Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

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Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby mildlyinterested » April 5th, 2018, 9:37 am

Nacewa's move to 12 this season has been a revelation and has been really helpful in covering for injuries to Henshaw and Ringrose.

Reid is not good enough and his accumulation of caps(98) you could argue has prevented leinster developing other inside centres. Removing Henshaw, Nacewa & Ringrose from the centre options leaves the following players on leinster's books:

Noel Reid(27/98 caps) - has had a poor season.
Tom Daly(24/9 caps) - missed nearly all of the season with injury, out of contract.
Rory O'Loughlin(24/37 caps) - struggled in his 2nd season as primarily a 13 after a breakthrough season on the wing.

Academy players
Conor O'Brien(22/2 caps) - debuted this season at 12, plays mostly 13 at AIL level. Mixed in his appearances.
Jimmy O'Brien(21/0 caps) - has spent the season playing ireland 7's.
Gavin Mullin(20/0 caps) - primarily a 13.
Ciaran Frawley(20/2 caps) - debuted this season at 12, 2nd appearance made at 10.
Tommy O'Brien(20/0 caps) - still playing under-20, where he has played both wing and 13.

wildcard option to play 12 next season? Joey Carbery(22/32 caps)

I believe he spent most of the ospreys game at 12 and has trained there for Ireland.

Thoughts?

Leinster need more highly quality cover in the centre and we currently have three very good options there, if/when Nacewa retires we will need to develop/find a 3rd option, can that option be Joey Carbery?
Last edited by mildlyinterested on April 10th, 2018, 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby outcast eddie » April 5th, 2018, 9:46 am

I've often thought Ferg was capable of adapting to inside centre a la D'arce albeit he moved from full back. That ship has probably sailed now, both because old dog new tricks etc. and his rebirth on the wing.

Does Isa have another season in him now that he is less reliant on his diminishing pace in the centre?
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby neiliog93 » April 5th, 2018, 9:59 am

Ferg as an option at 12 is a ship that has definitely sailed. Over the last few seasons he has looked very awkward on the rare occasions he's played centre. Long-term, Conor O'Brien is probably the leading contender. He's big and strong, has soft hands, is sound defensively and has a booming left boot. Reid is a handy player to have for the Pro 14 and is ideally suited for butchering weak teams at home, but you wouldn't want him there in Champions' Cup games (yes he was good against Glasgow in Scotstoun this season, but I'm referring more to the uber physical French/English teams).

Mullin is definitely more of a 13. Tommy O'Brien looks very promising but is more of a 13/wing. For me, ROL is either a 13 or wing too. I also much prefer Larmour in the back three, and I think Carbery is much better off focusing on being a Beauden Barrett-style guy who can cover 10 and 15, rather than trying to cover 12 and learning yet another position. Like Madigan (though taller and even smaller in terms of frame), Carbery doesn't have the bulk to play 12 at the highest level (you can get away with being small at 13, maybe, but not 12). Academy players being loaned out to the Sevens team generally isn't a good sign, and in physique and style of play Jimmy O'Brien seems more suited to 13 anyway.

So we have a mini-lack of 12s, and a relative surfeit of 13s. Tom Daly is a big, imposing guy and didn't get a chance this season due to injury and I reckon he might get renewed for next season. We've had high hopes for him and while he hasn't exactly been disappointing, he probably hasn't lived up to expectations either. He'll turn 26 before the end of next season, so it's kind of do-or-die for him whether he moves elsewhere or stays at Leinster.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby neiliog93 » April 5th, 2018, 9:59 am

Frawley could be a long-term option, but he seems to be being groomed for the 10/15 role a la Carbery.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby CiaranIrl » April 5th, 2018, 10:04 am

outcast eddie wrote:I've often thought Ferg was capable of adapting to inside centre a la D'arce albeit he moved from full back. That ship has probably sailed now, both because old dog new tricks etc. and his rebirth on the wing.

Does Isa have another season in him now that he is less reliant on his diminishing pace in the centre?


Yeah, +1 on Ferg moving back inside. I think his days as a wing are numbered at this stage. He'll be 32 in the summer. If he doesn't move in, he'll almost certainly be pushed out by the ever improving wing options. He should realise himself that he won't get a look in for the world cup squad if he is purely considered a winger.

Also, when are we going to start the 'One more year' chants for Isa?
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby johng » April 5th, 2018, 10:24 am

Very few 36 year old backs out there. Even Drico didn't make it. Although he didn't have 2 years off like Isa. Maybe player/skills coach deal where it's break glass in case of emergency on the playing side..
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby blockhead » April 5th, 2018, 10:37 am

IRFU/ Leinster making lots of lolly this season with all the sellouts.
Lets splash out on a big name centre!
Or just get Bundee.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby arsebiscuits1 » April 5th, 2018, 10:44 am

neiliog93 wrote:Frawley could be a long-term option, but he seems to be being groomed for the 10/15 role a la Carbery.


Does he? Has he played much 15? He was a 12 at under 20
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby mildlyinterested » April 5th, 2018, 10:48 am

arsebiscuits1 wrote:
neiliog93 wrote:Frawley could be a long-term option, but he seems to be being groomed for the 10/15 role a la Carbery.


Does he? Has he played much 15? He was a 12 at under 20


was playing 15 for UCD/A team before Marsh got injured when he moved back to 10.

but I'd be surprised if he went back there, future looks to me at least at 12 who can cover 10.
Last edited by mildlyinterested on April 5th, 2018, 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby arsebiscuits1 » April 5th, 2018, 10:49 am

I thought a few seasons ago it might be worth trying Ross Byrne at 12. Decent sized fella. But he doesn't have the carrying game at all.

