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Ireland Summer Tour? Maybe

Le Frére Alpha

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Any reason to think they won't stick with Carbery? He's the heir apparent, I'd think they'd want to give him game time.
I think they'll go experimental, for the optics if nothing else. But yeah, it could be HB in for Burns at 22.

Also if Carbery is heir apparent we're in trouble, hasn't looked an international standard 10 since 2018.
 

paddybrown

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I think they'll go experimental, for the optics if nothing else. But yeah, it could be HB in for Burns at 22.

Also if Carbery is heir apparent we're in trouble, hasn't looked an international standard 10 since 2018.
He's barely played since 2018. He looked like our best option beyond Sexton before the injury problems started, and he needs game time to play himself back into that kind of form. If it was me and he's fit, I'd start him.

I like Burns, both because I'm an Ulster fan and because I like his style of play. He's a risk-taker with an exciting attacking kicking game. But I'm not sure that's the game Faz wants to play - Joe Schmidt certainly wouldn't have entertained it - and while Billy can play that game at Pro14 level, international rugby is a big step up, and I'm not sure he has the big-game mentality. He also benefits for Ulster from having John Cooney in front of him - defences have to watch his running game, which makes more space for an out-half, and his decision-making and leadership also take a lot of the pressure off the 10. For Ireland he'd be playing behind Gibson-Park, who is a much more basic scrum-half - he doesn't do a lot wrong, but he's a lot less pro-active than someone like Cooney, so the responsibility and decision-making would fall more on the 10 (although playing Burns behind Caolin Blade might work). Cooney being Ulster's first-choice goal kicker also means Billy lacks match practice at that.

If they do pick Harry, I'd at least get to see something of him, see if he's as good as his reputation. The only time recently I thought I'd get a look at him for Leinster, he got injured in the warmup.

And If they want to be really experimental, Michael Lowry's played a few games at 10 for Ulster!
 

Groundhog

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Also if Carbery is heir apparent we're in trouble, hasn't looked an international standard 10 since 2018.
Barely playing and playing injured in the games you do play since 2018 will do that, although he was absolutely great for Munster in the 2018/2019 season pre injury.... He's finally fit again with a chance to try and build some form and you want him dropped? Yeah he wasn't great vs Japan, but he has way more of an excuse than others.

Hope we go pretty experimental this weekend anyway. Can't see why we wouldn't. Think Farrell will look to shake criticism about being conservative by throwing out a bunch of new caps in a nothing game against weak opposition.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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He's barely played since 2018. He looked like our best option beyond Sexton before the injury problems started, and he needs game time to play himself back into that kind of form. If it was me and he's fit, I'd start him.

I like Burns, both because I'm an Ulster fan and because I like his style of play. He's a risk-taker with an exciting attacking kicking game. But I'm not sure that's the game Faz wants to play - Joe Schmidt certainly wouldn't have entertained it - and while Billy can play that game at Pro14 level, international rugby is a big step up, and I'm not sure he has the big-game mentality. He also benefits for Ulster from having John Cooney in front of him - defences have to watch his running game, which makes more space for an out-half, and his decision-making and leadership also take a lot of the pressure off the 10. For Ireland he'd be playing behind Gibson-Park, who is a much more basic scrum-half - he doesn't do a lot wrong, but he's a lot less pro-active than someone like Cooney, so the responsibility and decision-making would fall more on the 10 (although playing Burns behind Caolin Blade might work). Cooney being Ulster's first-choice goal kicker also means Billy lacks match practice at that.

If they do pick Harry, I'd at least get to see something of him, see if he's as good as his reputation. The only time recently I thought I'd get a look at him for Leinster, he got injured in the warmup.

And If they want to be really experimental, Michael Lowry's played a few games at 10 for Ulster!
Barely playing and playing injured in the games you do play since 2018 will do that, although he was absolutely great for Munster in the 2018/2019 season pre injury.... He's finally fit again with a chance to try and build some form and you want him dropped? Yeah he wasn't great vs Japan, but he has way more of an excuse than others.

Hope we go pretty experimental this weekend anyway. Can't see why we wouldn't. Think Farrell will look to shake criticism about being conservative by throwing out a bunch of new caps in a nothing game against weak opposition.
Why give him the 10 jersey when he has done nothing of note in three years? Give him his opportunity to take it sure, we're fairly desperate for a 10 but he had it last week and was fairly desperate.

HB was playing at a level in Leinster that was good enough to get him into the last two squads, (ie looking good and winning games at pro14 level) it's currently the level of every 10 bar Sexton*. Give the kid his chance, if he takes it great, Carbery and Burns can battle it out for the last squad spot behind him for the Autumn tests. If he doesn't, we're basically where we are currently.

