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Leinster Rugby 2022/23 Season

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Maine man
Pot Hale
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 16 Aug 2022, 9:39 pm

Interesting season coming up for the boys in blue - reached deep into the knockout rounds in both domestic and European cups and came up short. Some might argue that the depth wasn't there in key positions - notably lock and front row to make it through. With the cutbacks, the squad has been reduced again with a number of Leinster players heading west to Connacht, and promotions from the academy being capped at 4. The good news is that with Toner retiring, Cullen was finally able to get another foreign lock in, with Jason Jenkins moving from Munster. The 26-year old got one cap for the Springboks back in 2018, but hasn't been selected since, so hopefully, Leinster can rely on him being available for in-window games during the season.

The other foreign recruit is the 31-year old, Charlie Ngatai, another 1-cap test player from New Zealand, who will fill in regularly in the absence of Henshaw and Ringrose, and replace the departed Rory O'Loughlin.

All of the coaches' contracts are up at the end of this season, so with the new CEO installed, he'll have a lot on his plate, along with getting the RDS stand redevelopment programme underway.

With RWC coming up next season and test players on restricted programmes, could be another underwhelming season ahead.




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Post by Maine man Tue 16 Aug 2022, 10:06 pm

Hi Pot, what's your opinion on the fly half situation at Leinster? Who do you see making it there own after Sexton?

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Post by Pot Hale Fri 19 Aug 2022, 8:38 am

Maine man wrote:Hi Pot, what's your opinion on the fly half situation at Leinster? Who do you see making it there own after Sexton?

They'll continue to rely on Ross Byrne methinks. Harry Byrne seems to have stalled in his development. Frawley is their only other option currently and it remains to be seen if he's going to get more starts at 10 with some encouragement and prompting from the national coaches. The arrival of Ngatai may help with that.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu 25 Aug 2022, 10:42 am

The RDS stand redevelopment has been a missed opportunity. They had plans/approvals(?) already in hand prior to lock down happening. That would have been the perfect time to take down the anglesea stand and get the new stand in place. Instead they will be taking 1 side of the pitch out of action when they are trying to get revenues back from re-opened attendance. Mind you, while that stand is pitch side, it doesn't really hold that much capacity from memory (Leinster have more seats behind the goals than along the side of the pitch?)

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 25 Aug 2022, 11:41 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:The RDS stand redevelopment has been a missed opportunity.  They had plans/approvals(?) already in hand prior to lock down happening. That would have been the perfect time to take down the anglesea stand and get the new stand in place. Instead they will be taking 1 side of the pitch out of action when they are trying to get revenues back from re-opened attendance. Mind you, while that stand is pitch side, it doesn't really hold that much capacity from memory (Leinster have more seats behind the goals than along the side of the pitch?)

I reckon they might go for it before this season end. Leinster's last home regular league game is Mar 24. Get as many knockout games into the Aviva as they can at that point.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Fri 26 Aug 2022, 11:29 am

Pot Hale wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:The RDS stand redevelopment has been a missed opportunity.  They had plans/approvals(?) already in hand prior to lock down happening. That would have been the perfect time to take down the anglesea stand and get the new stand in place. Instead they will be taking 1 side of the pitch out of action when they are trying to get revenues back from re-opened attendance. Mind you, while that stand is pitch side, it doesn't really hold that much capacity from memory (Leinster have more seats behind the goals than along the side of the pitch?)

I reckon they might go for it before this season end.   Leinster's last home regular league game is Mar 24.   Get as many knockout games into the Aviva as they can at that point.  

There could be method in the planning madness there alright. Unfortunately I don't think the organisers are that smart.
On knockout games, big games lansdowne makes sense, but could they use the opportunity to get around the 12 counties a bit?

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 29 Aug 2022, 3:16 pm

Looks like Leinster will have to field more of their first team players in Rounds 2-4 due to some of the regular league players being away on test duty, missing out on URC games against Benetton home, Ulster away and the teeth-licking Sharks at the RDS.

