A whiff of Cordite

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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Ruckedtobits » February 16th, 2019, 11:33 pm

Gerry Thornley has long been considered the IRFU's journalist of choice for the propagation of "unofficial" items of rugby interest. So when Gervaise suddenly acquires an interest in the marketing and financial valuations of the game, its unlikely to be because he has just been given a Gift Subscription to The Financial Times.

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.3794306

Friday's, below-the-fold, page 23, insert about CVC Equity Partners' interest in the IRFU's rugby assets should raise the hairs on the back of the neck of any Irish rugby fan, but particularly those of Leinster.

Thornley's piece - thinly re-drafted to disguise its IRFU origins - purports to suggest that there are many Carpetbaggers, sorry Private Equity Funds, sniffing around World Rugby assets which are clearly undervalued by the TV Rights distributors and Corporate Sponsors of the business world.

Of course the more likely underlying rationale for the story is that the IRFU has valuable rugby assets that they are already considering selling to CVC Equity Partners for millions of Euro, to make up the shortfall in income from the 6 Nations and Pro14 competitions. Coupled with the unmitigated disaster of the marketing of the EPCR, the Swiss based owners of European competitions, the income streams generated by the companies owned by the Unions who control Provincial and National Rugby, have fallen way behind budget, notably this year 2019. As a consequence, IRFU CEO, Philip Browne, is rumoured to have become a big fan of the tunes played by the pipes of CVC Equity Partners.

Anybody who has examined closely the relationship between the aforementioned Private Equity Funds and Formula 1 Motorsport will be appalled that rugby 8authorities would even sit in the same room as these people. But no doubt Mr Browne knows better than the leaders of such motor companies as Mercedes, Renault and Honda and will definitely get a better deal than other sports leaders before him.

CVC Equity Partners bought into Bernie Ecclestone's Formula 1 business in 2007 for c. €2 Bn. They sold the business to John Malone's Cable TV corporation in 2017 for about €14 Bn. Along the way they accumulated more than €330m in fees and licence income. Formula 1 is now shown round the world only on Cable TV. The sport has lost more than 130m TV fans and even the Drivers has publicly complained as to how the sport is now managed and marketed.

Leinster Rugby is the only annually profitable Provincial entity in Irish, Welsh, Scottish or Italian Rugby. This, despite the Province re-investing about €2-3m per annum in rugby development in Clubs and Schools.

When the IRFU complete their deal with CVC Equity Partners, the strong likelihood is that all sponsorship and marketing rights and, of course, TV Rights will have been rolled up and repackaged and sold for a 10-year deal to their new "Corporate Partner". Yes, the IRFU will book a healthy wedge and the Press Release will announce it as a "world class valuation".

But Irish Rugby will have been ripped off, as other international sports have been in the past. Less and less people will see our Leinster games. The price of tickets, Merchandise and all other elements of supporting our team will increase, or be marketed primarily to the Corporate world.

Leinster Rugby may be consulted or not, who knows? But it is highly unlikely that we will have a veto on the transaction. We should have.

All of this is, of course, merely surmise, an educated assessment. What however is certain is, that these people have only one interest, taking money out of rugby, not putting it in. That's what they do and there is no secret in that objective.

Just don't say you weren't warned.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Peg Leg » February 17th, 2019, 1:11 am

I have 5 pitchforks. Where are we meeting?
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby ronk » February 17th, 2019, 2:36 am

hugonaut wrote:Was just thinking the same thing with regards to Johnson. He's a good player and Munster are doing very, very little to further his development.

The IRFU should pressure him to move to Connacht to provide a 1-2 combination with Jack Carthy, in the same manner they pressured Carbery. Get the move done this season 'for the good of Irish rugby' – the backline coaching in Connacht seems a lot more advanced than in Munster and Johnston will get a lot more time on the pitch.

Since Johnston's promotion to the Munster senior squad before the 2017-18 season, he has played in a total of 8 games [3+5, 259 mins]. There are three outhalves ahead of him in his province: Athy man Joey Carbery [23], Kerry's JJ Hanrahan [26] and Christchurch-born Tyler Bleyendaal [28]. van Graan was fiddling around with Bleyendaal at No12 but obviously just selected him at outhalf for the last match, against the absolutely f*cking tragic Southern Queens. If Johnston can't get a spot on the bench in a home fixture during the Six Nations against cr@p opposition, where's his career going?


Johnston has been getting ok attention by Munster standards. The 5 outhalves thing was tough but Keatley was there in name only.

Carbery is locked in so tight that Bleyandaal may well move at renewal time. As a big name project he'll have been on a generous package but he's not that embedded in the team due to injuries.

JJ has also only established himself to a limited extent and he left previously.

