Summer tour to Australia

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Summer tour to Australia

Postby Twist » March 19th, 2018, 5:43 pm

It's never too early to start thinking about it!

I dunno if the priority will be a series win or to develop depth. Obviously both would be great, and since we got both out of the 6N there's no reason to think it's impossible to do so again.

There's an argument for resting Sexton and Murray, but we don't know what state they'll be in at this juncture anyway. I'd definitely like to see Carberry start at least one test, however. It'd be good to get Herring re-integrated along with Conway, Ruddock, Dillane, Sweetnam maybe. There's a lot of players we didn't see in the last few weeks for various reasons who must be chomping at the bit. Obviously Tadhg Beirne will be the big story.

Australia always give you something different to think about, so there's great scope for learning. But it'd be another big statement to win down there



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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby Logorrhea » March 19th, 2018, 5:51 pm

Twist wrote:There's an argument for resting Sexton and Murray


None of the Lions will travel. Would be daft to bring any of them.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby CiaranIrl » March 19th, 2018, 6:14 pm

Please, please, please leave Sexton at home, injury free, to rest and recuperate. I'm not as fussed about Murray. He's a lot younger and less damaged. Given the option, I'd also leave Henshaw behind, even if he's back from injury in time.

I'd bring all of the rest of the squad. Even Lions like Furlong & Henderson. I would also bring Rory Best, though they need to give significant gametime to the likes of Scannell.
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Summer tour to Australia

Postby A16 » March 19th, 2018, 7:08 pm

I think this tour will be focusing on a balance of developing squad depth, and attempting to win our first tour in the Southern Hemisphere. So an important dilemma facing us is do we leave any players behind, and if so, who?

Looking at our depth ahead of the World Cup, I think we now have sufficient options going forward at:
Loose head prop, Tighthead prop, Second row, Back row and both inside and outside centre. So I’d be happy to bring all players available to us in those positions. The other positions however, I feel we need to try to integrate more players.

Our back 3 is in pretty good shape, but we could probably do with finding a couple more players who you could rely to start for us in a World Cup knock out match. We’re almost there but it would a good opportunity to give guys like Conway, Sweetnam, Daly and of course, Larmour more experience.

At hooker, I think we need to begin the gradual de-integration of Rory Best. The man is nearly 36, and will be 37 at the time of the World Cup, so the reasoning is pretty self explanatory. It’s difficult to predict whether he will still be a viable option then, so now is the time to give a few starts to the likes of Scannell/Cronin and leave Best on the bench for some games.

And finally, our halfbacks. I myself, would leave Sexton at home, but I’d bring Murray. From what I’ve seen of Carbery, he’s performed better at 15 than 10, although the lack of candidates who are up to the required standard means he will be needed there. Ross Byrne isn’t international standard yet and we should be looking beyond Keatley. It’s a shame bleyendaal won’t return from injury in time for it though. And in relation to 9, I’d bring Murray since he has far more durability left than Sexton does, although I would rotate him with the others as much as possible.

But if I had to predict what would happen, I doubt Schmidt will leave anyone at home, or rotate them as much as I suggested.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby Oldschool » March 19th, 2018, 7:14 pm

Marti Moore perhaps.
One big question JS has to consider.
Will Rory Best still be a viable captain in 18 months time.
If not when should the transition start.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby dropkick » March 19th, 2018, 8:30 pm

I presume Niall Scannell and Beirne will be brought along. Any others? Max Deegan maybe?


The question is whether they go all out to win it?
We might see Best, Sexton, Murray and Kearney given the summer off. They don't need the experience and its important that their backups get gametime. Those positions are the spine of the team though so it's a risk.


I think SOB should go on a sabbatical. Give his body a rest and come back after Christmas refreshed and ready for the world cup.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby cormac » March 19th, 2018, 9:19 pm

Logorrhea wrote:
Twist wrote:There's an argument for resting Sexton and Murray


None of the Lions will travel. Would be daft to bring any of them.


