RWC2019 31-man squad

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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby ronk » August 7th, 2019, 4:23 am

Roux didnt make the training squad. Or he's injured. Toner is there for the grunt work, Ryan and Henderson are powerful enough too to be the heavy lock.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby Degz » August 7th, 2019, 6:37 am

If Kleyn travels, it would be solely with an eye to not being over-powered against SA. We match up well against all the other teams, bar possibly England (who I don't think we would be due to meet until a final?)
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby Ruckedtobits » August 7th, 2019, 9:54 am

Does the wheeling out of Luke McGrath, Tommy O'Donnell and Chris Farrell at this weeks press briefings indicate:
a) they will be selected against Italy? and / or;
b) they are all in the doubtful list for the final 31-man Squad?

The sensitivities within the 41 left in Carton House at this point are very pronounced. Trying to ensure that the unity remains within the Squad when there are very strong competitive forces at play is a difficult balance, unless the individuals believe that there is still a real chance that current form might outweight the previous performances over the last couple of seasons in games which contained a real competitive edge.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » August 7th, 2019, 11:05 am

Unfortunately I'd say the chat about Beirne et al will be moot because we're probably only one injury away from it all being made clear. A while ago it looked like two or three high profile back rowers would miss out, but now with Leavy and SOB gone there really aren't that many hard calls to make. This time last year I'd have said that Josh would be quite likely to miss out, but now there's an argument for saying that he's the most important player in the squad. I know he started against England and we were beaten up badly, but he's going to be one of the main guys tasked with setting the tone in terms of speed off the line and physicality and if he does that well then I'd expect a massive improvement in our overall performances compared to the spring.

Logically I think it makes perfect sense to pick Beirne regardless of how he's played. It's not like he's been bad and he hasn't exactly played loads, plus he was new into the setup when he played against Oz and then was carrying an injury leading into the Welsh game so I would expect more from him in the future. But with all that said I think Joe really was haunted by us being battered by England and he might well want that option of Kleyn. Personally I would say that that part of his game is overrated and that it's underrated in Beirne's game, but Joe does seem to be a bit iffy about Tadhg and can easily imagine that he's penciled Kleyn in as the nuts and bolts destroyer.

I think it'll be a really telling selection even though neither player would be likely to play in the bigger games unless there were injuries, because I think that Kleyn being picked will mean that we looked at our 6N performance and decided that we won't be looking for a more subtle way to beat defences (Conan at 8 and Joey at 15 for example) but will instead double down on trying to smash the door down.

Sorry to hear Joe's news too.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby Oldschool » August 7th, 2019, 3:36 pm

Degz wrote:If Kleyn travels, it would be solely with an eye to not being over-powered against SA. We match up well against all the other teams, bar possibly England (who I don't think we would be due to meet until a final?)

Think you're right about England, less so against SA but also needed against Wales.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby Ruckedtobits » August 7th, 2019, 10:59 pm

Our 6N performance this season demonstrated that our 2018 game had a significant reliance on a strong scrum, strong maul and competent line-out. If all three are working we give our No 8 and half-backs options as to how. and where we attack opponents.

I see the possible inclusion of Klyen as complementary to selecting Conan at No 8. If our scrum can improve by 3-5% on our ball, we get the option that Conan can attack the TH channel at pace and create 2nd phase ball that Murray or Sexton can use to good effect.

Likewise with our maul. Murray can be a real hanfull with ball in hand off a maul moving forward. If you can commit the opposition 8 to defend a maul moving backwards, there are a lot of attacking options.

Finally, in the lineout, one of Klyen's best skills is his lifting on PO'M at 2 to disrupt / steal opposition ball.

I do not see Klyen being selected ahead of Ryan, Toner or Henderson yet. However, I do believe he has more than mere bulk and attitude. If he can bring those skills to the Green jersey, I think he becomes a valuable bench option.