Johnston could rise up the pecking order if he perseveres.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby suisse » February 17th, 2019, 1:04 pm

We know Keatley is leaving so they're down to 4. Joey Carbery is, as you say, locked in, Tyler Bleyendaal, JJ Hanrahan and Bill Johnston. If Johnston really is this special talent they and the media keep telling us, there's nothing about TB or JJ that is so good to keep him out of the match day squad. However, unless he picked up a knock this week in training, he didn't even find himself on the bench for a home game versus Kings.

If they decide to move on TB, I would not be surprised if they looked to recruit an older overseas 10 to sit on the bench behind Carbery in big games. Mentor Carbery as well. They have a bunch of 9s but when Murray is injured, they bypass the other 3 to hire Alby on a, now, season long loan. Munster have no ambition to develop BJ, imho. Post World Cup is the perfect time to pick up a southern hemisphere out half who's prepared to wear 22 for European games.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby ronk » February 17th, 2019, 1:53 pm

I don't think they have any plan to develop Johnston. I think he's solid for a squad place because he's cheaper the others.

They may as well keep Bleyandaal as sign someone just as expensive unless he's broken long term.

For financial and popular reasons Munster have 2 players they'd move on before BJ.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby the spoofer » February 18th, 2019, 11:05 am

It definitely seems as if someone is spinning to the media about a couple of our lads not getting gametime and might be better moving on. Either that or there is a bit of an echo chamber going on. I've heard too many references to Max Deegan not getting gametime for it to be a coincidence.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby mildlyinterested » February 18th, 2019, 11:06 am

the spoofer wrote:It definitely seems as if someone is spinning to the media about a couple of our lads not getting gametime and might be better moving on. Either that or there is a bit of an echo chamber going on. I've heard too many references to Max Deegan not getting gametime for it to be a coincidence.


before the weekends game eir spent a lot of time saying leinster had "too much talent" and lads should look to move.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Xanthippe » February 18th, 2019, 3:20 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:
the spoofer wrote:It definitely seems as if someone is spinning to the media about a couple of our lads not getting gametime and might be better moving on. Either that or there is a bit of an echo chamber going on. I've heard too many references to Max Deegan not getting gametime for it to be a coincidence.


before the weekends game eir spent a lot of time saying leinster had "too much talent" and lads should look to move.


During commentary Toland even went so far as to list the minutes played by some of our backrowers to further his argument
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Edna Kenny » February 18th, 2019, 3:36 pm

the spoofer wrote:It definitely seems as if someone is spinning to the media about a couple of our lads not getting gametime and might be better moving on. Either that or there is a bit of an echo chamber going on. I've heard too many references to Max Deegan not getting gametime for it to be a coincidence.


The Times has "Time for Deegan to live up to the hype" today. "He carried and tackled well, but Caelan Doris wore the No8 shirt-impressively-and you wonder if Deegan will be happy to spend his time shifting accross the back line. No doubt, the 22 year old will say he will play anywhere he is picked, but his next 12 months will be interesting to watch"
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby mildlyinterested » February 18th, 2019, 3:42 pm

Edna Kenny wrote:
the spoofer wrote:It definitely seems as if someone is spinning to the media about a couple of our lads not getting gametime and might be better moving on. Either that or there is a bit of an echo chamber going on. I've heard too many references to Max Deegan not getting gametime for it to be a coincidence.


The Times has "Time for Deegan to live up to the hype" today. "He carried and tackled well, but Caelan Doris wore the No8 shirt-impressively-and you wonder if Deegan will be happy to spend his time shifting accross the back line. No doubt, the 22 year old will say he will play anywhere he is picked, but his next 12 months will be interesting to watch"


it's fairly constant.

wouldnt surprise me if it was an effort from higher ups.

Can you post article?
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby the spoofer » February 18th, 2019, 4:20 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:
Edna Kenny wrote:
the spoofer wrote:It definitely seems as if someone is spinning to the media about a couple of our lads not getting gametime and might be better moving on. Either that or there is a bit of an echo chamber going on. I've heard too many references to Max Deegan not getting gametime for it to be a coincidence.


The Times has "Time for Deegan to live up to the hype" today. "He carried and tackled well, but Caelan Doris wore the No8 shirt-impressively-and you wonder if Deegan will be happy to spend his time shifting accross the back line. No doubt, the 22 year old will say he will play anywhere he is picked, but his next 12 months will be interesting to watch"


it's fairly constant.

wouldnt surprise me if it was an effort from higher ups.

Can you post article?


It's a repeat of the media campaign that ran ahead of Joey Carbery suddenly finding that he wasn't getting a chance at Leinster a month after saying that he was perfectly happy with the way things were.

It really looks like a concerted effort to unsettle Deegan.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Oldschool » February 18th, 2019, 6:32 pm

If that's the case, ie he's being pushed (eh I mean persuaded) he should go north, Brexit notwithstanding.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby leinster23 » February 18th, 2019, 7:23 pm

The weirdest thing is that he's as likely to get chances here as he is at Munster or Ulster. Munster have Stander, Botha and Jack O'Donoghue, Ulster have Coetzee, Murphy and Timoney. We have Conan, O'Brien until the end of the season and after that Deegan is next in line. He'll probably be 2nd choice 8 here next season, which is better than he'd be elsewhere, and we have a much better record for developing players than either of the others.

