Ireland's Next Captain

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Ireland's Next Captain

Postby backrower8 » April 25th, 2018, 12:32 pm

By the time the World Cup comes around Rory Best will be 37 and may or may not make it all the way there or be best (no pun intended!) positioned to be the team Captain.

I think a new Captain should be a certain starter and preferably have decent prosoects of longevity to avoid chopping and changing, to me that means at least two seasons.

I think the candidates to succeed Rory are:

- Johnny
- CJ Stander
- Peter O'Mahony
- Ian Henerson
- Conor Murray
- Dan Leavy
- James Ryan

If Johnny replaced Rory right now we could get 2 years out of him - just about. I think he has shown that he has reached the point of maturity where being Captain sits well with him and he is, of course, one of the first names on the team sheet. More than that he is both a World Class player and an Alpha-leader. He would be a very satisfactory Captain for RWC19. He does need to come off at 60 or 70 mins in most games so we need a #2 who will likely be still on the pitch when he goes. For me that is Murray.

I think Murray has it all. Longevity, world class, calm presence (and therefore an ability to liaise efectively with referees), plays 80 minutes and peer respect. But given he has so much to think about and do as the logistical fulcrum of the team (as any 9 is), so would captaincy just tip the scales negatively on his performances? He still would be my preference for the next Captain.

POM ticks most all the boxes but I feel he cannot be guaranteed a starting slot for the coming years given the other potential #6s (Beirne, Ruddock, Jordi and both Seanie & Leavy who would be well capable of shifting to 6) and, to a lesser extent, the fact that he will be 30 by RWC19 and will be at the older end of the age spectrum of the playing group. He can also boil over or at best be on constant simmer in his communication with referees.

Henderson is a bit more of an enigma to me. He is close to world class, perhaps lacking an inch or two for a 2nd row, has longevity and age in the context of the emerging squad on his side, leads by example and has captained Ulster when Best is not around. I am not sure if he would be as comfortable a leader as some others.

Stander has been given the armband when Best and Sexton have been off the field, which is why I include him, but like POM, I don't think he deserves to lock down a place all to himself and his age profile also puts him in the older end of the age bracket of the likely squad now emerging.I am also not sure what his man management skills would be like in the verbal communication end of things or his rugby nouse. There is no doubting his endeavour but he is one-dimensional and would that translate into his broader tactical appreciation as a captain?

Leavy is a proven and winning leader at school and under-age representative level for Ireland. It is even noticeable that he assumes a leadship type demeanour so early in his career with both Ireland and Leinster. When starting matches for Ireland in the 6N, he was the first man onto the pitch after Best and stood beside him for all the anthems...this is not the norm for rookies. For Leinster too, last Saturday only the club and match captains (in that order) preceded him onto the pitch. He is vocal, he backs himself and he is squarely positioned to provide longevity at 24 years (in May), 25 YRS by RWC19, he will be at the heart of the age bracket of the emerging squad (Stockdale, Ringrose, Henshaw, Carberry, Luke, Tadhg, Henderson, JVDF, Conan, Beirne etc, etc) for a long time to come. The questions are around whether he can consistently perform to the levels to guarantee him a place (at least as much as POM in my opinion but time will tell) and whether risk of injury to back rows should be a factor in deciding who should get the role - although when thinking of Warburton and Seanie we should also remember McCaw and Dusatoir.

Ryan is another experienced and decorated captain at underage level (remember the Junior RWC Final campaign). Quite simply, he is a future Ireland and Lions Captain, end of. Injury permitting he has the most potental to reach and sustain the playing heights of Sexton, Murray and Furlong (not to mention his positional peers Willie John, Colin Meades, Frik du Preez, John Eales, Martin Johnson, Fabien Pelous, AWJ and Paulie). In addition he is a natural leader, more understated in character than Leavy and has gravitas without the Johnson growl. He already commands respect on and off the pitch from players 10 years older than him. I could also see him being a very measured but effective communicator with referees. All that said, he should probably be allowed a few more years to at least grow fully into his 6 foot 8 frame before being saddled with Captaincy at 21 or 22 for what could be 10+ years.

