Irish Depth Chart October 2016

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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby leinsterforever » November 26th, 2017, 7:45 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:I was thinking about guys who might come from "nowhere" to make the World Cup squad. Very few candidates but I reckon Larmour is the only one who is so good that we'll need to find a place for him.

Dooley has a chance if he moves to Ulster.

Beirne has a chance but there's lots of competition.

Scrumhalf is a possibility but Cooney is the only one from outside the squad who's putting his hand up right now and opportunities could be limited for others if we decided to only bring two nines to Japan.

Ross Byrne is an interesting one. I'd expect him to get a lot of game time with Leinster regardless of Sexton and Carbery's injury status and that could put him in a great position to be capped. Munster's outhalf situation is uncertain, Carty doesn't look like an international to me (although I rate him higher than most), and whether Jackson is available or not, Byrne will be in the mix and only an injury or two away from being selected in extended squads over the next 12/18 months IMO. Even when Johnny is fit, how often does he play 80 minutes for us?


Beirne's ability to play blindside as well as second row could make him a valuable asset in a World Cup squad. Dillane seems to have regressed and Treadwell hasn't shown a huge amount yet, so Beirne could be in with a real chance imo
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby dropkick » November 29th, 2017, 1:15 am

leinsterforever wrote:
LeRouxIsPHat wrote:I was thinking about guys who might come from "nowhere" to make the World Cup squad. Very few candidates but I reckon Larmour is the only one who is so good that we'll need to find a place for him.

Dooley has a chance if he moves to Ulster.

Beirne has a chance but there's lots of competition.

Scrumhalf is a possibility but Cooney is the only one from outside the squad who's putting his hand up right now and opportunities could be limited for others if we decided to only bring two nines to Japan.

Ross Byrne is an interesting one. I'd expect him to get a lot of game time with Leinster regardless of Sexton and Carbery's injury status and that could put him in a great position to be capped. Munster's outhalf situation is uncertain, Carty doesn't look like an international to me (although I rate him higher than most), and whether Jackson is available or not, Byrne will be in the mix and only an injury or two away from being selected in extended squads over the next 12/18 months IMO. Even when Johnny is fit, how often does he play 80 minutes for us?


Beirne's ability to play blindside as well as second row could make him a valuable asset in a World Cup squad. Dillane seems to have regressed and Treadwell hasn't shown a huge amount yet, so Beirne could be in with a real chance imo



Dillane hasn't lived up to his early promise. It could be a case of second (or third) season syndrome but it looks to me like he isn't very impactful in the engine room. He is still young so we'll see how he goes.


Too early to say on Treadwell. He looks good in patches but like Dillane, maybe he lacks a bit of grunt. He is only 21 or 22 though so there's plenty of developing to do.


Beirne according to Pivac might lack a bit of size but he seems to be a quality player with many attributes. I can see Schmidt being a fan and the game seems to be getting faster so more Beirne type players might come into fashion in the coming years.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 4th, 2017, 6:28 pm

ANY ASSISTANCE IS FORMATTING OF LISTS WILL BE GRATEFULLY RECEIVED AS I STILL CANNOT GET THE HANG OF BB CODE. THANKS RTB.

December 1st 2017

The previous Ireland Depth Chart was published on 1st January 2017. It is set out below to remind readers of where we were then. Eleven months on, the scene has altered fairly significantly as new players have emerged, key players have suffered long-term injuries and some, mostly senior, players have suffered loss of form or specific circumstances which exclude them from consideration at present.

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 31st Dec 2016

First XV............... 2nd XV............... 3rd XV............... 4th XV..........

15. R. Kearney.......... T O'Halloran.......... A. Conway.......... C Kelleher..........
14. A Trimble.......... D Sweetnam.......... N Adelolokun.......... A. Byrne..........
13. G Ringrose.......... J Payne.......... R. O'Loughlin.......... L Marshall
12. R Henshaw.......... R Scannell.......... S McCloskey.......... N Reid
11. S Zebo................ K Earls............ M Healy.......... R. O'Mahony..........
10. J Sexton.......... J Carbery.......... P Jackson.......... I Madigan..........
9. C Murray.......... K Marmion.......... L McGrath.......... J Cooney..........
8. J Heaslip.......... J Conan.......... J O'Donoghue.......... J Muldoon..........
7. S O'Brien.......... J V der Flyer.......... T O'Donnell.......... Jordi Murphy..........
6. CJ Stander.......... P O'Mahony.......... D Leavy.......... S. O'Brien II..........
5. D Toner.......... U Dillane.......... B Holland.......... R. Molony..........
4. Donn Ryan.......... I Henderson.......... Q Roux.......... I Nagle..........
3. T Furlong.......... F Bealham.......... M Moore.......... J Ryan..........
2. R Best.......... S Cronin.......... N Scannell .......... J Treacy..........
1. J McGrath.......... C Healy.......... D Buckley.......... D Kilcoyne..........

Joe Schmidt is a Coach who has avowed that he never has a long-term plan because so many factors are at play from week to week. However, as he now ends the third phase of this International year, Six Nations, Summer Tour and Autumn Internationals, his National Squad depth is immeasurably improved by his careful experimentation.

Departed from Consideration
At this point, it appears as if the following players are unlikely to be in contention for the RWC 2019 in Japan:

Player &.......... .......... Position
Donn O'Callaghan.................... 2nd Row
Dan Tuohy .................... 2nd Row
Mick McCarthy .......... 2nd Row
Dominic Ryan.......... Flanker
Tommy Bowe.......... Winger
Dave Foley .......... 2nd Row
Donnchadh Ryan .......... 2nd Row
Simon Zebo .......... Winger
Ian Madigan .......... Out-Half
Paddy Jackson .......... Out-half
Stuart Olding .......... Centre

There are others who have slipped so far down the Chart as to be very far from contention at International level, in almost any circumstances, and these include such former notables as John Muldoon, Andrew Trimble, Chris Henry and Robbie Diack. To this list can be added another name, only recently qualified for Ireland on residency grounds, but apparently very unlikely to get a call-up to an Irish Squad at this point. Tom McCartney, having just passed his 32nd birthday but still appearing to be first-choice hooker for Connacht, is unfortunate that Rory Best is Irish captain and therefore selection for this position appears to be focused at those who can make an impact off the bench.

So, these fifteen players were all candidates for inclusion in an Irish Squad when we reviewed the Player List last January, they are now most unlikely selections, unless their circumstances change significantly.

There is another group of players who have been excluded from this Depth Chart and these are players who have suffered long-term injury and who have not yet returned to play .

Long-term Injuries
Jamie Heaslip
Jared Payne
Gary Ringrose

Correspondingly, there are new additions to our Chart, some newly qualified by residency, but others who have emerged on the playing field and climbed fast, ahead of the competition. As with the previous Chart, the entire listing is compiled over eight teams, but only four are published - largely for simplicity and to minimise controversy. Two of the players now listed within the top 30 players, Jacob Stickdale & James Ryan, were included on our 6th XV last January and two more from the current top 45 (Jordan Larmour & Tadgh Beirne) weren't included at all.

For consistency, the only ones listed as "New Faces" are those who appear in the teams in our listing. We consider that at any given point, the real candidates for selection, for team or Squad, will come from these teams. Four players deep is a good Depth Chart.

New Faces
Jacob Stockdale
Bundee Aki
Chris Farrell
Adam Byrne
James Ryan
Tadgh Beirne
Jordan Larmour
Barry Daly
Ian Keatley
Andrew Porter
Darragh Leader
Ross Byrne
Max Deegan
Rob Herring

These fourteen players are genuine additions to our strength in depth. Some have received public recognition already by National Squad selection. Others have received calls from Joe Schmidt with private encouragement and work-ons. Others may not have received such a call but have put themselves into a position where their performances cannot be overlooked for much longer.

