19/20 Season Preview: Centre

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19/20 Season Preview: Centre

Postby mildlyinterested » July 26th, 2019, 10:19 am

Robbie Henshaw(26) - Signed 3yr central contract in 2019
Garry Ringrose(24) - Signed contract in 2018
Rory O'Loughlin(25) - Signed contract in 2017
Conor O'Brien(23) - Signed contract in 2019
Joe Tomane(29) - Signed 2 yr contract in 2018
Jimmy O'Brien(21) - Signed contract in 2019
Ciaran Frawley(21) - signed contract in 2019
Gavin Mullin(21) - Academy Yr 3
Tommy O'Brien(21) - Academy Yr 3
David Hawkshaw(20) - Academy Y2
Liam Turner(20) - Academy Y1

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose return as the undisputed 1st choice pairing in the centre, both will be off the world cup.. biggest question is what sort of state they will be health wise upon returning from that world cup. Leinster will need both to be fit and firing come the business end of the season. Rory O'Loughlin starts the season as clear backup to both at either position should one be injured, his best form in blue came however on the wing and one would wonder if he'd have been better off staying there. Even so, he will likely enter the season as first option at 13 while Ringrose is away. Conor O'Brien had a breakout season last season playing both 12 and 13, going into the season one would assume he is aiming on nailing down the backup 12 position and pushing on from there. Joe Tomane remains an option in the centre for leinster and it will be interesting to see what sort of form he shows there when given a chance by the coaches, he suffered last season from starting the season not in-shape and then getting injured seriously. We shall wait and see what he brings to the pitch this season. Jimmy O'Brien made an positive impression last season in his performances for the senior team but his position going into this season seems unclear at the moment, he could possibly line out at 12/13/15 and on either wing. It will be interesting to see where he focuses his attention this pre-season. Ciaran Frawley remains an option at 12 this season, although its expected he will be focusing on outhalf to begin with this season, we may possibly see him lining up at 12 alongside one of the Byrnes if they want to get two distributors in the backline. Three of the academy centres, Gavin Mullin, Tommy O'Brien and Liam Turner are very versatile and could line up in the centre positions or on the wing. Mullin and O'Brien need big seasons in particular as both are in the final year of the academy, O'Brien missed most of last season with injury while Mullin had one appearance for the senior team. Finally David Hawkshaw is injured, the outhalf/inside centre won't return until after christmas when he does it will be interesting to see what position he plays.
mildlyinterested
Shane Horgan
 
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