Irish Depth Chart - 1st February 2019

Forum for the discussion of all International Rugby

Moderator: moderators

Irish Depth Chart - 1st February 2019

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 1st, 2018, 2:25 am

Firstly, for those who want to start with comparisons of the past, the link to the previous thread is:

http://forum.leinsterfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24565&start=80

Next, a brief reminder of the criteria used to compile this Chart:

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 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 post Grand Slam until 30th November 2018.
4. The overall selection is personal choice based on games attended or viewed i.e. does not including Training Sessions.
5. I have not included players playing outside of Ireland at present e.g. neither Simon Zebo nor Donnchadh Ryan are included, although I, like others, believe that if the Irish Coach required their services, they would be available to represent Ireland.

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 I will include that list within the next couple of days.

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1 December 2018

1st XV.............Age...Caps.......2nd XV.........Age...Caps......3rd XV..........Age...Caps......4th XV............Age....Caps

15,,, R Kearney.... 32.... 87........W. Addison**...26....3..........T O'Halloran.....27....6..........M Lowry..........20.....0
14... K Earls........31.... 72........J Larmour.......21....9..........D Sweetnam.....25....3..........Adam Byrne.....24.....1
13... G Ringrose...23.... 17........C Farrell.........25....3..........S Arnold.........22....1..........R O'Loughlin.....24.....1
12... R Henshaw...25.... 36........B Aki.............28....12.........R Scannell.......24....3..........S McCloskey.....26.....3
11... J Stockdale..22....14 ........A Conway........27....10.........F McFadden.....32....34.........C Kelleher.......24.....0
10... J Sexton..... 33....78 ........J Carbery........23....16.........R Byrne..........23....2..........T Bleyendahl**..26.....0
9.... C Murray..... 29....67.........K Marmion.......26....24.........L McGrath.......25....10........J Cooney.........28.....4
8.... CJ Stander...28....28.........J Conan..........26....11..........N Timoney......23....0.......... P Boyle..........21.....0
7.... D Leavy.......24....11 ........J V der Flyer.....25....13.........Jordi Murphy....27....26.........T O'Donnell.....31.....12
6.... P O'Mahony...29....52........R Ruddock........28....21.........Sean O'Brien....31....52.........Sean O'Brien II.24.....0
5.... James Ryan..22....13........I Henderson......26....42.........Q Roux...........28....8...........A O'Connor......26.....0
4.... D Toner.......32....63........T Beirne...........26....4..........U Dillane.........25....11.........G Thornbury....25.....0
3.... T Furlong....26....28....... .A Porter...........22....11.........John Ryan.......30....16.........F Bealham......27.....9
2.... R Best........36....113......S Cronin...........32....65.........R Herring........28....7...........N Scannell.......26.....11
1.... C Healy.......31....84.......J McGrath.........29....53.........D Kilcoyne.......29....24.........Ed Byrne.........25.....0

Average.............28....51............................26....20.............................27....14.............................25....3

51 International listed -...........................................- ** Recently Irish Qualified
9 Provincial uncapped players listed

Commentary
As the last 7 months have unfolded, it seems to me that there is less and less debate about our top 30 / 35 players. Discussion about the exact combinations certainly, but the qualities and abilities are less the subject of real debate. One of the reasons for this is the exposure that different players have got at international level. We now definitely have a very talented and experienced First XV. However, as the cumulative picture emerges with this selection of our Depth Chart, the average age and experience, as judged by international caps, drops very quickly. Notwithstanding that, the relative experience of our "Second XV" is excellent and the age distribution on all four selections is very positive for the future.

Between now and the World Cup Squad selection, I do not consider that there will be many changes in the top 30/35 players, other than for reasons of injury. However, I do believe that any player who has been in an Irish Camp, for at least two Squad selections in the past two Seasons, still has a chance of forcing their way into the ultimate 2019 RWC Squad:

15.
A much easier selection than at any time in the past three years. Robert Kearney adds so much to the overall confidence of any team he plays with, because of his defensive excellence and organisation. In my view, there is not, at present, any clear-cut replacement for Kearney within the Irish Squad and Andy Conway or Joey Carbery would be my choices from the current contenders. Recent arrival Will Addison may yet get the opportunity to demonstrate that he possesses the requisite ability, but the jury's out thus far. The real mystery to this writer is the continued omission of Tiernan O'Halloran, from international Squads. Yes, his defence needs work, but he appears to be much further down the line towards international standard that either Larmour or Addison.

14.
Keith Earls' form makes him an automatic first choice. But Conway and Jordan Larmour cannot be ruled out if they continue their try-scoring exploits.

13.
Gary Ringrose and Chris Farrell emerge from the Autumn Internationals, and most recent weeks of Pro14 games, as the two top-class natural No. 13s. Very different styles, but both highly effective in their execution of their role. So, for the present, we have excluded Robbie Henshaw from this, more difficult, defensive position.

12.
We can't know for certain who Head Coach Joe Schmidt would select between the key contenders for the No. 12 shirt. Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki have both excelled in this position and we are certainly served very well here. Scannell and McCloskey continue as the the contenders in this area, which has real depth again.