I am a Tadgh Beirne fan, as a back-row forward. IMO, it was as a backrow that he played his best for Llanelli and I believe he played better for them than he has done, thus far, for Munster or Ireland. International rugby is however a step up in intensity and physical endeavour. What can be done at Provincial level - turnovers and line-breaks in particular - are that bit more difficult at international level. TB has not yet deminstrated he has bridged that gap, as a se cond-row.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby jimbobjoe » August 14th, 2019, 2:02 pm

And so there were 40.. Cooney, Bealham and Haley sent back to their provinces.

Carbery travels with the squad to Portugal but expected to be out of selection picture for 4-6 weeks.

Obviously don't see what happens in camp etc but John Cooney must feel hard done by - Schmidt just doesn't seem to like him.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby neill_m » August 14th, 2019, 2:14 pm

If they go with 3 x 10s and 2 x 9s, who do people see as doing the Madigan role from last time as emergency no 9?
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby johng » August 14th, 2019, 2:15 pm

Can't believe he won't take Cooney with his abillity to play 10. Although perhaps Joey's injury means they will take 3 x 9s and 3 x 10s (Inc Joey)
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby johng » August 14th, 2019, 2:17 pm

neill_m wrote:If they go with 3 x 10s and 2 x 9s, who do people see as doing the Madigan role from last time as emergency no 9?

Ha. Posted while I was writing mine.

I would originally have thought they would go 3 x 9 and 2 x 10 with Cooney able to cover the other way round. Obviously not now.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby betty swallocks » August 14th, 2019, 2:21 pm

The decision on Cooney looks like ensuring Murray, Marmion, Sexton, Carbery, and either Byrne or Carty will travel.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » August 14th, 2019, 2:26 pm

Joey played 9 when he was younger didn't he? He looks like the best fit anyway. I would say we were planning on three tens with Joey penciled in as the emergency 9 (which is a bit annoying given Joe's reluctance to play him at 15), so now we'll stick with that given that we weren't banking on having to play the emergency 9 anyway, and the third choice outhalf just moves up the pecking order until Joey is fit.

Not nice to be in a position where we're scared about getting one injury in the lead up to the Scotland game but don't think we have much choice.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » August 14th, 2019, 3:28 pm

Cooney is a bit unlucky but I suppose Luke has delivered in a couple of big games and has obviously played a fair bit with Sexton, Carbery, and Byrne if he travels. I don't think Luke will travel but there's a comfort there if he needs to be called up.

Feel for Bealham too. Thought he had come back into form before his injury and whilst I wouldn't have had him down to travel in the initial squad there's a decent chance that he'll end up going over so would have thought he'd stick around. Suppose they have to make cuts at some stage though.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby johng » August 14th, 2019, 4:24 pm

Perhaps Joe's hand has been forced by Joey's injury. He now needs to take 3 x 10s and take a chance on Joey as 3rd 9. Rather than take 3 x 9s and take a chance on Cooney as 3rd 10
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby ronk » August 14th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Versatile players who weren’t strong enough in their primary position or their backup position are the guys cut.

I’m not surprised by it but maybe some didn’t see didn’t see McGrath as a stronger player than Cooney.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby Ruckedtobits » August 14th, 2019, 10:31 pm

Luke McGrath's passing is not good enough for Ireland to play to their optimum. From his earliest days as a pro, there has been no doubt he is a super footballer. But........ his passing is below par, too slow through the air, too often at or above the receiver and never as quick from breakdowns as it could be. Technically, he picks up every ball and never passes off the ground. Wales and Scotland have perhaps four better passing scrum halves each. NZ and France, maybe five.

This is a wrong selection and nothing McGrath has done in an Ireland jersey validates it. If the decision has been taken to facilitate Joey being included in RWC19 Squad, it is a short-sighted decision which may come back to bite the entire group.

Luke McGrath is a wonderful player, who, like some before him in Ireland and elsewhere, is marginally below international skill level in one aspect of his abilities. I am always delighted to see him in a Leinster Squad but recognise the difference in the quality of his passing from other competing scrum-halves. Playing inside Sexton, Carbery or even Carty, McGrath is not the key decision maker, each one of his out-halves are. They can see more. They have more time and they have more options.

