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Irish Rugby - The Isolation Years

munstermuffin

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Still think he looked better than Henderson when they've played together. Reckon a ball-carrying Henderson option will do wonders for Ryan, with a hopefully barnstorming Beirne in the backrow.
That fair but still they haven't had time together yet this Spring
 

big ginger 8

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So with Stander's unexpected retirement I thought I might do a stock take of the 6/8s we might see over the next two years.

Leinster:
Doris - had firmly established himself in the starting team before his concussion issues. If he can come back from them ok you'd expect him to be our starting 8 had all the necessary qualities.

Baird - possibly the freakiest athlete in Irish rugby but likely to be considered a lock for Leinster going forward and has only played in the row for Ireland so far.

Conan - was very unlucky to suffer a long term injury coming up to the WC where he was playing some brilliant stuff. Likely to be Leinster's starting 6. Explosive carrier with great hands.

Deegan - Unlucky to be missing this whole season with an ACL after making his debut last 6N. Very comfortable in the wider channels but often accused of not wanting to do the dirty work.

Ruddock - Ireland's nearly man for the last decade. Probably lacks the top end speed or explosiveness for top international level but will not let you down.

Munster:
Beirne - playing some great stuff in green at the moment. Stander's retirement and Snyman's return may open up more chances for him in the backrow at Munster next year.

Coombes - obviously a big fucker. Seems to have decent hands. Will definitely be back in Ireland squads, I do wonder about his dynamism at the top level but expect him to be in the Ireland squad for most of his. Could be a gameplan dependant player but not the sort of guy we have a great deal of.

O'Donoghue - Liam Toland's favourite man in the world. Loads of pace, great in the lineout and will give you his all. Probably a bit underpowered.

O'Mahony - I don't think there's anything new to say here.

Ulster:
Timoney - excellent athlete who seems to have bulked up recently. Very hard worker but I'd be surprised if he gets anything outside some token caps.

McCann - very smart and skillful player. Doesn't look like he'll be a dominant carrier but comfortable in Ulster's gameplan and the wider channels. Also seem to be useful in the lineout. Hopefully becomes a fixture in the Ulster team next year.

Connacht:
Boyle - smart all action player but again someone who might be a bit underpowered. Connacht should have a lot more high level games next year where he can show what he has.
 

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So with Stander's unexpected retirement I thought I might do a stock take of the 6/8s we might see over the next two years.

Leinster:
Doris - had firmly established himself in the starting team before his concussion issues. If he can come back from them ok you'd expect him to be our starting 8 had all the necessary qualities.

Baird - possibly the freakiest athlete in Irish rugby but likely to be considered a lock for Leinster going forward and has only played in the row for Ireland so far.

Conan - was very unlucky to suffer a long term injury coming up to the WC where he was playing some brilliant stuff. Likely to be Leinster's starting 6. Explosive carrier with great hands.

Deegan - Unlucky to be missing this whole season with an ACL after making his debut last 6N. Very comfortable in the wider channels but often accused of not wanting to do the dirty work.

Ruddock - Ireland's nearly man for the last decade. Probably lacks the top end speed or explosiveness for top international level but will not let you down.

Munster:
Beirne - playing some great stuff in green at the moment. Stander's retirement and Snyman's return may open up more chances for him in the backrow at Munster next year.

Coombes - obviously a big fucker. Seems to have decent hands. Will definitely be back in Ireland squads, I do wonder about his dynamism at the top level but expect him to be in the Ireland squad for most of his. Could be a gameplan dependant player but not the sort of guy we have a great deal of.

O'Donoghue - Liam Toland's favourite man in the world. Loads of pace, great in the lineout and will give you his all. Probably a bit underpowered.

O'Mahony - I don't think there's anything new to say here.

Ulster:
Timoney - excellent athlete who seems to have bulked up recently. Very hard worker but I'd be surprised if he gets anything outside some token caps.

McCann - very smart and skillful player. Doesn't look like he'll be a dominant carrier but comfortable in Ulster's gameplan and the wider channels. Also seem to be useful in the lineout. Hopefully becomes a fixture in the Ulster team next year.

Connacht:
Boyle - smart all action player but again someone who might be a bit underpowered. Connacht should have a lot more high level games next year where he can show what he has.
It's early days but if they can all stay fit and in form I think we might have stumbled onto something pretty great with the Henderson-Ryan-Beirne thing.

