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Irish Rugby - The Isolation Years

Groundhog

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On Paulie's track record, I don't think he has a bad one, he just straight up doesn't have one. Impossible to know how much he achieved with the Munster academy and Under 20s. French trip was a mess, but it seems like the club was going crackpot and Mike Prendergast who is an excellent coach headed for the door for the same reasons. Complete unknown quantity in my opinion, which is not really what you like to see in a national coaching appointment. I would love to see a guy like Flannery brought in to deputise with a view towards the top job if he has the minerals. Based on his former roles, I just am not sure how long term or full time this role will be for O'Connell, from past soundbites he's seemed quite happy not to go two footed into coaching.
 

munstermuffin

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On Paulie's track record, I don't think he has a bad one, he just straight up doesn't have one. Impossible to know how much he achieved with the Munster academy and Under 20s. French trip was a mess, but it seems like the club was going crackpot and Mike Prendergast who is an excellent coach headed for the door for the same reasons. Complete unknown quantity in my opinion, which is not really what you like to see in a national coaching appointment. I would love to see a guy like Flannery brought in to deputise with a view towards the top job if he has the minerals. Based on his former roles, I just am not sure how long term or full time this role will be for O'Connell, from past soundbites he's seemed quite happy not to go two footed into coaching.
I think that it. Paris was **** show for all. Not Paulie. He was good with 20s I think it more a case of wanting experience to support inexperienced Head Coach
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Not convinced. Andy Farrell is yet to convince me that he's got a shred of tactical nous. Emotion and Passion seems to be his game and rugby has moved on a wee bit since 2009 when that was king. POC should have been made earn his stripes before getting near the Ireland team.

This coming Six Nations is begging for a slam with the schedule we have, I could see 3/5 or worse and if that were to happen in absolutely has to be met with a change of coach.
 

munstermuffin

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https://www.instagram.com/p/CKEZBtZKqVJ/?igshid=1po20t2r8g79j

Such a shame our second best player ever turned out to be an idiot after retiring. Also such a shame this will be fairly close to what will be picked.
To be fair on form that is close to it. Lowe is out injured but may get in back 3. But there hasn't been much other contenders. On form Murray has been very good at 9 for us and the others haven't blown it out of water like even Cooney hasn't been super high. Sexton has been average to poor at 10 but JJ and Carty have been form 10s and shouldn't be there. Locks I can only speak for Beirne and he has been the best player in Ireland the last 3 weeks.

On backrow I get it you are no fan of POM but on form he has been superb. Like I would say well ahead of rest.
Now I'm basing all on views of form. The team I'd pick would not include Sexton, POM, Earls as 3 are past peak and not going to be good enough next RWC or even next year.
Also Healy needs to be phased out slowly as well as Murray and Herring I'm undecided.
On form I'd argue for Marshall and KOB but that bias as well as form Herring has been good
 

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I'd be surprised if he made the squad but I think Harry Byrne should be our starter for this tournament. We have a rake of out halves who are 6/10 at best, Johnny's legs are gone and Sauce has the highest potential of the lot. With Murray looking like a rugby player again and Henshaw and Ringrose to take care of him there's no better time than now to pull the trigger.

Johnny is my favourite player ever and Ireland's GOAT as far as I'm concerned but the surrounding players aren't good enough to carry him to a fairytale ending like BOD had.
 

munstermuffin

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I'd be surprised if he made the squad but I think Harry Byrne should be our starter for this tournament. We have a rake of out halves who are 6/10 at best, Johnny's legs are gone and Sauce has the highest potential of the lot. With Murray looking like a rugby player again and Henshaw and Ringrose to take care of him there's no better time than now to pull the trigger.

Johnny is my favourite player ever and Ireland's GOAT as far as I'm concerned but the surrounding players aren't good enough to carry him to a fairytale ending like BOD had.
I'd be surprised if he made the squad but I think Harry Byrne should be our starter for this tournament. We have a rake of out halves who are 6/10 at best, Johnny's legs are gone and Sauce has the highest potential of the lot. With Murray looking like a rugby player again and Henshaw and Ringrose to take care of him there's no better time than now to pull the trigger.

Johnny is my favourite player ever and Ireland's GOAT as far as I'm concerned but the surrounding players aren't good enough to carry him to a fairytale ending like BOD had.
Why is he lingering behind Ross at the moment? Not that I disagree on any of that.