11.
Jacob Stockdale continues to improve and owns the position. Keith Earls may prefer this side of the pitch but, for now, the big Ulsterman dominates the horizon. Conway gets the second position but, in truth, it would almost certainly be Earls who gets the No 11 jersey if "Big Jacob" was unavailable. McFadden has had a wretched time with injury but, when available, his performances continue to justify his inclusion. Kelleher has begun to demonstrate the ability that might justify his decision to leave Leinster a couple of years ago, in search of game time at senior Provincial level.

10.
Jonathon Sexton is the "World's Best Player", as we here in Ireland have known with certainty since that day in the French capital in the first round of the 6 Nations Tournament. Joey Carbery is his automatic support act at present and offers attacking threats every time he is in possession but, if selected, Ireland could not play with the same control as with Sexton. Ross Bryne has played with increasing maturity for Leinster and Ireland, whilst Bleyandhal has looked the more accomplished contender in his brief appearances since recovery from injury .

9.
Nine months ago, there were still extreme doubts whether Ireland could survive, never mind prosper, without Conor Murray. We will never know whether Schmidt could have selected him this Autumn, but Conor Murray is probably, no longer, Ireland's most important player - but only because we can beat New Zealand without him. (Robert Kearney may well have inherited that accolade at present). Perhaps the greatest debate this Autumn has been the pecking order behind Murray. I've selected Marmion, McGrath & Cooney, in that order and am fairly confident that Marmion is the clear-cut No. 2 at present.

8.
CJ Stander has become the logical successor to Heaslip and his performances, particularly against NZ, seemed to show that he is back to best form. Behind CJ there is a gap to Jack Conan, who has not dominated Provincial games as might have been hoped. Timoney emerged in Ulster as a genuine classy back-row and he, and the other young Leinster-exile No 8, Paul Boyle, have both given indication that they could become international contenders in the next World Cup cycle.

7.
The almost constant debate about whether a fit Sean O'Brien can keep the No 7 shirt is over for the present. Josh Van der Flier provides a very significant alternative for Schmidt, but is a different style of player. Dan Leavy is however my choice for the jersey at present and SO'B is only third choice in my listing and at No 6, not his beloved No 7. Sean will have to uproot trees to make another World Cup Squad.

6.
Peter O'Mahony holds the jersey and few would suggest that anybody will take it off him anytime soon. Rhys Ruddock could however fill it with real style if required. Jordi Murphy could fill the No 6 or No 7 jersey if required, as he has demonstrated regularly

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 the transition to James Ryan and Ian Henderson has been almost seamless and our scrum in particular looks even more powerful with these two youngsters in the row. Quinn Roux's selections in Irish Squads and teams seem to appear to surprise many, but he has never produced less than his best in the Green jersey. However, the performances of Tadgh Beirne have proven that his reputation is backed-up by his execution. I do not rule out his possible selection at international level at No 8. Ireland may yet have need to get their best eight forwards on the pitch at the same time.

3.
Tadgh Furlong is now one of three Irish players included in almost every "International Teams of the Year", alongside Sexton and James Ryan. Well deserved and he continues to develop, even if he still needs to concentrate at every scrum. The conversion of Andrew Porter to Tight Head, can now be said to have been successful, but he also must still concentrate in every scrum, as he also now has a target on his back. The form of both John Ryan and Finlay Bealham now ensures that we have real depth in this key position.

2.
Rory Best produced a performance against NZ who quelled the worries of many that his international career was coming to a rapid end. Even if he will only find it possible to 'go to the well' for big games between now and 10 months time, there are enough of such games to ensure that his captaincy will still be vital when we reach Japan next September. Behind him that battle will be between Cronin, Herring and Scannell and current form will determine the pecking order.

1.
Cian Healy is certainly back at the top of the chart, but his Provincial friend and team-mate Jack McGrath will certainly have a big Season and will push hard to grab the No 1 slot against the English, French and, possibly, S African packs. Dave Kilcoyne earned his selection for the Autumn Squad, but his performance against the USA may have given other contenders some hope.

Overall
Ireland has undoubtedly got strength in playing depth and a wonderful Coaching Team. However, we are not the top rugby-playing nation, just the form one. There is a lot of work needed to continue to maintain that form and it can be done for a period of another year or more. We will need Greg Feek to be fully focused on the improvement of our scrum and Joe Schmidt to bring all his wisdom to improving our attacking options in the 'Green Zone'. When our attack becomes more potent in that area, we will have the ability to beat any team we meet in the coming year. Whether we can execute on every occasion, only time will tell.
Last edited by Ruckedtobits on February 14th, 2019, 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ruckedtobits
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3859
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 10:23 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby leinsterforever » December 4th, 2018, 5:25 pm

Good list

It might make sense to go a bit further into the depth listings for front rowers. You'd get 2.8 XXIIIs out of all the backs listed (or more than 3 if you don't include halves), but only 2 XXIIIs out of the front-rowers.

How do you rank the likes of Buckley, Dooley, Cronin and Loughman at loosehead, for example?
leinsterforever
Enlightened
 
Posts: 940
Joined: March 18th, 2015, 2:20 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 4th, 2018, 9:54 pm

I'm workin on it, but formatting is a bitch. Just about have my 5th XV to 8XV finalised but don't want to post it until I'm happy that it will be just as legible on a mobile screen as a PC. The introduction of Age and Caps columns may have assisted analysis, but it screwed up presentation.
Ruckedtobits
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3859
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 10:23 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby dropkick » December 4th, 2018, 10:16 pm

There's a nice mix of experience, players in their prime and young talent pushing through to the first team squad.


