowry or Hume - but he is probably a perfect example of the standard of performances we need from our squad backup and rotation players.
Great also that he has that positional versatility. (Maybe I'm a touch biased as he's a Ballymoney lad!)

Agree on Gilroy. To be honest, he didn't shine much in any of his appearances this season and still only get's game time because we don't have enough depth.

Burns double kick break was so nearly the best thing we've ever seen him do in an Ulster shirt. But yea... and sorry to beat a dead horse... but Paddy Jackson. Genuinely... I think this group of Ulster players would have silverware by now if we hadn't dumped him.


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Post by neilthom7 Tue Jun 14, 2022 7:14 pm

Ah yes sorry I forgot about Stewart Moore, that definitely helps our centre position since he is usually a centre, very talented young man and shall be extremely useful. Have to give him credit for going back into fullback in the absence of Lowry and holding his own, very impressive for someone who hasn't played there since his school days.

In other very sad news Rob Baloucoune has been ruled out of the sumemr test series, gutted for him as he really deserved to be playing in those.

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Post by Don Alfonso Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:11 pm

Also Rob Lyttle - it wasn't too long ago he was winning MOTM in URC semi-finals and covering FB as well.

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Post by Intotouch Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:17 am

Noooo! Rob Baloucoune was excellent this year. That’s rotten news. And he didn’t look like anything serious had happened to him Damn it.

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Post by clivemcl Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:41 am

Also, seen on his Insta that Vermulen wasted no time. Was in for surgery on something on Monday morning. Obviously it couldn’t have been planned as they didn’t know they’d be knocked out. But obviously they value speedy recovery enough that they brought the surgery forward as soon as the season was over.
I assume he will be good to go for next season.

As a side note, I find it bonkers every time I hear of a player ‘taking the opportunity’ to get surgery done when it doesn’t interfere too much. I wonder do these ‘injuries’ not impact them enough to be urgent, or are they just playing through pain most of the season?

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Post by neilthom7 Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:17 pm

Probs going to turn my back on the forum and leave shortly, just wanted to say before I do that it's been a pleasure talking Ulster with you all and I hope to see some of you at games in the future.

Just can't listen to the constant bashing of the URC anymore from morons on the other threads intent on disrupting a decent place for debate.

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Post by Kingshu Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:00 pm

neilthom7 wrote:Probs going to turn my back on the forum and leave shortly, just wanted to say before I do that it's been a pleasure talking Ulster with you all and I hope to see some of you at games in the future.

Just can't listen to the constant bashing of the URC anymore from morons on the other threads intent on disrupting a decent place for debate.


Should just do what the scottish ones do and stick to the one thread, and rarely get involved in the PrO'14 debate, its the same things being said for over 10 years anyway

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Post by Intotouch Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:47 pm

neilthom7 wrote:Probs going to turn my back on the forum and leave shortly, just wanted to say before I do that it's been a pleasure talking Ulster with you all and I hope to see some of you at games in the future.

Just can't listen to the constant bashing of the URC anymore from morons on the other threads intent on disrupting a decent place for debate.

Come back to us after a break please Neil! I’ve loved your posts!

I took a break and when I came back the most annoying posters had left. Too many reasonable people arguing with them got them to switch forums I think. There are new annoying ones but as others have said, stick to certain types of threads and you’ll get relief from some of them at least.

As for your question about players playing while injured BOD said once in a podcast that rugby players always carry some kind of niggle/ injury and always have some pain and those that say they don’t are lying. As someone who lived for years with daily back pain I do think that there’s a lot that a person can still do while in pain and functioning at 80% ish of physical ability. What I hope players do is be honest with medics and get rest for the injuries that really require it.

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Post by neilthom7 Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:29 pm

Perhaps it is best to take a break and then come back to only the Ulster thread, I may try that instead Smile

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Post by Don Alfonso Fri Jun 24, 2022 2:09 pm

Yeah, do. We're thin enough on the ground as is!

