Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

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Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

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.
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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?
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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.
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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?
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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
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Re: Irish Depth Chart - 1st December 2018

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

The Porter to Ulster rumours start here.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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