A backrow of 6. Beirne 7. Connors (most likely at this stage but not opposed to looking at other options too) 8. Doris over the next year or so would keep most people happy. Conan and Coombes fighting it out for the bench spot would be ideal.

Honestly think we should be looking past O'Mahony at this stage (I know this conversation has been done to death) but seriously he won't be the best option by 2023 and if he is we've done a lot of things wrong. Coombes is clearly worth getting involved over the summer. Boyle might be slightly underpowered but is worth a look, with his versatility I can see him being a useful option for Ireland down the line even if he might not be starter material. With Baird likely to focus on lock, Deegan injured and a bit away from being an international when fit and Ruddock realistically old to have a proper international tenure at this stage we maybe aren't as spoiled for options as you'd initially think. Timoney is a no for me. O'Donoghue too is 27 at this stage, can't help but think that if he was going to win a bunch of caps it'd have happened by now.

The only other names I can think of worth mentioning are Fineed Wycherly, who I like and hopefully should get a good crack at the Munster team/23 with Billy Holland and CJ retiring. Hopefully his recent injury doesn't have a serious impact. Josh Murphy probably is slightly outside the talent bracket Ireland should be looking at but is another good player.

7 is an interesting situation too. Josh is great but struggles against bigger packs and it's hard to see a reality where that changes. Connors is probably the best option for the short in both the short and medium term. Penny is the most talented, has more to prove because of his size but he's a brilliant player. Leavy is a hope but who knows if he'll play international rugby again. Finishing his career with 11 caps would be a stupidly unfair waste of talent.

Assuming CJ is the only guy who goes on a hypothetical Lions tour, Doris, Conan, Coombes, Connors, Van der Flier and one of Ruddock/O'Mahony for the summer would make a good bit of sense. I think there might be a small chance that Penny ends up involved in Leinster's 23 for the various knockouts in which case he should be involved too.
 

Jakedood

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So with Stander's unexpected retirement I thought I might do a stock take of the 6/8s we might see over the next two years.

Leinster:
Doris - had firmly established himself in the starting team before his concussion issues. If he can come back from them ok you'd expect him to be our starting 8 had all the necessary qualities.

Baird - possibly the freakiest athlete in Irish rugby but likely to be considered a lock for Leinster going forward and has only played in the row for Ireland so far.

Conan - was very unlucky to suffer a long term injury coming up to the WC where he was playing some brilliant stuff. Likely to be Leinster's starting 6. Explosive carrier with great hands.

Deegan - Unlucky to be missing this whole season with an ACL after making his debut last 6N. Very comfortable in the wider channels but often accused of not wanting to do the dirty work.

Ruddock - Ireland's nearly man for the last decade. Probably lacks the top end speed or explosiveness for top international level but will not let you down.

Munster:
Beirne - playing some great stuff in green at the moment. Stander's retirement and Snyman's return may open up more chances for him in the backrow at Munster next year.

Coombes - obviously a big fucker. Seems to have decent hands. Will definitely be back in Ireland squads, I do wonder about his dynamism at the top level but expect him to be in the Ireland squad for most of his. Could be a gameplan dependant player but not the sort of guy we have a great deal of.

O'Donoghue - Liam Toland's favourite man in the world. Loads of pace, great in the lineout and will give you his all. Probably a bit underpowered.

O'Mahony - I don't think there's anything new to say here.

Ulster:
Timoney - excellent athlete who seems to have bulked up recently. Very hard worker but I'd be surprised if he gets anything outside some token caps.

McCann - very smart and skillful player. Doesn't look like he'll be a dominant carrier but comfortable in Ulster's gameplan and the wider channels. Also seem to be useful in the lineout. Hopefully becomes a fixture in the Ulster team next year.

Connacht:
Boyle - smart all action player but again someone who might be a bit underpowered. Connacht should have a lot more high level games next year where he can show what he has.
Re McCann, I'd have agreed with you, but he's young and his carrying technique is really good, he needs to bulk up a bit for sure, but then so do a lot of boys coming to Ulster early, we dont seem to have the S&C side in schools going quite so well. Maybe this time next year we'll see more, but he's got a lot of upside. Timoney has looked much better this year in nearly all departments, but he's still a workmanlike player more than anything, needs more big game involvement s to put his size and speed to good use
 

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