Very disappointed for John Cooney. He deserved a competitive chance to make his case for selection and wasn't granted it.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby hugonaut » August 14th, 2019, 10:49 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Luke McGrath's passing is not good enough for Ireland to play to their optimum. From his earliest days as a pro, there has been no doubt he is a super footballer. But........ his passing is below par, too slow through the air, too often at or above the receiver and never as quick from breakdowns as it could be. Technically, he picks up every ball and never passes off the ground. Wales and Scotland have perhaps four better passing scrum halves each. NZ and France, maybe five.

This is a wrong selection and nothing McGrath has done in an Ireland jersey validates it. If the decision has been taken to facilitate Joey being included in RWC19 Squad, it is a short-sighted decision which may come back to bite the entire group.

Luke McGrath is a wonderful player, who, like some before him in Ireland and elsewhere, is marginally below international skill level in one aspect of his abilities. I am always delighted to see him in a Leinster Squad but recognise the difference in the quality of his passing from other competing scrum-halves. Playing inside Sexton, Carbery or even Carty, McGrath is not the key decision maker, each one of his out-halves are. They can see more. They have more time and they have more options.

Very disappointed for John Cooney. He deserved a competitive chance to make his case for selection and wasn't granted it.


Cooney was the best scrum-half in Ireland last year, in my opinion. Murray was iffy [terrible by his standards], Marmion did very well against the All Blacks and then declined to the point where he wasn't anywhere near as effective as Blade was for Connacht, and I thought Luke just wasn't as influential or as well-rounded as Cooney. Cooney's previous season was even better than his last one.

For me, Cooney should be Murray's prime competitor. Can't understand why he regularly finds himself on the outside looking in.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby Dave Cahill » August 14th, 2019, 11:47 pm

Cooney seeems to be one of those players more popular in the stands than he is in the coaching box - the anti-kearney if you like. A lot of coaches have taken a look and passed on him. Never been a huge fan myself, though he is a VERY good goalkicker and I admire him for his move to Ulster (replacing a genuinely beloved club legend at a time when the club was in a state o' chassis was very brave).
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby wixfjord » August 15th, 2019, 9:06 am

Ruckedtobits wrote:Luke McGrath's passing is not good enough for Ireland to play to their optimum. From his earliest days as a pro, there has been no doubt he is a super footballer. But........ his passing is below par, too slow through the air, too often at or above the receiver and never as quick from breakdowns as it could be. Technically, he picks up every ball and never passes off the ground. Wales and Scotland have perhaps four better passing scrum halves each. NZ and France, maybe five.

This is a wrong selection and nothing McGrath has done in an Ireland jersey validates it. If the decision has been taken to facilitate Joey being included in RWC19 Squad, it is a short-sighted decision which may come back to bite the entire group.

Luke McGrath is a wonderful player, who, like some before him in Ireland and elsewhere, is marginally below international skill level in one aspect of his abilities. I am always delighted to see him in a Leinster Squad but recognise the difference in the quality of his passing from other competing scrum-halves. Playing inside Sexton, Carbery or even Carty, McGrath is not the key decision maker, each one of his out-halves are. They can see more. They have more time and they have more options.

Very disappointed for John Cooney. He deserved a competitive chance to make his case for selection and wasn't granted it.


McGrath has done more in an Ireland jersey than Cooney has.

Whatever about his passing (and I think you're hamming that up a bit as usual) it's a very marginal call that McGrath has come out on the right side of.
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Re: RWC2019 31-man squad

Postby OTT » August 15th, 2019, 9:16 am

McGrath and Cooney were vying for third scrum half position. I thought myself Cooney probably had the advantage because he could cover 10 but much like Madigan covering 9 in the last world cup it was not a scenario I would ever in my right mind want to happen and if it was to happen against one of the better sides our goose would be cooked anyway imo it is already a huge drop from Sexton to Carbery/Carty we can go on about depth improvement but when push comes to shove much like 4 years ago luck will play a part in keeping our key men fit in the biggest games, just like most of the other big teams. Schmidt might still only bring 2 scrum halves so all the unnecessary criticism of McGrath might be wasted.

I wonder if we don't win the world cup (which is our target) will we all say it was because our third choice 9/auxillary 10 wasn't included. Highly unlikely.
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