Tonight I think has seen Tadgh cement that he should be starting
 

big ginger 8

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So squad is named in Monday? What are we expecting? Some of the newer guys have seen their hype die down a bit in recent months so not sure how many new faces we’ll see. Doesn’t help how broken up this last while has been so some guys just back from injury are lacking game time. We had a 35-man squad in October so with that in mind.

Props: Healy, EOS, Kilcoyne, Porter, Bealham, O’Toole - hopefully Farrell has learned his lesson from picking too few props last time.

Hookers: Herring, Kelleher, Heffernan/Marshall/Delahunt - I’d like Delahunt but he’s the least likely one I’d imagine.

Locks: Ryan, Beirne, Dillane, Roux, Baird - Henderson was meant to be back by the 6N but haven’t seen any updates.

Backrow: Doris, Stander, POM, Connors, Boyle, Coombes - I think POM is more likely to play 7 so that’s why I didn’t include VDF.

Scrumhalves: Murray, McGrath, Casey - other than Murray I have no idea could easily have any of Marmion, Blade and JGP.

Outhalves: Sexton, Burns, Healy/HB

Centres: Ringrose, Henshaw, Aki, Farrell - inevitably one of the first three will get injured. I’d rather someone who brings something different to Chris but don’t think there’s any Andy will pick.

Backthree: Keenan, Stockdale, Larmour, Daly, JOB - couldn’t see an update on Lowe. Earls will probably end up in the squad but given his age and other options I’d rather he didn’t.
 

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So squad is named in Monday? What are we expecting? Some of the newer guys have seen their hype die down a bit in recent months so not sure how many new faces we’ll see. Doesn’t help how broken up this last while has been so some guys just back from injury are lacking game time. We had a 35-man squad in October so with that in mind.

Props: Healy, EOS, Kilcoyne, Porter, Bealham, O’Toole - hopefully Farrell has learned his lesson from picking too few props last time.

Hookers: Herring, Kelleher, Heffernan/Marshall/Delahunt - I’d like Delahunt but he’s the least likely one I’d imagine.

Locks: Ryan, Beirne, Dillane, Roux, Baird - Henderson was meant to be back by the 6N but haven’t seen any updates.

Backrow: Doris, Stander, POM, Connors, Boyle, Coombes - I think POM is more likely to play 7 so that’s why I didn’t include VDF.

Scrumhalves: Murray, McGrath, Casey - other than Murray I have no idea could easily have any of Marmion, Blade and JGP.

Outhalves: Sexton, Burns, Healy/HB

Centres: Ringrose, Henshaw, Aki, Farrell - inevitably one of the first three will get injured. I’d rather someone who brings something different to Chris but don’t think there’s any Andy will pick.

Backthree: Keenan, Stockdale, Larmour, Daly, JOB - couldn’t see an update on Lowe. Earls will probably end up in the squad but given his age and other options I’d rather he didn’t.
What would your starting team look like?
 

big ginger 8

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What would your starting team look like?

Based off of that squad, with Wales first up, I'd probably be looking at something like:

1. O'Sullivan
2. Kelleher
3. Porter
4. Beirne
5. Ryan
6. Stander
7. O'Mahony
8. Doris
9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Stockdale
12. Henshaw
13. Ringrose
14. Larmour
15. Keenan

16. Herring
17. Healy
18. Bealham
19. Baird
20. Connors
21. Casey
22. Healy/Byrne
23. Daly

Fairly uninspiring I suppose. Certainly should beat Wales though. I'd be hoping for decent rotation in some positions as well. I do like some things though. The front five all have good handling skills and can make strong contributions in the loose. The halfbacks are still the same old guys but have played much better recently. The centres are class and the backthree are all versatile while bringing individual attacking threat.

Picked EOS because Healy is really showing his mileage. I think he's still good as a sub to steady the scrum though and Kilcoyne still seems to be finding his feet.

Kelleher was 100% in horrible conditions last night even if one may have been slightly crooked. It's become the narrative that he's a shocking thrower but he's really not. He's definitely not amazing but neither are any of our other options and he's much more useful at everything else compared to them.

Don't think there can be any argument about the tightheads.

The starting locks are the best performing ones we have. I do worry about their partnership against England and France but from what I remember they were actually grand together against France. Part of me would like us to use a 'big 6' if we're in that situation. Would be a different conversation if Henderson was fit. I've Baird on the bench but could see them reverting to Roux for set piece reasons. Baird is a bit up and down but his versatility and explosiveness makes him such a good bench option.