We have a situation now where everyone is under pressure to maintain high standards because if they don't, there's a queue behind them waiting to take their place. That then helps with consistency of performance so it's a good place to be.


Ruckedtobits wrote:I'm workin on it, but formatting is a bitch. Just about have my 5th XV to 8XV finalised but don't want to post it until I'm happy that it will be just as legible on a mobile screen as a PC. The introduction of Age and Caps columns may have assisted analysis, but it screwed up presentation.



Take a screenshot and post that?
User avatar
dropkick
Mullet
 
Posts: 1411
Joined: January 2nd, 2007, 1:27 am
Location: Cork

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby paddyor » December 5th, 2018, 3:25 am

1st XV.............Age...Caps.......2nd XV.........Age...Caps......3rd XV..........Age...Caps......4th XV............Age....Caps

15,,, R Kearney.... 32.... 87........W. Addison**...26....3..........T O'Halloran.....27....6..........M Lowry..........20.....0
14... K Earls........31.... 72........J Larmour.......21....9..........D Sweetnam.....25....3..........Adam Byrne.....24.....1
13... G Ringrose...23.... 17........C Farrell.........25....3..........S Arnold.........22....1..........R O'Loughlin.....24.....1
12... R Henshaw...25.... 36........B Aki.............28....12.........R Scannell.......24....3..........S McCloskey.....26.....3
11... J Stockdale..22....14 ........A Conway........27....10.........F McFadden.....32....34.........C Kelleher.......24.....0
10... J Sexton..... 33....78 ........J Carbery........23....16.........R Byrne..........23....2..........T Bleyendahl**..26.....0
9.... C Murray..... 29....67.........K Marmion.......26....24.........L McGrath.......25....10........J Cooney.........28.....4
8.... CJ Stander...28....28.........J Conan..........26....11..........N Timoney......23....0.......... P Boyle..........21.....0
7.... D Leavy.......24....11 ........J V der Flyer.....25....13.........Jordi Murphy....27....26.........T O'Donnell.....31.....12
6.... P O'Mahony...29....52........R Ruddock........28....21.........Sean O'Brien....31....52.........Sean O'Brien II.24.....0
5.... James Ryan..22....13........I Henderson......26....42.........Q Roux...........28....8...........A O'Connor......26.....0
4.... D Toner.......32....63........T Beirne...........26....4..........U Dillane.........25....11.........G Thornbury....25.....0
3.... T Furlong....26....28....... .A Porter...........22....11.........John Ryan.......30....16.........F Bealham......27.....9
2.... R Best........36....113......S Cronin...........32....65.........R Herring........28....7...........N Scannell.......26.....11
1.... C Healy.......31....84.......J McGrath.........29....53.........D Kilcoyne.......29....24.........Ed Byrne.........25.....0

Average.............28....51............................26....20.............................27....14.............................25....3

Colourized for shits and giggles. There's a few in there I'd quibble with RTB. Like I'd have Murphy as 3rd choice 8, drop Timoney altogether, bump TOD up at 7 and have Reidy behind him. I'm sure a few would move Cooney up to 2nd etc. But even if you indulge your quibbles, the picture doesn't change that much. It's a fair reflection of the strength of the provinces IMO....not good reading for an Ulster fan.
Ruddock's tackle stats consistently too low for me to be taken seriously as a Six Nations blindside..... Ruddock's defensive stats don't stack up. - All Blacks Nil, Jan 15th, 2014
England A 8 - 14 Ireland A, 25th Jan 2014
Ruddock(c) 19/2 Tackles
User avatar
paddyor
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: November 17th, 2012, 12:48 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Lar » December 5th, 2018, 8:59 am

The Porter to Ulster rumours start here.
Four Stars
User avatar
Lar
Mullet
 
Posts: 1647
Joined: May 18th, 2011, 6:18 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Peg Leg » December 5th, 2018, 9:30 am

Lar wrote:The Porter to Ulster rumours start here.
... and ends here.
Last edited by Peg Leg on December 5th, 2018, 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It was Mrs O'Leary's cow"
Daniel Sullivan
User avatar
Peg Leg
Devin Toner
 
Posts: 8974
Joined: February 1st, 2010, 6:08 pm
Location: Procrastinasia

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby fourthirtythree » December 5th, 2018, 11:15 am

They would find it very hard to make a realistic threat to Porter in order to force him to "voluntarily" move, nor could they make a realistic persuasive case in instance of a rotating front row. It's not like McGrath needed to leave Leinster to be first choice for Ireland (and Leinster). It's not like Healy needed to lexit to get back ahead of McGrath. Porter can trust that he will be coached here to be his best self and if he overtakes Furlong, he overtakes Furlong.

He doesn't know that if he were forced to move.