So for me I think we should appoint Johnny, with Murray as #1 VC, and weshould do it now. Otherwise go with Murray with a view to giving it to Ryan in three years from now if he continues on the current trajectory.

Who do you think we should go for and when?
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby neiliog93 » April 25th, 2018, 7:07 pm

It'll be POM or Murray.

I don't think it'll be Johnny, he already has such authority and is maybe a bit impetuous to be captain. The biggest problem though is that he'd be 38 by the 2023 RWC, so has virtually no chance of making it. I'd say whoever the new coach is would prefer a candidate who'll be there through to the end of the RWC cycle.

On a superficial level, POM is an obvious choice. He's Munster captain and a proven leader. As a back row, he could well make the world cup as a 34-year old. However, we have such depth in the back row and his injury record isn't great. There's a very good chance he'll lose his starting place well before the 2023 RWC. So no.

Murray will almost definitely still be starting for Ireland as a 34-year old at the 2023 RWC. He also has a good injury record. The main problem is that he has little record of captaining teams and for all his class and experience, his personality does not scream captain material. On balance though, I think he's probably the best candidate
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby Dave Cahill » April 25th, 2018, 8:08 pm

neiliog93 wrote:It'll be POM or Murray.

I don't think it'll be Johnny, he already has such authority and is maybe a bit impetuous to be captain. The biggest problem though is that he'd be 38 by the 2023 RWC, so has virtually no chance of making it. I'd say whoever the new coach is would prefer a candidate who'll be there through to the end of the RWC cycle.

On a superficial level, POM is an obvious choice. He's Munster captain and a proven failure as a leader. As a back row, he could well make the world cup as a 34-year old. However, we have such depth in the back row and his injury record isn't great. There's a very good chance he'll lose his starting place well before the 2023 RWC. So no.

Murray will almost definitely still be starting for Ireland as a 34-year old at the 2023 RWC. He also has a good injury record. The main problem is that he has little record of captaining teams and for all his class and experience, his personality does not scream captain material. On balance though, I think he's probably the best candidate
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby backrower8 » April 25th, 2018, 8:50 pm

I don’t see having a Captain from the older crew (J10, POM, C9) that will make it all the way to 2023 as either realistic or desirable because the youth of this squad merits picking a leader from their generation in 2020/21.

I assume people agree that it is not sound to plan on a 37 year old Best as Captain for RWC2019.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby Peg Leg » April 25th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:
neiliog93 wrote:It'll be POM or Murray.

I don't think it'll be Johnny, he already has such authority and is maybe a bit impetuous to be captain. The biggest problem though is that he'd be 38 by the 2023 RWC, so has virtually no chance of making it. I'd say whoever the new coach is would prefer a candidate who'll be there through to the end of the RWC cycle.

On a superficial level, POM is an obvious choice. He's Munster captain and a proven failure as a leader. As a back row, he could well make the world cup as a 34-year old. However, we have such depth in the back row and his injury record isn't great. There's a very good chance he'll lose his starting place well before the 2023 RWC. So no.

Murray will almost definitely still be starting for Ireland as a 34-year old at the 2023 RWC. He also has a good injury record. The main problem is that he has little record of captaining teams and for all his class and experience, his personality does not scream captain material. On balance though, I think he's probably the best candidate
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby CiaranIrl » April 26th, 2018, 8:40 am

Murray doesn't fit at all. There's interview after interview out there where he talks about how he's not a talker or leader in the dressing room. See an example from the 6N http://www.offtheball.com/podcasts/Off_ ... _interview

If O'Mahony could consistently play at the level he played at in the 6N, he'd be fine. That remains to be seen however. Sexton the only other alternative for the 2019 world cup. I think James Ryan could well be captain for the 2023 world cup.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby suisse » April 26th, 2018, 8:56 am