Irish Provincial rugby is doing it's job by producing players of International quality. Some of those players are emerging at much younger ages than previously. Others are emerging with more experience and maturity and showing the results of excellent coaching. The players are emerging from all four Provinces and this continues to be an important factor in the overall health of Irish rugby. Yes, Leinster have a majority of the new faces. But Leinster has more than 50% of all the adult players in the country so this disparity shouldn't surprise anybody.


Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1st Dec 2017

First XV ............ 2nd XV.......... 3rd XV.............. 4th XV..........

15. R. Kearney.......... A. Conway.......... T O'Halloran.......... D Leader
14. K Earls.......... D Sweetnam.......... J Larmour.......... F McFadden
13. R Henshaw.......... C Farrell.......... L Marshall.......... R O'Loughlin
12. B Aki.......... S McCloskey.......... R Scannell.......... N Reid
11. J Stockdale.......... A Byrne.......... B Daly.......... D Kearney
10. J Sexton.......... J Carbery.......... I Keatley .......... R Byrne
9. C Murray.......... K Marmion.......... L McGrath.......... J Cooney
8. CJ Stander.......... J Conan.......... J O'Donoghue.......... M Deegan
7. S O'Brien.......... J V der Flyer.......... Jordi Murphy.......... T O'Donnell
6. P O'Mahony.......... R Ruddock.......... D Leavy.......... Da O'Callaghan
5. D Toner.......... James Ryan.......... K Treadwell.......... U Dillane
4. I Henderson.......... T Beirne.......... Q Roux.......... B Holland
3. T Furlong.......... John Ryan.......... A Porter.......... M Bent
2. R Best.......... N Scannell .......... S Cronin.......... R Herring
1. C Healy.......... J McGrath .......... D Kilcoyne .......... D Buckley


Commentary on Selections

It may seem pretty straightforward, but as always there will be lots of debate about selections:

15.
A much easier selection than at the start of the year. Kearney showed his best form against Argentina and Zebo is out of the picture for the present and Jared Payne is a long-term injury. Andrew Conway has graduated to the role of National cover for this position and he brings a different style. The real mystery to this writer is the omission of Tiernan O'Halloran, particularly after his selection to tour Japan. Possibly, the contenders for this position may be Kearney, Conway, Carbury and Larmour.

14.
Andrew Trimble's form has fallen off a cliff, just as a number of younger contenders put their hands up. Keith Earls' form on Summer Tour, coupled with electric form early-season for Munster make him an automatic choice. But Darren Sweetnam, Conway and Adam Byrne are now all real challengers whilst Jordan Larmour cannot be ruled out if he continues his extraordinary pace of improvement.

13.
All change in this position as we exclude Ringrose & Payne from our consideration and Chris Farrell emerges from two games during the Autumn Internationals. However, for the present, we have plumped for Robbie Henshaw at 13, the more difficult defensive position.

12.
A significant part of the reason for Henshaw at 13, is his potential partnership with Bundee Aki at No 12. Certainly not enough was evident in the most recent internationals to make this selection a certainty and Henshaw and Ringrose have the opportunity, alongside Sexton, to make a big impression over the next four European games before 6 Nations selection comes around. McCloskey and Scannell make up the contenders in this area which ensures that we have real depth again.

11.
If ever a new contender blew away his opponents by performance, it has been Jacob Stockdale. Tries galore, a number from 30-40 m out. Big defensive hits and also a pleasant media personality. Dave Kearney looks a long way behind at present but Barry Daly or Adam Byrne could continue their progress to be good back-ups to the new star.

10.
Sexton still prevails and grows even more influential. Despite his injury woes, Carbery is the prime support act at present and Jackson's unavailability is a real blow. Carbery offers attacking threats every time he is in possession but, if selected, Ireland could not play with the same control as with Sexton. Ian Keatley has served his cause well and certainly looks like a closing option to Sexton, based on his calm maturity. Ross Bryne has improved throughout a corresponding period of decline for Bleyandhal and Hanrahan.

9.
The second position where there is little or no debate because of his imperious form is Conor Murray. Ireland's most important player and possibly now even further ahead of the back-up of Marmion, McGrath & Cooney. Of these Cooney could benefit, through an Irish bench selection, because of his place kicking.

8.
Despite the typical CJ Stander performances in NZ and through the Autumn internationals, Jamie Heaslip has been sorely missed in this shirt. Stander appears to shade Conan as the logical successor, but the vast majority hope for full recovery for Heaslip. Max Deegan has produced a few excellent performances for his Province and he and Jack O'Donoghue will be the next generation contenders.

7.
The previous debate about whether a fit Sean O'Brien should keep the No 7 shirt is over for the present. Josh Van der Flier provides a very significant alternative for Schmidt and is a different style of player. Jordi Murphy, Tommy O'Donnell and even Dan Leavy provide further alternatives.

6.
The only clarity in the argument about this position is that Iain Henderson is no longer a viable candidate for the position. Peter O'Mahony holds the jersey, but Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and even CJ (if Heaslip returns) will all be live contenders

5. and 4.
The third position in the team about which there is almost no argument is Dev Toner's tenancy on the jersey. But notwithstanding the loss of the often under-estimated Donnchadh Ryan, the transition to Henderson or James Ryan has been almost seamless and our scrum in particular looks even more powerful with these two youngsters in the row.
The performances of Llanelli-based, but Munster-bound, Tadgh Beirne during the entire calendar year to date validate his candidacy, particularly with the benefit of his coverage of second and back-rows Treadwell may also continue his progress but the Ulster pack needs to play with more authority to give him a real stage. However, the advent of both these players is a mark of the lack of progress of Ultan Dillane and the retirement of a number of experienced players in this position.

Despite the emergence of Ryan and the continual development of Iain Henderson to real-world class standard, second-row remains the position in which our tactical style, particularly our recent scrum dominance, is vulnerable to a couple of ill-timed injuries

3.
Tadgh Furlong is one of the players who has developed to greatest effect during 2017. Very few doubted he would emerge as an international player. but a full 6N tournament, without injury, coupled with first-choice selection during a successful Lions Tour in NZ now ensure his name is automatically pencilled early in every selection meeting. The progress of John Ryan and the conversion of Andrew Porter to TH, coupled with the impending return of Marty Moore to the more secure environment of Irish rugby, means that we have quality in depth at last in this vital position

2.
We have become so used to the excellence of Rory Best that his loss before the next World Cup would be a major weakening of our pack-strength. The omission of Sean Cronin from the Autumn internationals may have provided opportunities for Rob Herring and James Treacy, but, thus far, Scannell and Cronin provide the real depth for international rugby at present.

1.
Six months ago, it hardly seemed possible that Cian Healy would resurrect his career to such a point that he would displace his Provincial friend and team-mate Jack McGrath. But, through improved maturity on and off the pitch and dynamic scrum work and ball-carrying, Healy is back at the top of the queue. Dave Kilcoyne's improved scrumaging for Munster gained him selection for the Autumn Squad. However, the performance when coming on as a replacement against Argentina, marked how far behind the two front-runners is the third choice in this position. Peter Dooley or Ed Byrne or Denis Buckley may be the beneficiaries over the next seven month.

Finally a reminder of the criteria for inclusion for these Listings:
1. Players may only be included once on the list
2. The list is a National Depth Chart related to the requirements of the National Team. However, I have listed players only in positions in which they have played.
3. Players are listed at the highest level possible in a suitable position.
3. Listing is based on performances from 1st January to 30th November 2017, but excludes those listed as long-term injured since 1st September 2017.
4. The overall selection is personal choice based on games attended or viewed i.e. does not including Training Sessions. It could perhaps validly be argued that inclusion within a Joe Schmidt training Camp should have been a relevant factor in the assessment of all players, as there is very little doubt that nobody who has not been a part of such Camps is likely to get actually selected to play for Ireland.
5. Players who are contracted to return to Ireland in Season 2018-19 have been included in the overall (8-tier) ranking.

Once again this published listing only goes down to four levels, and only includes players considered capable at present of playing international rugby. The full listing is compiled to eight teams and it may be see the light of day as time progresses (and I can figure out how to format such a group!)
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby CiaranIrl » December 4th, 2017, 9:17 pm

Outstanding post, and thanks.

