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Irish Provincial Structure

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

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It's exciting watching this all unfold

I want to see a Succession based drama around the IRFU and the religions with all these player movements.
Brian Cox can play Nucifora

Connacht, Munster and Ulster confronting Nucifora about these Leinster moves
 
It's exciting watching this all unfold

I want to see a Succession based drama around the IRFU and the religions with all these player movements.
Brian Cox can play Nucifora

Connacht, Munster and Ulster confronting Nucifora about these Leinster moves


Understand Connachts gripes, but bit rich for Munster especially, they were the dominant province and dropped the ball, thats on them.

Sort your own house out.
 
Understand Connachts gripes, but bit rich for Munster especially, they were the dominant province and dropped the ball, thats on them.

Sort your own house out.
The thing is Munster do actually have bills but because they own a stadium. Unlike some. And also don't get discounted rents.
Also don't have €10million discounted off their wage bill.
Or millions pumped in to private schools for almost professional coaching structures.
Also we don't have a population and wealthy business man club to same extreme that Mick Dawson has assembled. Not a negative on the guy either but just fact.

Every part there is fact 100%. Muster dropped ball with academy sure between 2008-2012/13 and it hurt.

But on financial side lets not move facts Leinster do get massive support other provinces don't. Is it rewards for producing players etc. Maybe. That a different argument.

On signing NIQ players. Pieter Steph Du Toit, Ruan Piennar, Augustin Creevy, Vincent Koch, Freddie Michilak to name just a few were all over the line for Munster and Ulster at different stages and told no as it is bad for Irish rugby and blocks gametime for IQ players.
And now RG Snyman coming to be a bench player and can only play limited time but still blocks locks.
A THP prop is desperately wanted by Leinster and will be sanctioned. But again does block IQ time.
Jordie Barrett coming means someone looses out even if for 6 months (although D MacKenzie supposedly after).

Like these are all solid facts.
 
Que more meltdown from the Munster twitter brigade.

It's been a tough for days for them.

edit - oh wait they are already melting down.
Not really as that was know for months that was happening and was deserved too.
 
I do feel sorry for Connacht tbh losing Henshaw after that ***le win was a massive blow.
Ulster IDK to me they just seem like they are always bottlers
The final a couple years ago at Leinster when they had Coetzee starting and Mathewson and imo on paper a team nearly level the the Leinsters starting XV yet the game was already over by half time nearly.
 
I do feel sorry for Connacht tbh losing Henshaw after that ***le win was a massive blow.
Ulster IDK to me they just seem like they are always bottlers
The final a couple years ago at Leinster when they had Coetzee starting and Mathewson and imo on paper a team nearly level the the Leinsters starting XV yet the game was already over by half time nearly.
Ulster produced superb backs around that time just couldn't get enough forwards through.
 
The thing is Munster do actually have bills but because they own a stadium. Unlike some. And also don't get discounted rents.
Also don't have €10million discounted off their wage bill.
Or millions pumped in to private schools for almost professional coaching structures.
Also we don't have a population and wealthy business man club to same extreme that Mick Dawson has assembled. Not a negative on the guy either but just fact.
I haven't seen a Leinster fan denying these advantages. I think the hostility is that generally the desired reaction is to artificially weaken Leinster rather than build up the other provinces.

Munster are doing things right now but it's very early in the process. They overachieved last year and fans immediately expected that to be the norm and are pointing fingers at Leinster reaping the rewards of 10-15 years of a well run system. If Munster get it right at academy level and produce players it will balance out.
Every part there is fact 100%. Muster dropped ball with academy sure between 2008-2012/13 and it hurt.

