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Ireland Squad 2018/2019

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James Ryan would be my preferred option as I think he could keep the role for a decade or more but I think it'll go to Peter O'Mahony. As a rookie head coach, Andy Farrell will want an experienced captain initially and O'Mahony fits the bill. Assuming Johnny Sexton isn't in the running, the only other option is CJ Stander.
 

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James Ryan would be my preferred option as I think he could keep the role for a decade or more but I think it'll go to Peter O'Mahony. As a rookie head coach, Andy Farrell will want an experienced captain initially and O'Mahony fits the bill. Assuming Johnny Sexton isn't in the running, the only other option is CJ Stander.
POM makes sense but with Ryan taking the reins and a more senior role. Almost in the way Best and POM/Sexton operate now.
 

big ginger 8

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Kinsella reporting Henderson is out with an injury and Berine is straight in. SOB at 7 as well.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Wales pour le grand chelem.

Henderson was 'uge last week, better than Ryan imo, and I have lost faith in SOB, Nordi would be a better option!
 

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Actually scrap that, its ******* Sean O'Brien.
 

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I think Neil Francis gets the biggest cheer.
Franno: "We have the unique possibility that Wales can win a Slam and not win championship"
Matt Cooper: No that isn't actually possible
Franno: Oh it is goes through the way points etc
MC: But winning a Slam gets points to avoid that
Franno: Still tries to argue that his point is right and Wales could win and receive no trophy.

How this man gets air time is phenomenal. 1. They win they get Triple Crown. 2. They get a Championship trophy.
 

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Kinsella reporting Henderson is out with an injury and Berine is straight in. SOB at 7 as well.
Hearing similar myself.
Joey winning battle too as is RK.
Leavy will be on bench ahead of Conan and Dillane stays 19.
Larmour replaces Conway @23.
 
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Where to now? A kick in the arse is never welcome but Ireland can learn from the campaign.

Looking at the tournament as a whole, the backline stuttered, the backrow didn't get enough go forward ball, the lineout regressed and halfbacks were off form. How do you fix this? My ideas:

1. Robbie Henshaw back to 12 when fit with Garry Ringrose outside him. Go with form rather than reputation in the back three. Rob Kearney, Jacob Stockdale, Keith Earls, Jordan Larmour and Andrew Conway all have plenty of experience in the back three. Any mix will do.

2. Are CJ Stander and Sean O'Brien doing enough to remain in the team? Jack Conan and Dan Leavy would be my picks at 8 and 7. Get Tadhg Beirne game time at 6 because he's the closest thing to having a direct replacement for Peter O'Mahony.

3. Hard to fix the lineout. If Rory Best hasn't got good enough darts, he's not performing well enough on the deck right now to warrant a place in the team. Niall Scannell played well in Australia last summer in high pressure games and has lots of experience. Perhaps it's time to make a tough call and ride with Scannell and Sean Cronin as the top hookers.

4. Murray and Sexton will remain at 9 and 10. Sexton is very secure at 10 despite poor form because the backups haven't been given enough opportunities. This is perhaps the only area I can fault the coaching staff in. Ireland have shown they can win big games without Murray. If his form continues to desert him, I'd have no qualms about starting Marmion, McGrath or Cooney. There are shades of 2011 about this when Tomás O'Leary lost all form and his place.
 

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Where to now? A kick in the arse is never welcome but Ireland can learn from the campaign.

Looking at the tournament as a whole, the backline stuttered, the backrow didn't get enough go forward ball, the lineout regressed and halfbacks were off form. How do you fix this? My ideas:

1. Robbie Henshaw back to 12 when fit with Garry Ringrose outside him. Go with form rather than reputation in the back three. Rob Kearney, Jacob Stockdale, Keith Earls, Jordan Larmour and Andrew Conway all have plenty of experience in the back three. Any mix will do.

2. Are CJ Stander and Sean O'Brien doing enough to remain in the team? Jack Conan and Dan Leavy would be my picks at 8 and 7. Get Tadhg Beirne game time at 6 because he's the closest thing to having a direct replacement for Peter O'Mahony.

3. Hard to fix the lineout. If Rory Best hasn't got good enough darts, he's not performing well enough on the deck right now to warrant a place in the team. Niall Scannell played well in Australia last summer in high pressure games and has lots of experience. Perhaps it's time to make a tough call and ride with Scannell and Sean Cronin as the top hookers.

4. Murray and Sexton will remain at 9 and 10. Sexton is very secure at 10 despite poor form because the backups haven't been given enough opportunities. This is perhaps the only area I can fault the coaching staff in. Ireland have shown they can win big games without Murray. If his form continues to desert him, I'd have no qualms about starting Marmion, McGrath or Cooney. There are shades of 2011 about this when Tomás O'Leary lost all form and his place.
1. Add Adam Byrne to the mix too, we need another athlete as an option and he's playing great in blue.

2. Yep, think Conan has finally shown his worth in green, SOB needs to prove himself ahead of Leavy and VdF. Stander played his best stuff when Conan came on.