For every Joey Carbery (playing at fullback for Ireland with Byrne at outhalf, and looking like he needed more game time there) there's a Conway who was lured away from a contract he had just signed with sweet whispers of opportunity only to see their career stall for about four years in a way it wouldn't have in Leinster. Even Nordi, who left of his own volition to further his career in a realistic assessment, hasn't necessarily actually improved his standing in the game.
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
What the thunder said to Brian Lenihan
User avatar
fourthirtythree
Devin Toner
 
Posts: 9064
Joined: April 12th, 2008, 11:33 pm
Location: Eight miles high

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Lar » December 5th, 2018, 7:42 pm

fourthirtythree wrote:They would find it very hard to make a realistic threat to Porter in order to force him to "voluntarily" move, nor could they make a realistic persuasive case in instance of a rotating front row. It's not like McGrath needed to leave Leinster to be first choice for Ireland (and Leinster). It's not like Healy needed to lexit to get back ahead of McGrath. Porter can trust that he will be coached here to be his best self and if he overtakes Furlong, he overtakes Furlong.

He doesn't know that if he were forced to move.

For every Joey Carbery (playing at fullback for Ireland with Byrne at outhalf, and looking like he needed more game time there) there's a Conway who was lured away from a contract he had just signed with sweet whispers of opportunity only to see their career stall for about four years in a way it wouldn't have in Leinster. Even Nordi, who left of his own volition to further his career in a realistic assessment, hasn't necessarily actually improved his standing in the game.


I wasn't being serious 433. Andrew Porter's name is in Black in paddyor's list of colourised names above. Suggests he is an Ulster player which he clearly is not.
Four Stars
User avatar
Lar
Mullet
 
Posts: 1647
Joined: May 18th, 2011, 6:18 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby paddyor » December 6th, 2018, 1:51 am

Lar wrote:
fourthirtythree wrote:They would find it very hard to make a realistic threat to Porter in order to force him to "voluntarily" move, nor could they make a realistic persuasive case in instance of a rotating front row. It's not like McGrath needed to leave Leinster to be first choice for Ireland (and Leinster). It's not like Healy needed to lexit to get back ahead of McGrath. Porter can trust that he will be coached here to be his best self and if he overtakes Furlong, he overtakes Furlong.

He doesn't know that if he were forced to move.

For every Joey Carbery (playing at fullback for Ireland with Byrne at outhalf, and looking like he needed more game time there) there's a Conway who was lured away from a contract he had just signed with sweet whispers of opportunity only to see their career stall for about four years in a way it wouldn't have in Leinster. Even Nordi, who left of his own volition to further his career in a realistic assessment, hasn't necessarily actually improved his standing in the game.


I wasn't being serious 433. Andrew Porter's name is in Black in paddyor's list of colourised names above. Suggests he is an Ulster player which he clearly is not.

You're all blind

A Porter...........22....11
A Porter...........22....11
A Porter...........22....11
Ruddock's tackle stats consistently too low for me to be taken seriously as a Six Nations blindside..... Ruddock's defensive stats don't stack up. - All Blacks Nil, Jan 15th, 2014
England A 8 - 14 Ireland A, 25th Jan 2014
Ruddock(c) 19/2 Tackles
User avatar
paddyor
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: November 17th, 2012, 12:48 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby johng » December 6th, 2018, 8:41 am

Or maybe you are colourblind? [color=#000040]A Porter...........22....11[/color

You have a 40 instead of an 80 in there
User avatar
johng
Jamie Heaslip
 
Posts: 17668
Joined: March 23rd, 2009, 11:37 pm
Location: Behind You!!

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby paddyor » December 6th, 2018, 12:26 pm

johng wrote:Or maybe you are colourblind? [color=#000040]A Porter...........22....11[/color

You have a 40 instead of an 80 in there

I know, but it's not black. I'm just lazy
Ruddock's tackle stats consistently too low for me to be taken seriously as a Six Nations blindside..... Ruddock's defensive stats don't stack up. - All Blacks Nil, Jan 15th, 2014
England A 8 - 14 Ireland A, 25th Jan 2014
Ruddock(c) 19/2 Tackles
User avatar
paddyor
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3799
Joined: November 17th, 2012, 12:48 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 14th, 2018, 7:44 am

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1 December 2018
[b]First XV           2nd XV          3rd XV          4th XV [/b]

15. R. Kearney W Addison T O'Halloran M Lowry*
14. K Earls J Larmour D Sweetnam A Byrne
13. G Ringrose C Farrell S Arnold R O'Loughlin
12. R Henshaw B Aki R Scannell S McCloskey
11. J Stockdale A Conway F McFadden C Kelleher*
10. J Sexton J Carbery R Byrne T Bleyendahl*
9. C Murray K Marmion L McGrath J Cooney
8. CJ Stander J Conan N Timoney* P Boyle*
7. D Leavy JVd Flyer Jor Murphy T O'Donnell
6. P O'Mahony R Ruddock S O'Brien S O'Brien II*
5. Jas Ryan I Henderson Q Roux A O'Connor*
4. D. Toner T Beirne U Dillane G Thornbury*
3. T Furlong A Porter J Ryan F Bealham
2. R Best S Cronin R Herring N Scannell
1. C Healy J McGrath D Kilcoyne Ed Byrne*


(*) Uncapped player

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1 December 2018
[b]Fifth XV           6th XV          7th XV          8th XV [/b]

15. D Leader* L Ludik* D Johnson* M Haley*
14. C Gilroy N Adelolokun C Nash* H Keenan*
13. L Marshall Tom O'Brien* C Ronaldson* D Goggin*
12. T Farrell* A Curtis* D Cave Con O'Brien*
11. A Woottam M Healy R O'Mahony* R Lyttle*
10. C Frawley* JJ Hanrahan* B Burns* J Carty*
9. C Blade* N McCarthy* D Williams* D Shanahan*
8. C Doris* M Deegan* R Copeland E McKeon*
7. J O'Donoghue C Oliver* S Reidy S Penny*
6. Da O'Callaghan* M Rea* Josh Murphy* E Masterson*
5. K Treadwell* R Molony* M Kearney R Baird*
4. D O'Shea* J Cannon* B Holland F Wyncherley*
3. M Moore M Bent S Archer T O'Toole*
2. J Treacy D Heffernan S Delahunt* D Casey*
1. P Dooley* J Cronin D Buckley* E O'Sullivan*


(*) Uncapped player

Well, a lot of the contenders put up their hands in the first round of Interpros.