Random consistency question: if you're to include VDF, Leavy, Scannell etc., why not include Ringrose? He's not a long term injury the way Heaslip & Payne are, where there is a bit of a cloud over their possible return. Various players missed the series through injury but I wouldn't call them long term.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 4th, 2017, 11:37 pm

CiaranIrl wrote:Outstanding post, and thanks.

Random consistency question: if you're to include VDF, Leavy, Scannell etc., why not include Ringrose? He's not a long term injury the way Heaslip & Payne are, where there is a bit of a cloud over their possible return. Various players missed the series through injury but I wouldn't call them long term.


All those you mentioned played during the current season, prior to the November internationals. Heaslip, Payne and Ringrose did not and although Ringrose returned on Dec 2nd, he had not played in Season 2017-18 and thus was a long-term injury (Basically, a cut-off date had to chosen at the outset)
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Lar » December 5th, 2017, 3:18 pm

Fair enough RTB. Whilst your post was dated 1 December it wasn't posted until 4 December and no doubt it was in the drafting for several weeks in advance, Ringrose had already been picked as a starter for Leinster the next day by 1st December and probably deserved a mention if nothing else. Particularly because fully fit he is not just a depth player but challenging for the first XV.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby neiliog93 » December 5th, 2017, 4:17 pm

Did anyone see Beirne's outstanding footwork and play in the loose for Scarlets vs. the Cheetahs? Really great stuff. Could be a serious player for Munster either as a light, agile type second row or a 6. If POM goes they might not miss him as much as we think.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby CiaranIrl » December 5th, 2017, 9:02 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:
CiaranIrl wrote:Outstanding post, and thanks.

Random consistency question: if you're to include VDF, Leavy, Scannell etc., why not include Ringrose? He's not a long term injury the way Heaslip & Payne are, where there is a bit of a cloud over their possible return. Various players missed the series through injury but I wouldn't call them long term.


All those you mentioned played during the current season, prior to the November internationals. Heaslip, Payne and Ringrose did not and although Ringrose returned on Dec 2nd, he had not played in Season 2017-18 and thus was a long-term injury (Basically, a cut-off date had to chosen at the outset)
.


I guess the way I see it is, Payne and Heaslip have unknown return dates and may not be available for 6 nations, whereas Ringrose was always going to be fit for the 6 nations barring a new injury. I just don't see 'em in the same category.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Fan with smartphone » December 9th, 2017, 12:04 am

neiliog93 wrote:Did anyone see Beirne's outstanding footwork and play in the loose for Scarlets vs. the Cheetahs? Really great stuff. Could be a serious player for Munster either as a light, agile type second row or a 6. If POM goes they might not miss him as much as we think.


I did, and I see what you are saying about him being a not dissimilar player to O’Mahony, but I’d personally see him as a second row who can do add-ons, rather than a blindside. I think he should be focusing his energy to be more Henderson than O’Mahony, but there’s no doubt he could be doing with a bit more power for international level. I think he could do it, even now he is just so impressively strong over the ball, so there is no issue with that part of his game. I wouldn’t rule out that Schmidt sees it the same way as you though! O’Mahony was one of the 5 who missed the Argentina game in the RWC and having a second row who could step into a lot of his roles at a pinch as an option is bound to be appealing to him. I’d just personally prefer some of the true, mobile back rows in there instead and let Beirne compete as a second row.

Really good stuff there RTB. I could be wrong here, but I don’t think there’d be too many arguments this time with where you’ve placed people. If that’s the case it is unusual and indicates Schmidt is managing to develop a reasonable depth and a fairly clear pecking order.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Oldschool » December 9th, 2017, 5:54 pm

How does the future look.
Possible Ireland starting 23, 4 years from now.
15. Larmour
14. A. Byrne
13. Ringrose
12. Henshaw
11. Stockdale
10. Carberry
9. Murray
8. Deegan
7. VDF
6. Stander
5.Henderson
4. Ryan
3. Furlong
2. Scannell
1. J. McGrath
Bench: Tracey, Dooley, Dillane, Leavy, L. McGrath, R. Byrne, Aki.
Barring 1 or 2 positions that already looks like a very competitive squad.
The 4 years from backup 23 would be interesting too.
Any takers. You may use the bench in your starting backup 23.
Indeed you may even disagree with the first coice future 23.
Also who is likely to be our coach four years from now.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby leinsterforever » December 9th, 2017, 7:05 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:ANY ASSISTANCE IS FORMATTING OF LISTS WILL BE GRATEFULLY RECEIVED AS I STILL CANNOT GET THE HANG OF BB CODE. THANKS RTB.

December 1st 2017

The previous Ireland Depth Chart was published on 1st January 2017. It is set out below to remind readers of where we were then. Eleven months on, the scene has altered fairly significantly as new players have emerged, key players have suffered long-term injuries and some, mostly senior, players have suffered loss of form or specific circumstances which exclude them from consideration at present.

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 31st Dec 2016

First XV............... 2nd XV............... 3rd XV............... 4th XV..........

15. R. Kearney.......... T O'Halloran.......... A. Conway.......... C Kelleher..........
14. A Trimble.......... D Sweetnam.......... N Adelolokun.......... A. Byrne..........
13. G Ringrose.......... J Payne.......... R. O'Loughlin.......... L Marshall
12. R Henshaw.......... R Scannell.......... S McCloskey.......... N Reid
11. S Zebo................ K Earls............ M Healy.......... R. O'Mahony..........
10. J Sexton.......... J Carbery.......... P Jackson.......... I Madigan..........
9. C Murray.......... K Marmion.......... L McGrath.......... J Cooney..........
8. J Heaslip.......... J Conan.......... J O'Donoghue.......... J Muldoon..........
7. S O'Brien.......... J V der Flyer.......... T O'Donnell.......... Jordi Murphy..........
6. CJ Stander.......... P O'Mahony.......... D Leavy.......... S. O'Brien II..........
5. D Toner.......... U Dillane.......... B Holland.......... R. Molony..........
4. Donn Ryan.......... I Henderson.......... Q Roux.......... I Nagle..........
3. T Furlong.......... F Bealham.......... M Moore.......... J Ryan..........
2. R Best.......... S Cronin.......... N Scannell .......... J Treacy..........
1. J McGrath.......... C Healy.......... D Buckley.......... D Kilcoyne..........

Joe Schmidt is a Coach who has avowed that he never has a long-term plan because so many factors are at play from week to week. However, as he now ends the third phase of this International year, Six Nations, Summer Tour and Autumn Internationals, his National Squad depth is immeasurably improved by his careful experimentation.

Departed from Consideration
At this point, it appears as if the following players are unlikely to be in contention for the RWC 2019 in Japan:

Player &.......... .......... Position
Donn O'Callaghan.................... 2nd Row
Dan Tuohy .................... 2nd Row
Mick McCarthy .......... 2nd Row
Dominic Ryan.......... Flanker
Tommy Bowe.......... Winger
Dave Foley .......... 2nd Row
Donnchadh Ryan .......... 2nd Row
Simon Zebo .......... Winger
Ian Madigan .......... Out-Half
Paddy Jackson .......... Out-half
Stuart Olding .......... Centre

There are others who have slipped so far down the Chart as to be very far from contention at International level, in almost any circumstances, and these include such former notables as John Muldoon, Andrew Trimble, Chris Henry and Robbie Diack. To this list can be added another name, only recently qualified for Ireland on residency grounds, but apparently very unlikely to get a call-up to an Irish Squad at this point. Tom McCartney, having just passed his 32nd birthday but still appearing to be first-choice hooker for Connacht, is unfortunate that Rory Best is Irish captain and therefore selection for this position appears to be focused at those who can make an impact off the bench.

So, these fifteen players were all candidates for inclusion in an Irish Squad when we reviewed the Player List last January, they are now most unlikely selections, unless their circumstances change significantly.

There is another group of players who have been excluded from this Depth Chart and these are players who have suffered long-term injury and who have not yet returned to play .

