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    Ireland's search for a top 10

    There's a massive opportunity for someone to step up and put pressure on Joey Carbery as the Annointed One. As he showed against Benetton Treviso in Dublin yesterday, Joey is not the finished article by a long way. Although he was not responsible for the Leinster pack being outmuscled on the way to a defeat, he wasn't able to stamp any kind of control on the game.

    Surely if Joey doesn't move, Ross Byrne should go to progress his career.

    With Paddy Jackson departing these shores now, there's a massive opportunity for someone.

    With Johnny Sexton being so, er... fragile, it's more than likely that his understudy will see a lot of gametime next season. In fact you'd imagine Joe Schmidt's Ni 1 priority is to find a reliable 10.

    Ulster at the moment have no one in the frame to compete. Would Steenson return for a last hurrah show at the RWC 2019?

    In Munster, Ian Keatley is growing in to be a really steady 10 but Joe has only ever turned to him in an emergency. With Tyler Bleyendaal's injury profile is it likely he can come back, take the shirt off Keats and prove himself to Joe? JJ is still there but hasn't shown signs of setting the world alight over the past five seasons, and Johann Van G may even see him as a future full back.

    Connacht are in disarray this season and there has been no standout 10 there either. It would be no surprise if KK is looking to recruit there as well.

    So there are top 10 shirts up for grabs at all the provinces and one whole season to prove themselves ahead of the RWC.
    Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2019.

    #2
    Connacht have picked up Godwin/Horwitz from Oz. One of them will be filling the 10 jersey at times.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by rathbaner View Post
      There's a massive opportunity for someone to step up and put pressure on Joey Carbery as the Annointed One. As he showed against Benetton Treviso in Dublin yesterday, Joey is not the finished article by a long way. Although he was not responsible for the Leinster pack being outmuscled on the way to a defeat, he wasn't able to stamp any kind of control on the game.

      Surely if Joey doesn't move, Ross Byrne should go to progress his career.

      With Paddy Jackson departing these shores now, there's a massive opportunity for someone.

      With Johnny Sexton being so, er... fragile, it's more than likely that his understudy will see a lot of gametime next season. In fact you'd imagine Joe Schmidt's Ni 1 priority is to find a reliable 10.

      Ulster at the moment have no one in the frame to compete. Would Steenson return for a last hurrah show at the RWC 2019?

      In Munster, Ian Keatley is growing in to be a really steady 10 but Joe has only ever turned to him in an emergency. With Tyler Bleyendaal's injury profile is it likely he can come back, take the shirt off Keats and prove himself to Joe? JJ is still there but hasn't shown signs of setting the world alight over the past five seasons, and Johann Van G may even see him as a future full back.

      Connacht are in disarray this season and there has been no standout 10 there either. It would be no surprise if KK is looking to recruit there as well.

      So there are top 10 shirts up for grabs at all the provinces and one whole season to prove themselves ahead of the RWC.
      Strangely, I was going to start a similar thread earlier today.

      Personally, I thought that the 2016 Irish tour to SA had secured Jackson his place as Sexton's understudy, but subsequent events have scuppered that. With Jackson's departure, there's a big gap to the next international-level 10. And looking around the provinces, it's not clear where he's going to come from.

      At Leinster, Sexton's residency makes it impossible for a understudy there to make a mark, and, more importantly get club experience at the highest level in Europe. Madigan and Carbery show that. At Munster, the same happened in ROG's time.

      Ideally, because of Sexton, the next Irish 10 would be coming from one of Munster, Connacht or Ulster. But there's no mid-20s candidate of the right quality showing. For the first time since the days of David Humphries, the cupboard is bare of up and coming 10s with regular big match experience. A real worry.
      "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
      Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

      Comment


        #4
        I'd love to see Steenson come back to Ulster. To be honest I wouldn't mind seeing him come to Munster.

        I'm a fan of JJ in general but I think he's getting close to a busted flush as a top class OH (I'd love to eat these words but I don't think that'll be happening). I'm worried from a Munster point of view that Bill Johnston hasn't kicked in and that there is no word about his contractual status for next year.

        Jack Carty at Connacht seems to be a decent game manager from the limited amount I've seen of him but his place kicking is not up to scratch, he could be an option if Murray/Cooney were the first choice place kickers.

