Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby jimbobjoe » December 5th, 2019, 1:56 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:
jimbobjoe wrote:Surpised they didn't have a sports psychologist along with them. Players (especially BOD in my memory) have spoken highly of the effect Enda McNulty has had with regard to their individual approach and focus. Mental state just as important as physical imo, and if there's a doctor, physio and nutritionist, then there's space for a psychologist.

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.4013609


Enda McNulty was in Japan for the duration


Apparently he was - very little mention of it though.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby dropkick » December 5th, 2019, 5:46 pm

The whole organisation needs a psychologist. Imagine being number 1 team in the world and then make getting to a semi final as your goal. That's Ireland. Essentially win one game and they're happy.


NZ were going there to win the cup.
England were going there to win the cup.
SA were going there to win the cup.
Australia were going there to win the cup.
Wales were going there to win the cup.
France were going there to win the cup.


Gatland talked about winning a grand slam back in January. How dare he! That's not the Irish way but it's the Welsh way and under Gatland they've won as many grand slams as Ireland in over a century.


There was also the subconscious type of messages Schmidt was sending out. The gameplan for instance didn't trust the players to offload or play more expansively. He was always cautious about what players said and paranoid about the team being leaked the day before. Meanwhile Gatland had no problem announcing his team on Tuesdays sometimes.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby hugonaut » December 5th, 2019, 10:42 pm

Some interesting and quite inflammatory comments from Rory Best in today's IT - [link: https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.4104878 ].

I like Besty and respect him. It's well worth hearing his thoughts expressed to get an insight into how he felt. But I wouldn't put him on a pedestal. I'm a bit old for that! Players are – as has been expressed time and time again over the last year – only human. They make mistakes, have bad days, get lazy, don't take responsibility ... so do we all.

I have to say that I take issue with some of his comments. The one thing that stands out more than anything else is his suggestion that the success in 2018 was player-led and the relative failure in 2019 was largely the fault of the coaches. That is pretty self-serving. It's probably unconsciously so, but it leaves a sour taste.

The nature of the criticism that Joe Schmidt has taken over 2019 has been [to my mind] more than what's warranted. A lot of it has been critical of his personality; they've been personal attacks. Whether that comes in the form of sniggering asides, sarcastic comments or just being bluntly critical of who he is and how he acts, you simply don't see the same approach to players. There's a real double-standard, from my point of view. It's 'hard truths' when it comes to criticism of Schmidt, but it's plamásing patty-cake nonsense when it comes to an assessment of how badly the players perfomed. I think it's pretty weak.

To my eyes, Best has been applauded for his honesty rather than getting castigated for what can fairly be described as repeated failures of leadership. He admits them himself:

“Ultimately, me as captain, needs to take a fair bit of that responsibility; were we just happy to go ‘we know how good Joe is and he says it is right, it is right’? Rather than going ‘You know what . . .’ We did challenge him a bit but we should have stepped up more during the Six Nations when it was going wrong and tried to lead a bit more.”

“Too much detail and too much tension too early ... If I’d known it was happening, I’d have stood up and said, ‘Look, I don’t think we need this.’


Again, everybody makes mistakes. It's better to acknowledge them than ignore them. But with mistakes comes criticism in all professional roles – that's the nature of any serious job. These are fundamental issues of leadership and captaincy - fundamental issues with his job performance. Best isn't a rookie captain – he's a 37 year old with well over 100 caps. It's no f*cking good now saying he should have done things differently: "we should have done this, I should have stood up ..." Yeah, you should. And you didn't. You didn't do your job well.

Captaincy is talking to the referee. Leadership is making difficult decisions under pressure and seeing them through. This is a lesson that anybody involved in the decision-making process regarding the next Irish captain needs to learn and remember: we have to find a captain who can identify when strategic and tactical changes are required mid-game, and we have to find a leader who can take control of his team when he feels it's required.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Peg Leg » December 5th, 2019, 11:36 pm

hugonaut wrote:Some interesting and quite inflammatory comments from Rory Best in today's IT - [link: https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.4104878 ].