I'd say a few of them will almost certainly travel. Sure, the likes of Best and Henderson won't exactly be overworked for the next two months. I'd argue that anyone who went on the Lions tour shouldn't be starting all three tests though, where possible. They'll make calls in late May as to whether some individuals need the Summer off but I'd imagine all the players will want to tour.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby Dave Cahill » March 19th, 2018, 10:11 pm

We will be sending a full strength squad to Australia. They expect it and its important for ticket sales. If we don't, southern hemisphere counties won't send up full strength squads in the autumn as we expect and need for ticket sales.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby CiaranIrl » March 20th, 2018, 12:24 am

Dave Cahill wrote:We will be sending a full strength squad to Australia. They expect it and its important for ticket sales. If we don't, southern hemisphere counties won't send up full strength squads in the autumn as we expect and need for ticket sales.


Ah, we could absolutely leave Secton at home. No different from a Dan Carter / McCaw sabbatical.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby Laighin Break » March 20th, 2018, 9:28 am

CiaranIrl wrote:
Dave Cahill wrote:We will be sending a full strength squad to Australia. They expect it and its important for ticket sales. If we don't, southern hemisphere counties won't send up full strength squads in the autumn as we expect and need for ticket sales.


Ah, we could absolutely leave Secton at home. No different from a Dan Carter / McCaw sabbatical.


Sure if Sexton wanted it or requested it. Do you think that will be the case? He only has a few years of international rugby yet. I'd say he would definitely want to be part of the first Irish team to win a tour in the SH.
Disagree completely with Logorrhea above, I think it would be daft to leave all our Lions at home. We want to at least win the tour, preferably all the games. Keep this winning streak and winning culture going.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby simonokeeffe » March 20th, 2018, 9:40 am

Sexton will crawl to Australia if we let him but Carberry has to start one test. Same with Porter. And Larmour. And Beirne. And Conan

Cormac is right about Ulster players having May off. Connacht guys and Beirne werent on Lions either. Bar Johnny of the Leinster players most are well rotated/have acceptable minutes. Only other player Id worry about workload wise is Ryan
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby Dave Cahill » March 20th, 2018, 9:41 am

Have we won a series away from home against a SANZAR nation since 1979?

One of the important features of Englands RWC2003 campaign was that in the years leading up to it they started to beat these countries, not only in Twickenham, but away as well.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby simonokeeffe » March 20th, 2018, 11:28 am

True but playing our 1st XV 3 consecutive weekends at the end of the season is just not viable. We should target a series win but there has to be some rotation

SH could really suit a few guys like Beirne, Larmour, etc and will just assume we have a far superior tight 5
Plus they still rely on Bernard Foley at 10 and have had massive problems trying to establish a functional centre pairing
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby cormac » March 20th, 2018, 11:41 am

simonokeeffe wrote:True but playing our 1st XV 3 consecutive weekends at the end of the season is just not viable. We should target a series win but there has to be some rotation

SH could really suit a few guys like Beirne, Larmour, etc and will just assume we have a far superior tight 5
Plus they still rely on Bernard Foley at 10 and have had massive problems trying to establish a functional centre pairing


I'd say the template for this tour was set in South Africa 2 years ago. Pretty sure everyone who eventually went on that trek got gametime.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby rooster » March 20th, 2018, 12:04 pm

Best has resigned until the end of the 2019 World Cup , it is also suggested the Henderson is signed up to 2020
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » March 20th, 2018, 12:49 pm

The great thing is that we've rotated pretty well so far, it's not like we've flogged an experienced first 15 to make sure we won the Slam. I suppose you could contrast how good we look compared to how lethargic England look to see how well we're set right now.

I'm usually in favour of giving someone an extended break or ensuring they only play a limited amount of time in circumstances like this but if you take someone like Furlong for example, I'd say that Joe would have no intention of him playing the majority of the 240 minutes, and that he'd back Porter to play a lot anyway and not just play him because we need to develop depth, and bar halfback that situation is repeated throughout the squad.

Last November I said that Larmour and Ross Byrne were the only guys likely to break into the squad from nowhere before the World Cup. Even with the intense competition ahead of him I'd add Deegan to that list now. The odds are against him but I think he's developing rapidly and in terms of out and out number 8s he's the third best in the country IMO and will start a lot of games for Leinster with Jordi leaving and Conan likely to be unavailable a fair bit.

As much as the focus is said to be on the next game, and a series win in Australia is something that we should be targeting, obviously there's going to be some World Cup prep looming in the background. To that end, I'd say the areas we need to work on are hooker, second row, make up of the back row in the squad, back up halfbacks getting games, depth in the back three, guys moving positions instead of being specialists in one, and the captaincy.

