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RWC 2019 31 Man squad

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    #46
    Whats surprising is that even at this stage it looks like barring injury (of which there will definitely be some), the likely 31 is already close to settled. On the few that aren't above -

    - Killer ahead of McGrath, but given his (distant?) history of scrum penalties may need a few more outings to establish himself.
    - Sean Cronin travels as super-sub (makes the bench ahead of scannel but doesn't necessarily start ahead) - probably our weakest position.
    - Quinn Roux doesn't go
    - We either bring Conan as a backup No 8 (currently don't think so, not quite good enough to justify), or travel with an 8 a 6 and three 7s on the basis that O'Brien and O'Mahony can cover 8 and everyone except VdF can cover 6.
    - Marmion still ahead of Luke McGrath
    - Carty will need to play outstandingly (and with a low error count !) to stay ahead of Byrne (who is the closest like-for-like replacement for Sexton)
    - Chris Farrell will travel ,with Henshaw offering full back cover (despite England) especially as Addison is mostly playing centre for Ulster

    Others will likely only be in case of injury but could include (in addition to the 'leftovers' from above)
    - Dillane, a great bench option if his form continues to return
    - Jordi/Ruddock, both playing well (my preference is for Ruddock who seems to be continuously getting better)
    - Tom Farrell - would likely need 2 injuries as we'd drop to just 3 centres first, using Addison as cover
    - Sweetnam - seems unlikely but none of the other provincial back 3 players seem higher on Joes list.

    It would be nice to see a bolter, and it seems like Ulster are churning out quality young wings (Balacoune, Kernohan and Sexton) but likely too soon for any of them

    Comment


      #47
      Although we havent seen too much of it, I wonder whether Beirne's back row ability also works in his favour?

      Comment


        #48
        Arent Jean Kleyn, JGP and rhys Marshall IQ for the RWC?

        Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

        Comment


          #49
          Without wanting to have things descend into a FB debate....

          Im starting to think that not only does the team, defensively and offensively need Zebo at FB but that of greater importance is that the squad needs him.

          The level of frustration and self doubt that must exist from the last 3 performances could well do with someone midweek who doesn’t take it all to seriously and brings a bit of lightheartedness to the situation to distract from the pressure that some players must feel. When POMs interview post Italy is the most positive anybody talks about the game you know there is something wrong.

          Every team has had a joker over the years, someone who plays the clown and makes the group dynamic easier to deal with, times passes faster and people have a smile on their face.

          The camp, travel and games in Japan will take up the best part of 2 months, if things are at Joe levels of intensity for that 2 months then the entire squad will fall apart.

          This squad know how to play great winning rugby, I wonder have the forgotten how to enjoy themselves while they are doing it.

          Comment


            #50
            Originally posted by In Joe we trust View Post
            Arent Jean Kleyn, JGP and rhys Marshall IQ for the RWC?

            Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
            Can't see any of them being drafted into the 31, would have been invited to camps beforehand, Aki, Tyler (whatever happened to him?) were.

            IMHO JGP is a slight possibility but only if there's an injury crisis at 9. Others aswell, Marshall... could happen if Joe loses faith in Cronin or Scannell.

            Still Joe certainly subscribes to the 'what if' worst case ever scenario planning, so the more qualified and squad up to speed players the better, see the AB's in the last RWC when Stephen Donald drafted in at 10, but still had 25 odd caps
            Nulla semper amicus, servivit mihi, in iniuriam mihi neminem quem non persolvi

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              #51
              JvDF and Leavy injuries lighten the back row conundrums, Jack Conan putting his hand up. Could look one of Beirne or Roux to go.

              Lot more rugby to play.
              Nulla semper amicus, servivit mihi, in iniuriam mihi neminem quem non persolvi

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by Sulla View Post

                Can't see any of them being drafted into the 31, would have been invited to camps beforehand, Aki, Tyler (whatever happened to him?) were.

                IMHO JGP is a slight possibility but only if there's an injury crisis at 9. Others aswell, Marshall... could happen if Joe loses faith in Cronin or Scannell.

                Still Joe certainly subscribes to the 'what if' worst case ever scenario planning, so the more qualified and squad up to speed players the better, see the AB's in the last RWC when Stephen Donald drafted in at 10, but still had 25 odd caps
                Rhys isn’t IQ til November, Kleyn is - in my view- the closest possibility, but joe has played 6 second rows this season, and JK hasn’t even been hold tackle bags at Carton. Joe has carefully developed his squad into a very tight bunch- I can’t see him doing anything to reduce its togetherness now. Any incoming players would be at the expense of guys who are part and parcel of things, possibly mates of those who would lose out. Not a dynamic many coaches would do without having to this late into things.

                Comment


                  #53
                  With the desperately unfortunate injury to Leavy (hopefully he makes it back because it really was as bad as you could ever see) and JVDF a doubt I wonder whether Jack O’Donoghue might be a bolter into the squad. He has been excellent since his return from injury and was playing very well on Saturday until his head injury. Hopefully he will see plenty of game time at 7 to really push his case.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
                    With the desperately unfortunate injury to Leavy (hopefully he makes it back because it really was as bad as you could ever see) and JVDF a doubt I wonder whether Jack O’Donoghue might be a bolter into the squad. He has been excellent since his return from injury and was playing very well on Saturday until his head injury. Hopefully he will see plenty of game time at 7 to really push his case.
                    Is he a 7 though? I thought he had a good game in general vs Edinburgh, but we seemed to be visibly short of the ability to defend our own ball from jacklers at the ruck.