I like Besty and respect him. It's well worth hearing his thoughts expressed to get an insight into how he felt. But I wouldn't put him on a pedestal. I'm a bit old for that! Players are – as has been expressed time and time again over the last year – only human. They make mistakes, have bad days, get lazy, don't take responsibility ... so do we all.

I have to say that I take issue with some of his comments. The one thing that stands out more than anything else is his suggestion that the success in 2018 was player-led and the relative failure in 2019 was largely the fault of the coaches. That is pretty self-serving. It's probably unconsciously so, but it leaves a sour taste.

The nature of the criticism that Joe Schmidt has taken over 2019 has been [to my mind] more than what's warranted. A lot of it has been critical of his personality; they've been personal attacks. Whether that comes in the form of sniggering asides, sarcastic comments or just being bluntly critical of who he is and how he acts, you simply don't see the same approach to players. There's a real double-standard, from my point of view. It's 'hard truths' when it comes to criticism of Schmidt, but it's plamásing patty-cake nonsense when it comes to an assessment of how badly the players perfomed. I think it's pretty weak.

To my eyes, Best has been applauded for his honesty rather than getting castigated for what can fairly be described as repeated failures of leadership. He admits them himself:

“Ultimately, me as captain, needs to take a fair bit of that responsibility; were we just happy to go ‘we know how good Joe is and he says it is right, it is right’? Rather than going ‘You know what . . .’ We did challenge him a bit but we should have stepped up more during the Six Nations when it was going wrong and tried to lead a bit more.”

“Too much detail and too much tension too early ... If I’d known it was happening, I’d have stood up and said, ‘Look, I don’t think we need this.’


Again, everybody makes mistakes. It's better to acknowledge them than ignore them. But with mistakes comes criticism in all professional roles – that's the nature of any serious job. These are fundamental issues of leadership and captaincy - fundamental issues with his job performance. Best isn't a rookie captain – he's a 37 year old with well over 100 caps. It's no f*cking good now saying he should have done things differently: "we should have done this, I should have stood up ..." Yeah, you should. And you didn't. You didn't do your job well.

Captaincy is talking to the referee. Leadership is making difficult decisions under pressure and seeing them through. This is a lesson that anybody involved in the decision-making process regarding the next Irish captain needs to learn and remember: we have to find a captain who can identify when strategic and tactical changes are required mid-game, and we have to find a leader who can take control of his team when he feels it's required.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 6th, 2019, 1:13 am

I don't really see where you're coming from Hugo. I haven't seen anyone praising Best, any comments I've seen have been giving out about him not standing up at the time and like you said he even criticises himself so it's not like he's just pointing fingers.

I think it's an exaggeration to say that he said things were player led last year. He said about the players having their own voice in 2018 and "there was that freedom at the end of the week to step into the space to lead". So the coaches were heavily involved up until Thursday and then took a step back. He also praised Schmidt's tactics and said how he trusted him implicitly, so hardly claiming all the credit for 2018.

I don't think it's hard to imagine that a noted control freak like Joe would have been straining at the leash to provide more detail the day before/of a match. It's also extremely obvious that Joe didn't trust the players enough, particularly in situations (pre and post 2018) when things started to go wrong, so it's quite easy to imagine him ramping things up at the World Cup when there is so much pressure on getting through to a semi final. And this isn't just a subjective thing, he backs it up with the facts around changing the meeting routine after the Scotland game. I don't see anything unfair about any of that.

Yesterday before these comments came out I actually said "We all wondered about our strength and conditioning as the year went on but sometimes I think that we could have just done with a Keith Wood type figure chasing players around the changing room and telling them to run on to the f***ing thing". Maybe that could have been solved by players not being overloaded with detail? Instead of thinking about about where he had to be in three phases time he could have been thinking about running over the guy in front of him. Maybe then the players would have looked better.

