Transformer Boks v Irish Projects - Ireland's SA Tour 2016 - Series Decider



  • Played 7, Won 7. South Africa, the Transformer nation are proud of their home record against Ireland, the Project Player nation.  And determined to keep it that way.   They're starting with a new coach, Coetzee, who was welcomed into his post by his Sport Minister with "if you can't beat the Irish, people are going to find out a lot of things about you that they never knew."     Joe Schmidt, on the other hand, is well out of his honeymoon period and beginning to get a lot more scrutiny after Ireland's implosion against Argentina in the RWC, and poor performance in this year's Six Nations which has left him looking bereft of new ideas now that their kicking game has fallen flat. With Irish-born players dropping like flies with injury - Zebo, Kearney, Healy, O'Brien, van der Flier, Schmidt has an opportunity to field a truly international project test team: 1. Finlay Bealham - Australian2. Rory Best - British Rob Herring - South African3. Nathan White - New Zealand4. Mike McCarthy - English5. Quinn Roux - South African6. CJ Stander - South African7. Jordi Murphy - Spanish8. Jamie Heaslip - Israeli 9. Kieran Marmion - English10.Jonathan Sexton - Irish11. Andrew Trimble - British Gerhard van den Heever - South African12. Luke Marshall - British13. Stuart Olding - British14. Niyi Adeloukun - Nigerian15. Jared Payne - New Zealand 16. Richard Strauss - South Africa17. Rodney Ah You - New Zealand18. Michael Bent - New Zealand19. Aly Muldowney - English20.Robbie Diack - South African21.Paul Marshall - British22. Paddy Jackson - British23. Shane O'Leary - Canadian  The bookies are all tipping the Transformers for the series, with some giving the Paddy Projects a chance of winning one test in the first match. Schmidt will name his 32-man project squad for the series, later today, Wed 25 May



  • Is British those born in Northern Ireland?  Still bloody Irish, no?



  • Is British those born in Northern Ireland?  Still bloody Irish, no?

    Yes.   Although I'd be fairly sure that none of those players would describe their nationality as Irish per se.   Northern Irish or British more likely.  😉
     
    I put the list together especially for Jegga.  🙂



  • Before Transformation took hold, wags might have said that Ireland had more black players in their squad than South Africa.
     
    Now it looks like Ireland might have more white South Africans in their squad than South Africa.



  • Where's Henshaw ? in the slammer for being a vigilante, injured or ineligible for being too irish ?



  • Where's Henshaw ? in the slammer for being a vigilante, injured or ineligible for being too irish ?

    Err, no, no, and no point since Aki is nearly there.....
     
    The actual Irish team to tour Eastern Europe will be announced next week.



  • Err, no, no, and no point since Aki is nearly there.....
     
    The actual Irish team to tour Eastern Europe will be announced next week.

    I had to re edit after my initial post.
     
    Good player, should have that Lions 12 jersey firmly in his sights.



  • I had to re edit after my initial post.
     
    Good player, should have that Lions 12 jersey firmly in his sights.

    Hmmm......
     
    Richie McCaw, a few weeks ago, said in an interview on Irish TV:
    “It would be quite good for him to come home because I always thought that when he left, if he’d carried on playing the way he is over here, he would have been knocking on the door as an All Black. I don’t think he was going to be that far off so we might have to knock on his door and get him back home.”



  • Hmmm......
     
    Richie McCaw, a few weeks ago, said in an interview on Irish TV:
    “It would be quite good for him to come home because I always thought that when he left, if he’d carried on playing the way he is over here, he would have been knocking on the door as an All Black. I don’t think he was going to be that far off so we might have to knock on his door and get him back home.”

    I meant Henshaw



  • Thought this might be a good opportunity for Ireland to catch the Boks on the hop
     
    But, my ignorance aside, Ireland looks a bit underwhelming personnel wise.
     
    Will certainly watch with interest but can see SA defence and home crowd getting the job done. Expecting lots of crash ball, kicking and rolling mauls from a Coetzee team



  • I meant Henshaw

    I'm sure he'll be in the squad announced today.  And will travel assuming he doesn't get injured in the PRO12 final this weekend.
     