As mentioned somewhere on this thread I do intend to update all eight teams after the Interpros and final EPCR Pool games.
Last edited by Ruckedtobits on December 23rd, 2018, 9:30 am, edited 5 times in total.
Ruckedtobits
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3859
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 10:23 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Laighin Break » December 14th, 2018, 9:01 am

Both Tadhg Beirne and Sammy Arnold have been capped.
User avatar
Laighin Break
Enlightened
 
Posts: 875
Joined: May 3rd, 2012, 9:35 am
Location: Scandinavia

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 15th, 2018, 4:14 pm

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1 December 2018
[b]Fifth XV           6th XV          7th XV          8th XV [/b]

15. D Leader* L Ludik* M Haley* J Kelly*
14. C Gilroy N Adelolokun C Nash* H Keenan*
13. L Marshall Tom O'Brien* C Ronaldson* D Goggin*
12. T Farrell* A Curtis* D Cave Con O'Brien*
11. A Woottam M Healy R O'Mahony* R Lyttle*
10. C Frawley* JJ Hanrahan* B Burns* J Carty*
9. C Blade* N McCarthy* D Williams* D Shanahan*
8. C Doris* M Deegan* R Copeland E McKeon*
7. J O'Donoghue C Oliver* S Reidy S Penny*
6. Da O'Callaghan* M Rea* Josh Murphy* E Masterson*
5. K Treadwell* R Molony* M Kearney* R Baird*
4. D O'Shea* J Cannon* B Holland F Wyncherley*
3. M Moore M Bent S Archer T O'Toole*
2. J Treacy D Heffernan S Delahunt* K O'Byrne*
1. P Dooley* J Cronin D Buckley* E O'Sullivan*


(*) Uncapped player

Commentary

In preparing the Depth Chart for the fifth to eight ranked teams, I was particularly struck that these players are almost exclusively the produce of the various Provincial Coaching Teams. Well as we are served at National level with our Coaching group, I do not believe we have every been as well served by the four Provincial Coaching Teams. Four excellent Head Coaches and high-quality specialist Coaches, none of whom seems to be excessively egotistical, although all are obviously ambitious for the success of the players under their control and the teams which they serve. So hats off to David Nucifora and those others at Provincial level who have selected the current Coaching teams.

Reviewing my earliest attempts at a National Depth Chart from the Season 2010-11, it is almost miraculous to see the emergence of so many quality players in our game. The standards are rising each year and there is little doubt that the concept of "internal competition" as the real driver of improved performance is being borne out in the Irish Rugby environment. Eight teams totals 120 professional players and there are close to 220 players earning some form of income within the four Provincial set-ups (the €8,000 p.a. to Academy players is hardly a living wage). But the reality is, that in addition to the eight teams listed, there are a further 25-30 players who could yet progress towards international level before RWC2023. Ireland's depth has never been stronger and it is still improving.

It's also fair to say that I've seen less of the play of many of the players in this group, simply because of coverage of the games they've played. However, it is probable that many of them will get competitive game time in the upcoming inter-provincials and at this point I hope to provide an update on all eight teams prior to the commencement of the 6N Tournament, following the completion of the last round of Pool Games of the European competitions.

No 15
There are four highly talented players listed at full-back. Darragh Leader is a big footballer for full-back, but his Gaelic-football background give him excellent fielding skills and his long-loping stride generates pace, if not acute acceleration. A good tackler also, his first target is to by-pass the rarely-favoured O'Halloran for the Connacht jersey. Louis Ludik has had the duel challenges since arrival on these shores of injury and completing his qualification period. Since his Irish qualification in 2018, he suffered injury but has looked a very good attacker, whether as wing or full-back, and his fielding is immaculate. He is also a good back-field organiser. Haley, the former Sale man, has been the preference of the Coach thus far in Munster's big games. Kelly captained the Leinster A team to win the Celtic Cup, but has not been dominant as a defender. Both players like the ball in hand and have good attacking skills, but neither has inspired total confidence under the high-ball or in confrontational tackles

[b]No 14

Two experienced and capped practitioners Gilroy and Adelolokun compete with two of the sharp young contenders Calvin Nash & Hugo Keenan. Nash has real pace and Keenan has honed his skills with the Irish Sevens Squad and has also performed well at full-back for Leinster at Pro14. Schmidt seemed to like Gilroy's style a couple of years ago but injury and the odd defensive flaw have pushed him down the pecking order. Adelolkun was particularly unlucky with the dip in Connacht performances over the past two years and has not quite regained the consistency he showed under Pat Lam. The relative ranking of these four may change from competition in upcoming Inter-provincials unfolds.