        Comment


          #5
          It’s a very odd situation- there are- as the posts above show- numerous candidates- but all- Johnny included (because of his injury potential) are less than we’d like, Paddy certainly kicked in in South Africa- but lacked the sparkle of Johnny at his best- or Murray as we now see him. Guys like Paddy or Keets can fill in and do a decent job- Joey seems to have the x factor but it’s a massive ask at this early stage of his career, maybe 15 months time, as we set off for Japan he will seem more like the one to take the crown, it’s hard to see anyone else being in a position to so I’d start him in South Africa, I’m sure it won’t happen, but I’d take Steenson to SA this summer too- probably with Keets. I can see no reason for Johnny to travel- and would be slow to start him in the autumn. I can’t see how JJ, BJ becoming established enough in 12 months to seem like a better answer than these. The wild card is, perhaps, TB- a full season, fully fit, next year and I think he might be in poll position- alas, I fear that’s not what we’ll see.

          Comment


            #6
            Carbery is well on his way to becoming Madigan 2.0 and no more than a utility player at the highest level which is very disappointing given his potential. The lad has received some very bad advice behind his insistence to remain a squad player at Leinster over pushing himself as a leading 10 at another province.
            For the RWC all things going well and Tyler will recover and play a part internationally, however likely it seems. I don't know why people are mentioning
            Steenson at all considering he's 34.

            Comment


              #7
              Steenson is 13 months older than Sexton. I think the reason he's mentioned is that he's at the top of his game, he's Irish and our back up 10 for next year's RWC has gone.

              Would the temptation of playing ina RWC to finish his career be enough. Who knows?
              Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2019.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by rathbaner View Post
                Steenson is 13 months older than Sexton. I think the reason he's mentioned is that he's at the top of his game, he's Irish and our back up 10 for next year's RWC has gone.

                Would the temptation of playing ina RWC to finish his career be enough. Who knows?
                The same Steenson who recently lost his starting spot in recent weeks until the game at the weekend?

                He'd be a very good older head and leader to bring back to Ulster but there's zero chance of him making a RWC squad bar a rake of injuries

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by garryowen2323 View Post
                  The same Steenson who recently lost his starting spot in recent weeks until the game at the weekend?

                  He'd be a very good older head and leader to bring back to Ulster but there's zero chance of him making a RWC squad bar a rake of injuries
                  The point of the thread is that the competition ahead of him is not nailed on for a RWC spot. Sexton is clearly head, shoulders and torso ahead of his nearest challenger. Joe obviously doesn't rate Keatley too highly (a pity), he hasn't picked Ross Byrne or Carty at all and Joey has been very much hit and miss as a 10.

                  If Steenson came back to Ulster I would put a serious wedge on him being in the RWC squad if he was injury free. He would have a full season to prove himself better than 2 of Ross Byrne, Keatley, Carbery and Carty. That is hardly a huge ask.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Carty is no where near international standard.
                    Keatley is doing ok at the moment but he has really struggled in the past at times.
                    Carbery needs more games at 10. It’s too early to be writing him off.
                    Ross Byrne is very structured in what he does and is still developing his game .
                    JJ hasn’t been playing well enough to be considered.
                    Tyler - hard to see him being up to it physically for pro Rugby let alone international rugby.
                    Its a pity one of Carbery or Byrne didn’t move to Ulster as Leinster could have done without one of them .
                    Leinster have a very good young lad Frawley coming through but he will need game time . He looks to have something special about him . He’s a fine kicker very big physically and one to watch .
                    Stenson hasn’t been 1st choice all season for Exeter and his time seems to have passed.
                    Madigan by all accounts is playing well. But it’s a pity he isn’t playing in the premiership a year earlier .
                    We are a big bare alright but still enough time for Carbery to develop or somelad like Frawley to make a run for it .
                    When their numbers dwindled from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began to suspect Hungry

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Paddy Jackson of course can still be selected.

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                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Sulla View Post
                        Paddy Jackson of course can still be selected.

                        Sent from my SM-A310F using Tapatalk
                        I'd say Blane McIlroy has about the same chance of getting selected though.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by AwayFromHome View Post
                          The point of the thread is that the competition ahead of him is not nailed on for a RWC spot. Sexton is clearly head, shoulders and torso ahead of his nearest challenger. Joe obviously doesn't rate Keatley too highly (a pity), he hasn't picked Ross Byrne or Carty at all and Joey has been very much hit and miss as a 10.

                          If Steenson came back to Ulster I would put a serious wedge on him being in the RWC squad if he was injury free. He would have a full season to prove himself better than 2 of Ross Byrne, Keatley, Carbery and Carty. That is hardly a huge ask.
                          The drop off from Sexton to the rest is massive but at this stage Carbery is nailed on for the RWC barring injury I reckon. For Steenson to make a World Cup he'd need a) to move home, b) to shoot the house down next season and c) others to pick up injuries. A 35 year old with zero international experience since u21s 14 years ago.