    Likely actual squad will possibly be:
     
    McGrath, Bealham, Furlong, Ross, Kilcoyne,
    Best, Cronin, Strauss,
    Toner, Dillane, Ryan, M Kearney, Henderson,
    O'Donnell, Ruddock, Stander, Henry, Heaslip, Murphy,
    Murray, Marmion, Reddan,
    Sexton, Jackson,
    Henshaw, Olding, Marshall,
    Earls, Fitzgerald, Timble,
    R Kearney, Payne.



  • Ireland squad will have 2 main issues: no top-class openside flanker and potentially a bit of a "meh" back 3, although I see your squad doesn't include Dave Kearney...



  • Hmmm......
     
    Richie McCaw, a few weeks ago, said in an interview on Irish TV:
    “It would be quite good for him to come home because I always thought that when he left, if he’d carried on playing the way he is over here, he would have been knocking on the door as an All Black. I don’t think he was going to be that far off so we might have to knock on his door and get him back home.”

    The anointed one



  • Is McCloskey injured ?



  • Actual Ireland squad announced
     
    Forwards (18)
    Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht)
    Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (c)
    Sean Cronin (St Marys/Leinster)
    Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)
    Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
    Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) (vc)
    Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
    David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster)
    Jack McGrath (St Marys/Leinster)
    Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
    Sean Reidy (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
    Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
    Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht)
    Rhys Ruddock (St Marys/Leinster)
    Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
    CJ Stander (Munster)
    Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
    Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
    Backs (14)
    Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
    Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock/Leinster)
    Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
    Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster)
    David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
    Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
    Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
    Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster)
    Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
    Stuart Olding (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
    Jared Payne (Ulster)
    Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster)
    Jonathan Sexton (St Marys/Leinster)
    Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
    Roux selected as one of five Connacht players getting the nod after their whirlwind season.   Roux moved from SA to Leinster on a one-year deal. He then got a two-year extension. In his second season, he was loaned out to Connacht for a few months to get some games. Then the loan was extended until end of season and end of his Leinster contract. Leinster didn't want to renew but Connacht offered him another two-year contract. He qualified on residency last year but wasn't considered. Now Schmidt has decided to give him the nod - maybe just to put a cap on his head.
    Finlay Bealham born in Australia went to Ireland at 19 to see if he could get pro contract after failing to make Brumbies academy. His mother's family is from Ireland and he started to play for local club, then got a chance with Ireland U20s, went to Ulster and then moved to Connacht. Capped in the Six Nations this year.
    Sean Reidy is a Kiwi who qualifies through Irish grandmother in Kerry. Played for Counties Manakau, then offered a one year contract with Ulster in 2014. It was renewed for a further two years.



  • Is McCloskey injured ?

    No. Just not selected.



  • Yes.   Although I'd be fairly sure that none of those players would describe their nationality as Irish per se.   Northern Irish or British more likely.   😉
     
    I put the list together especially for Jegga.   🙂

    Cheers, looks like those "tacit agreements"are working well, speaking of which I see Jake Heenan has somewhat unsurprisingly declared himself available for Ireland.



  • Cheers, looks like those "tacit agreements"are working well, speaking of which I see Jake Heenan has somewhat unsurprisingly declared himself available for Ireland.

    There has to be more to this than meets the eye I reckon: NZU20 captain leaves without even trying his hand at Super Rugby, and 3 years later declares for Ireland?
     
    I find it strange...
     
    He seems decent enough, but injured 95% of the time.



  • Cheers, looks like those "tacit agreements"are working well, speaking of which I see Jake Heenan has somewhat unsurprisingly declared himself available for Ireland.
    Tacit agreements? Like the ones with Ben Te'o and Gerhard van den Heever?
    Didn't see Heenan's declaration. He's three years at the end of June and he's signed on for another two years with Connacht with the promise of Champions Cup in the offing. No one has been beating down his door to join them, though.
    "I guess I have to make up own mind whether I'll stay here or go home and try for the All Blacks, or try for England but international rugby is definitely on the agenda," he said a couple of years ago.
    After two years in the Auckland development squad, Heenan found himself not wanted for the Blues so he looked further afield. "I was 21 when I moved here. There were no good offers on the table for me back home. This was the best offer for me," he says.



  • Ireland squad will have 2 main issues: no top-class openside flanker and potentially a bit of a "meh" back 3, although I see your squad doesn't include Dave Kearney...

    Err...... don't look now.....



  • Err...... don't look now.....

    What's your take.  Schimidt has gone for his 2 hotsteppers (Earls and Fitzgerald) and his 2 fairly uninspiring dependables (DK & Trimble).
     
