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The Connacht Thread

Amiga500

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Long overdue IMO!


Pat Lam staying for another 3 years - great news for the Westies. :)
 

ruggabee

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Aww yeee. Listening to him on the news and he seems very serious about making Connacht a serious professional outfit that can produce their own for years to come. Hope he succeeds cos I've enjoyed what I've seen of them despite some disappointing losses.
 

Amiga500

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So Colby Fainga’a set to head to Lyon apparently.

Will any of the Leinster youngsters fancy a trip west for a couple of years to get regular gametime?

Any of Will Connors, Josh Murphy or Scott Penny might benefit from a stint in Galway. Of course, I'd expect a few folks in here aren't so enamoured with my suggestion!
 

Le Frére Alpha

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So Colby Fainga’a set to head to Lyon apparently.

Will any of the Leinster youngsters fancy a trip west for a couple of years to get regular gametime?

Any of Will Connors, Josh Murphy or Scott Penny might benefit from a stint in Galway. Of course, I'd expect a few folks in here aren't so enamoured with my suggestion!
Murphy and Penny need more game time sure. Whether anyone benefits from leaving Leinster to go to Connacht is the question because it hasn't worked out for many. Penny is definitely young enough to bide his time and take his chances at home, Murphy would probably take the senior contract out wesht.
 

Amiga500

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Yeah, they probably need another 3 or 4 top young players to go at the same time. Go out as a group - drive the incumbents onto a higher level by example and the ignorance of youth then either come back or settle.

1 or 2 guys probably won't move Connacht to the next level. But if they had an addition in each row of the pack that'd probably be enough to move them up a level.


I also have to admit - I'm starting to wonder whether Andy Friend is the man to take them further - it was a pretty dismal showing over the Christmas interPros. He might be a nice guy and might have the backs weaving pretty patterns - but its all a bit soft and lateral. A bit more cut or brute force and ignorance may be needed at times.
 

snoopy snoopy dog dog

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Scott Penny is only 20 and already has 11 appearances under his belt. He isn't going anywhere. Josh Murphy is getting lots of game time this season too but at nearly 25, he could get squeezed out by younger 2nd rows/ backrows. It's possible he moves.

Connacht have had a horrendous injury list so Andy Friend deserves time to turn it around. He did very well last season and for the first few months of this season. They've won 7/14 games this season in spite of their injuries which for Connacht is a good return. An injection of talent and more squad depth is required.
 

big ginger 8

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Connors already turned down Connacht before, don't he'd change his mind just as he starts making headway.
 

profitius

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Connors already turned down Connacht before, don't he'd change his mind just as he starts making headway.


And they tried to sign Doris who is from Mayo..


I don't think many leinster players will leave this summer but next season with no world cup and potentially Leavy and Conan back, I'd say a few of their players will start getting frustrated.


Connacht would be better off targeting academy players like Martin Moloney, Charlie Ryan, Sheehan, Hawkshaw, Dunne etc. Leinsters current academy players are not looking at 30 year old journey men in front of them but 2 or 3 tiers of under 27 year olds who are making ireland training squads. In other words they've plenty of motivation to leave.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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There's no real targets who'd be great for Connacht. Academy lads are better off staying in college in Dublin and playing 1A rugby and there's no one who'd start in Connacht not getting enough for game time in Leinster.

They really need to get a Galway club into 1A and amalgamate them with NUIG. NUIG-Corinthians played D2 u20 rugby in Leinster for a couple seasons not long ago so it could be done. A good club and scolarships might be incentive for fringe Ster academy guys to move, as things stand, not a hope.
 

Amiga500

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There's no real targets who'd be great for Connacht. Academy lads are better off staying in college in Dublin and playing 1A rugby and there's no one who'd start in Connacht not getting enough for game time in Leinster.