                    I don't think there's a 7 available to Ireland that replaces Leavy. If JVDF is out as well I think we're genuinely goosed.

                    All the other runners and racers are 6.5s.
                    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                    Comment


                      #55
                      I can’t see Jacko making the squad , his only played a few games at 7 and I don’t think it’s his position.
                      I think Jordi Murphy will get the nod and travel even at Sob’s expense .
                      Seanie sadly really is struggling at the moment .
                      I’d expect Leinster will look to use Scott Penny the U20 no 7 in the next few weeks .

                      Leavy is a massive loss . His performances last year were crucial for Leinster & Ireland .
                      When their numbers dwindled from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began to suspect Hungry

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by Benji View Post
                        I can’t see Jacko making the squad , his only played a few games at 7 and I don’t think it’s his position.
                        I think Jordi Murphy will get the nod and travel even at Sob’s expense .
                        Seanie sadly really is struggling at the moment .
                        I’d expect Leinster will look to use Scott Penny the U20 no 7 in the next few weeks .

                        Leavy is a massive loss . His performances last year were crucial for Leinster & Ireland .
                        Yep, Jordi has a great chance now and TOD could be a bolted if he gets back in time. Can’t see JOD making it.

                        Penny is very good and will benefit from the game time he’ll get with Leinster over the coming months.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Ireland are in deep trouble if both Leavy and VDF do not make it to the RWC. SOB looks like a spent force, but if those two flankers are missing, Schmidt may take a punt on him anyway. Murphy is a very good, consistent backrower, a player who always gives 100%, but is not an outstanding international openside flanker. He does not look like a traditional 7, nor does Ruddock, who is also Mr.Reliable,and a tough nut. Agree with those who say that TOD could yet make it with a string of good games (if fit) and he is a traditional 7. I'd go with Murphy/Ruddock/TOD ahead of SOB at the moment. I don't think Jack O'Donohue will be a bolter and he also is not a real 7. If someone is picked to play out of position at openside, Jack would be be behind Deegan and probably Timoney, who has been great for Ulster this year and has some serious gas.
                          At the moment, I'm sure Joe has penciled in POM/Stander/Conan/VDF (if fit); the other backrow spots are still probably up for grabs, with Murphy and Ruddock looking likely given their experience in the squad. But I'd still like to see a dedicated 7 who is playing for his club regularly in that position. (To be fair Murphy has mostly been playing 7 for Ulster this season.)
                          Erse end of nowhere

                          Comment


                            #58
                            Originally posted by Spiffy View Post
                            Ireland are in deep trouble if both Leavy and VDF do not make it to the RWC. SOB looks like a spent force, but if those two flankers are missing, Schmidt may take a punt on him anyway. Murphy is a very good, consistent backrower, a player who always gives 100%, but is not an outstanding international openside flanker. He does not look like a traditional 7, nor does Ruddock, who is also Mr.Reliable,and a tough nut. Agree with those who say that TOD could yet make it with a string of good games (if fit) and he is a traditional 7. I'd go with Murphy/Ruddock/TOD ahead of SOB at the moment. I don't think Jack O'Donohue will be a bolter and he also is not a real 7. If someone is picked to play out of position at openside, Jack would be be behind Deegan and probably Timoney, who has been great for Ulster this year and has some serious gas.
                            At the moment, I'm sure Joe has penciled in POM/Stander/Conan/VDF (if fit); the other backrow spots are still probably up for grabs, with Murphy and Ruddock looking likely given their experience in the squad. But I'd still like to see a dedicated 7 who is playing for his club regularly in that position. (To be fair Murphy has mostly been playing 7 for Ulster this season.)
                            Murphy is the obvious shout, which makes Tommy's injury woes this year even more unfortunate. Injury has left us shorn of 7's - Leavy/VDF/TOD out, and SOB fit but looking like he'll struggle to get back to form.

                            The only hope I'd hold out is that SOB, as a big lad, has always taken a while to play his way back to explosivity. If they're timing that for the WC he would be looking undercooked now.

                            It's probably not something we'll learn much about until the next round of autobiographies, but I'm still wondering the extent to which our WC preparations have left guys looking short of their peaks. You'd have to assume that there's some sort of change in phasing to have them at the top of their game at what would usually be the start of our season?
                            "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                            "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                            "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Unless there's been an update vd Flier's injury was reported as keeping him out for 10-12 weeks. That was reported in the last week of March, which would suggest that he should be fine for the start of pre-season.

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Originally posted by Mike Gibson View Post
                                Unless there's been an update vd Flier's injury was reported as keeping him out for 10-12 weeks. That was reported in the last week of March, which would suggest that he should be fine for the start of pre-season.
                                Cullen is saying he'll be fit. Warm up games are August. You'd assume that the training/conditioning schedule will be tailored to September 20th. I'd be fascinated to know what that looks like, but it will be pretty hush hush you'd assume.
                                "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                                "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                                "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                                Comment

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