    Would you have taken a punt on one of the speedier boys (Healy, Gilroy, your Nigerian lad etc)?
     
    I suppose there's no McFadden, so that's something...



  • What's your take.  Schimidt has gone for his 2 hotsteppers (Earls and Fitzgerald) and his 2 fairly uninspiring dependables (DK & Trimble).
     
    Would you have taken a punt on one of the speedier boys (Healy, Gilroy, your Nigerian lad etc)?
     
    I suppose there's no McFadden, so that's something...

    I think it may depend on who is going to be in Coetzee's squad and who they're likely to face in opening test.   I suspect Earls and Fitzy who have touring experience in SA to stand to them.   
     
    I wouldn't have gone with Gilroy - too much spinning going on for my liking.   Healy and Adeolokun have been on fire, with Healy the more accomplished of the two in terms of stepping and sheer acceleration.   Both of them are good finishers though - would have been nice to see Healy heading off.
    This clip features Adeolokun scoring two, Bealham going over and Dillane's power on the run in a thumping win over Munster.   Think Healy is in there too.
     

    -



  • Tacit agreements? Like the ones with Ben Te'o and Gerhard van den Heever?
    Didn't see Heenan's declaration. He's three years at the end of June and he's signed on for another two years with Connacht with the promise of Champions Cup in the offing. No one has been beating down his door to join them, though.
    "I guess I have to make up own mind whether I'll stay here or go home and try for the All Blacks, or try for England but international rugby is definitely on the agenda," he said a couple of years ago.
    After two years in the Auckland development squad, Heenan found himself not wanted for the Blues so he looked further afield. "I was 21 when I moved here. There were no good offers on the table for me back home. This was the best offer for me," he says.

    "Tacit agreements" was the phrase that Irish troll that showed up a while back used to describe Irelands poaching.
     
    Re Heenan  http://www.sportsjoe.ie/rugby/watch-jake-heenan-declares-intention-to-make-ireland-debut-against-new-zealand/78148
     
     
    "I've every intention of playing international rugby. For me, it's about coming back in good shape, having a good pre-season and putting the performances in and hopefully put my hand up for November.
    "I have every belief that I'm good enough and that I'm able to put in the performances needed to play [for Ireland].
    "I have every opportunity, at Connacht, to do it because of the games we're playing. I just have to look after myself, work hard, do my thing and hopefully get the nod."



  • "Tacit agreements" was the phrase that Irish troll that showed up a while back used to describe Irelands poaching.
     
    Re Heenan  http://www.sportsjoe.ie/rugby/watch-jake-heenan-declares-intention-to-make-ireland-debut-against-new-zealand/78148
     
     
    "I've every intention of playing international rugby. For me, it's about coming back in good shape, having a good pre-season and putting the performances in and hopefully put my hand up for November.
    "I have every belief that I'm good enough and that I'm able to put in the performances needed to play [for Ireland].
    "I have every opportunity, at Connacht, to do it because of the games we're playing. I just have to look after myself, work hard, do my thing and hopefully get the nod."

    Well, I'm not sure what that means since some of these NIQ players only get a one- or two-year contract.  And even if they get three years, there's no guarantee that the player will stay or be good enough.  
     
    Ben Te'o was Leinster's 'project' pick two years ago, but he decided not to wait another year at Leinster, and signed for English club, Worcester Warriors to 'further his career' and eh - so he could play for England - Jones has now selected him.   Van den Heever wasn't good enough and was released by Munster and he's headed for Japan.  Poolman at Connacht is in his fourth year and not in any squad selections.   Bleyendaal at Munster seems to be heading in a similar direction, with all his injuries, but maybe he'll improve next season, and surpass Keatley at 10- which shouldn't be difficult, or partner Saili in midfield, since Irish player, Johnny Holland, is showing a lot of promise at fly-half, along with Carty and Ronaldson at Connacht.
     
