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    Jeremy, Jeremy and James

    There was an interesting moment on the HEC roadshow last
    Wednesday where it seemed a perennial Munsterfans debate
    somehow found its way into a brief discussion between Brian O’Brien
    and Brent Pope. I’ll set out the protagonists for those who are
    unfamiliar with either O’Brien or Pope. O’Brien is as close to Irish
    rugby gets to a guru, he could be called Midas for all the success he
    has had in Irish rugby, whether with the four in a row Shannon team
    that still echoes through Munster squads, the original Brains trust for
    Munster, where he worked (as manager) with Kidney to Munster first
    HEC final, to his involvement in Ireland’s first Triple Crown in 20
    years at Eddie O’Sullivan’s side. Similarly, Pope, as well being a
    successful AIL coach has been the personable face of Irish rugby
    coverage on RTE since the last Millennium. In short, both know their
    rugby, and both know Irish rugby, probably more than the vast
    majority of even hardcore Irish rugby fans.

    So, the scene is set, Pope, as a New Zealander has high standards,
    O’Brien, a Shannon man, probably has higher.

    The debate itself focussed on one of the great lost sons of Irish
    rugby, Jeremy Staunton, who had given a brief interview in advance
    of Wasps’ quarter final, and his chances of making the RWC squad.
    Pope opened with the gambit us Staunton fans like to use, a talented
    player with an ability to change a game, though he wisely took the
    point that he still lacks consistency. O’Brien countered with the
    argument, that yes he is talented but he lacks consistency, touché
    Mr. O’Brien. On a more serious note, O’Brien pointed out that
    Staunton did not have a successful transition from schoolboy to
    senior rugby and that his confidence had taken knocks from which
    he’s never really recovered, but crucially, that if he ever did get full
    confidence, O’Brien conceded he had one of the best boots in the
    game (from an Irish point of view presumably). So what? Good
    players get lost all the time, it happens, it’s a pity but it’s just a sport.

    Well, herein lies the problem, O’Brien knows more about Irish rugby
    than the few thousand members of this site combined, it would be
    interesting to see what he makes of Jeremy Manning.

    For the sake of wild comparisons, lets look at the brightest young
    outhalf in the Northern Hemisphere, James Hook and how he has
    been managed by the Ospreys and lets look at how we have
    developed Manning. Hook has always been marked for the Welsh
    jersey, almost going back as far as when he was playing tip rugby as
    a child, he was the schoolboy star, and the star of the age grade
    rugby, the star of the Neath team that exists on the level below the
    regions in Wales. So far so good, he has progressed to play for the
    Welsh team, what is interesting is that he still hasn’t been thrown into
    the mix at the Ospreys, when he does start, he starts at 12. In short,
    the Ospreys have waited until he is ready to play him, they haven’t
    rushed, they know all going well he has 10 or 12 years to pay back
    their patience.

    Manning, on the other hand, was not predicted for Irish greatness,
    growing up in New Zealand it’s unlikely the dream of playing for
    Ireland was common theme when he played tip rugby. He was picked
    as a potential All Black, but then again, so are literally hundreds of
    other schoolboys. In what is truly terrifying for the future of the
    game in Ireland, the people who oversee the system could see so
    little potential in any young outhalf in Ireland they flew to the far side
    of the world and made the New Zealand schoolboy an offer if he
    couldn’t refuse. He’ll qualify fo
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    #2
    I have to say I always think Manning has had a good game if he isn't
    stretchered off the pitch.
    Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2019.

    Comment


      #3


      Hook has been labled as a player going places not just because of his physical attributes, or his poise and compusure under pressure, but because,in great part, he hasdelivered consistently at the highest levels when given the opportunity. He has confidence because he has produced and earned his stripes in battle, even against the likes of the ABs,at a young age. I never saw him at age group levels, schoolboy, U20 but I see him now and he is a hell of a player. He is no a flat track bully whose game falls apart when he comes under the pressure of playing against Test quality opposition.