They really need to get a Galway club into 1A and amalgamate them with NUIG. NUIG-Corinthians played D2 u20 rugby in Leinster for a couple seasons not long ago so it could be done. A good club and scolarships might be incentive for fringe Ster academy guys to move, as things stand, not a hope.

There is probably a wider discussion there to be had about the AIL and where it sits between branch (qualifying) and provincial levels.

Personally, I'd think that if you'd a clean slate:
- Drop most of the AIL teams back into the branches (cut down on travel time and fellas could commit to playing so inter branch standard would pick up - along with attendances)
- Then have ~10-15 "franchise" teams league (no relegation) with teams based at big (traditional) population centres.
- Would allow for sustainable semi-pro/pro levels of preparation and facilities with a level of competition suitable to develop players for provincial representation.

Just grabbing off current leagues and spreading the love around the country
1. Cork Con [Cork]
2. Garryowen [Limerick]
3. UCD [Dubs] or any of half a dozen others
4. Clontarf [Dubs] or any of half a dozen others
5. Malone [Antrim/Belfast]
6. Naas [Kildare]
7. Navan [Meath]
8. Rainey [Derry] or City of Derry
9. Cashel [Tipp]
10. Buccaneers [Westmeath]
11. Galwegians [Galway]
12. Sligo [Sligo]
13. Ballymena [Antrim]


I think I've 3x Munster, 5x Leinster, 2x Connacht & 3x Ulster - yeah, of course it would never happen - but if we had a clean slate it'd be the best way of doing it IMO.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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There is probably a wider discussion there to be had about the AIL and where it sits between branch (qualifying) and provincial levels.

Personally, I'd think that if you'd a clean slate:
- Drop most of the AIL teams back into the branches (cut down on travel time and fellas could commit to playing so inter branch standard would pick up - along with attendances)
- Then have ~10-15 "franchise" teams league (no relegation) with teams based at big (traditional) population centres.
- Would allow for sustainable semi-pro/pro levels of preparation and facilities with a level of competition suitable to develop players for provincial representation.

Just grabbing off current leagues and spreading the love around the country
1. Cork Con [Cork]
2. Garryowen [Limerick]
3. UCD [Dubs] or any of half a dozen others
4. Clontarf [Dubs] or any of half a dozen others
5. Malone [Antrim/Belfast]
6. Naas [Kildare]
7. Navan [Meath]
8. Rainey [Derry] or City of Derry
9. Cashel [Tipp]
10. Buccaneers [Westmeath]
11. Galwegians [Galway]
12. Sligo [Sligo]
13. Ballymena [Antrim]


I think I've 3x Munster, 5x Leinster, 2x Connacht & 3x Ulster - yeah, of course it would never happen - but if we had a clean slate it'd be the best way of doing it IMO.
Sounds good but as you've alluded to there's a bunch of big clubs, especially in South Dublin that would never go for it.

I can't really see anything facilitating clubs and provinces without creating new teams and a new tournament with 6 or 8 representative teams to run after a shortened AIL season. I don't think we need more teams, you'd have lads playing for a club, a franchise and a province over the course of the season in that case!

To be honest I think if Connacht got their act together the AIL is great for 19-22 year olds with an ambition to become professional, there's plenty of Ulster and Munster teams in 1A and 1B giving opportunities to lads. Until very recently Ulster massively underutilised it and Munster continue to but recent signs are more positive. Leinster are fairly blessed with UCD and Trinity as well as a bunch of very well established clubs. Pin NUIG before Galwegians or Corinthians and throw some money at them and things would get better for Connacht's recruiting too I reckon, 3rd or 4th best university on the island (no idea how it compares to Queens) and that bit closer to Dublin than Limerick for lads who miss their mammies on the weekend is a big pull, just need good rugby for lads falling short of Pro14 level.
 

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Had a long reply to this typed out but it disappearsd for some reason so I'll sumarise

In response to the entire thread

Too many clubs in South Dublin, leinster backrows moving bad (except maybe Josh Murphy), Andy Friend good.
 

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