    The only current players that I see getting regular game-time are Payne (first-choice), Stander (first choice) and Strauss (bench behind Cronin).  White was a filler-in and hasn't been picked for the SA tour - age is against him anyway.  Stander should be a regular mainstay, at least until O'Mahony recovers and competes for the 6 spot again, or possibly Henderson is preferred in that spot. Although Stander could shift to 8 to take over Heaslip's mantle, at some point.  The objective of the foreign restrictions on numbers/position (4) and the project player (1) rules is to make sure there are a minimum of two test quality qualified players in every position playing for the provinces.  If Connacht are given full provincial status going forward - and I think they should be - then these rules will apply to them as well, and will cut numbers in their squad.   Or the IRFU could even make it three non-Irish Eligible and 1 NIQ per club with a view to having three qualified players in every position across the island - this could possibly work with the proposed new changes to a conference structure for the PRO12 being talked about for the start of the 2018 season.
     
    There are plenty of head-scratching queries as to why Roux has been selected at all (after four years/loaned out) instead of Irish-born players such as Mick Kearney, Ross Malony, Dave Foley, or Roux's team-mate, Andrew Browne.  Pretty galling for those players.
     
    Regarding Heenan, he has a curious way of going about his business.   Initially he said he could play for NZ, England or Ireland and he'd wait and see and consider what his options looked like (decent of him to let us know).    Then he follows this up a year later with a statement that he expects to get a call from Schmidt when his three years are up telling him that he wants to select him and Heenan could then consider that option!    Given the more humble statement you've quoted, I presume at some point, someone gave him an almighty boot up the arse, (Irish equivalent of 'no dickheads' policy) and said how about playing some rugby instead of shouting the odds into the wind.   Injuries didn't help his cause either in the period.   He's got O'Brien, van der Flier, Henry, O'Donnell and Murphy ahead of him in the queue.
     
    Edit: Just read this article about Tom McCartney and his arrival into Connacht as one of Lam's picks.  He'll be 3 years resident next year.  His views on why he came and stayed are interesting.  http://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/connacht-rugby/from-building-sites-to-pro-12-final-connachts-tom-mccartney-quietly-building-his-reputation-34750598.html



  • There are plenty of head-scratching queries as to why Roux has been selected at all (after four years/loaned out) instead of Irish-born players such as Mick Kearney, Ross Malony, Dave Foley, or Roux's team-mate, Andrew Browne.  Pretty galling for those players.

    This is another of Schmidts ridiculous selections. Quinn Roux is currently Connacht's 4th choice second row. He was with Leinster (signed by Schmidt) but they let him go to Connacht and signed Mick Kearney from Connacht. Mick Kearney is playing regularly for Leinster at the moment but hasn't made the Ireland squad. 
     
     
    You would think the 17st McCloskey would be useful against the Boks of all teams. He had a good debut against England but has been dropped since.



  • This is another of Schmidts ridiculous selections. Quinn Roux is currently Connacht's 4th choice second row. He was with Leinster (signed by Schmidt) but they let him go to Connacht and signed Mick Kearney from Connacht. Mick Kearney is playing regularly for Leinster at the moment but hasn't made the Ireland squad.
    You would think the 17st McCloskey would be useful against the Boks of all teams. He had a good debut against England but has been dropped since.
    I actually don't have a problem that the more versatile Olding has been brought in McCloskey's stead. He plays 15 as well and is a better bench option at 23. If Schmidt is looking to develop and widen the squad, this is one of his better selections, assuming he gives him game time.
    Roux's selection is just baffling given his status in Connacht.
    And Matt Healy instead of either D Kearney or Trimble would have been a good bolter selection.



  • Ireland have always mined the diaspora for talent, possibly always will.
     
    Can't see them going too well in South Africa, they are a side on the slide after both BOD and POC retired.



  • Ireland have always mined the diaspora for talent, possibly always will.
    Can't see them going too well in South Africa, they are a side on the slide after both BOD and POC retired.

    A bit premature maybe if that's your reference point.



  • A few Connacht players proved a point in yesterday's final. Healey was superb.



  • Boks squad for the Irish incoming tour named:
     
    Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Scarra Ntubeni, Jaco Kriel, Julian Redelinghuys, Warren Whiteley, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Lood de Jager, Steven Kitshoff, Francois Louw, Tendai Mtawarira, Duane Vermeulen

    Backs: Garth April, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Wille le Roux, Ruan Combrinck, Faf de Klerk, Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe, Jesse Kriel, Rudy Paige, Jan Serfontein, Damian de Allende, Nic Groom