But on financial side lets not move facts Leinster do get massive support other provinces don't. Is it rewards for producing players etc. Maybe. That a different argument.
Ulster and Munster have their backers too. The disparity on the pitch is bigger than the disparity of resources, let's be honest.
On signing NIQ players. Pieter Steph Du Toit, Ruan Piennar, Augustin Creevy, Vincent Koch, Freddie Michilak to name just a few were all over the line for Munster and Ulster at different stages and told no as it is bad for Irish rugby and blocks gametime for IQ players.
And now RG Snyman coming to be a bench player and can only play limited time but still blocks locks.
A THP prop is desperately wanted by Leinster and will be sanctioned. But again does block IQ time.
Jordie Barrett coming means someone looses out even if for 6 months (although D MacKenzie supposedly after).

Like these are all solid facts.
Leinster's first T1 international signings in 5 years. If Leinster could have picked up a TH lock in 2020 instead of an aged Fardy, they'd have multiple more Heineken Cups in all likelihood. Instead Ross Moloney has played significant minutes in European knockouts when never on Irelands radar.

Humphries challenge isn't anything to do with Leinster, he'd be mad to alter it. But needs to find a way for the other provinces to start producing internationals and reaping the benefits themselves. Munster are on the right track, Connacht probably do need more grassroots investment but rugby is niche out west, Ulster need to burn it all down and start again.
 
I haven't seen a Leinster fan denying these advantages. I think the hostility is that generally the desired reaction is to artificially weaken Leinster rather than build up the other provinces.

Munster are doing things right now but it's very early in the process. They overachieved last year and fans immediately expected that to be the norm and are pointing fingers at Leinster reaping the rewards of 10-15 years of a well run system. If Munster get it right at academy level and produce players it will balance out.

Ulster and Munster have their backers too. The disparity on the pitch is bigger than the disparity of resources, let's be honest.

Leinster's first T1 international signings in 5 years. If Leinster could have picked up a TH lock in 2020 instead of an aged Fardy, they'd have multiple more Heineken Cups in all likelihood. Instead Ross Moloney has played significant minutes in European knockouts when never on Irelands radar.

Humphries challenge isn't anything to do with Leinster, he'd be mad to alter it. But needs to find a way for the other provinces to start producing internationals and reaping the benefits themselves. Munster are on the right track, Connacht probably do need more grassroots investment but rugby is niche out west, Ulster need to burn it all down and start again.
I'll start at the top.

On the Leinster part and advantages. I have no gripes with Leinster. You are given a budget and work within it which Leinster are doing. I do not slate them for that.

Now on the academy and financial backing. I don't disagree that Munster and Ulster have backing too but nowhere near the level of Leinster and I say Leinster loosely. Leinster Rugby is not directly responsible for millions being pumped in to the school game to allow for top class coaching and structures but they benefit. And again not a slight on them. They are maximising the potential. This is the where the big challenge is. At schools level.

On the end again I 100% agree this isn't an attack on Leinster more a big fix is needed. Like it is not good for Ireland if Leinster are basically above everyone competitively, it also is not good for the URC.
But reading Gerry Thornley it seems Humphreys and Nucifora are actively in the middle of changing the whole CC system. This is choppy waters as any changes would negatively impact Leinster over time finacially in budgets. So it is a hard one to balance.
I think people are more up in arms as RG and Jordie Barrett are effectively luxury signings. Yes they improve Leinster squad but were not desperately needed and it is in a time when all other provinces are being made cut.
 
Understand Connachts gripes, but bit rich for Munster especially, they were the dominant province and dropped the ball, thats on them.

Sort your own house out.
Yes demographics and the funding of the schools game have nothing to do with this. Leinster being the dominant province is totally totally inevitable. I will fully agree there is some ridiculous takes from fellow Munster fans on Twitter, but let's not act as if Munster are dropping balls here. The 2000s were an anomaly brought on by Munster adapting to professionalism quickly and having a group of players concentrated around a number of high level clubs. It's not really replicable in 2024. We have absolutely been a basket case in the past, but as it stands now we're playing pretty much every player we have, on the business development side we have been exploring every avenue for generating extra cash and in my opinion our house is fairly in order.

That's not me whining about unfairness or anything, it is what it is and we still have a demographic edge on many teams, but the reality is if the IRFU want to try and keep some parity between the provinces they will have to put their finger on the scale. I don't know how or to what extent, but it's what Humphreys is there for.
 