Should prep them nicely for the inter pros in Rounds 5/6 against Connacht and Munster.
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 29 Aug 2022, 7:36 pm

News out that Midfielder Conor O’Brien has to retire from the game due to injury. A shame because he’s been dogged by problems in last couple of years but still managed 26 caps for the blues since he was promoted from academy. Doesn’t look like he’ll be replaced and Leinster will work with squad of 42 seniors for the season.
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Post by Pot Hale Sat 03 Sep 2022, 2:00 am

Goo run-out by the boys in blue against a very competitive Harlequins side. Both teams traded tries with it 14-14 at the break, but Leinster came through with the winning score with 12 minutes to go and used their defence to hold the Premiership side.

Some of the new lads gave good account of themselves including Soroka, Deeny, Prendergast, Russell and the great acceleration of Max O'Reilly.

Presume a few of the youngsters might be climbing on a plane to tour with Emerging Ireland squad in a few weeks - good luck to them.

And good to see Dave Kearney still running out the hard yards and making tackles in his twilight years.
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Post by Poorfour Sat 03 Sep 2022, 11:24 am

It was a good show by Leinster and their passing and running lines were slick. I suspect they'll want to toughen up their scrum and breakdown work, though
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 12 Sep 2022, 7:25 pm

Injury update for the first game of season:

Rónan Kelleher (shoulder), Dave Kearney (hamstring), Will Connors (knee) and Ross Byrne (foot) all back and available for the first game.

Joe McCarthy (ankle) and Jordan Larmour (knee) will train fully next week

Hugo Keenan (knee and abdominal issue), James Lowe (calf) and Liam Turner (toe) all out for a number of weeks. James Tracy after neck surgery will be out for four months. That's going to put pressure on academy hooker John McKee and Diarmuid Barron to step up with Kelleher and Sheehan likely to be on test duty.

No update on long-term injured midfielder Tommy O’Brien (knee) or academy lock Charlie Ryan (knee).
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 13 Sep 2022, 5:25 pm

Interesting news in a couple of backroom coaching appointments that Leinster have announced. Alongside Sean O'Brien moving from playing with London Irish to contact skills coaching and former Leinster 10, Andrew Goodman and assistant coach, is the appointment of Declan Darcy as Performance Coach at the club.

Darcy is a former Leitrim and Dublin Gaelic footballer and since retiring has been coaching with various teams over the last number of years but was most notably part of the successful Dublin football team under Jim Gavin as defence coach from 2013 until 2019.

His role will be to work with players and coaches individually as well as the team, to focus on how they can improve overall, particularly in the light of last season's failure to step up at the knockout stages of URC and European comps.

Cullen has always been one to look outside to see where he can harness new skills or ideas - look forward to seeing if this helps make a difference.
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Post by Pot Hale Fri 16 Sep 2022, 2:34 pm

Team named for playing Zebre:

15. Max O'Reilly (9)
14. Rob Russell (5)
13. Jamie Osborne (19)
12. Charlie Ngatai (0)
11. Dave Kearney (173)
10. Ross Byrne (128)
9. Luke McGrath (175)

1. Ed Byrne (85)
2. Rónan Kelleher (36)
3. Michael Ala’alatoa (25)
4. Ross Molony (139)
5. Jason Jenkins (0)
6. Rhys Ruddock CAPTAIN (210)
7. Scott Penny (41)
8. Max Deegan (84)

Replacements:

16. John McKee (3)
17. Michael Milne (17)
18. Vakhtang Abdaladze (17)
19. Brian Deeny (2)
20. Alex Soroka (5)
21. Nick McCarthy (46)
22. Ciarán Frawley (56)
23. Will Connors (25)
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 25 Oct 2022, 1:27 pm

Leinster signed up for a 25 year lease with the RDS. Have to think that will be linked to proving a rental income to cover the repayment period for any pending upgrades to the stands (expected to be announced in 2023). Strange to think it's been 15 years of Leinster playing at the RDS.
There was something special about Donnybrook all the same.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 25 Oct 2022, 2:12 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Leinster signed up for a 25 year lease with the RDS. Have to think that will be linked to proving a rental income to cover the repayment period for any pending upgrades to the stands (expected to be announced in 2023). Strange to think it's been 15 years of Leinster playing at the RDS.
There was something special about Donnybrook all the same.

Agreed Donnybrook was a nicer ground to go to.