I'm going back and forth on that backrow a lot. Doris should be nailed on but I think the flanks can depend on gameplan a lot and whatever the contract situation is with POM and Stander. If we want to focus on the lineout and forcing turnovers POM is the better option but if we're looking to eliminate certain carriers and have better linkplay Connors is the better option. I thought Stander was pretty ineffectual last night and he was poor in the second half of the last 6N but he obviously has a lot of credit in the bank. I do worry about him though as someone who's now in his 30's and has probably averaged over 20 carries a game. That's a lot of wear and tear. Would certainly like one of Coombes or Baird to get a start at 6 at some stage.

I think given the way all the halfbacks are playing at the moment Farrell can afford to have the short term thinking the IRFU want. I fully expect Sexton not to make it through the tournament. Definitely want Casey and whichever young 10 starts to get good gametime.

Don't think there can be any arguments about the centres.

There's some legitimate worries about how those wingers (especially Larmour) will deal with kicks but they're also two of our most dangerous weapons and we're not in a position to ignore that. I'd hope to see Stockdale and Keenan switching around in attack. I think there's good arguments for either of Daly or JOB and don't mind either on the bench, again it depends on gameplan, maybe who they prefer covering centre.
 

jcahill1

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There's some legitimate worries about how those wingers (especially Larmour) will deal with kicks but they're also two of our most dangerous weapons and we're not in a position to ignore that. I'd hope to see Stockdale and Keenan switching around in attack. I think there's good arguments for either of Daly or JOB and don't mind either on the bench, again it depends on gameplan, maybe who they prefer covering centre.
I love Larmour and normally I'm all for adding attack for Ireland but he knocked it on 5 times last night. I suppose for Wales we could try play him into fielding form, but that's not gonna cut it against the stronger teams.

You're saying that team is not too inspiring but I actually think it looks pretty good, hoping Burns starts though. Weirdly liking POM at 7 lately, although I also hope Stander can come into some more form.
 

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Ireland Squad – Guinness Six Nations Championship 2021

Backs (17)

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 30 caps
Billy Burns (Ulster) 3 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 11 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 24 caps
Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Con) 1 cap
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 88 caps
Chris Farrell (Munster/Young Munster) 14 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 5 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 47 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 24 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 2 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 4 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 87 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 30 caps
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 95 caps Captain

Forwards (19)

Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 17 caps
Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 5 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 7 caps
Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 17 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 25 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 104 caps
Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 5 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 58 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 16 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 6 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 39 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 73 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Banbridge) uncapped
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
Quinn Roux (Connacht/Galwegians) 16 caps
Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 26 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 46 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 28 caps

Casey and O'Toole are promising selections, hopefully they'll get on the pitch.
Those out halves... Christ above. You could make the argument none of them are the best in their provinces, certainly won't be in 6-9 months anyway. We desperately need Harry Byrne in there.
I have a real problem with McCloskey as the last centre in the squad, we have two lads with a far higher ceiling playing good stuff in Frawley and Hume, his selection basically telling everyone if Ringrose is injured prepare for crash ball shite.
In two weeks time we're going to name a 23 with Sexton, Healy, POM, Stander, Murray (All of these will start too) and Earls, there's no chance you can convince me that in the 2nd year of a world cup cycle a quarter of our 23 should be in their 30s. Rhys Ruddock's form deserves a call up but come on, what the hell is he going to bring to the set up? He won't get a game and is only blocking the likes of Leavy, Coombes and Timoney who are all looking like they're ready to make the jump.
Even critiquing the selection without considering age, which clearly isn't a factor, there are some shocking calls, Conway and Earls but no Dave Kearney is ridiculous for example.

Same old tired **** from Farrell. Watch us win 3/5 with the softest schedule possible. Go home Andy, you're out of your depth.
 

jcahill1

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Anyone know if there's a reason we keep including so few props? Only two looseheads this time.
 

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Refusing to learn from our mistakes isn't a good sign.

1. Ringrose + the same set of one dimensional centres isn't a winning formula. If Ringrose gets injured in the first game again we'll create nothing. Especially because...
2. Outhalves. What did Ross do to get picked? Not sold on JGP either.
3. Two looseheads again. Why?

At least Ruddock is there.
 

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