Our backrow depth is a fiction at this point anyway. It's good but not amazing. Losing Deegan would place serious strain on our resources in an area where we're already very short on opensides and we don't have an overflow of talented players in the academy either.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby hugonaut » February 18th, 2019, 9:36 pm

Deegan is on 667 mins at the moment, fourth in terms of backrows behind Ruddock [848 mins], Conan [699 mins] and van der Flier [696 mins]. He'll pass out the latter two next game out if he plays 23 mins ... and then he'll have the second most minutes of any backrow in Leinster bar the club vice-captain this season. As a 22 year old.

In terms of appearances, he's joint third on 15 with Molony and Reider – although he has played more minutes than either – behind Tracy [19, 10+9], Gibson-Park [16, 10+6] and Porter [16, 3+13].

The idea that he's not getting enough exposure or enough games doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Deegan joined the Academy for the 2016-17 season [source: https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/201617-aca ... announced/ ], so he's way ahead of schedule: he should be in Year 3, and he has already played 36 senior games [17+19/10 tries], including appearances off the bench in a HEC QF and a Pro14 SF.

The contention that he's not playing enough at No8 is a different question. I think we should play him there more often myself. But where else is he going to play No8? Marcel Coetzee just signed a three year deal with Ulster - he's available to play every game of the season for the next three years, in theory. Stander's on a three-year deal until June 2021 [source: https://munsterrugby.ie/2017/12/21/stan ... -contract/ ]. Botha just signed an extension with Munster in December [source: https://munsterrugby.ie/2018/12/04/cont ... r-munster/ ].

So really the only option is Connacht. And that's the only conclusion that the writers of these articles should realistically be arriving at: "We've been singing Paul Boyle's praises, but frankly Deegan is just a better player and would stroll in and take the jersey off him. After all, he's all of 15 weeks older than him and has only played in 19 more games for a team who won the double last season." You take the argument that he should be thinking about leaving Leinster to a logical conclusion, and that's where you end up. That a guy who plays way more often in a better team than a player to whom he's senior by a whopping 3 months should leave to take the younger player's place in a worse team.

But nobody wants to take a p*ss on Paul Boyle [a Leinster born, bred and trained player who already moved, and who has done really well], nobody seems willing to countenance the basic fact that Deegan is playing loads of games for Leinster as a 21/22 year old, and nobody gives Cullen or Lancaster due credit for their selection policies over the last few years that have seen a half dozen players fast-tracked through the academy into senior rugby and into international rugby in a 12 month period [Ringrose, Ryan, Porter, Larmour, Carbery, O'Loughlin]. Sure what the f*ck do they know about player progression?
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » February 18th, 2019, 9:48 pm

Ulster would be the obvious move IMO. Move Coetzee to 6 and then have Jordi at 7 and Deegan at 8. I don't expect Best to play on next season but they could have a pack of...

O'Sullivan/a new signing
Herring/McBurney
Marty
Henderson
Carter
Coetzee
Jordi
Deegan

That pack would have serious potential.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby LeinsterLeader » February 18th, 2019, 10:10 pm

I wonder (and It's only a guess mind) if it hasn't already been decided and Deegan is off next year. That might explain why Doris is getting all the prime '8' slots and Deegan is being used on an 'as needed' basis across the back row, only.

Hope not but Just a thought!
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby mildlyinterested » February 18th, 2019, 10:35 pm

Anythings possible unfortunately
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby johng » February 19th, 2019, 12:46 am

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Ulster would be the obvious move IMO. Move Coetzee to 6 and then have Jordi at 7 and Deegan at 8. I don't expect Best to play on next season but they could have a pack of...

O'Sullivan/a new signing
Herring/McBurney
Marty
Henderson
Carter
Coetzee
Jordi
Deegan

That pack would have serious potential.


What about Nick (the fastest forward in Ireland) Timoney?

He's fairly handy. And they already got him and Jordi (and Greg Jones) from us on the back row alone
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » February 19th, 2019, 11:40 am

johng wrote:What about Nick (the fastest forward in Ireland) Timoney?

He's fairly handy. And they already got him and Jordi (and Greg Jones) from us on the back row alone


I don't rate him at all. He's quick alright and has a good eye for the tryline, and he can put in some big hits too, but by and large I think he's poor at the breakdown, gives away stupid penalties, and can look quite lost and indecisive out here, think he's more of an athlete than a rugby player. A decent squad player to have but nothing more than that and I'd have every Leinster backrower ahead of him.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby johng » February 19th, 2019, 1:14 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:I'd have every Leinster backrower ahead of him.

Well obviously or he'd still be here. My point was they have enough of our back rowers. Including one of our best. Feck giving them more
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