3. Best might finish his career in May.

4. Sexton is still the best option we have at 10, he's not totally void of form and played well in his minutes in Edinburgh and v France, Carbery does need more positive action to displace him. Murray drops into a race with three other 9s imo, he's not at AIL level right now.

Schmidt needs to give himself a holiday. After the game he said how impressed he was that Garland has done 12 years of international rugby, 6 years nearly killed him. After he's done that he needs to forget his loyalties, Healy, Best, Stander, Murray and Sexton are now four of his starters with the weakest claims to their jerseys, he has to be prepared to drop them.
 
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While not a fan of Man Utd, what I loved about Alex Ferguson as a coach was that he knew when a player was no longer of value to him and cut that player adrift. It was harsh but it kept them at the top of the game for nearly 20 years. Leo Cullen has been equally ruthless for Leinster and although he isn't as good a coach as Joe Schmidt, the Ireland head coach could learn a thing or two from his former captain in that regard.
 

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While not a fan of Man Utd, what I loved about Alex Ferguson as a coach was that he knew when a player was no longer of value to him and cut that player adrift. It was harsh but it kept them at the top of the game for nearly 20 years. Leo Cullen has been equally ruthless for Leinster and although he isn't as good a coach as Joe Schmidt, the Ireland head coach could learn a thing or two from his former captain in that regard.
The way Leinster have been willing to pick on form over the last few years has been great to see. Really boosts the squad to know that everyone has a chance of making it in for the big games.
 

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Schmidt was fairly cuthroat with Leinster and I think at times he has been for Ireland, I do wonder if it's easier to be so ruthless at club level without all the different dynamics international level brings.

It'd be interesting to know if Marmion being fit for the whole tournament would have made any difference in substitutions but based on today and the hearsay I heard of his post-match interview it seems unlikely.
 

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Healy, Best, Stander, Murray and Sexton are now four of his starters with the weakest claims to their jerseys, he has to be prepared to drop them.
Healy doesn't deserve his place on that list, he was poor today but was one of our best players throughout the tournament.
 
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I wouldn't have Healy on that list either but he hasn't been at his rampaging best this season. Neither Dave Kilcoyne nor Jack McGrath have done enough to get close to taking the jersey though. Denis Buckley has been unlucky not to be capped but he's not on Healy's level.
 

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I wouldn't have Healy on that list either but he hasn't been at his rampaging best this season. Neither Dave Kilcoyne nor Jack McGrath have done enough to get close to taking the jersey though. Denis Buckley has been unlucky not to be capped but he's not on Healy's level.
We don't have anyone near him. McGrath at his best can challenge him but right now he should be more worried about his spot in the Leinster 23. Healy hasn't had his best ever season but he's been consistently excellent, can't think of many props around the world I'd consider swapping for him (Mako, and then MAYBE Kitschoff/Moody)
 

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I don't know, maybe I'm being harsh. In his bad games his discipline is desperately bad, when he's good he's very good. The problem is I'd say he has error strewn games 1/4 times he takes the pitch, it's passable and hopefully when he goes back to Ster it'll improve. He's on the edge for me after today because he killed a lot in that 1st half when we could have got a foothold and never improved much and it wasn't a complete anomoly either. Him and Sexton would be the safest on my list though, still not undroppable.
 

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He's just a bit of an idiot, still a great player though. I'd still want Stander in the team as well even though Conan has definite my shown his worth.

I'm not convinced SOB's race is run but if he does have a role it'll be as am impact sub.
 
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Not sure where the right place to put this is but I'll stick it here.

Eamonn Sweeney in the Sunday Independent on December 2nd:
https://www.independent.ie/sport/ru...ure-but-the-best-is-yet-to-come-37585954.html
Ireland's Grand Slam and victory in Australia had put us on the radar of an All Blacks side keen to impart a demoralising lesson before next year's World Cup...........They seem a better team than the All Blacks right now.
Eamonn Sweeney in the Sunday Independent on March 17th:
https://www.independent.ie/sport/ru...cup-fantasies-this-team-is-done-37921547.html
We've also condescended to Wales, regarding them as beneath our contempt while our sights were set on surpassing England and the All Blacks. More fools us.

Forget your World Cup fantasies. Turn Ireland over. We're done.
So in the space of 3 months, a journalist goes from calling Ireland a better team than New Zealand to ridiculing those who thought Wales weren't as good as Ireland.

When I say in this thread and elsewhere people need to be balanced in their assessment of Ireland, the above is a case in point of what not to do.
 

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Not sure where the right place to put this is but I'll stick it here.

Eamonn Sweeney in the Sunday Independent on December 2nd:


Eamonn Sweeney in the Sunday Independent on March 17th:


So in the space of 3 months, a journalist goes from calling Ireland a better team than New Zealand to ridiculing those who thought Wales weren't as good as Ireland.

When I say in this thread and elsewhere people need to be balanced in their assessment of Ireland, the above is a case in point of what not to do.
It's the indo, nothing less than the garbage you expect from them.
 
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