I'd have no problem with the IRFU re-balancing it and given the other provinces more budget and access to NIQs.
 
I should add NIQs aren't neccaessarily the answer like loading Munster, Ulster or Connacht with an extra 2 or 3 NIQ's is not exactly a great fix. Will paper over issues in the short term.
I use Leinster as an example and not a dig as every province probably has an more glaring example.
Leinster are still papering over cracks of they are not producing locks. That is why Jenkins is being replaced by another NIQ and well Fardy was more in as a lock originally and Nathan Hines and Brad Thorn and the list is there. THP is another area and I know Leinster can say they lost lads but it is still an issue for Ireland as a hole the THP position.

A clear plan and the schools system balance needs to be addressed too and I'm not saying Leinster schools pick needs to be split etc more other provincal schools systems need to be improved.
 
I do think the work of Leinster development officers in schools rugby is under appreciated.

A lot of schools with good resources weren't doing well at all up until recent years. Gonzaga, Newbridge, Mary's and Terenure have all come on leaps and bounds with assistance from the branch.
 
I'd have no problem with the IRFU re-balancing it and given the other provinces more budget and access to NIQs.
The money will have to come from somewhere though. I don't really know the extent to which private backers are still actually involved, I know the IRFU definitely reigned that in a bit from the days where Rory McIlroy was paying the wages of a few Ulster players.

If the IRFU sees a situation where for example they can fork out 200K to get an NIQ at prop for Ulster or convince an up and coming Leinster player they're already technically paying to fill the gap for much less, they'll generally take the latter option, especially as the IRFU are by all accounts fairly financially conservative these days.

The confusion around this ultimately comes from the fact that this is very much a luxury signing rather than a signing of need like we've had in the past, especially short term! Even Brad Thorn was there to add world class to a relative position of weakness. You couldn't reasonably pick out a position of weakness for Leinster right now.

Don't get me wrong, I am not particularly angry about this move, but it was always going to evoke a reaction. I am mostly interested to see what this leads to. The fact the Central contract system is completely up for rework is a matter of record, and I am interested to see how the IRFU is going to handle the whole budgeting thing in the future.
 
I do think the work of Leinster development officers in schools rugby is under appreciated.

A lot of schools with good resources weren't doing well at all up until recent years. Gonzaga, Newbridge, Mary's and Terenure have all come on leaps and bounds with assistance from the branch.
Without doubt, but are Sligo Grammar or Munchins going to have the money to put in place top level S&C to get players pro ready or get in top level coaches on six figures even with better support from the branch or the IRFU?

I mean maybe in some isolated cases, but overall probably not. The Leinster schools system is a great, privately funded beast at its heart that can compete with the best of South African, English and NZ private school systems. There just isn't the same level of investment especially in public schools, which is why the axis of power in Munster for example is increasingly swinging towards Cork private schools.

Ulster I think probably has the closest replica to Leinster schools at least traditionally. A good number of schools whose sole sporting focus is rugby.
 
Without doubt, but are Sligo Grammar or Munchins going to have the money to put in place top level S&C to get players pro ready or get in top level coaches on six figures even with better support from the branch or the IRFU?

I mean maybe in some isolated cases, but overall probably not. The Leinster schools system is a great, privately funded beast at its heart that can compete with the best of South African, English and NZ private school systems. There just isn't the same level of investment especially in public schools, which is why the axis of power in Munster for example is increasingly swinging towards Cork private schools.