Starting against the US isn't going to magic Carbery back to the level he was at while playing and learning under Lancaster and Schmidt either and with the injuries he's had he's almost certainly not going to get his feet back to a level that set him apart. He needs to add more to his game because currently a reasonably well executed blitz defence, which is how 90% of teams defend, can totally nullify him.

*Ross Byrne too to be fair but we know he's not a good enough athlete to make the grade.
 

Groundhog

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Why give him the 10 jersey when he has done nothing of note in three years? Give him his opportunity to take it sure, we're fairly desperate for a 10 but he had it last week and was fairly desperate.

HB was playing at a level in Leinster that was good enough to get him into the last two squads, (ie looking good and winning games at pro14 level) it's currently the level of every 10 bar Sexton*. Give the kid his chance, if he takes it great, Carbery and Burns can battle it out for the last squad spot behind him for the Autumn tests. If he doesn't, we're basically where we are currently.

Starting against the US isn't going to magic Carbery back to the level he was at while playing and learning under Lancaster and Schmidt either and with the injuries he's had he's almost certainly not going to get his feet back to a level that set him apart. He needs to add more to his game because currently a reasonably well executed blitz defence, which is how 90% of teams defend, can totally nullify him.

*Ross Byrne too to be fair but we know he's not a good enough athlete to make the grade.
Again he's done nothing of note because he's been injured. How on earth is that a valid stick to beat him with? By that logic, why give Harry Byrne the jersey based off thumping well beaten Pro 14 teams? Joey is a pretty unknown quantity coming back from injury (pace and stepping ability included), but has shown in the past to be a very decent player and has had I think two MOTM performances for Munster since his return so its not like he's in shocking form. The guy is 25, he's not coming back from injury at 32 with a load of miles on the clock.

A pretty poor, albeit winning performance in a pretty terrible team performance is his once chance? Beating the USA also won't give Harry Byrne the credentials to be an international 10 either, although woe to him if he does play badly, you'll presumably be calling for him to drop out.

For the record I have no issue with Harry Byrne playing this game and as you know I rate him pretty highly. He should get a shot to play in this game and against whatever T2 we decide to play in the Autumn, solely because we know for a fact that Ross B and Burns are not and will never be at the level. That is not the case for Joey who was never an imposter at international level by any means.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Again he's done nothing of note because he's been injured. How on earth is that a valid stick to beat him with? By that logic, why give Harry Byrne the jersey based off thumping well beaten Pro 14 teams? Joey is a pretty unknown quantity coming back from injury (pace and stepping ability included), but has shown in the past to be a very decent player and has had I think two MOTM performances for Munster since his return so its not like he's in shocking form. The guy is 25, he's not coming back from injury at 32 with a load of miles on the clock.

A pretty poor, albeit winning performance in a pretty terrible team performance is his once chance? Beating the USA also won't give Harry Byrne the credentials to be an international 10 either, although woe to him if he does play badly, you'll presumably be calling for him to drop out.

For the record I have no issue with Harry Byrne playing this game and as you know I rate him pretty highly. He should get a shot to play in this game and against whatever T2 we decide to play in the Autumn, solely because we know for a fact that Ross B and Burns are not and will never be at the level. That is not the case for Joey who was never an imposter at international level by any means.
I'm hardly beating him, merely saying he has to prove himself to be second choice, I don't think he has come close. Until then we should be giving all players identified as potential internationals equal opportunities.

Never have I said Carbery should drop out of the squad but I am totally against a massively injury prone player who has started a total of one matches against tier 1 opposition walking into the "heir apparent" role after 3 years of interrupted mediocre rugby. If Byrne stinks the place up he should have to earn his spot back in the squad with Leinster too, if he plays very well he should be elevated a la James Ryan in the equivalent 2017 tests.

Freddie Burns is a known entity, the other two aren't.
 

Reiser99

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Freddie Burns is a known entity, the other two aren't.
I know you guys are eager to jump on the poaching band wagon, but you've already got one Burns and this one is tied to England (not that he's got a hope of playing for us, actually sod it, we'll forget the rules, you can have him too.)
 

Le Frére Alpha

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I know you guys are eager to jump on the poaching band wagon, but you've already got one Burns and this one is tied to England (not that he's got a hope of playing for us, actually sod it, we'll forget the rules, you can have him too.)
I know it's still a poach but I meant this Burns:

Mr.-Burns-Attempting-To-Kick-a-Football-Get-In-Shape-On-The-Simpsons.gif

Definitely the best of the three.
 

big ginger 8

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The US in Vegas and Japan, NZ, and Argentina in Dublin is a nice slate for the Autumn.
 

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Good lineup of games. Would absolutely love to see that game in the Death Star. NZ and Argentina good T1 bookings for us. Continuation of the Japan rivalry will be entertaining.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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A nice bit of tea
No news that Sexton barks at his teammates, BOD tells a story of Sexton chewing him out of it during his debut season with Leinster.