No 13
Luke Marshall tends to start Seasons well and finish them in the same style, but often with a couple of catastrophes along the way. No game time yet under McFarland as he recovers from a nasty ACL injury last April, Marshall was in the starting Irish mid-field under Schmidt in South Africa a couple of seasons ago and if he fully recovers, could still do a job at that level. Craig Ronaldson may complete his career with the 'moniker' of journey-man as a regular appendage. However his contributions for Connacht are vital and he has demonstrated time and again, his ability to "finish" games in tight circumstances. Tommy O'Brien produced excellent Irish U.20 performances in captaining the team and playing in three positions. Outside-centre just might be the position he blossoms in at senior level under the guidance of Lancester & Conteponi in Leinster. Dan Goggin is another youngster who may get chances and development under Felix Jones and Johann Van Gramm in Munster. A good temperament and a fierce competitor.

No 12
Tom Farrell got a lot more media coverage last season than many of his colleagues in the Connacht back-line. And he deserved it. Playing in a lack-lustre unit, he topped the Pro14 Stats in two categories and showed that, whilst others floundered and complained, he learned from Coach Kieran Keane and became a better player in arduous circumstances. Curtis and Conor O'Brien are two of the brightest prospects for Irish mid-field play for a few years. At U.20 level, both players were at their best facing the stiffest competition and they have stepped up to Pro14 level with hardly a move out of place. Two real prospects for the 2023 RWC. What more can be said about Darren Cave. Cave is almost a folk-hero in Ravenhill and with more than 200 caps for his Province is still producing important performances in big games. He also has a really good reputation for helping the newbees, so don't be surprised if he ends up on the Coaching ticket. At age 31, his 11-year career may not last too much longer but he will continue to contribute whenever selected.

No 11
Twelve months ago Alex Woottam was in the Irish squad and wearing the green jersey in the Guinness Series in November. He and Matt Healy are two players whose attacking skills probably out-shine their defensive attributes. Both could do with plenty of opportunities in the Inter-provincial Series to bring their skills to the attention of those who count. Rob Lyttle had a meteoric rise in an Ulster jersey in 2017-18 and despite his diminutive stature scored some great tries. He has been less fortunate with selection this Season, but he has real attacking ability and a good football brain. Another in the same category is Ronan O'Mahony. From his perspective, his name has appeared too often in the AIL score-sheets when he could be that doing in the red of Munster. Another player with all-round rugby skills and rare pace.

No 10
The Quarterback Expansion programme. I heard the phrase from one of the USA backroom team during the recent Autumn international. Of Irish extraction, he was bemoaning the sheer depth (compared to USA) of the Irish out-half factory and compared it to the Welsh production line of the 1970's. Certainly, it's likely that any of the four contenders listed here Frawley, Hanrahan, Burns or Carty would be first choice for the USA and possibly up to seven other RWC qualified nations. Frawley is the one who excites me most as a Leinster supporter. In his few appearances for the Province he has look talented, relaxed and in control. He has all the skills and place-kicking, which even Sexton must admire. Hanrahan has drawn the short-straw of Carbery's noisy arrival in Munster as ordained at high levels. JJ has a great set of skills and with confidence and opportunity, he can still progress to steer the Munster ship to the best ports. Carty started the Season in magnificent form but ran aground in one game against the Ospreys. His new Coach Andy Friend has however been supportive and Connacht's recent form may give him more opportunities to show his progress in the coming weeks and months.

No 9
Still the position which causes the greatest concern in Irish rugby. Each of the four contenders have progressed well in the current Season and each has made important contributions to their Provincial causes. Blade has impressed me most and he has become a fierce competitor, who prioritises service to his out-half above his running instincts. McCarthy has announced his intention to move south to Munster, but not before demonstrating to Leinster fans that they will miss a player in the ascendancy. Duncan Willams shored up the Munster cause in the early-season absence of Murray and, in doing so, showed the value of a run of games in building confidence. The recruitment, and immediate selection of former NZ player, Alby Matheson was not the greatest show of faith, but Williams kept supporting the cause and looked the better player for it.

No 8
Doris, Deegan, Copeland and McKeon are the contenders to ultimately fill the jersey worn by Heaslip and CJ. Big shoes to fill and the position still holds particular affection for Irish supporters. Doris has definitely stolen a march on Deegan at Leinster and has been selected in the absence of Jack Conan on international duty. More abrasive than his counterpart, he is an aggressive ball carrier and a good line-out option, who also relishes the defensive side of the game. Largely based on his outstanding U.20 performances, Deegan is viewed as having a higher "ceiling" but to achieve his ultimate goal, his appetite for the 'hard yards' and 'black arts' will have to improve markedly. Copeland has probably now seen as much of the green jersey as he is going to. However, he still has unique talents and if Connacht get close to challenging for trophies, this man can product performances that few in the country can equal. McKeon is a player who may deprive Copeland of further big opportunities. Alongside Boyle in the Connacht backrow, they have looked like a hungry twosome who can compete with the biggest opposition with awesome tackling and aggressive ball carrying.

