• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Ireland, not Wales, are now the main Celtic power of rugby (if we didn't know that already)

Tooting Carmen

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
1,258
Despite coming second in this year's 6N, this tournament, combined with others in recent years, their form in the AIs (most notably against the All Blacks) and the success both at league and European level of their Provinces show once and for all that Ireland are undoubtedly the main Celtic power of rugby. Whatever doubt there was about it has now been resolved, and I think it was highly symbolic that this tournament was bookended with big wins over both Wales and Scotland with remarkably similar margins. Certainly, this is a remarkable turnaround from the amateur era, when Ireland were if anything the weakest of the three Celtic countries.
 
will_poulter.jpg


Wait, Wales were the main Celtic power of rugby?
 
It's been Ireland they are just scared of semi-finals. Wales puts good teams together from time to time but they don't have the Leinster Academy driving things.
 
We've been the most successful 6N side last 10 years or so with Grand Slams and we've obviously done alright recently with a GS in 2019 and a championship last year but writing has been on the wall for a while now. A bit like after our GS in 2012 and championship in 2013 when we went through a **** period under Gatland. We need Pivac gone if we really want to kick on but looking bleak at the moment for sure.
 
I think the two of us have been in an arm wrestle for it since 00 if we accept that as the year Scottish rugby took a dive after a strong 90s.

There's definitely an argument, and a strong one for Wales internationally, two world cup semi finals and two more grand slams. Conversely our test win rate is far far better and we're ranked higher more often than not. Ireland are a very inconsistent team, look at 2018 to 2019 or the 2016 autumn series to the 2017 6 Nations and its cost us silverware for sure. Wales on the other hand generally go well for a while, followed by a weaker period and have churned out as many bad teams as they have good teams in the past 20 years, I feel like Ireland are generally middling to good with 07-08 and 2013 the exceptions where we were pretty poor.

It's obviously a fairly arbitrary ***le but as a 6n power you'd probably back Wales (and I still would, they'll be better than us again at some point in the next 4 years) but given our far superior record against the SH sides I think we shade it internationally in the past 20 years. I think a Wales fan would give up a grand slam to beat NZ, we've done it three times and reached point a slam would be a bigger achievement for us now.
 
I think the two of us have been in an arm wrestle for it since 00 if we accept that as the year Scottish rugby took a dive after a strong 90s.

There's definitely an argument, and a strong one for Wales internationally, two world cup semi finals and two more grand slams. Conversely our test win rate is far far better and we're ranked higher more often than not. Ireland are a very inconsistent team, look at 2018 to 2019 or the 2016 autumn series to the 2017 6 Nations and its cost us silverware for sure. Wales on the other hand generally go well for a while, followed by a weaker period and have churned out as many bad teams as they have good teams in the past 20 years, I feel like Ireland are generally middling to good with 07-08 and 2013 the exceptions where we were pretty poor.

It's obviously a fairly arbitrary ***le but as a 6n power you'd probably back Wales (and I still would, they'll be better than us again at some point in the next 4 years) but given our far superior record against the SH sides I think we shade it internationally in the past 20 years. I think a Wales fan would give up a grand slam to beat NZ, we've done it three times and reached point a slam would be a bigger achievement for us now.

How come you think they'll be better than us again in the next 4 years? Is that Wales improving or Ireland getting worse? Because I can't see the Irish provinces declining any time soon and I can't see the problems with the Welsh provinces being sorted in the near future. Not particularly impressed with the young players coming through in Wales either.
 
How come you think they'll be better than us again in the next 4 years? Is that Wales improving or Ireland getting worse? Because I can't see the Irish provinces declining any time soon and I can't see the problems with the Welsh provinces being sorted in the near future. Not particularly impressed with the young players coming through in Wales either.
Just in the 6n. We'll have a bad one or Wales will have a good one.

The club gap is a proper long term project for the WRU and we have advantages there that could make it literally impossible for them to fully bridge it.
 
During the Leigh Halfpenny era Wales was definitely the form 6N side but since then Ireland have solidified themselves as the most consistent national team out of the URC-whatever
 
Ireland are the 2 nd best team in the World. Gap will probably get wider to whoever is 3rd for the next few years.
 