Long-term Injuries
Jamie Heaslip
Jared Payne
Gary Ringrose

Correspondingly, there are new additions to our Chart, some newly qualified by residency, but others who have emerged on the playing field and climbed fast, ahead of the competition. As with the previous Chart, the entire listing is compiled over eight teams, but only four are published - largely for simplicity and to minimise controversy. Two of the players now listed within the top 30 players, Jacob Stickdale & James Ryan, were included on our 6th XV last January and two more from the current top 45 (Jordan Larmour & Tadgh Beirne) weren't included at all.

For consistency, the only ones listed as "New Faces" are those who appear in the teams in our listing. We consider that at any given point, the real candidates for selection, for team or Squad, will come from these teams. Four players deep is a good Depth Chart.

New Faces
Jacob Stockdale
Bundee Aki
Chris Farrell
Adam Byrne
James Ryan
Tadgh Beirne
Jordan Larmour
Barry Daly
Ian Keatley
Andrew Porter
Darragh Leader
Ross Byrne
Max Deegan
Rob Herring

These fourteen players are genuine additions to our strength in depth. Some have received public recognition already by National Squad selection. Others have received calls from Joe Schmidt with private encouragement and work-ons. Others may not have received such a call but have put themselves into a position where their performances cannot be overlooked for much longer.

Irish Provincial rugby is doing it's job by producing players of International quality. Some of those players are emerging at much younger ages than previously. Others are emerging with more experience and maturity and showing the results of excellent coaching. The players are emerging from all four Provinces and this continues to be an important factor in the overall health of Irish rugby. Yes, Leinster have a majority of the new faces. But Leinster has more than 50% of all the adult players in the country so this disparity shouldn't surprise anybody.


Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1st Dec 2017

First XV ............ 2nd XV.......... 3rd XV.............. 4th XV..........

15. R. Kearney.......... A. Conway.......... T O'Halloran.......... D Leader
14. K Earls.......... D Sweetnam.......... J Larmour.......... F McFadden
13. R Henshaw.......... C Farrell.......... L Marshall.......... R O'Loughlin
12. B Aki.......... S McCloskey.......... R Scannell.......... N Reid
11. J Stockdale.......... A Byrne.......... B Daly.......... D Kearney
10. J Sexton.......... J Carbery.......... I Keatley .......... R Byrne
9. C Murray.......... K Marmion.......... L McGrath.......... J Cooney
8. CJ Stander.......... J Conan.......... J O'Donoghue.......... M Deegan
7. S O'Brien.......... J V der Flyer.......... Jordi Murphy.......... T O'Donnell
6. P O'Mahony.......... R Ruddock.......... D Leavy.......... Da O'Callaghan
5. D Toner.......... James Ryan.......... K Treadwell.......... U Dillane
4. I Henderson.......... T Beirne.......... Q Roux.......... B Holland
3. T Furlong.......... John Ryan.......... A Porter.......... M Bent
2. R Best.......... N Scannell .......... S Cronin.......... R Herring
1. C Healy.......... J McGrath .......... D Kilcoyne .......... D Buckley


Commentary on Selections

It may seem pretty straightforward, but as always there will be lots of debate about selections:

15.
A much easier selection than at the start of the year. Kearney showed his best form against Argentina and Zebo is out of the picture for the present and Jared Payne is a long-term injury. Andrew Conway has graduated to the role of National cover for this position and he brings a different style. The real mystery to this writer is the omission of Tiernan O'Halloran, particularly after his selection to tour Japan. Possibly, the contenders for this position may be Kearney, Conway, Carbury and Larmour.

14.
Andrew Trimble's form has fallen off a cliff, just as a number of younger contenders put their hands up. Keith Earls' form on Summer Tour, coupled with electric form early-season for Munster make him an automatic choice. But Darren Sweetnam, Conway and Adam Byrne are now all real challengers whilst Jordan Larmour cannot be ruled out if he continues his extraordinary pace of improvement.

13.
All change in this position as we exclude Ringrose & Payne from our consideration and Chris Farrell emerges from two games during the Autumn Internationals. However, for the present, we have plumped for Robbie Henshaw at 13, the more difficult defensive position.

12.
A significant part of the reason for Henshaw at 13, is his potential partnership with Bundee Aki at No 12. Certainly not enough was evident in the most recent internationals to make this selection a certainty and Henshaw and Ringrose have the opportunity, alongside Sexton, to make a big impression over the next four European games before 6 Nations selection comes around. McCloskey and Scannell make up the contenders in this area which ensures that we have real depth again.

11.
If ever a new contender blew away his opponents by performance, it has been Jacob Stockdale. Tries galore, a number from 30-40 m out. Big defensive hits and also a pleasant media personality. Dave Kearney looks a long way behind at present but Barry Daly or Adam Byrne could continue their progress to be good back-ups to the new star.

10.
Sexton still prevails and grows even more influential. Despite his injury woes, Carbery is the prime support act at present and Jackson's unavailability is a real blow. Carbery offers attacking threats every time he is in possession but, if selected, Ireland could not play with the same control as with Sexton. Ian Keatley has served his cause well and certainly looks like a closing option to Sexton, based on his calm maturity. Ross Bryne has improved throughout a corresponding period of decline for Bleyandhal and Hanrahan.

9.
The second position where there is little or no debate because of his imperious form is Conor Murray. Ireland's most important player and possibly now even further ahead of the back-up of Marmion, McGrath & Cooney. Of these Cooney could benefit, through an Irish bench selection, because of his place kicking.

8.
Despite the typical CJ Stander performances in NZ and through the Autumn internationals, Jamie Heaslip has been sorely missed in this shirt. Stander appears to shade Conan as the logical successor, but the vast majority hope for full recovery for Heaslip. Max Deegan has produced a few excellent performances for his Province and he and Jack O'Donoghue will be the next generation contenders.

7.
The previous debate about whether a fit Sean O'Brien should keep the No 7 shirt is over for the present. Josh Van der Flier provides a very significant alternative for Schmidt and is a different style of player. Jordi Murphy, Tommy O'Donnell and even Dan Leavy provide further alternatives.

6.
The only clarity in the argument about this position is that Iain Henderson is no longer a viable candidate for the position. Peter O'Mahony holds the jersey, but Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and even CJ (if Heaslip returns) will all be live contenders

5. and 4.
The third position in the team about which there is almost no argument is Dev Toner's tenancy on the jersey. But notwithstanding the loss of the often under-estimated Donnchadh Ryan, the transition to Henderson or James Ryan has been almost seamless and our scrum in particular looks even more powerful with these two youngsters in the row.
The performances of Llanelli-based, but Munster-bound, Tadgh Beirne during the entire calendar year to date validate his candidacy, particularly with the benefit of his coverage of second and back-rows Treadwell may also continue his progress but the Ulster pack needs to play with more authority to give him a real stage. However, the advent of both these players is a mark of the lack of progress of Ultan Dillane and the retirement of a number of experienced players in this position.

Despite the emergence of Ryan and the continual development of Iain Henderson to real-world class standard, second-row remains the position in which our tactical style, particularly our recent scrum dominance, is vulnerable to a couple of ill-timed injuries

3.
Tadgh Furlong is one of the players who has developed to greatest effect during 2017. Very few doubted he would emerge as an international player. but a full 6N tournament, without injury, coupled with first-choice selection during a successful Lions Tour in NZ now ensure his name is automatically pencilled early in every selection meeting. The progress of John Ryan and the conversion of Andrew Porter to TH, coupled with the impending return of Marty Moore to the more secure environment of Irish rugby, means that we have quality in depth at last in this vital position

2.
We have become so used to the excellence of Rory Best that his loss before the next World Cup would be a major weakening of our pack-strength. The omission of Sean Cronin from the Autumn internationals may have provided opportunities for Rob Herring and James Treacy, but, thus far, Scannell and Cronin provide the real depth for international rugby at present.