Cooney being unable to take it is interesting.
 

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I'd say Sexton is absolute marmite on the pitch, but being a narky prick is what has made him great over the years and he doesn't know any other way.
 

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I've always felt that Cooney's ego is a wee bit fragile and needs careful handling. He performs best when he's undisputed first choice and feels like everyone's relying on him. Signing Alby Matthewson, and starting him in the Pro14 final, was a big blow to him. After that, when Matthewson started, Cooney wasn't on the bench, I think to make sure he understood he was being rested, not dropped. Madigan's a better goal kicker than he is, but Cooney takes the kicks even when Madigan's at 10.

Football coaches talk about how some players respond better to an arm round the shoulder, and others to a kick up the arse. Cooney's definitely an arm around the shoulder guy. It works for Ulster, but we rely on him very heavily, and collapsed against Leicester when he went off. I wonder if the reason he hasn't got more time with Ireland is the coaches find him hard work.
 
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big ginger 8

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There's long been rumours about Cooney and Sexton not working too well together so not too surprised.
 

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I was listening to Jamie Roberts tell a story the other day how Sexton went into Hibbard big time in some training session and apparently people were like ******* hell Johnny but Hibbard just gave him some death stare and Sexton calmed it a bit.

It’s good to have a character like that in a team I think. It helps if that player is world class as well so they can back up being a bit of a demanding prick with being class.
 

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Every player in Ireland except Ross Byrne:

Backs (23)

Will Addison (Ulster/Enniskillen) 5 caps

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 31 caps

Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 1 cap

Caolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegians) 1 cap

Billy Burns (Ulster) 7 caps

Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 cap

Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 24 caps

Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 3 caps

Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 25 caps

Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps

Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 93 caps

Chris Farrell (Munster/Young Munster) 15 caps

Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 10 caps

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 52 caps

James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap

Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 13 caps

Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps

James Lowe (Leinster) 6 caps

Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 5 caps

Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 89 caps

Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps

Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 99 caps

Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (27)

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 5 caps

Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 16 caps

Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 22 caps

Paul Boyle (Connacht/Buccaneers) 1 cap

Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps

Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 20 caps

Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 9 caps

Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps

Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 19 caps

Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 9 caps

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 49 caps

Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 109 caps

Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 6 caps

Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 63 caps

Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 22 caps

Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps

Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 45 caps

Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 76 caps

Eric O’Sullivan (Ulster/ Banbridge) 1 cap

Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 1 cap

Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps

Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 27 caps

James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps

John Ryan (Munster/Cork Constitution) 24 caps

Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap

Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps

Fineen Wycherley (Munster/Young Munster) 1 cap
 

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I presume likes of Zebo and Cooney can consider days in green close to over
 

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I think Cooney probably burnt his bridges with what he said about Sexton and the way he talks to people. If he was younger he could probably wait for Sexton to retire, but he's 31.

I can't find it now, but I read or watched an interview with him in recent months where he basically said he was resigned to not getting picked for Ireland and was going to concentrate on playing as well as he could for Ulster. He's in the last year of his contract, and I wouldn't blame him for looking for a last big contract in France where they appreciate a creative scrum half, but as an Ulster fan I really hope he stays. We'd really miss him. He's been a star for us. Dave Shanahan's a useful player who's never let us down, and probably a better player than he gets credit for, but he's not in Cooney's league, and Nathan Doak looks very promising, but I don't think he's ready to step up just yet. The IRFU aren't going to let us sign a non-Irish player to be first choice. Maybe Connacht could let us have Caolin Blade. And our out-halves would really have to step up their game.
 

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I think Cooney probably burnt his bridges with what he said about Sexton and the way he talks to people. If he was younger he could probably wait for Sexton to retire, but he's 31.

I can't find it now, but I read or watched an interview with him in recent months where he basically said he was resigned to not getting picked for Ireland and was going to concentrate on playing as well as he could for Ulster. He's in the last year of his contract, and I wouldn't blame him for looking for a last big contract in France where they appreciate a creative scrum half, but as an Ulster fan I really hope he stays. We'd really miss him. He's been a star for us. Dave Shanahan's a useful player who's never let us down, and probably a better player than he gets credit for, but he's not in Cooney's league, and Nathan Doak looks very promising, but I don't think he's ready to step up just yet. The IRFU aren't going to let us sign a non-Irish player to be first choice. Maybe Connacht could let us have Caolin Blade. And our out-halves would really have to step up their game.
Very upbeat idea of Shanahan
From what I've seen he's a poor passer, and box kicker, and other than running good supporting lines which makes him look relevant by scoring a few, his general game play is at best average.
Doak looks promising though, may usurp Cooney in next 2 years, good to have a couple of strong options there, especially given Alby didnt really seem to be all that bothered when he came
 
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