                          I understand how difficult it would be to leave the best team in Europe but it is so frustrating to see them all stack up on the bench while there are attractive openings at other clubs. Even more frustrating is seeing Connacht pick up more Aussies to plug the hole instead. Ulster have the bones of a strong backline plus have an increasing percentage of Leinster born players and Connacht's style of play plus internationals inside and out at 9 and 12 would surely attract a 10 who likes open play like a JJ.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by garryowen2323 View Post
                            The drop off from Sexton to the rest is massive but at this stage Carbery is nailed on for the RWC barring injury I reckon. For Steenson to make a World Cup he'd need a) to move home, b) to shoot the house down next season and c) others to pick up injuries. A 35 year old with zero international experience since u21s 14 years ago.
                            We'll have to agree to disagree on this part. I think all he has to do is move home and stay injury free. I'll grant you Carberry but even at that Joe is likely to take a third outhalf and if Steenson was first choice at Ulster he would immediately become third choice for Ireland at the moment ahead of Byrne, Keatley and Carty (I personally disagree with the way Keatley has been treated by Joe over the years but that doesn't mean I expect it to change). Your original post was that he would have "zero chance". I think that was over the top.

                            Originally posted by garryowen2323 View Post
                            I understand how difficult it would be to leave the best team in Europe but it is so frustrating to see them all stack up on the bench while there are attractive openings at other clubs. Even more frustrating is seeing Connacht pick up more Aussies to plug the hole instead. Ulster have the bones of a strong backline plus have an increasing percentage of Leinster born players and Connacht's style of play plus internationals inside and out at 9 and 12 would surely attract a 10 who likes open play like a JJ.
                            Agreed, but I guess this is a downside of the provincial system that we have benefited from overall. Look how the Welsh have struggled to create what we had naturally. There is no way Ulster would have kept the crowds they have for the past 3-4 years if they were a "Belfast Bulls" franchise, Munster would also have struggled to bounce back from our lean years if we were a Limerick Lions or Cork Rebels franchise.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Rory Scannell anyone?

                              Our main problem with 10 is (to quote TRK) it’s a ”flow position”, particularly for younger less experienced players. They need game time to get better and learn the position.

                              But from the options available neither Carbery, Bleyendaal, JJ or Byrne. are getting first team game time at 10. That’s problematic.

                              Keatley: for me would have been the safe choice because he’s really stepped up and become a steady solid 10. Surely he’s the safe option but Schmidt doesn’t seem to agree.

                              Carbery: Schmidt’s likes what he sees from Carbery but he’s third choice 10 at Leinster. It’s madness thinking he can just jump in to the outhalf position and carry on from Sexton in the middle of the WC. If Schmidt really sees him as the back up 10 he has to move to Ulster or get first team game with Leinster next season and a lot of it, which is unrealistic because it means benching Sexton.

                              Bleyendaal: could be an option, he seemed like someone who could have challenged but is really struggling with injury. Hopefully he’ll get back to the level he was last season but we’ll wait and see. Could be a very real option but will need to prove his fitness next season.

                              Hanrahan: again someone who has struggled with injury, he spent nearly the entire season last year injured, missed all of pre season with Munster and has been inconsistent at best. He’s looking more and more like a 15 than a 10 at the moment. He’s someone who really needs an injury free season next year including a full pre season, so he’s not trying to play catch up and force it like he has this year. But while it’s not impossible, it’s incredibly unlikely.

                              Byrne, Schmidt doesn’t seem to be interested. So again incredibly unlikely.
                              Carty is also an unrealistic option.

                              Wild card:
                              Rory Scannell: It’s probably unrealistic but he can cover 10 and he’s turning in to a phenomenal player in my opinion.
                              He’s a guy who getting better and better and nothing seems to phase him. It seems almost over night he’s become one of Munster’s most important players.
                              He’s a player I thought Schmidt would like but he hasn’t been able to force his way in yet, but if he keeps playing and improving the way he is this season Schmidt surely can’t continue to ignore him.
                              While it might seem unlikely, Scannell could be a real option to start at 12 or bench to cover both. No he doesn’t play at 10 but he’s that good of a 12 and can cover at 10, nearly all of Schmidt’s options (besides Keatley who he doesn’t seem interested in) are players who don’t start at 10 either so it’s not that unrealistic.
                              I might be a bit biased here but I think it’s an option.

                              Whoever he goes with, Schmidt needs to sort it out, we’ve time but not an awful lot of it.
                              Last edited by Stringer9; 16th-April-2018, 11:05.
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