1.
Six months ago, it hardly seemed possible that Cian Healy would resurrect his career to such a point that he would displace his Provincial friend and team-mate Jack McGrath. But, through improved maturity on and off the pitch and dynamic scrum work and ball-carrying, Healy is back at the top of the queue. Dave Kilcoyne's improved scrumaging for Munster gained him selection for the Autumn Squad. However, the performance when coming on as a replacement against Argentina, marked how far behind the two front-runners is the third choice in this position. Peter Dooley or Ed Byrne or Denis Buckley may be the beneficiaries over the next seven month.

Finally a reminder of the criteria for inclusion for these Listings:
1. Players may only be included once on the list
2. The list is a National Depth Chart related to the requirements of the National Team. However, I have listed players only in positions in which they have played.
3. Players are listed at the highest level possible in a suitable position.
3. Listing is based on performances from 1st January to 30th November 2017, but excludes those listed as long-term injured since 1st September 2017.
4. The overall selection is personal choice based on games attended or viewed i.e. does not including Training Sessions. It could perhaps validly be argued that inclusion within a Joe Schmidt training Camp should have been a relevant factor in the assessment of all players, as there is very little doubt that nobody who has not been a part of such Camps is likely to get actually selected to play for Ireland.
5. Players who are contracted to return to Ireland in Season 2018-19 have been included in the overall (8-tier) ranking.

Once again this published listing only goes down to four levels, and only includes players considered capable at present of playing international rugby. The full listing is compiled to eight teams and it may be see the light of day as time progresses (and I can figure out how to format such a group!)


I realise it's difficult to get everyone to fit in neatly, but you say that players have only been considered in positions they've played and you then have Adam Byrne on the left wing. Has he ever played there? Or are you considering wingers as interchangeable for the sake of simplicity?

Also, would Dave O'Callaghan not fall into the long-term injured category? Has he not been injured and unavailable all this season so far? I like what O'Callaghan brings to the table as a blindside but would Eoin McKeon or Sean O'Brien not have better recent form?

Good list though
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 9th, 2017, 8:16 pm

Absolutely right, Dave O'Callaghan has not appeared since his knee injury in April and should be classed long-term injury.

Sean O'Brien II comes up one slot onto the top four teams.

BTW, I had included D. O'C because of his lineout ability and mauling, both of which appear better than SO'B II.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Oldschool » March 19th, 2018, 8:46 pm

Oldschool wrote:How does the future look.
Possible Ireland starting 23, 4 years from now.
15. Larmour
14. A. Byrne
13. Ringrose
12. Henshaw
11. Stockdale
10. Carberry
9. Murray
8. Deegan
7. VDF
6. Stander
5.Henderson
4. Ryan
3. Furlong
2. Scannell
1. J. McGrath
Bench: Tracey, Dooley, Porter, Dillane, Leavy, L. McGrath, R. Byrne, Aki.
Barring 1 or 2 positions that already looks like a very competitive squad.
The 4 years from backup 23 would be interesting too.
Any takers. You may use the bench in your starting backup 23.
Indeed you may even disagree with the first coice future 23.
Also who is likely to be our coach four years from now.
Lancaster Cullen Gibbs ROG Another NZer?

Posted this last December. Porter added to bench.
Would also think that Barry Daly might edge Adam Byrne out of the team.
Joe's legacy to our future.
In a years time, no doubt, other players may become visible.
Tommy O'Brien for example.
Tadg Beirne and Marty Moore?
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Ruckedtobits » March 20th, 2018, 12:23 am

The updated Depth Chart is in preparation. The first two levels are fairly easy but then the fun starts. Hope to post tomorrow.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Oldschool » March 20th, 2018, 3:27 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:The updated Depth Chart is in preparation. The first two levels are fairly easy but then the fun starts. Hope to post tomorrow.

I tried using the [List] and see its too free form.
A possibility might be to take a screen shot, create an image and post using the [img] option.
Haven't tried it but others have.
There's a test area in the "The Lounge" section which you may already be aware of.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Ruckedtobits » March 20th, 2018, 11:12 pm

And so the latest profile of the Irish Depth Chart created naturally post the Grand Slam victory in Twickenham.


Ireland XV Depth Chart - 18 March 2018
[b]First XV           2nd XV          3rd XV          4th XV [/b]

15. R. Kearney J Larmour T O'Halloran D Kearney
14. K Earls A Conway B Daly* C Gilroy
13. G Ringrose C Farrell S Arnold* L Marshall
12. R Henshaw B Aki R Scannell S McCloskey
11. J Stockdale F McFadden M Healy A Woottan*
10. J Sexton J Carbery I Keatley R Byrne*
9. C Murray K Marmion J Cooney L McGrath
8. CJ Stander J Conan M Deegan* N Timoney*
7. D Leavy JVd Flyer Jor Murphy J O'Donohue
6. P O'Mahony R Ruddock S O'Brien S O'Brien II*
5. Jas Ryan D Toner U Dillane D O'Shea*
4. I Henderson . T Beirne* Q Roux K Treadwell
3. T Furlong A Porter J Ryan M Bent
2. R Best S Cronin N Scannell R Herring
1. C Healy J McGrath D Kilcoyne Ed Byrne*


(*) Uncapped player

For ease of comparison, I have set out what the Chart looked like immediately after the Autumn Internationals:

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1st Dec 2017

First XV ............ 2nd XV.......... .. 3rd XV................ 4th XV..........

15. R. Kearney..... A. Conway......... T O'Halloran.......... D Leader
14. K Earls.......... D Sweetnam...... J Larmour............. F McFadden
13. R Henshaw...... C Farrell.......... L Marshall........... . R O'Loughlin
12. B Aki............ S McCloskey....... R Scannell............ N Reid
11. J Stockdale..... A Byrne........... B Daly............... .. D Kearney
10. J Sexton........ J Carbery.......... I Keatley ............. R Byrne
9. C Murray....... . K Marmion.......... L McGrath............ J Cooney
8. CJ Stander...... J Conan............. J O'Donoghue........ M Deegan
7. S O'Brien........ J V der Flyer....... Jordi Murphy......... T O'Donnell
6. P O'Mahony...... R Ruddock.......... D Leavy............ .. Da O'Callaghan
5. D Toner.......... James Ryan.......... K Treadwell......... U Dillane
4. I Henderson..... T Beirne.......... .. Q Roux.......... ..... B Holland
3. T Furlong....... John Ryan......... .. A Porter.......... . .. M Bent
2. R Best.......... . N Scannell .......... S Cronin........... . R Herring
1. C Healy.......... J McGrath .......... . D Kilcoyne ......... D Buckley

Commentary
15.
Rob Kearney clearly showed his early-season form in November last year was no flash-in-the-pan. With Zebo out of the picture for the present and Jared Payne a long-term injury, Andrew Conway had graduated to the role of National cover for this position but a somewhat mystery injury ruled him out of contention for what would surely have been match-day Squad selections during the 6N. In the medium term, the contenders and cover for this position appear to be Kearney, Conway, Carbury and Larmour, with no sign of O'Halloran getting a look in.

14.
Keith Earls' continued his form from the November games and Summer Tour, which made him an automatic choice. But Conway and uncapped Daly, who spent time in the Irish Camp, could become real in-depth back-up as both have acceleration and ultimate pace, whilst Jordan Larmour cannot be ruled out if he continues his extraordinary pace of improvement.

13.
Real strength in depth here as proved by the use of three different player during the Championship. Ringrose is the key for me and his selection at 13 relegates Chris Farrell & Bundee Aki to the second tier as the Robbie Henshaw & Garry Ringrose combination just looks too good to resist. Sammy Arnold's
displays for Munster, coupled with his prolonged presence in Camp for the last fortnight suggests that Schmidt likes his work.

12.
Despite the potential of the Henshaw partnership with Bundee Aki, it didn't gel enough outside Sexton to consider it the automatic first choice. McCloskey and Scannell make up the contenders in this area which ensures that we have real depth again.