Even if Ireland only have an adequate 10 like Carberry in the future I think they'll comfortably stay in the top 4 in the world until such time as both NZ and England get a good coach (I think SA can hold down a top 4 spot with sub Rassie standard coaching, such is their depth and upcoming talent).

I can't see Wales or Scotland being top 5 before 2027 (although Wales with a functioning Patchell or Anscombe could make real strides). So yes, I think are witnessing the dawn of an era where Ireland really gap all Celtic rivals now their domestic talent stream seems fully online (so less recruitment of players who arent good enough for other union's sides, which overall isn't a recipe for attaining top , RWC challenging standards).
 
The Welsh have been trying to emulate the Irish model for years. The regions model is an example of them taking something from Ireland and trying to make it work in Wales. This strategy is flawed however as you can't just try to recreate something exactly as it is in a different country and expect it to work in yours.

What is this regions rubbish anyway? It literally looks like they've randomly drawn a load of lines on a map and decided to form four teams out of it. At least with Ireland you have the history and identity of four different provinces.

Welsh rugby is in complete disarray and until the WRU get their heads out of their arse and do something about it, it will only get worse.
 
Last edited:
The Welsh have been trying to emulate the Irish model for years. The regions model is an example of them taking something from Ireland and trying to make it work in Wales. This strategy is flawed however as you can't just try to recreate something exactly as it is in a different country and expect it to work in yours.

What is this regions rubbish anyway? It literally looks like they've randomly drawn a load of lines on a map and decided to form four teams out of it. At least with Ireland you have the history and identity of four different provinces.

Welsh rugby is in complete disarray and until the WRU get their heads out of their arse and do something about it, it will only get worse.
I don't think we've been trying to emulate the Irish model for years, think we've been looking more to NZ as we have more similar rugby cultures imo.

There's clearly a lot to admire about the well oiled Irish system and for sure it would be great if we could emulate it but it would be as futile as trying to emulate the English system in that over in Ireland it's largely a middle class game hence the excellent private school conveyer belt they have. That is not going to work in Wales. NZ has a far superior school system but it's not all private based from my understanding and also Wales and NZ have similar population sizes. I'm sure there's elements to the Irish system we have tried to emulate though, would be foolish to not try and implement things from a superior system that we think are transferable into ours. As I say, though, I think it's futile.
 
In what sense?

Population, well supported provinces, a number of schools essentially acting as professional academies and providing more money and perks to deter players moving to the UK or France.

I would say two of those are unattainable for Wales in the foreseeable so the WRU will have to find another way.
 
2nd best team in the world??what u smoking
Just who would you have ahead of them? They have beaten NZ as much as they have lost to them recently, SA are not so hot at the moment and no 6N side except France is on their level.
 
Last edited:
I'd say we're 2-4. Not enough NH v SH rugby in the past few years to determine.

SA seem to still be living off the World Cup for their claim as no. 1, they've looked a lot worse than 2019 when I've watched them.

NZ had a disaster NH tour.

We've only really had 4 good games against T1 opposition, two were against Argentina and Wales so hard to judge, and we lost one of them to France.

France are currently very much the real deal.

There seems to be a reasonable dip after that. I suspect there'll be a very clear top 5 or 6 leading into the next world cup and I don't see us shooting ourselves in the foot this time, not that that means we reach a semi with our second consecutive worst possible QF draw.
 
Yet a made up team of ur best Nh players couldn't beat a Sa team not played since WC final.Nz and SA and France are ahead of ireland.and that will be proven next year
 
I'd say we're 2-4. Not enough NH v SH rugby in the past few years to determine.

SA seem to still be living off the World Cup for their claim as no. 1, they've looked a lot worse than 2019 when I've watched them.

NZ had a disaster NH tour.

We've only really had 4 good games against T1 opposition, two were against Argentina and Wales so hard to judge, and we lost one of them to France.

France are currently very much the real deal.

There seems to be a reasonable dip after that. I suspect there'll be a very clear top 5 or 6 leading into the next world cup and I don't see us shooting ourselves in the foot this time, not that that means we reach a semi with our second consecutive worst possible QF draw.
So u saying ur the 2nd best team in the world but at the same time saying u won't get past 1/4 finals due to ur draw?
 

Latest posts

Top