POM talked about hating these semi final losses and is sick of the lessons to be taken. But can POM stand in front of the mirror and say he did everything he could to win that game? Did he leave eveything on the field? Not just as a player (clearly he didn't) but as a captain/leader? There were moments in that first half when the ball was in play and Racing were moving left to right from a ruck or a maul. POM wasn't playing rugby. He was barking at JP and as we all know, every time Racing went right, they cut Munster to ribbonss. He lost his cool, he made poor decisions and he offered very little as a player. This isn't the first time. Picking POM satisfies his army of fans but is he really good enough to captain Ireland at the RWC?
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby backrower8 » April 26th, 2018, 9:17 am

CiaranIrl wrote:Murray doesn't fit at all. There's interview after interview out there where he talks about how he's not a talker or leader in the dressing room. See an example from the 6N http://www.offtheball.com/podcasts/Off_ ... _interview

If O'Mahony could consistently play at the level he played at in the 6N, he'd be fine. That remains to be seen however. Sexton the only other alternative for the 2019 world cup. I think James Ryan could well be captain for the 2023 world cup.


Resourcing a Captain for 2023 isn’t the challenge I was addressing. RWC19 is the problem.

By 2023, Ryan will be 26 and should be in the role at least 2 years by then.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby BlueBlue » April 30th, 2018, 1:57 pm

suisse wrote:POM talked about hating these semi final losses and is sick of the lessons to be taken. But can POM stand in front of the mirror and say he did everything he could to win that game? Did he leave eveything on the field? Not just as a player (clearly he didn't) but as a captain/leader? There were moments in that first half when the ball was in play and Racing were moving left to right from a ruck or a maul. POM wasn't playing rugby. He was barking at JP and as we all know, every time Racing went right, they cut Munster to ribbonss. He lost his cool, he made poor decisions and he offered very little as a player. This isn't the first time. Picking POM satisfies his army of fans but is he really good enough to captain Ireland at the RWC?


No, he's not.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby lummix » April 30th, 2018, 7:03 pm

I'd appoint James Ryan after the next world cup. Best until then.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 1st, 2018, 5:10 am

lummix wrote:I'd appoint James Ryan after the next world cup. Best until then.


+1.
Best is certainly on course and well worth selection for 2019 at this point. Ireland are 2nd in World Ranking with three 6N championships in four years. The younger, former Vice Captain, Jamie Heaslip has retired unexpectedly. No other candidate, who is definitely guaranteed his place and has demonstrated successful captaincy credentials, has emerged.

The successor to Best will be ordained by JS and probably will be developed by him. It is highly unlikely to be a Provincial club captain, as the roles essentially conflict in time committments i.e. prolonged absences at National Squads. It is therefore logical that any captaincy potential might have emerged in an underage National team, particularly during the sustained preparation period of U.20 6N and JWC.

In this regard James Ryan has demonstrated his captaincy potential, but it should be regarded as nothing more than potential at this point. Captaincy under JS requires a very different skill set than merely being one of the best players in the Squad. JS strongly favours a leadership group within his teams and this is likely to continue through to 2019-20. Somebody may emerge as having the requisite combination of rugby talent and emotional intelligence to fill the role. Time will tell and JS will be watching.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby Lar » May 1st, 2018, 2:57 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:
lummix wrote:I'd appoint James Ryan after the next world cup. Best until then.


+1.
Best is certainly on course and well worth selection for 2019 at this point. Ireland are 2nd in World Ranking with three 6N championships in four years. The younger, former Vice Captain, Jamie Heaslip has retired unexpectedly. No other candidate, who is definitely guaranteed his place and has demonstrated successful captaincy credentials, has emerged.

The successor to Best will be ordained by JS and probably will be developed by him. It is highly unlikely to be a Provincial club captain, as the roles essentially conflict in time committments i.e. prolonged absences at National Squads. It is therefore logical that any captaincy potential might have emerged in an underage National team, particularly during the sustained preparation period of U.20 6N and JWC.