11.
Nobody can ignore the try-scoring ability of Stockdale. His try against England showed pace, footballing skills, presence of mind and doggedness. If ever a new contender blew away his opponents by performance, it has been Jacob Stockdale. A few more big defensive hits and he will graduate to folk-hero status. McFadden, Healy and Wootten look a long way behind at present, but both of the latter have potential for improvement and could show that they can play at the highest level, given the chance.

10.
Sexton still prevails and grows even more influential. Despite his injury woes, Carbery is the prime support act at present, but would Schmidt start him in a Championship game if necessary? Carbery offers attacking threats every time he is in possession but, if selected, Ireland could not play with the same control as with Sexton. Ian Keatley still looks like a starting option for Sexton, based on his calm maturity, but for how much longer?. In the outside lane but moving up fast Ross Bryne has continued to develop and his kicking, of all varieties, is the best in the country. Young Ciaran Frawley has emerged from nowhere and may even get a chance in Australia in the summer.

9.
The 'most important player' is the most common accolade for Conor Murray. Ireland's most important player and possibly now even further ahead of the back-up of Marmion, McGrath & Cooney. Of these Cooney could be deemed unlucky to be behind an Ulster pack without European exposure to support his case, despite his excellent place kicking.

8.
Jamie Heaslip was probably not eulogised enough on his retirement, for his extraordinary contribution to Irish international rugby. The attention grabbed (correctly) by our Grand Slam run may have ensured that, although many words of praise were offered, Jamie departed a little under the radar. CJ Stander carried and carried and battered all in front of him. It might have seemed, at the start of the 6N, as if Stander shaded Conan as the logical successor, but by the end, there was no doubt that he was half a league ahead of Heaslip's natural Provincial successor. Max Deegan contributed a few excellent performances for his Province and deserves his slot.

7.
In the enforced absence of Sean O'Brien, Josh Van der Flier grabbed the opportunity and made an impact from the first minute against France. Unfortunately his injury curtailed his involvement and presented Schmidt with the chance to use a very different style of player in Dan Leavy. Few 6N debutantes in the back-row have ever had such an impact and his now trademark turnovers ensured that he has cemented his place for the present. Jordi Murphy made perhaps more impact than many starting back-rows in other countries and his move to Ulster should not disturb his Coaches' confidence in his contributions.

6.
Peter O'Mahony now holds the jersey, possibly more tightly than he has at any time in the past. Rhys Ruddock has been very unfortunate with the timing of his injuries but still has the potential to make match day Squads when he returns to fitness.

5. and 4.
Dev Toner's commenced this window in pole position after a wonderful Autumn Series. I could not have imagined how rapid would be the transition to Henderson and James Ryan. This has been almost seamless and our scrum, in particular, looks even more powerful with these two youngsters in the row. To my mind, it's not as if Dev's performance levels have fallen, it's just that the young tyros have blown the doors off. When one realises that these three are about to be joined by Llanelli-based, but Munster-bound, Tadgh Beirne it makes a very real challenge for players like Ultan Dillane & Quinn Roux to get a Squad place unless injury intervenes.

3.
Tadgh Furlong is automatically INKED IN first at every selection meeting. The conversion of Andrew Porter to TH, coupled with the impending return of Marty Moore to the more secure environment of Irish rugby, means that the progress of John Ryan is less urgent that it appeared three months ago. We have quality in depth at last in this vital position

2.
We have become so used to the excellence of Rory Best that his success as hooker and captain is now a given. The return to the fold of Sean Cronin and the Autumn displays of Rob Herring and James Treacy, provide comfort regarding depth but Scannell's performances give comfort that real cover is available for Captain Rory and Sean Cronin can continue with his closing cameos in international rugby.

1.
In a period of less than six months ago, through improved maturity on and off the pitch and dynamic scrum work and ball-carrying, Cian Healy is back at the top of the queue, ahead of his Provincial friend and team-mate Jack McGrath. Dave Kilcoyne's needs to replicate his improved scrumaging for Munster in the early Season to keep pace. However, the Coaches may want to strengthen their hand in this position and Ed Byrne and Peter Dooley are likely to battle it out over the coming months.

Overall, we have had an extraordinary period of development among our young players. Nine players were playing in their first 6N Championship. Of the 23-man Squad who played in Twickenham in February 2016, only seven (3 forwards and 4 backs) were among the 23 who grabbed a Grand Slam with both hands four days ago. No rugby nation can plan for such an avalanche of talent emerging at one go. However, the signs are there that there could be a few more to take their places by the time September 2019 comes around. We are very lucky to be Irish rugby supporters in this era.

Finally, a brief reminder of the criteria for inclusion in these Listings:

1. Players may only be included once on the list
2. The list is a National Depth Chart related to the requirements of the National Team. However, players are listed in positions in which they have played professionally.
3. Players are listed at the highest level possible in a suitable position.
3. Listing is based on performances from 1st December to 17th March 2018, but excludes those listed as long-term injured, or retired, between 1st Feb & 17th Mar 2018.
4. The overall selection is personal choice based on games attended or viewed i.e. does not including Training Sessions. It could perhaps validly be argued that inclusion within a Joe Schmidt training Camp should have been a relevant factor in the assessment of all players, as there is very little doubt that anybody who has been a part of such Camps is possibly going to be selected to play for Ireland, should the opportunity arise, e.g. Sammy Arnold
5. Players who are contracted to return to Ireland in Season 2018-19 have been included in the overall (8-tier) ranking.

Once again this published listing only goes down to four levels. The full listing is compiled to eight teams and I will put these up shortly (for the first time).
Last edited by Ruckedtobits on March 21st, 2018, 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Leinsterlunatic » March 21st, 2018, 9:31 am

Ruckedtobits wrote:And so the latest profile of the Irish Depth Chart created naturally post the Grand Slam victory in Twickenham.


Ireland XV Depth Chart - 18 March 2018
[b]First XV           2nd XV          3rd XV          4th XV [/b]

15. R. Kearney J Larmour T O'Halloran D Kearney
14. K Earls A Conway B Daly* C Gilroy
13. G Ringrose C Farrell S Arnold* L Marshall
12. R Henshaw B Aki R Scannell S McCloskey
11. J Stockdale F McFadden M Healy A Woottan*
10. J Sexton J Carbery I Keatley R Byrne*
9. C Murray K Marmion J Cooney L McGrath
8. CJ Stander J Conan M Deegan* N Timoney*
7. D Leavy JVd Flyer Jor Murphy J O'Donohue
6. P O'Mahony R Ruddock S O'Brien S O'Brien II*
5. Jas Ryan D Toner U Dillane D O'Shea*
4. I Henderson . T Beirne* Q Roux K Treadwell
3. T Furlong A Porter J Ryan M Bent
2. R Best S Cronin N Scannell R Herring
1. C Healy J McGrath D Kilcoyne Ed Byrne*


(*) Uncapped player

For ease of comparison, I have set out what the Chart looked like immediately after the Autumn Internationals:

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1st Dec 2017

First XV ............ 2nd XV.......... .. 3rd XV................ 4th XV..........

15. R. Kearney..... A. Conway......... T O'Halloran.......... D Leader
14. K Earls.......... D Sweetnam...... J Larmour............. F McFadden
13. R Henshaw...... C Farrell.......... L Marshall........... . R O'Loughlin
12. B Aki............ S McCloskey....... R Scannell............ N Reid
11. J Stockdale..... A Byrne........... B Daly............... .. D Kearney
10. J Sexton........ J Carbery.......... I Keatley ............. R Byrne
9. C Murray....... . K Marmion.......... L McGrath............ J Cooney
8. CJ Stander...... J Conan............. J O'Donoghue........ M Deegan
7. S O'Brien........ J V der Flyer....... Jordi Murphy......... T O'Donnell
6. P O'Mahony...... R Ruddock.......... D Leavy............ .. Da O'Callaghan
5. D Toner.......... James Ryan.......... K Treadwell......... U Dillane
4. I Henderson..... T Beirne.......... .. Q Roux.......... ..... B Holland
3. T Furlong....... John Ryan......... .. A Porter.......... . .. M Bent
2. R Best.......... . N Scannell .......... S Cronin........... . R Herring
1. C Healy.......... J McGrath .......... . D Kilcoyne ......... D Buckley

Commentary
15.
Rob Kearney clearly showed his early-season form in November last year was no flash-in-the-pan. With Zebo out of the picture for the present and Jared Payne a long-term injury, Andrew Conway had graduated to the role of National cover for this position but a somewhat mystery injury ruled him out of contention for what would surely have been match-day Squad selections during the 6N. In the medium term, the contenders and cover for this position appear to be Kearney, Conway, Carbury and Larmour, with no sign of O'Halloran getting a look in.