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 27 Oct 2022, 6:31 pm

Somewhat raw squad line up for tomorrow's match away in Llanelli.

9/10/11/12 - plenty of experience
1/4/5/6/7/8 - ditto with Rhys Ruddock leading the team.

Off the bench - 3rd rank Mccarthy with the most club caps. A few newbies getting their first starts in blue, alongside this season's academy promoted players. Scarlets might be justifiably licking their lips.

15. Chris Cosgrave (2)
14. Rob Russell (9)
13. Liam Turner (7)
12. Charlie Ngatai (5)
11. Dave Kearney (176)
10. Ross Byrne (134)
9. Luke McGrath (180)
1. Ed Byrne (89)
2. John McKee (7)
3. Thomas Clarkson (19)
4. Ross Molony (145)
5. Jason Jenkins (5)
6. Rhys Ruddock (212) CAPTAIN
7. Scott Penny (43)
8. Max Deegan (86)

16. Tadgh McElroy (0)
17. Michael Milne (18)
18. Vakhtang Abdaladze (20)
19. Brian Deeny (3)
20. Martin Moloney (9)
21. Nick McCarthy (50)
22. Charlie Tector (0)
23. Ben Brownlee (0)
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Post by Kingshu Thu 27 Oct 2022, 7:59 pm

Weakest Leinster team I've seen in a long time, yet away from home at Scarlets still heavy favourites, says a lot about either Leinsters strength in depth, or about Scarlets

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Post by Pot Hale Sat 29 Oct 2022, 12:59 am

On the other hand, maybe not. Leinster come away with BP in the bag for 7 wins from 7 so far this season and 33 League points.

They'll be without their 17 test players until 28 Nov.

Next 7 games are:
Lein v Chile 18 Nov - F
Lein v Glasgow 26 Nov - URC
Lein v Ulster 3 Dec - URC
Racing 92 v Lein 10 Dec - EPCR
Lein v Gloucester 16 Dec - EPCR
Munster v Lein 26 Dec - URC
Lein v Connacht 1 Jan - URC

Interestingly, their last 3 games of the regular season are all against SA teams: Stormers (h), Lions & Bulls (a).

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Post by Kingshu Tue 01 Nov 2022, 10:05 am

Abdaladze called up to the Georgian squad, like Roberts playing for Wales, will mean his career in Ireland is over. Would be the same if Salanoa played for USA which I think is a shame should be someway of helping tier 2 nations not depriving them of players.

Big risk for him after all he won't get his contract renewed in Ireland and the English teams after wasps and Worcester have a surplus of players.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 01 Nov 2022, 12:38 pm

Kingshu wrote:Abdaladze called up to the Georgian squad, like Roberts playing for Wales, will mean his career in Ireland is over. Would be the same if Salanoa played for USA which I think is a shame should be someway of helping tier 2 nations not depriving them of players.

Big risk for him after all he won't get his contract renewed in Ireland and the English teams after wasps and Worcester have a surplus of players.

I saw that report. Think Leinster are surprised too given their understanding of his commitment to Ireland. But perhaps he believes he has better chance of success going this route. Perhaps in France.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 01 Nov 2022, 12:47 pm

Kingshu wrote:Abdaladze called up to the Georgian squad, like Roberts playing for Wales, will mean his career in Ireland is over. Would be the same if Salanoa played for USA which I think is a shame should be someway of helping tier 2 nations not depriving them of players.

Big risk for him after all he won't get his contract renewed in Ireland and the English teams after wasps and Worcester have a surplus of players.

It is an interesting one alright. Fair play to Abdaladze for playing well enough so far in the front row to get a call up by Georgia. Part of me wonders for the 'greater good' of the game should each province get a dispensation for 1 forward and 1 back. Maybe 1 player from a >10 on the world rankings and a second >15 on the world rankings? It would be interesting how to put it together? Maybe it should be based on giving out an academy spot in each of the 4 provinces, less of a cost, doesn't get mis-used to just bring in a marquee player or aging journeyman under the clause. Just have Nucifora put out an edict that each academy should have at least 1 such player in the system?


Have to say too, that was a poor Scarlets side. Leinster showed some nice play over the course of the match, but that should have been the kind of squad to come home with a LBP, not the road victory.

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