In this regard James Ryan has demonstrated his captaincy potential, but it should be regarded as nothing more than potential at this point. Captaincy under JS requires a very different skill set than merely being one of the best players in the Squad. JS strongly favours a leadership group within his teams and this is likely to continue through to 2019-20. Somebody may emerge as having the requisite combination of rugby talent and emotional intelligence to fill the role. Time will tell and JS will be watching.


Isn't it a bit too much to assume that Joe Schmidt will still be coaching Ireland post the next RWC?
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby janeymac08 » May 11th, 2018, 2:03 pm

I think 2 or 3 years is enought to act as captain. Best and POC were in their 30s before they became captain. I think its a mistake to make someone as young as Ryan captain, especially since he has never lost a pro game, how do you know what he will be like when the team is up against it? You learn more from your losses than your victories etc. etc.

I think the criticism of POM is ridiculous. Since POM has come back from his major injury at the last world cup, Ireland haven't lost a game he has started. Lets not forget as well, when he started for Ireland against England when Heaslip got injured, his lineout steal at the death made Ireland's 6Ns campaign reasonably acceptable.

As for the criticism of POM's leadership of Munster - most people think that Munster are over achieving with the players its got and particularly with all the disruption it has had over the last 2 years.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby lummix » May 12th, 2018, 9:34 pm

No problem with POM as a captain and like him as a player. I just think he'll be doing very well to hold onto his place til the world cup(SOB, Leavy, Stander, Conan, Ruddock, van der flier etc putting serious pressure on) and it is very doubtful he will be in the Ireland team for many more years after it. That's why I'd rule him out as Capt at the moment.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby MelbourneRebel » June 14th, 2018, 11:07 am

janeymac08 wrote:I think 2 or 3 years is enought to act as captain. Best and POC were in their 30s before they became captain. I think its a mistake to make someone as young as Ryan captain, especially since he has never lost a pro game, how do you know what he will be like when the team is up against it? You learn more from your losses than your victories etc. etc.

He is young, and that doesn't benefit the calls for his elevation, but it shouldn't necessarily rule him out. For example, McCaw was 23, Hooper was 22, Warburton was 22, O'Driscoll was 23 and Ryan similarly is displaying outstanding leadership skills (I'd argue showing greater leadership skills at this age than at least 3 of those). Other young captains that spring to mind from a previous era would be Sean Fitzpatrick, Will Carling. Some of the greatest captains in the game took the mantle in their early 20s.

Best is the captain until after the World Cup and deservedly so. However, he will be 37 and he won't play every test between now and the World Cup Final in the best case scenario that we get there. Bedding in a vice-captain to deputise in his absence is essential. It seems like a perfect opportunity to give him this experience now. be part of the leadership group, learn under an outstanding captain, and take the reigns after Japan next year.

Sexton should never be captain as he is antagonistic, Murray is too quiet and O'Mahony isn't guaranteed a spot in the team. For me, Ryan is the outstanding candidate to cover for Best and succeed him in 2020.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby ronk » June 14th, 2018, 11:45 am

Captaining for the club helps before going for the country job, not essential though.

Leinster need a new captain.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby MelbourneRebel » June 14th, 2018, 12:40 pm

True but I expect the next Leinster captain will be someone available most match weekends.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby Peg Leg » June 14th, 2018, 12:52 pm

I think it will be POM and that Joe has consistently shown that he wants POM in his team.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby MelbourneRebel » June 14th, 2018, 12:59 pm

Peg Leg wrote:I think it will be POM and that Joe has consistently shown that he wants POM in his team.

I don’t think that he has? Only since he came in for Heaslip at the last minute just over a year ago. During which time we’ve had injuries to players he clearly rates highly like SOB and VDF. Since then Leavy has pushed in too.
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Re: Ireland's Next Captain

Postby ronk » June 14th, 2018, 1:11 pm

MelbourneRebel wrote:True but I expect the next Leinster captain will be someone available most match weekends.


Who will that be though?

Best is the Ulster captain, POM the Munster one. A central contract isnt a blocker for club captaincy.

There are going to be new captains in Connacht and Leinster.
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