14.
Keith Earls' continued his form from the November games and Summer Tour, which made him an automatic choice. But Conway and uncapped Daly, who spent time in the Irish Camp, could become real in-depth back-up as both have acceleration and ultimate pace, whilst Jordan Larmour cannot be ruled out if he continues his extraordinary pace of improvement.

13.
Real strength in depth here as proved by the use of three different player during the Championship. Ringrose is the key for me and his selection at 13 relegates Chris Farrell & Bundee Aki to the second tier as the Robbie Henshaw & Garry Ringrose combination just looks too good to resist. Sammy Arnold's
displays for Munster, coupled with his prolonged presence in Camp for the last fortnight suggests that Schmidt likes his work.

12.
Despite the potential of the Henshaw partnership with Bundee Aki, it didn't gel enough outside Sexton to consider it the automatic first choice. McCloskey and Scannell make up the contenders in this area which ensures that we have real depth again.

11.
Nobody can ignore the try-scoring ability of Stockdale. His try against England showed pace, footballing skills, presence of mind and doggedness. If ever a new contender blew away his opponents by performance, it has been Jacob Stockdale. A few more big defensive hits and he will graduate to folk-hero status. McFadden, Healy and Wootten look a long way behind at present, but both of the latter have potential for improvement and could show that they can play at the highest level, given the chance.

10.
Sexton still prevails and grows even more influential. Despite his injury woes, Carbery is the prime support act at present, but would Schmidt start him in a Championship game if necessary? Carbery offers attacking threats every time he is in possession but, if selected, Ireland could not play with the same control as with Sexton. Ian Keatley still looks like a starting option for Sexton, based on his calm maturity, but for how much longer?. In the outside lane but moving up fast Ross Bryne has continued to develop and his kicking, of all varieties, is the best in the country. Young Ciaran Frawley has emerged from nowhere and may even get a chance in Australia in the summer.

9.
The 'most important player' is the most common accolade for Conor Murray. Ireland's most important player and possibly now even further ahead of the back-up of Marmion, McGrath & Cooney. Of these Cooney could be deemed unlucky to be behind an Ulster pack without European exposure to support his case, despite his excellent place kicking.

8.
Jamie Heaslip was probably not eulogised enough on his retirement, for his extraordinary contribution to Irish international rugby. The attention grabbed (correctly) by our Grand Slam run may have ensured that, although many words of praise were offered, Jamie departed a little under the radar. CJ Stander carried and carried and battered all in front of him. It might have seemed, at the start of the 6N, as if Stander shaded Conan as the logical successor, but by the end, there was no doubt that he was half a league ahead of Heaslip's natural Provincial successor. Max Deegan contributed a few excellent performances for his Province and deserves his slot.

7.
In the enforced absence of Sean O'Brien, Josh Van der Flier grabbed the opportunity and made an impact from the first minute against France. Unfortunately his injury curtailed his involvement and presented Schmidt with the chance to use a very different style of player in Dan Leavy. Few 6N debutantes in the back-row have ever had such an impact and his now trademark turnovers ensured that he has cemented his place for the present. Jordi Murphy made perhaps more impact than many starting back-rows in other countries and his move to Ulster should not disturb his Coaches' confidence in his contributions.

6.
Peter O'Mahony now holds the jersey, possibly more tightly than he has at any time in the past. Rhys Ruddock has been very unfortunate with the timing of his injuries but still has the potential to make match day Squads when he returns to fitness.

5. and 4.
Dev Toner's commenced this window in pole position after a wonderful Autumn Series. I could not have imagined how rapid would be the transition to Henderson and James Ryan. This has been almost seamless and our scrum, in particular, looks even more powerful with these two youngsters in the row. To my mind, it's not as if Dev's performance levels have fallen, it's just that the young tyros have blown the doors off. When one realises that these three are about to be joined by Llanelli-based, but Munster-bound, Tadgh Beirne it makes a very real challenge for players like Ultan Dillane & Quinn Roux to get a Squad place unless injury intervenes.

3.
Tadgh Furlong is automatically INKED IN first at every selection meeting. The conversion of Andrew Porter to TH, coupled with the impending return of Marty Moore to the more secure environment of Irish rugby, means that the progress of John Ryan is less urgent that it appeared three months ago. We have quality in depth at last in this vital position

2.
We have become so used to the excellence of Rory Best that his success as hooker and captain is now a given. The return to the fold of Sean Cronin and the Autumn displays of Rob Herring and James Treacy, provide comfort regarding depth but Scannell's performances give comfort that real cover is available for Captain Rory and Sean Cronin can continue with his closing cameos in international rugby.

1.
In a period of less than six months ago, through improved maturity on and off the pitch and dynamic scrum work and ball-carrying, Cian Healy is back at the top of the queue, ahead of his Provincial friend and team-mate Jack McGrath. Dave Kilcoyne's needs to replicate his improved scrumaging for Munster in the early Season to keep pace. However, the Coaches may want to strengthen their hand in this position and Ed Byrne and Peter Dooley are likely to battle it out over the coming months.

Overall, we have had an extraordinary period of development among our young players. Nine players were playing in their first 6N Championship. Of the 23-man Squad who played in Twickenham in February 2016, only seven (3 forwards and 4 backs) were among the 23 who grabbed a Grand Slam with both hands four days ago. No rugby nation can plan for such an avalanche of talent emerging at one go. However, the signs are there that there could be a few more to take their places by the time September 2019 comes around. We are very lucky to be Irish rugby supporters in this era.

Finally, a brief reminder of the criteria for inclusion in these Listings:

1. Players may only be included once on the list
2. The list is a National Depth Chart related to the requirements of the National Team. However, players are listed in positions in which they have played professionally.
3. Players are listed at the highest level possible in a suitable position.
3. Listing is based on performances from 1st December to 17th March 2018, but excludes those listed as long-term injured, or retired, between 1st Feb & 17th Mar 2018.
4. The overall selection is personal choice based on games attended or viewed i.e. does not including Training Sessions. It could perhaps validly be argued that inclusion within a Joe Schmidt training Camp should have been a relevant factor in the assessment of all players, as there is very little doubt that anybody who has been a part of such Camps is possibly going to be selected to play for Ireland, should the opportunity arise, e.g. Sammy Arnold
5. Players who are contracted to return to Ireland in Season 2018-19 have been included in the overall (8-tier) ranking.

Once again this published listing only goes down to four levels. The full listing is compiled to eight teams and I will put these up shortly (for the first time).


This is a really enjoyable read, bravo :happy clapper: :happy clapper:
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Ruckedtobits » March 21st, 2018, 11:48 am

As a reminder, I have listed the Depth Chart ranking again for the first four teams below. Immediately below that are the rankings for the fifth to eight teams, with some comments. As always, please feel free to offer suggestions or re-rankings for these players because it is much harder to get adequate coverage on some of the players included and first-hand opinion is inevitably better than snatches of edited TV footage for some of the available sites.