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Post by Intotouch Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:29 pm

neilthom7 wrote:Perhaps it is best to take a break and then come back to only the Ulster thread, I may try that instead Smile

Great! We’ll be here awaiting your wisdom. Very Happy

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon Jun 27, 2022 12:24 pm

Intotouch wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Perhaps it is best to take a break and then come back to only the Ulster thread, I may try that instead Smile

Great! We’ll be here awaiting your wisdom. Very Happy

Am I too late to echo what has been said. Take a break and come back but limit yourself to certain threads whilst also blocking those who offend. There really are too few of us left, the Ulster thread used to be one of the most active.

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Post by Maine man Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:00 pm

Ulster to play Sale and La Rochelle in the Heineken Cup!

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Post by Pete330v2 Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:12 pm

Maine man wrote:Ulster to play Sale and La Rochelle in the Heineken Cup!

You have to play the best to be the best as they say, whoever 'they' are Smile

That will be a huge ask but you can never discount this squad. Both those sides are beatable, of that there is no doubt but is O'Gara beatable?

Big games, can't wait.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:15 pm

La Rochelle is a fantastic trip and I've never been to Sale

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:52 am

Contract update to clarify previous uncertainties and correct an error
* Development contract next year


2023

LHP - Andrew Warwick, Callum Reid, Eric O'Sullivan
Hooker – John Andrew, Rob Herring, Tom Stewart
THP - Gareth Milasinovich, Jeffrety Toomunga-Allen
Lock - Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Sam Carter, Iain Henderson, Cormac Izuchukwu, Frank Bradshaw
Backrow - Nick Timoney, David McCann, Duane Vermeulen, Jordi Murphy, Sean Reffell, Marcus Rea, Greg Jones
SH - John Cooney, David Shanahan
10 - Ian Madigan, Jake Flannery
Centre - Luke Marshall, Angus Curtis
Back 3 Player - Rob Lyttle, Jacob Stockdale, Aaron Sexton,  Will Addison , Craig Gilroy, Ben Moxham, Shea O'Brien *

2024

Hooker - Declan Moore
THP - Tom O’Toole, Marty Moore
Backrow - Matthew Rea
10 – Billy Burns
Centre - James Hume

2025

Centre – Stuart McCloskey, Stewart Moore
Back 3 Player – Ethan McIlroy, Robert Baloucoune
10/15 - Michael Lowry

2026

SH – Nathan Doak
Centre - Jude Postlethwaite *

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:58 am

Looks like Kitshoff will join us after the World Cup.

Carter certain to go and Vermuelen probably
I think we will be signing a new Backrower next year

I also am led to believe that Cooney may stay - really comes down to whether or not a French team will dangle a big enough package in his face next year

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:03 am

The extent of squad rotation will depend on how this lot fare

New kids on the block but an open door to an extended contract if they deliver - Bradshaw-Ryan, Reffell, Flannery

Injury doubts need extended runs - Marshall, Addison

Should be safe - McCann

Squad players, do we keep(probably) Jones, Lyttle, Moxham

Unless he improves I cant see him making it - Sexton

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Post by Maine man Thu Jun 30, 2022 11:33 am

Has anyone got any update on the injury front?

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Post by Unclear Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:20 pm

Thanks for the updates Geoff, very helpful. I would say we need a lock as well as a backorder if Carter and Vermuelen are leaving. As Treadwell seems to have broken into the Ireland squad (and it still seems more difficult to get left out than break in) we will need cover for this. Hopefully Izzy will be back, and I know nothing about Bradshaw, but there has to be a significant risk if they are the only cover.

Got to be great news if Kitshoff is going to join us, but we could already be out of it by the end of the World Cup given how competitive the URC is now.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:03 pm

Cant see us getting a lock and a backrower

If either Izzy or Bradshaw-Ryan make the grade I think at best we will supplement them with a Kearney type signing.
If Sheridan comes good early maybe not even that.

Backrow is a far bigger concern.
Only Timoney a nailed on starter when Vermuelen leaves
We need Marcus Rea, Reffell and McCann to deliver
Murphy seems well past his best and Matty Rea and Jones are , at best, squad players.
Crothers may get a look in but we need a backrower more than anything


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