Hooker - Best had an excellent tournament but I think he's slowing down. His workrate was outstanding and his ability to beat the Welsh and Scots to the breakdown or clear them out if they did get there first was incredible, but he's 35 and his carries and turnovers have gone down. We're very lucky with our depth here and there's a decent number of caps between them so it's not an area that worries me, but I would like to see Scannell start a good few games between now and the end of the year. Cronin will be 33 by the time the World Cup starts and I'd been worried that he'd turn into half the player he is when his pace goes, but actually his work in the tight has been more impressive than anything else lately so I don't particularly have that concern anymore.

Second row - we don't have great depth right now, but if Beirne hits the ground running and Dillane regains his best form then we'd be in really good shape. If Beirne goes to Australia and plays well then that's pretty much "problem" solved.

Back row - impossible to predict injuries or form at this stage but do we take 5 or 6 to the World Cup? Can Leavy and VDF play together? Who's the best bench option? Can Beirne cover 8 at international level? Endless questions here.

Halfbacks - Marmion and Luke just need game time. Joey does too, but is he also an option at 15? Third choice ten needs to be involved too. I'd go for Ross Byrne myself but whoever it is needs to play.

Back three - Earls looks like being out for a while so we'll get to see someone else on the wing. We don't have great depth here though. There's plenty of talent but not many experienced guys who've been tested time and time again. I struggle to see Ferg keeping up his good form over the next 18 months but Conway could become quite important. With Earls injured I don't know who rotates in for Stockdale, don't really like Larmour or Conway on the left wing. That injury will mean that we should figure a lot of that out though.

Versatility - you really need that in a World Cup. Larmour not being pigeon-holed as a winger or fullback and coming on at centre bodes really for what I think we'll need next year. Joey covering fullback, Stockdale moving to fullback or centre, Henshaw to fullback, and Ringrose covering the wing would be the types of things I'd like to see too. I'm not talking about mass experimentation for the next year and a half, but just the odd 20-30 minutes here or there when the opportunity presents itself. When you think back to the last World Cup and how much we struggled without Payne at 13, it's great to think that we can have Henshaw and Ringrose flicking between 12 and 13 without any issues. That's great, we just need a bit more of it.

Captaincy - despite what I said above, I don't think we need to phase Best out or anything, but we could do with having another captain lined up. I know others have taken it when Best has gone off early but I'd like to see another option developed in case he's unavailable. POM and Sexton to share it when he's not on the pitch are probably the obvious suggestions.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby simonokeeffe » March 20th, 2018, 1:05 pm

Conway at 14 would definitely provide the most balanced back 3, Stockdale and Larmour would be as exciting as it would be leaky.

Think we will take 5 backrowers including one specialist 6 (2 7s and 2 8s). If Beirne is seen as viable 6 cover eveb during a game that probably shuts the door on Nordi Murphy barring injuries
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby Oldschool » March 20th, 2018, 1:38 pm

Barry Daly could be a bolter for this tour and the RWC.
If he gets to go on this tour then he's capable of taking his opportunity.
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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby Twist » March 20th, 2018, 4:47 pm

Laighin Break wrote:
CiaranIrl wrote:
Dave Cahill wrote:We will be sending a full strength squad to Australia. They expect it and its important for ticket sales. If we don't, southern hemisphere counties won't send up full strength squads in the autumn as we expect and need for ticket sales.


Ah, we could absolutely leave Secton at home. No different from a Dan Carter / McCaw sabbatical.


Sure if Sexton wanted it or requested it. Do you think that will be the case? He only has a few years of international rugby yet. I'd say he would definitely want to be part of the first Irish team to win a tour in the SH.
Disagree completely with Logorrhea above, I think it would be daft to leave all our Lions at home. We want to at least win the tour, preferably all the games. Keep this winning streak and winning culture going.



*IF* we were to keep the winning streak going, would we be looking for 18 in row when we play NZ?


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Re: Summer tour to Australia

Postby johng » March 20th, 2018, 7:15 pm

If we are playing Italy in the US before the AIs as reported then yes. Argentina on the 10th of Nov and NZ on the 17th.

3 games v Cheika's lads though? Hmmmmm
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