Someone like Peter Robb at Connacht always impressed me. But the kid is made of glass.

I think next season 12 will be split between COB and Frawley to see if they will sink or swim and if not, we can look at a really good NIQ.

19-20 season, JGP will be IQ and Isa will be retired. Would free up a space for a good marquee signing (assuming the 2 young fellas mentioned above don't make it
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby arsebiscuits1 » April 5th, 2018, 10:50 am

mildlyinterested wrote:
was playing 15 a lot this season for UCD/A team before Marsh got injured when he moved back to 10.


Fair enough. In my head he's more a 12. And with Leinsters back 3 options, in his head he should be more a 12 too!
He's gotten awfully fond of that brick
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby mildlyinterested » April 5th, 2018, 10:51 am

arsebiscuits1 wrote:
mildlyinterested wrote:
was playing 15 a lot this season for UCD/A team before Marsh got injured when he moved back to 10.


Fair enough. In my head he's more a 12. And with Leinsters back 3 options, in his head he should be more a 12 too!


there was much confusion about his move to 15.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby Barry » April 5th, 2018, 10:52 am

arsebiscuits1 wrote:
mildlyinterested wrote:
was playing 15 a lot this season for UCD/A team before Marsh got injured when he moved back to 10.


Fair enough. In my head he's more a 12. And with Leinsters back 3 options, in his head he should be more a 12 too!


Frawley played all his youths rugby at 10
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby mildlyinterested » April 5th, 2018, 10:54 am

Barry wrote:
arsebiscuits1 wrote:
mildlyinterested wrote:
was playing 15 a lot this season for UCD/A team before Marsh got injured when he moved back to 10.


Fair enough. In my head he's more a 12. And with Leinsters back 3 options, in his head he should be more a 12 too!


Frawley played all his youths rugby at 10


Then played 12 last season for Ireland u20.

His best chance at Leinster is at 12 IMO.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby neiliog93 » April 5th, 2018, 11:09 am

Yeah, we'll probably use Frawley as more of a 10/12 option, which is best for all concerned.

If we were looking for a cheeky NIQ 12 for next season, we could do a lot worse than van Rensburg of the Lions. Packs 109 kg onto a relatively compact 6'1" frame, and is explosively fast. Was one of the best players in Super Rugby in 2016, with 10 tries from inside centre. Due to racial quotas and the emergence of non-white centres like Am, Mapoe and De Allende, he's not getting a look-in with the Springboks (got one cap in 2016) but is definitely good enough. He's also only 23, would command a decent but not huge salary, and significantly would not be subject to Kolpak rules. Please don't resurrect the Transformation debate though. With all of our outside back options, we probably wouldn't be allowed to bring in an NIQ 12.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby R-Dog » April 5th, 2018, 12:44 pm

johng wrote:Very few 36 year old backs out there. Even Drico didn't make it. Although he didn't have 2 years off like Isa. Maybe player/skills coach deal where it's break glass in case of emergency on the playing side..



Not really comparing like with like there though. Drico had 100+ Ireland/Lions tests to Isa's 1. Alot less Heavy wear and tear on the body.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby neiliog93 » April 5th, 2018, 2:42 pm

BOD said in commentary on Sunday that "it's not officially confirmed yet, but Nacewa is likely retiring at the end of the season". To me, that's insider knowledge and essentially equals "he's definitely retiring but it hasn't been announced yet", possibly because of the way Leinster tend to announce most arrivals, renewals and departures in one batch.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby mildlyinterested » April 5th, 2018, 3:02 pm

neiliog93 wrote:BOD said in commentary on Sunday that "it's not officially confirmed yet, but Nacewa is likely retiring at the end of the season". To me, that's insider knowledge and essentially equals "he's definitely retiring but it hasn't been announced yet", possibly because of the way Leinster tend to announce most arrivals, renewals and departures in one batch.


I'd be surprised if he was here next season in a playing role, I hope to god he is here in an off the field role though.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby A16 » April 5th, 2018, 3:27 pm

I’m surprised Tommy O’Brien has barely been mentioned yet. Obviously he can play anywhere from 11 to 14 and he’s able to slot in seamlessly to any position with ease. The fact that he has the intelligence and the skill level to do so is very encouraging. From what I’ve seen, he plays just about as good in each position, although I’m a fan of him at 12. There may be concerns over whether he’s big enough but I see no reason why he can’t do a very good job there if required. I don’t see his long term position being 12, he’s probably someone who will be able to cover any position we need him to when we need him to, so he’s definitely a viable option at 12.
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Re: Inside Centre if/when Nacewa Retires

Postby Fireworks » April 5th, 2018, 3:33 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:
neiliog93 wrote:BOD said in commentary on Sunday that "it's not officially confirmed yet, but Nacewa is likely retiring at the end of the season". To me, that's insider knowledge and essentially equals "he's definitely retiring but it hasn't been announced yet", possibly because of the way Leinster tend to announce most arrivals, renewals and departures in one batch.


I'd be surprised if he was here next season in a playing role, I hope to god he is here in an off the field role though.


It looks like they are wrapping him in cotton wool at the moment just to have him ready for a few big games. He could potentially only have 4 more games for Leinster with semi's and finals in europe and the league.

It will be sad to see him go but another year might be too much for him physically.
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