I would suggest that the root of the problem is that most Irish-qualified tightheads aren't people you want starting in HEC matches. And while some of that is not getting development opportunities, a lot of its due to not really forming props from a young enough age, and players who simply aren't good enough. Buckley and Archer spring to mind here. The abundance of NIQ props is a symptom of this.
Mindyou, some of it's bad luck. In another dimension, Simon Best's heart was ok, and he's only just been forced out of the Ireland squad by his Ulster understudy, a Declan Fitzpatrick who doesn't get injured every time he turns around. Daragh Hurley wouldn't have been a cripple either. And someone would have been keeping an eye on Porno Dorm Jones and got to him before his 11 minutes of fame. Ok, that last bit wasn't bad luck, just plain sloppiness.
Good read. It really is a waiting game now. Instead of the IRFU's policy about foreign players which is clearly because of props a development programme should be put in place for props alone making sure certain one get a certain amount of gametime in the rabo/h cup.
I've also got to wonder where the idea that Michael Bent's a good scrummager came from.
here that he is apparently a strong scrummager, and that the Canes scrum improved whenever he has come on, and the only reason that he hasn't started this year is because Hammett wants his props to do other things (like clean breakdowns and make tackles). The problem is that the article is written by Glenn McLean, who is a Taranaki based journalist who thinks that all Taranaki players should be starting at Super Rugby level / in the All Blacks... I wonder whether that article (or other articles based on that article) has influenced peoples views on Bent's scrummaging
Just to clarify: Bent is not the worst scrummager, but I certainly wouldn't call him a strong scrummager (I'd describe him as average...at best).
Theres plenty of props coming through. They need games and we need to be patient because it'll take about 3 seasons before we see the new wave of props. In the meantime Declan Fitzpatrick looks a decent option at tighthead and Ronan Loughney is coming good at last. Both have had injuries throughout their careers,
Hmm, I dunno about that Loughney bit. He still seems incredibly average to me.
What's the story with young props down in Munster out of interest? Leinster and Ulster seem pretty well stacked, but I don't know any of the Munster lads coming through. Are any of them any use?
Good to see this thread brought back up. The last month has told us quite a bit about Ireland's propping stocks.
Cian Healy and Mike Ross are still clearly front line players who'll start every game but with 23 man squads from November, Ireland now have options. Tom Court is still fine as backup loosehead. I'm coming around to Peat's line of thinking, Declan Fitzpatrick is better than I thought. As a stop gap backup until someone else comes through, he could earn himself 10-15 caps.
Further down the line, Tadhg Furlong has been awesome for the u20s. Perhaps it's time for Leinster to fast track him. With Michael Bent not due to arrive until November and Mike Ross being rested due to his international commitments, I'd look to give him plenty of action, initially off the bench, in September and October. If he proves his worth, he could start ahead of Jamie Hagan.
It would please me greatly if Ronan Loughney started to come good but he's still terrible. Next season he won't start regularly for Connacht unless injuries strike others with Brett Wilkinson and Nathan White the likely front line props. They're both much better players. Loughney can be a serviceable backup loosehead for a weak team but no more than that in my view.
Edit - of young Munster props, Alan Cotter and Dave Kilcoyne seem to be the most highly rated.
Leinster should try and link up with an RFU Championship club to loan players out to get experience - Furlong could learn more from a season in the Championship than from a handful of bench appearances for Leinster. Sale has done this with Leeds and our academy players are coming on much stronger.
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In Munster: David Kilcoyne looks like he could have a bit of potential, but its hard to say after only a handful of games. John Ryan seems to be highly rated, I remember B-J talking about how he was brought along on the HC trips to give him an insight into what the mentality was like, I think (not too sure) that he can cover both sides of the scrum. Alan Cotter is also doing very well in the AIL (not a bad thing for a prop). All in all I see Archer being replaced by both Cotter and Ryan as a viable option for Munster, and Kilcoyne could well overtake Horan this season.
The problem with Court and Deccie Fitz is that they're at best solid at international level, while Paddy Mac and Macklin are potentially beasts, but we've only so much gametime for props to go round and Ireland next props now not in a few years. Hopefully over the next couple of seasons the latter can overtake the former somehow.
edit - Snoopy, is that a political possibility? I'd have thought the IRFU would be dead set against it (although I notice a lot of Ulster youngsters are abandoning academy contracts for moves overseas and whispers are this might be being encouraged).
English by birth, Ulster by love of funny accents
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Very much so. As it stands an awful lot of Irish players end up in the championship in their early 20's if they're not able to make the step up from the academy to starting for the provinces. That said, Ben Prescott was Championship tight head of the year the season we signed him and he was pretty useless. The standard does appear to have risen at the top end of the league since 2010 though.
If I were Ryan I'd look at picking my side immediately and sticking to it. The prop that can play both sides is a dying breed, being rendered redundant by 23 man squads.Originally Posted by Irishflanker
I hold out quite a bit of hope for Paddy McAllister. Slightly less for Adam Macklin because his scrummaging needs work. Game time is what both of them need. McAllister will see quite a bit, Macklin will struggle for it though given the presence of John Afoa and Declan Fitzpatrick.
I'd say the IRFU would rather players go to Connacht if they need games but don't see how that would benefit Connacht who wish to be more than just a development tool for the other provinces. There is a precedent with Gareth Quinn McDonagh's loan move to Doncaster from Munster last season.
Perhaps more realistic is a streamlined 8 or 10 team AIL with no promotion or relegation where academy and A team players from the provinces play against former pros and the top amateur players in the country. Currently academy players are scattered across any number of teams in 3 different divisions in the AIL.