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 18 March 2018
[b]First XV           2nd XV          3rd XV          4th XV [/b]

15. R. Kearney J Larmour T O'Halloran D Kearney
14. K Earls A Conway B Daly* C Gilroy
13. G Ringrose C Farrell S Arnold* L Marshall
12. R Henshaw B Aki R Scannell S McCloskey
11. J Stockdale F McFadden M Healy A Woottan*
10. J Sexton J Carbery I Keatley R Byrne*
9. C Murray K Marmion J Cooney L McGrath
8. CJ Stander J Conan M Deegan* N Timoney*
7. D Leavy JVd Flyer Jor Murphy J O'Donohue
6. P O'Mahony R Ruddock S O'Brien S O'Brien II*
5. Jas Ryan D Toner U Dillane D O'Shea*
4. I Henderson . T Beirne* Q Roux K Treadwell
3. T Furlong A Porter J Ryan M Bent
2. R Best S Cronin N Scannell R Herring
1. C Healy J McGrath D Kilcoyne Ed Byrne*


(*) Uncapped player


Ireland XV Depth Chart - 18 March 2018
[b]Fifth XV           6th XV          7th XV          8th XV [/b]

15. D Leader* L Ludik* D Johnson* S Fitzgerald*
14. D Sweetnam N Adelolokun C Nash* H Keenan*
13. R O'Loughlin Tom O'Brien* C Ronaldson* D Goggin*
12. T Farrell* A Curtis* D Cave Con O'Brien*
11. A Bryne C Kelliher* R O'Mahony* R Lyttle*
10. C Frawley* JJ Hanrahan* J McPhillips* B Johnson*
9. N McCarthy* D Williams* C Blade* Jon Stewart*
8. J O'Sullivan* R Copeland C Doris* E McKeon*
7. T O'Donnell C Oliver* S Reidy W Connors*
6. D O'Callaghan* M Rea* Josh Murphy* E Masterson*
5. A O'Connor* R Molony* M Kearney Ja Cannon*
4. F Wyncherley* B Holland P Browne* G Thornbury*
3. M Moore F Bealham S Archer W Herbst*
2. J Treacy D Heffernan S Delahunt* D Casey*
1. P Dooley* J Cronin D Buckley* D Coulson*


(*) Uncapped player

Commentary

Although the players have been ranked individually, the commentary is focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the resultant teams.

In the 5th team, Tommy O'Donnell (30) and Marty Moore (27) are the senior citizens of this group with the remainder 25 or younger. Irish U.20 number eight Jack O'Sullivan (19) won't turn 20 until next October but his displays in the U.20 6N games have shown him to have rare ability and competitiveness. Ciaran Frawley (20) made a startling debut for Leinster against Scarlets and demonstrated the benefit of having played for his club Skerries as out-half and full-back for the senior side since age 17. Tom Farrell (24) has been the sole Connacht player making a mark on the Pro 14 statistics this year for the right reasons. By mid-season, he had carried more ball, beaten more defenders and off-loaded more often than any other player, in a season where Connacht have not been tearing down trees in attack. Both wingers have been capped already and either could achieve much of what has come the way of Jacob Stockdale, if the opportunity arose. Up front only Peter Dooley (23) has yet to be capped but that honour cannot be far away for the Birr man. Wyncherley (20) and O'Connor (25) have both progressed this season but Munster's Jean Kleyn (24) will be eligible for Ireland at the start of September 2019, so further competition is on the horizon in what has become a competitive position.

The 6th team contains a mix of those going in opposite directions. Billy Holland (32) and James Cronin (27) have possibly seen the last of their days in a green jersey but will be vital cogs in the Munster pack for a while to come. Connacht supply two of the front-row, Bealham (26) and Heffernan (27) and both should now be entering the prime years for their positions. Copeland (30) is another who may not grace the jersey again but he is an excellent successor to the great John Muldoon (35) and has the physique to give as good a service as his predecessor. Rea (24) and Molony (23) both have windows next season for their further development. Both will need good form and plenty of game time to progress. In the centre positions, the Under 20 combination of O'Brien (19) and Curtis (19) is full of potential and rugby intelligence and despite their very different backgrounds look a really exciting partnership. Two more Connacht players Adelolokun (27) and Kelleher (23)fill the wing positions and pace and air skills are the common denominator here. Munster men Hanrahan (25) and Williams (31) provide the half-backs and while the No 9 may be past the opportunity of a green jersey, his colleague might need to move Province, possibly North, to get a new start which would allow him to demonstrate the talent he undoubtedly possesses. Overall, I believe this team has players of a standard that could represent Ireland against a Tier 2 country in the Autumn, or participate in a Tournament like the Tbilsi Cup, won twice by Emerging Ireland teams in recent years.

Once again the 7th team is an amalgam of those travelling on very different paths. Archer (30), Kearney (26) and Reidy (28) have all worn the green jersey but recently have seen the competition in their positions get younger, stronger and hungrier. Buckley (27) and Browne (30) may be two more for whom the tide is flowing in the wrong direction. However, Delahunt (24) might yet have a part to play in the search for successors to Best (35) and Cronin (31). Doris (19),
McPhillips (20), Nash (20) Murphy (23) and Blade (23)
could all be real candidates for development targeted at the 2023 RWC in France. Darren Cave (30) remains a player capable of involvement in the revitalisation of his Province whilst Ronaldson (28) and O'Mahony (28) have talents which need more game time to be fully displayed.

In the 8th team (professional players from 106 to 120 in the country) the majority are players who have just emerged on the Irish professional scene and may graduate towards an Irish Squad as we prepare for RWC 2023. Among the youngest are Fitzgerald (22), Keenan (21), Goggin (23), O'Brien (22), Johnston (21), Stewart (20) all of whom have already been ear-marked for fast-track development within their Provinces. 21-year-old Rob Lyttle started his Ulster career much like Jacob Stockdale in terms of try scoring but this diminutive winger has lacked the opportunities to continue like his giant counterpart. At 5' 9" and just 86kg (13st 8lb) Lyttle concedes weight and height to almost every opponent. Upfront are a few players who have no such concerns about physique. Thornbury (24) has two seasons of NZ rugby under his belt and is 6' 8" and over 117Kg. Cannon (29) although older is even bigger at 124Kg and the same height. Finally, Will Connors (21) is one of the most recent to emerge from the Leinster Academy back-row factory. Another face who will rise to prominence as 2023 comes into view.

Overall

Irish professional rugby has never been in a better place, but that doesn't mean that it should rest on its laurels. Certainly, it's a disappointment that we do not have a team travelling to something like the Tbilisi Cup, or the old Churchill Cup, during this summer. I'm certainly convinced that such competitions give the National Coaches the opportunity to assess (and possibly mentally reject) young players, who may not command a first-team Provincial place for European or even Pro 14 games, in a competitive environment.

Competition has always been at the heart of our international success. Whilst there is no doubt that Schmidt and his fellow Coaches now do much of the development and preparatory work within National Camps, there is no doubt that the Munster and Leinster experiences of digging out wins in vital European fixtures have contributed to Irish championship and even Grand Slam victories.

David Nucifora, in one of his first (and very rare) media interviews indicated that one of his objectives was to try to bring players through to International level at an earlier age. Whether by good fortune at the quality of young players who have emerged, or by direction from Nucifora, the number of young players who have been capped in the past two seasons is almost amazing. In fact, since I first started compiling these Depth Charts after the RWC2015, the average age of the 120 players who make up the eight levels that I have ranked, has fallen by almost exactly two years. The average age of the team which played in the Grand Slam game was 27.1 years (the English team was on average only 6 months older). Part of this can be accounted for by the retirement of an number of iconic figures such as Mike Ross, John Muldoon, Jamie Heaslip, Mike McCarthy, Donnchadh O'Callaghan and Tommy Bowe. But equally the emergence of such as Jordan Larmour, James Ryan, Andrew Porter and Jacob Stockdale have driven down the average age at the top of our International charts. Thus, the old adage, "If you're good enough, you're old enough" has proven to be true once again.
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby Ruckedtobits » March 21st, 2018, 7:19 pm

The above Charts have been Edited / Updated with Ranks 5 - 8 included and an overall commentary on the Rankings
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Re: Irish Depth Chart October 2016

Postby mildlyinterested » March 23rd, 2018, 9:47 am

ROL on the wing? seems unlikely unless he moves back to the wing and rediscovers form there.
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