I'm certainly not blaming everything on Schmidt btw. The players absolutely have to take responsibility too, and Best does that from a leadership point of view in these quotes. I would agree that it would be more balanced if he criticised the players' performances as well, but I don't think those quotes mean that he's pinning everything on Joe, they're just elements of what went wrong and seem entirely legitimate. I believe there were 50 recommendations from the World Cup report, so these criticisms only count as two or three of them.

If you ever needed proof that Joe is a control freak, just have a look at twitter to see how he shot down Best's comments tonight. He's even silencing his voice now that the guy has retired.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 6th, 2019, 1:14 am

I don't really see where you're coming from Hugo. I haven't seen anyone praising Best, any comments I've seen have been giving out about him not standing up at the time and like you said he even criticises himself so it's not like he's just pointing fingers.

I think it's an exaggeration to say that he said things were player led last year. He said about the players having their own voice in 2018 and "there was that freedom at the end of the week to step into the space to lead". So the coaches were heavily involved up until Thursday and then took a step back. He also praised Schmidt's tactics and said how he trusted him implicitly, so hardly claiming all the credit for 2018.

I don't think it's hard to imagine that a noted control freak like Joe would have been straining at the leash to provide more detail the day before/of a match. It's also extremely obvious that Joe didn't trust the players enough, particularly in situations (pre and post 2018) when things started to go wrong, so it's quite easy to imagine him ramping things up at the World Cup when there is so much pressure on getting through to a semi final. And this isn't just a subjective thing, he backs it up with the facts around changing the meeting routine after the Scotland game. I don't see anything unfair about any of that.

Yesterday before these comments came out I actually said "We all wondered about our strength and conditioning as the year went on but sometimes I think that we could have just done with a Keith Wood type figure chasing players around the changing room and telling them to run on to the f***ing thing". Maybe that could have been solved by players not being overloaded with detail? Instead of thinking about about where he had to be in three phases time he could have been thinking about running over the guy in front of him. Maybe then the players would have looked better.

I'm certainly not blaming everything on Schmidt btw. The players absolutely have to take responsibility too, and Best does that from a leadership point of view in these quotes. I would agree that it would be more balanced if he criticised the players' performances as well, but I don't think those quotes mean that he's pinning everything on Joe, they're just elements of what went wrong and seem entirely legitimate. I believe there were 50 recommendations from the World Cup report, so these criticisms only count as two or three of them.

If you ever needed proof that Joe is a control freak, just have a look at twitter to see how he shot down Best's comments tonight. He's even silencing his voice now that the guy has retired.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby paddyor » December 6th, 2019, 2:41 am

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:I don't really see where you're coming from Hugo. I haven't seen anyone praising Best, any comments I've seen have been giving out about him not standing up at the time and like you said he even criticises himself so it's not like he's just pointing fingers.

I think it's an exaggeration to say that he said things were player led last year. He said about the players having their own voice in 2018 and "there was that freedom at the end of the week to step into the space to lead". So the coaches were heavily involved up until Thursday and then took a step back. He also praised Schmidt's tactics and said how he trusted him implicitly, so hardly claiming all the credit for 2018.

I don't think it's hard to imagine that a noted control freak like Joe would have been straining at the leash to provide more detail the day before/of a match. It's also extremely obvious that Joe didn't trust the players enough, particularly in situations (pre and post 2018) when things started to go wrong, so it's quite easy to imagine him ramping things up at the World Cup when there is so much pressure on getting through to a semi final. And this isn't just a subjective thing, he backs it up with the facts around changing the meeting routine after the Scotland game. I don't see anything unfair about any of that.

Yesterday before these comments came out I actually said "We all wondered about our strength and conditioning as the year went on but sometimes I think that we could have just done with a Keith Wood type figure chasing players around the changing room and telling them to run on to the f***ing thing". Maybe that could have been solved by players not being overloaded with detail? Instead of thinking about about where he had to be in three phases time he could have been thinking about running over the guy in front of him. Maybe then the players would have looked better.

I'm certainly not blaming everything on Schmidt btw. The players absolutely have to take responsibility too, and Best does that from a leadership point of view in these quotes. I would agree that it would be more balanced if he criticised the players' performances as well, but I don't think those quotes mean that he's pinning everything on Joe, they're just elements of what went wrong and seem entirely legitimate. I believe there were 50 recommendations from the World Cup report, so these criticisms only count as two or three of them.

If you ever needed proof that Joe is a control freak, just have a look at twitter to see how he shot down Best's comments tonight. He's even silencing his voice now that the guy has retired.

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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby OTT » December 6th, 2019, 8:38 am

I was at the Joe Schmidt in conversation chat on Monday night. He admits to being a man who likes routine, analysis and detail. He also made a pertinent point about being the same man who was lauded for theses very traits when things were going well like in 2018, now they are what people are saying are his weaknesses. Joe being Joe thinks both points of view are a bit lazy. He said that the assistant coach’s played a huge role in the success of our team, Farrell’s defence, Easterby’s line out and Feek’s scrum all won us matches in 2018. He said the coach’s would discuss with him what was needed for each area each game and that the individual coach would try to get their area to deliver it. He said he’s never been in a scrum so he could hardly sideline a guy like Feek (who he thinks is brilliant) to get this control people talk about, the same with the line out etc.

He took the blame for letting our focus switch to the World Cup at the start of this year. He said we had won everything, ticked all our boxes. Grand Slam, series in Australia, win in SA, all Black scalp x 2. The only thing missing was a semi final at a World Cup. He says it’s never been the way he has coached before but it was the approach that was decided on for 2019 by the coach’s and leadership team. They didn’t try and go out and not play well but subconsciously they were not probably ‘on it’ from game to game like they needed to be. He says now with hindsight it was wrong, it effected confidence of our team on the things we did well and instilled confidence in others that they could get us at things that we had previously been brilliant at. We had lost our competitive advantage so to speak. He said he should have tried to change this approach sooner and that’s on him.

He said the reality was that we knew if we qualified for a quarter final it would be SA/NZ and with that knowledge putting all our eggs in a basket which could lead you to a defeat even if you were on top of your game because of the opposition we would face was a bad decision, one which he again took the blame for.

Derailing the Andy Farrell thread (sorry) just thought it was important to acknowledge that Joe takes the blame and was nothing but positive about his players/coach’s in what I heard him say.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 6th, 2019, 6:36 pm

During this entire postmortem little or nothing has been said about a) Murray's fitness and b) Murray's 2019 form.

Both of these were critical elements in our RWC performance.

Coupled with the omission of Toner (and specifically his potential impact against Japan) and the selection of Carty to start against Japan, Murray's fitness & form throughout 2019 were the biggest unsolved mysteries of Ireland's RWC Campaign. If Joe objectively believed Murray was out of form, why omit Marmion or Cooney? If he believed Mureay was in form, what evidence was there for this belief and where were the strong voices of fellow Coaches or Leadership players?

This is not an attempted stitch-up of Conor Murray - he didn't hide - but he wasn't playing well. Unfortunately without Marmion ( or possibly Cooney) there was no strong alternative.

IMO, these are the sort of topics a Captain or Leadership team should have been debating with Joe
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 6th, 2019, 7:06 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:During this entire postmortem little or nothing has been said about a) Murray's fitness and b) Murray's 2019 form.

Both of these were critical elements in our RWC performance.

Coupled with the omission of Toner (and specifically his potential impact against Japan) and the selection of Carty to start against Japan, Murray's fitness & form throughout 2019 were the biggest unsolved mysteries of Ireland's RWC Campaign. If Joe objectively believed Murray was out of form, why omit Marmion or Cooney? If he believed Mureay was in form, what evidence was there for this belief and where were the strong voices of fellow Coaches or Leadership players?

This is not an attempted stitch-up of Conor Murray - he didn't hide - but he wasn't playing well. Unfortunately without Marmion ( or possibly Cooney) there was no strong alternative.

IMO, these are the sort of topics a Captain or Leadership team should have been debating with Joe


I find that such a bizarre argument about Marmion and Cooney. Joe preferred Luke to them, so why would he have put either of them ahead of Murray but not Luke?

Murray and Sexton were both sacred cows and have been for years, even when Marmion and better outhalves than Carty were on the bench.. Best probably was as well and there were others who would have been close to it. Joe did a lot of work growing the squad but when things were bad or the stakes were particularly high then he tightened up and didn't trust the work he had done in that area.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 10th, 2019, 12:09 pm

The Sexton injury might give Farrell the opportunity to ease James Ryan into the captaincy. He could name Johnny as captain but then let Ryan take it during his absence and get comfortable with it. I know he might have given it to Ryan anyway, and POM will be in the mix as well, but with the situation as it stands I think this is in an ideal situation to develop Ryan in the role.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 15th, 2019, 4:29 pm

My first shot at Farrell's first Irish Squad 'get together' for Christmas week. My two criteria for selection are:

a) Other than announced retirements, he won't want the headlines to be about who has been ommited;
b) Anybody who has given even one performance which suggests he could have international potential will be included, so that they all feel that Farrell sees form as key, rather than reputation.

Back Three: R Kearney, J Larmour, D Kearney, J Stockdale, W Addison, A Conway, K Earls, M Haley;

Mid-field: G Ringrose, R Henshaw, S. McCloskey, L. Marshall, C Farrell, T Farrell, B. Aki;

Half-backs: J. Sexton, R. Byrne, L. McGrath, JGP, J. Cooney, B. Burns, J. Carbery, C Murray, J. Carty, C. Blade, K. Marmion

Front-rows: C. Healy, T. Furlong, A. Porter, S. Cronin, Kelleher, J. McGrath, E. O'Sullivan, M. Moore, R. Herring, J. Ryan, D. Kilcoyne, N. Scannell, D. Heffernan, F Bealham;

Second-rows: D. Toner, J. Ryan, I. Henderson, J. Kleyn, T. Beirne, Q. Roux, U. Dillane;

Back-rows: R. Ruddock, J. Van der Flier, C. Doris, D. Leavy, W. Connors J. Murphy, P. O'Mahony, CJ Stander, J. O'Donoghue, P. Boyle.

Have I left anybody obvious out? I know I have included a couple of Leinster 'newbees' but omitted Max Deegan. I feel however we may be missing some real pace on the wings.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 15th, 2019, 4:30 pm

My first shot at Farrell's first Irish Squad 'get together' for Christmas week. My two criteria for selection are:

a) Other than announced retirements, he won't want the headlines to be about who has been ommited;
b) Anybody who has given even one performance which suggests he could have international potential will be included, so that they all feel that Farrell sees form as key, rather than reputation.

Back Three: R Kearney, J Larmour, D Kearney, J Stockdale, W Addison, A Conway, K Earls, M Haley;

Mid-field: G Ringrose, R Henshaw, S. McCloskey, L. Marshall, C Farrell, T Farrell, B. Aki;

Half-backs: J. Sexton, R. Byrne, L. McGrath, JGP, J. Cooney, B. Burns, J. Carbery, C Murray, J. Carty, C. Blade, K. Marmion

Front-rows: C. Healy, T. Furlong, A. Porter, S. Cronin, Kelleher, J. McGrath, E. O'Sullivan, M. Moore, R. Herring, J. Ryan, D. Kilcoyne, N. Scannell, D. Heffernan, F Bealham;

Second-rows: D. Toner, J. Ryan, I. Henderson, J. Kleyn, T. Beirne, Q. Roux, U. Dillane;

Back-rows: R. Ruddock, J. Van der Flier, C. Doris, D. Leavy, W. Connors J. Murphy, P. O'Mahony, CJ Stander, J. O'Donoghue, P. Boyle.

Have I left anybody obvious out? I know I have included a couple of Leinster 'newbees' but omitted Max Deegan. I feel however we may be missing some real pace on the wings.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 16th, 2019, 1:50 pm

Not sure if you've left anyone out but Tadhg Beirne picked up a very nasty injury so don't think he'll be available unfortunately.

It seems like the training squad can be any number we like and has been 36 and 38 in the last two years.

I think we have issues at loosehead and not much depth in the second row. The injury situation at ten isn't very clear but could end up being fine in a month's time. I agree about missing pace on the wings and we don't have much depth there either but at least Lowe will qualify soon.

I don't think older guys (like Earls and Kearney) should be jettisoned but I also wouldn't be starting them. I can see Rob getting a send off in one of the home games, maybe even as captain, and have no problem with that kind of thing happening if it does.

My 23 right now would be:

Healy, Scannell, Furlong
Henderson, Ryan
Rhys, CJ, Josh
Murray (just), Ross Byrne
Henshaw, Ringrose
Stockdale (11), Conway (14), Larmour (15)

Kelleher
James Cronin (never thought Id say that but there are lots of injuries there and EOS isn't quite playing as well as last season)
Porter
Dillane
POM (not overly happy to have himself and Dillane on the bench but don't think the options are great right now)
Cooney
Sexton/Joey depending on fitness. I'd reassess after round two but wouldn't rush either of them back and Ross is playing well.
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Then the extra 15 or so players for the wider squad:

LH - EOS
H - Cronin
TH- Ryan, Marty
SR - Kleyn, Dev
BR - Jordi, Boyle, Doris, Connors, Deegan if there's space.
SH - Luke
OH - Joey
Centre: Farrell
OBs: Addison, Earls, maybe ROL as a utility back if there's space.

Then I'd also have some of the most talented youngsters in camp for a week or two each.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 16th, 2019, 4:29 pm

Rob, Sean Cronin, Jordi, Carty, Marmion, and John Ryan are all left out of the squad.

No idea if any of them are injury related. Marmion and Cronin have obviously been out for a while and Ryan went off early on Saturday but haven't read/heard about the reasons why.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 16th, 2019, 4:32 pm

Looking at the squad makes me think that Porter will be considered at LH because the only LHs are Healy and Kilcoyne, whereas there's Furlong, Porter, O'Toole, and Marty and on the TH side.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby limecat » December 16th, 2019, 4:48 pm

Interesting to see 5 Leinster back-row players in there (Connors, Deegan, Doris, Ruddock and van der Flier), considering that Conan and Leavy are out injured.

Really says something about our depth in that area.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 16th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Andy Farrell's First Squad here:
https://www.irishrugby.ie/2019/12/16/ne ... stocktake/

Connacht: 5 players including Blade & Heffernan, but no Carty or Marmion
Leinster: 19 players incl. Connors, JGP, R. Kelleher & Deegan, but no RK or Nugget
Munster: 12 players including Haley & Scannell (x2), but no J Ryan
Ulster: 9 players including O'Toole and Burns, but no Jack Mc, Jordi or O'Sullivan

Absolutely delighted that Devin Toner is included
Last edited by Ruckedtobits on December 16th, 2019, 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Flash Gordon » December 16th, 2019, 5:46 pm

I wonder are Jordi and Jack McGrath reflecting on their Ulster decision? Leave because they want to improve his chances of getting in the Ireland squad and the kids behind them are now in the Ireland squad!
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 16th, 2019, 5:56 pm

Flash Gordon wrote:I wonder are Jordi and Jack McGrath reflecting on their Ulster decision? Leave because they want to improve his chances of getting in the Ireland squad and the kids behind them are now in the Ireland squad!



Fair point and perhaps a salutary lesson to those with itchy feet in a successful Province. They might also get hold of Mads' number and give him a call.
Ruckedtobits
Shane Horgan
 
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