No 7
Another position beloved of Irish rugby fans and with no hang-up about size among the contenders. Oliver and Penny are the smaller, hard-tackling, all-action, pocket-battleships from Munster and Leinster respectively. Penny has taken to the professional game to the manner born and his try-scoring rivals that of Stockdale. Oliver has thrown down the mantle at Tommy O'Donnell's feet and delivered performances reminiscent of Neil Back. Jack O'Donoghue is more in the South African mould of No 7. A classy No 8 at underage levels, he has suffered injury this season but may well mature into the sort of flanker that Johann Van Grann will remember from his days with the winning Bulls. Sean Reidy[b] has largely seen off the challenge of Timoney for the No 7 jersey in Ulster . He is a fierce competitor and ball-carrier or tackler and his contributions are vital if Ulster are to continue to progress this Season.

[b][b]No 6
[/b]
The contenders at blind-side flanker may not quicken the pulse like those elsewhere but O'Callaghan, Rea, Murphy and Masterson are all the sort of players you would want in the your pack during the months of November through February, going to play an important away game against strong opposition. Rea and Murphy may have the higher 'ceilings', but none of them can be ruled out of future contention at high levels.

Nos 4 and 5
I've not made distinctions between tight-head and loose-head second-rows, largely because I've not seen enough of all the contenders in those different roles. Firstly the real young guys, Baird and Wyncherley come from opposite ends of the spectrum of second-row body shapes. Baird is a ridiculously talented sportsman, possibly with as much talent for the position as James Ryan and certainly with the same physical attributes. Has he the same cold-minded bottle and desire? Thats the big question. Wyncherley comes from the Mick Galwey / Billy Holland stable of second-rows and certainly has the heart and hardness to follow in their steps. Only time and fortune will tell. Treadwell, O'Shea, Molony and Cannon are core incumbents of their provincial squads and may not progress higher because of the ages of those ahead of them in the pecking order. Holland and Kearney have already been capped and both of them have demonstrated this Season once again their ability to make big contributions in European games. Great depth and a couple of outstanding prospects.

No 3
Tight-head is certainly a position where the Irish depth has been developed in an unrecognisable way in less than 5 years. Gone (hopefully forever) are the days where the injury or illness of Hayes or Ross, spelt a disaster for the entire Irish team. Marty Moore looks like one of the few players in these four teams that could claim a slot on the plane to Japan, if he continues his progress so far this Season. A player who first emerges under Greg Feek in Leinster, he retains the loyalty of his old scrum Coach. He has harnessed that with the expertise of his new Head Coach, McFarland and also the wiles of Aaron Dunden, the ex-Leinster hooker who is now Ulster Scrum Coach. The quality of that Coaching ticket is proven by the emergence of an even younger Ulster tight-head in Tom O'Toole who first learned the position in Queensland before making his way to the Ulster Academy and then the Ulster senior Squad. Michael Bent and Stephen Archer will both wear Squad numbers this season in big European games for their Provinces. Further proof of real depth.

No 2
The four young contenders all recognise that once Rory retires, there is no automatic successor at present. Herring and Cronin will continue, but probably not through to 2023. Scannell is in with a shout to be the successor, but with no guarantees. Treacy, Heffernan, Delahunt and O'Byrne will also be in Squads during the respective European challenges in the coming months. All have flaws in their games, but each has particular attributes which may be attractive to future Head Coach Farrell, or his Scrum Coach post-2019. Getting the darts right, is perhaps the only common objective that these four share.

No 1
Loose-head prop is a position that McFarland, Aaron Dundon, Jimmy Duffy, John Fogarty and Jerry Flannery, all scrum Coaches, recognise as one of the bell-weather positions on the every winning team. All five coaches, who participated the National Scrum Programme initiated in 2011 by the IRFU, would be contributors to the view that if the your scrum is going well, you will see the No 1 jersey contributing all around the pitch. If you scrum is under pressure, so is your loose-head and his contribution everywhere else will be minuscule. Dooley, Cronin, Buckley and O'Sullivan represent further proof of the depth of our game. Dooley is an excellent ball-player and great tackler who would play an awful lot more senior rugby if he played outside Leinster. Cronin is a tough, nuggety operator who can concede too many penalties, but can tame the toughest tight-heads in European rugby. Buckley was a great contributor to the years of Connacht success and probably has been unlucky not to be higher up the pecking order. Eoin O'Sullivan is the latest young Leinster exile to make an impression amongst the Red-Hand people. IMO, Dooley and O'Sullivan, if their continue to progress and avoid serious injury, will be serious contenders by the time RWC 21023 comes around.

Overall Summary
Everybody interested in the state of world rugby knows that Ireland has a superb Coaching Team and most now acknowledge that Ireland has amongst the strongest Squads that will travel to compete for the Webb Ellis Trophy next October and November. Few outside Ireland realise that this is unlikely to be a "temporary little arrangement". Ireland now has a depth of professional rugby strength which should facilitate future Head Coach Farrell and his colleagues continuing the level of Irish success, almost seamlessly, up to at least 2023.