      Staunton is no longer a player with potential. Staunton was a good schoolboy and AIL level player but that's about it.He has never been a first XV selection beyond AIl for any team on any island. I am sure that the esteemed coaches at Munster, Wasps and Harlequins and elsewhere have all tried to boost his confidence by telling him how marvelous he is, but that only works for a bit. Sooner or later, it's doiscovered he isn't that marvelous. Far better that confidence be wrought from accomplishment than the worthlessflattery of others. The fact that his confidence has ebbed is because his game hasbeen found wanting at important times. He is an averageplayer with good physical attributes.


      As for Manning, who the hell knows atthis stage. He seems like a pretty average player who might have shone at lower levels with more tim and more space but he hasn't adapted that well. His decioin making at times has just puzzled me. He should be given he opportunityto play behind fat ball, and hopefully he'lldispel concerns that he can be a headless chicken at times

      Comment


        #4
        You are mistakingly thinking I'm comparing the talent levels between the three players, I'm not. I'm asking if Munster treats it's young players correctly. The fact that Hook is by far the most talented makes it interesting as to why he was held back so long, and are we doing the right thing rushing players into pivotal positions so soon.
        It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

        Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

        Comment


          #5




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          Just watching Reddan today highlighted how long it's been since one of the provinces developed a top quality half back.


          We're too afraid to take a gamble with young players in these key positions.

          Comment


            #6


            The problem is


            a) We are blessed to have players of the class of Stringer and Rog, which makes it difficult for others to break through.


            b) Who here think that Hickey or Manning can improve to be international class ?

            Comment


              #7
              Players are not given enough chances. Look at all the players gone to England.

              Comment


                #8
                Good post joey.
                Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Point


                  The problem is


                  a) We are blessed to have players of the class of Stringer and Rog, which makes it difficult for others to break through.


                  b) Who here think that Hickey or Manning can improve to be international class ?

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                  Manning can. He's still very young and has time on his side. Wont be developed however.


                  Hickey is probably too old now to be considered a prospect now. Just one of a number of fly-halves who werent handled correctly by the provinces.

                  Comment


                    #10


                    Post of the month/year. Good points - well thought out - and well written.


                    As regards your point - I'm not sure whether there is the "ideal" way to introduce an underage star to the top level. When you look back at all the big names in rugby there was varying ways to bring them in. In a lot of cases it is more the player and their big game character that determines if it is a success rather than the when.


                    What I would think is that any coach bringing in a player has to give a reasonable timeframe to allow themto settle. Otherwise nothing is gained by either side.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Point


                      The problem is


                      a) We are blessed to have players of the class of Stringer and Rog, which makes it difficult for others to break through.


                      b) Who here think that Hickey or Manning can improve to be international class ?


                      Reddan &gt;&gt;&gt; Stringer - and I first wrote that when he was playing for Connacht.


                      But Munster opted to persist with Prendie. [img]smileys/c&#111;nfused.gif[/img]


                      New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

                      Comment


                        #12


                        re playing behind inferior pack, as said above when redden was still with us he was slated by many here but he was also always playing behind weakend packs and often tried to do things he shouldn't in an attempt to show what he can do. Manning does that also sometimes (like his silly chip and chase against ulster) and is getting the same criticism.


                        If manning can stay fit i hope we dont lose faith in him and then lament his loss when he shines for another team. Give him a few games with a full pack and if he doesnt make it fine. But lets not discard the likes of manning without first giving them a decent shot at the first 15
                        "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe

                        Comment


                          #13


                          Over the remainder of the season Manning should get a bit of time behind a reasonably strong pack and, more importantly, outside Stringer.


                          Hickey isn't up to it. He simplydoesn'tthink and actat thespeed required of anOH. He might do a job at FB or IC but we should stop playing him at 10 now.


                          Manning seems to me to have the natural ability but it remains to be seen if he can develop the decision making side of his game. He'll only get a chance to do that playing in a strong team.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            saw that interview with staunton and all that came across to me was whinging and bitterness. He's a busted flush.
                            The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
                            - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              We may not have handled Staunton all that well but he had ample opportunity with Quins and Wasps and couldn't nail down his place. Talented but flawed IMO. Things might have been different but it's probably too late now.

                              Comment

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