Ulster I think probably has the closest replica to Leinster schools at least traditionally. A good number of schools whose sole sporting focus is rugby.
I think there is a mix of issues here.
Demographics is just nature. Leinster schools have much more numbers so have a bigger pond to select from.
Now I give you an example. @Leonormous Boozer you are correct on the Leinster Development Officers doing a superb job. And what annoys me is some of these guys are Munster men. So effectively Munster is suffering in being slower to identify the ability of some of these development officers but equally some of these guys look better as they have a better pool to look at.
But take Gonzaga as an example.
George Naoupu was on €85k per year at 1 stage as Director Of Rugby.
This isn't a Leinster rugby/budget thing as they have nothing to do with that but it shows that if that is a wage for a Director Of Rugby there then that is what funds are around the schools for S&C levels.
Then when it does come to Leinster picking guys. They are more advanced already and already have an idea of the professional requirements.
Schools in Limerick/Cork are mainly non private and the private ones wouldn't have the same depth of donors. Now again it not a negative on the schools as they are afforded it but I suppose this is the imbalance that needs to try be balanced and I don't have an answer to that.
 
I'm not really trying to claim a level playing field here. It's more of a case that Leinster are looked at and it's like "how could they not be doing so well?", when in reality they are an exceptionally run organisation maximising efficiency and is the main driver for national success.

I think changing the CC system now is risky. Until all provinces' academies are running at an acceptable standard, any tampering risks losing key internationals. Increasing the number of CCs and reducing wage budgets benefits Munster but likely hurts Ulster, who won't get any, and Connacht, who are due Hansen being offered one at next renewal anyway. A CC quota per province runs the risk of lads going abroad rather than to another province where there's ample examples of resistance.

Leinster are self sustaining insofar as their academy products are enough to be competitive in Europe and URC, Munster are getting there and will be boosted by recent promising 20s graduates, Connacht probably don't have the resources to get there in any case but look to be producing talent at a higher rate than previous, Ulster is a basket case.

On an international level having a dominant team isn't a bad thing, see NZ. I don't think prioritising provincial competitiveness would bear fruit. I think the current system supplemented with incentives to graduate academy players (this doesn't have to be equitable and can somewhat counter Leinster's advantages mentioned above) is the first step. Build from there. Getting Munster to Leinster's level and Ulster and Connacht to Munster's should be the goal, not lowering the level to increase competitiveness.
 
I'm not really trying to claim a level playing field here. It's more of a case that Leinster are looked at and it's like "how could they not be doing so well?", when in reality they are an exceptionally run organisation maximising efficiency and is the main driver for national success.

I think changing the CC system now is risky. Until all provinces' academies are running at an acceptable standard, any tampering risks losing key internationals. Increasing the number of CCs and reducing wage budgets benefits Munster but likely hurts Ulster, who won't get any, and Connacht, who are due Hansen being offered one at next renewal anyway. A CC quota per province runs the risk of lads going abroad rather than to another province where there's ample examples of resistance.

Leinster are self sustaining insofar as their academy products are enough to be competitive in Europe and URC, Munster are getting there and will be boosted by recent promising 20s graduates, Connacht probably don't have the resources to get there in any case but look to be producing talent at a higher rate than previous, Ulster is a basket case.

On an international level having a dominant team isn't a bad thing, see NZ. I don't think prioritising provincial competitiveness would bear fruit. I think the current system supplemented with incentives to graduate academy players (this doesn't have to be equitable and can somewhat counter Leinster's advantages mentioned above) is the first step. Build from there. Getting Munster to Leinster's level and Ulster and Connacht to Munster's should be the goal, not lowering the level to increase competitiveness.
Yea don't think it a case as I said balancing but more Leinster have great foundation from the schools. Like most top Leinster schools have few pitches, scrum machines, Astro facilities, gym facilities. We don't have these in other areas. Not a Leinster issue either I should add in that they aren't responsible for supplying these.

On the CC system. It a hard one but I do see change coming. What and how I don't know.
 
@TRF_Olyy any chance of moving all these messages to a new thread. "Irish Provincial Structure" or sum?

Don't think this is the end of it and we've hijacked this one.

Haven't even covered mistakes made by Ulster (4G pitch) and Munster (building an expensive stadium too big for the city it's in) yet…
 
Now watch this thread die…

I do think that, despite historic value, Munster should have set up HQ in Cork. Bigger fan base, easier to work closely with primary talent sources. That was a misstep.
 

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