Irish rugby has never been in that position before. Good strategic planning and organised implementation of good management of resources, have been the hallmarks of getting where we are. Those making such decisions within the IRFU, now largely employees rather than Committee men, deserve the gratitude of Irish rugby supporters. The next 12 months for Irish Rugby could provide more great days. If they don't, it will not because we lacked for talent.
Last edited by Ruckedtobits on December 19th, 2018, 6:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Ruckedtobits
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3859
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 10:23 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby leinsterforever » December 17th, 2018, 1:29 pm

Is that David Johnston at 15 in the 7th XV? Would Peter Nelson and Jack Kelly not be ahead of him? I thought he'd gone to play in the Championship anyway

And surely Goggin has to be ahead of Tommy O'Brien at this point in time? Jimmy O'Brien is ahead of Tommy right now for Leinster as well

Duncan Casey is playing in France now too, so bump Kevin O'Byrne or Brian Byrne up one
leinsterforever
Enlightened
 
Posts: 940
Joined: March 18th, 2015, 2:20 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 17th, 2018, 7:38 pm

leinsterforever wrote:Is that David Johnston at 15 in the 7th XV? Would Peter Nelson and Jack Kelly not be ahead of him? I thought he'd gone to play in the Championship anyway

And surely Goggin has to be ahead of Tommy O'Brien at this point in time? Jimmy O'Brien is ahead of Tommy right now for Leinster as well

Duncan Casey is playing in France now too, so bump Kevin O'Byrne or Brian Byrne up one


Thanks for comments. Very useful on all factual info.

Will repost with D Johnston & Duncan Casey omitted. Jack Kelly probably gets in at full-back, based on his Captaincy and displays in Celtic Cup. Kevin O'Byrne shades Brian Byrne with two recent MOTM awards for Munster in Pro 14.

Prefer to stay with Tommy O'Brien at present, but may replace him with Jimmy O'Brien if he gets another run through the Interpros. Both are, however, top quality prospects who will only improve with game time at senior level.
Ruckedtobits
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3859
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 10:23 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby arsebiscuits1 » December 18th, 2018, 1:17 pm

Mick Kearney also uncapped. Needs a *

That's probably the most pedantic I have ever been lol
He's gotten awfully fond of that brick
arsebiscuits1
Graduate
 
Posts: 717
Joined: November 19th, 2014, 4:53 pm

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 23rd, 2018, 9:32 am

Ruckedtobits wrote:Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1 December 2018
[b]First XV           2nd XV          3rd XV          4th XV [/b]

15. R. Kearney W Addison T O'Halloran M Lowry*
14. K Earls J Larmour D Sweetnam A Byrne
13. G Ringrose C Farrell S Arnold R O'Loughlin
12. R Henshaw B Aki R Scannell S McCloskey
11. J Stockdale A Conway F McFadden C Kelleher*
10. J Sexton J Carbery R Byrne T Bleyendahl*
9. C Murray K Marmion L McGrath J Cooney
8. CJ Stander J Conan N Timoney* P Boyle*
7. D Leavy JVd Flyer Jor Murphy T O'Donnell
6. P O'Mahony R Ruddock S O'Brien S O'Brien II*
5. Jas Ryan I Henderson Q Roux A O'Connor*
4. D. Toner T Beirne U Dillane G Thornbury*
3. T Furlong A Porter J Ryan F Bealham
2. R Best S Cronin R Herring N Scannell
1. C Healy J McGrath D Kilcoyne Ed Byrne*


(*) Uncapped player

Ireland XV Depth Chart - 1 December 2018
[b]Fifth XV           6th XV          7th XV          8th XV [/b]

15. D Leader* L Ludik* D Johnson* M Haley*
14. C Gilroy N Adelolokun C Nash* H Keenan*
13. L Marshall Tom O'Brien* C Ronaldson* D Goggin*
12. T Farrell* A Curtis* D Cave Con O'Brien*
11. A Woottam M Healy R O'Mahony* R Lyttle*
10. C Frawley* JJ Hanrahan* B Burns* J Carty*
9. C Blade* N McCarthy* D Williams* D Shanahan*
8. C Doris* M Deegan* R Copeland E McKeon*
7. J O'Donoghue C Oliver* S Reidy S Penny*
6. Da O'Callaghan* M Rea* Josh Murphy* E Masterson*
5. K Treadwell* R Molony* M Kearney R Baird*
4. D O'Shea* J Cannon* B Holland F Wyncherley*
3. M Moore M Bent S Archer T O'Toole*
2. J Treacy D Heffernan S Delahunt* D Casey*
1. P Dooley* J Cronin D Buckley* E O'Sullivan*


(*) Uncapped player

Well, a lot of the contenders put up their hands in the first round of Interpros.

As mentioned somewhere on this thread I do intend to update all eight teams after the Interpros and final EPCR Pool games.


The quality of skills among Irish players at present really is exceptional. We are watching a high quality game at present. There's no doubt that the Interpros have served to rearrange these Charts. All will be reflected when they are re-ranked after the last European Pool games.
Ruckedtobits
Malcolm O'Kelly
 
Posts: 3859
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 10:23 am

Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

Postby sunshiner1 » January 8th, 2019, 6:44 am

Based on that table this is what a first XV Irish uncapped side would look like. i didn't move players around such as move P. Boyle to 6 etc. Thats a decent team.

15. M Lowry*
14. C Nash*
13. Tom O'Brien*
12. T Farrell*
11. C Kelleher*
10. T Bleyendahl*
9. C Blade*

8. N Timoney*
7. C Oliver*
6. S O'Brien II*
5. A O'Connor*
4. G Thornbury*
3. T O'Toole*
2. S Delahunt*
1. Ed Byrne*
sunshiner1
Enlightened
 
Posts: 776
Joined: October 13th, 2014, 9:07 pm

Next

Return to International Rugby

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests