19/20 Season Preview: Prop & Hooker

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19/20 Season Preview: Prop & Hooker

Postby mildlyinterested » July 17th, 2019, 11:10 am

Loosehead Prop
Cian Healy(32) - Signed central 2yr contract in 2019
Ed Byrne(26) - Signed contract in 2018
Peter Dooley(25) - Signed contract in 2018
Michael Milne(20) - Academy Y2

Cian Healy will return from the WC just after turning 32, he signed a 2 year central contract and looks like he will be comfortably 1st choice in that time barring a huge drop off in form. Meanwhile Ed Byrne took advantage of injury and poor form last season to play 22 times for leinster including 5 times in europe off the bench and the Pro 14 final off the bench. He will be aiming to cement his position as primary backup to Healy during the WC. Peter Dooley who turns 25 just before the season starts will be aiming to challenge Byrne as the primary backup to Healy, whatever happens he is set to get a lot of gametime this season. Academy prop Michael Milne is coming off a successful JWC campaign, and he will have plenty of opportunities during the World Cup to make an impression on the coaches and potentially earn game time in the Pro 14.

Tighthead Prop
Tadhg Furlong(26) - Signed central 3yr contract in 2018
Andrew Porter(23) - Signed contract in 2018
Michael Bent(33) - Signed contract in 2018
Vakh Abdaladze(23) - Signed contract in 2018
Jack Aungier(20) - Academy Y3
Tom Clarkson(19) - Academy Y1

Tadhg Furlong is comfortably 1st choice and will return from the WC a few weeks off his 27th birthday, centrally contracted until June 2021 he is set remain leinsters 1st choice TH for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile Andrew Porter may or may not travel to the World Cup this autumn, currently training with the Irish squad he will be disappointed if he fails to make it to Japan. He is entering his 3rd season playing tighthead and it will be interesting to see how a new scrum coach at leinster will affect his somewhat inconsistent scrummaging. Michael Bent returns once more in what could possibly be his final season at leinster, the ever reliant Bent will get a lot of gametime this season in the Pro 14 both pre and post World Cup. Vakh Abdaladze will be hoping to take advantage of the extra gametime during the World Cup to stake his claim as a viable 3rd choice option going forward this season and into the future. Academy prop Jack Aungier is entering his final season in the academy, he remains young for a TH Prop only turning 21 in November, but is coming off a disappointing 2nd year in the academy and needs a big season to convince his doubters. Finally new academy prop Tom Clarkson is coming off a stellar season for the Irish under-20's and is eligible again for that team this season. The 19 year old will likely be focusing on that team for a large part of the season but if injuries strike he could make a senior appearance off the bench.
Last edited by mildlyinterested on July 23rd, 2019, 8:28 am, edited 4 times in total.
Shane Horgan
Posts: 4460
Joined: April 19th, 2017, 9:56 am

Re: 19/20 Season Previews

Postby mildlyinterested » July 18th, 2019, 8:18 am

Sean Cronin(33) - Signed contract in 2018.
James Tracy(28) - Signed contract in 2018.
Bryan Byrne(26) - Signed contract in 2019.
Ronan Kelleher(21) - Signed contract in 2019.
Dan Sheehan(21) - Academy Y2

Sean Cronin returns after being named supporters player of the season last season, a up and down irish season was largely forgotten about in blue, but will he travel to the World Cup? You would assume so. He remains clearly 1st choice for Leinster, and with his contract likely up at the end of the season, needs to be retained. James Tracy has been Cronin's primary backup now for the past three seasons, he will be aiming to retain that position this season after coming under pressure somewhat at the end of last season from Bryan Byrne who started on the bench ahead of Tracy in both the Pro 14 semi-final and final. Neither players at the moment look like high quality replacements for Cronin but both will compete for the primary backup spot this season. Recent academy graduate Ronan Kelleher however does appear to have the potential to replace Cronin long term, after making his debut last season, the Lansdowne man will hope to really push on and stake a claim for more gametime this season. Finally Dan Sheehan, who was a late surprise entrant to the academy last season has moved into his 2nd season in the academy, this mountain of a hooker has been a key player in Trinity Rugbys success the past two seasons, he will be aiming to make his senior debut at some point this season.
Shane Horgan
Posts: 4460
Joined: April 19th, 2017, 9:56 am

Re: 19/20 Season Preview: Prop & Hooker

Postby mildlyinterested » October 4th, 2019, 10:42 am

Good interview with Ronan Kelleher: https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/ ... 61909.html
Shane Horgan
Posts: 4460
Joined: April 19th, 2017, 9:56 am

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