  • A few Connacht players proved a point in yesterday's final. Healy was superb.And Matt Healy may get his rewards.    Luke Fitzgerald picked up yet another knee injury and is ruled out of the tour - unfortunate for him - his last tour in SA didn't last too long either with the Lions. Schmidt said: "Due to Luke picking up the knee injury one of those Connacht players is likely to be in the frame to be his replacement." â€‹They are full-back Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Nidi Adeolokun and 11 Matt Healy.  Munster's Simon Zebo is also in the running as he appears to have recovered sufficiently from an injury lay-off."One of the advantages with Matt is that he's a left-footed left winger and like for like with Luke. He's certainly a guy who's in contention." Schmidt explained that Tommy O’Donnell was not selected as he is getting married this summer. And he explained Roux’s 124 kilogram frame might prove an essential weapon against the Springboks.Roux failed to make the Connacht squad for the Pro 12 semi and final as Pat Lam preferred Aly Muldowney, Ultan Dillane and Andrew Browne. â€œQuinn has been in and out with Connacht. One of the things with the four other secondrows we have is they all tend to play on the loosehead side of the scrum. Quinn is the sole tighthead side of the scrum player that is fully fit and available. And he has shown potential. He is a very strong scrummager and very strong in the lineout. If you go to South Africa you have got to be very, very good in your set piece."



  • Latest injury update today before irish squad gets on plane is that Sexton is out, with likely Madigan to replace him.
    One or both of the Kearney brothers may also be out.
    Press conference later this morning.



  • Calls for aligned seasons must be getting louder to help prevent touring sides not be beset by injury.



  • Confirmed that Sexton won't be touring, neither will Rob Kearney, Dave Kearney or Luke Fitzgerald.Join that up with O'Brien, O'Mahony, Healy, Zebo also absent, then Schmidt has more of a development tour on his hands.It may not be the worst outcome.Revised squad now includes Connacht's uncapped Matt Healy and Tiernan O'Halloran, and Ulster's winder, Craig Gilroy.Certainly reduces the age and cap profile for Ireland.



  • Once again injury proves to be Schmidts greatest selector...



  • Once again injury proves to be Schmidts greatest selector...Not in the France or Argentina RWC matches, it wasn't.And I'd prefer if O'Brien, van der Flier, O'Mahony and Sexton were available and in the squad.



  • Calls for aligned seasons must be getting louder to help prevent touring sides not be beset by injury.

    The subject of a global season is worth a massive thread of its own...I've been reading / posting on the fern since 2013 and I dont recall seeing such a thread.
     
    Any thoughts? A key stumbling block is the 6N window in Feb / Mar - the most lucrative competiton other than RWC itself. Talk about moving it back a month is good, as it opens up the possibility of starting the NH year in September and making the June tests the July tests to get rid of the super rugby break. But that is perhaps selfish from a SH perspective, and it means the RWC would have to move to Oct & Nov.   A mighty mess.
     
    I'd like to see the 6N and Rugby Championship played in roughly the same window (Aug-Oct) and the game have a global offseason from 1 Dec to 28 Feb.



  • The suggestion is the Six Nations be moved forward into April.
    Some of the English & French clubs have said they don't care when comps happen as long as they are in discrete segments for each comp type. e.g., club league season in 28 weeks, European cup in 8 weeks, test matches in 14 weeks, etc.
    The difficulty for the Six Nations company is that if they shift to say April and they lose crowds/income/tv with the comp up against other sports, particularly soccer, they won't get it back easily, and they can't shift again. Test income is still the bedrock of the game for all unions. Mess with it at your peril.
    For all that, the current international windows are less than satisfactory - with June ones being a complete waste of time in my view. Could the June ones move to February and shift start of Super Rugby and Six Nations forward a month? That would mean test matches to start the SH season though and not all players would be involved.
    I sometimes wonder if you started with a blank sheet, where nothing was sacrosanct, how would you lay the global season out?



  • Yes.   Although I'd be fairly sure that none of those players would describe their nationality as Irish per se.   Northern Irish or British more likely.   😉
     
    I put the list together especially for Jegga.   🙂

    This listing of players as "British" is incredibly ignorant. Not one of those players grew up wanting to play for a national rugby team other than Ireland - ergo, they're Irish. (Unless you want to make this a religion thing?)



  • Pot Hale, your points are good. The big disconnect is the clubs. In the NH, you have one club, say Leinster, which plays 22 league games plus 2 playoffs plus 6 European games plus 3 playoffs. That's maybe 33 club games to shoehorn in alongside tests. No wonder there is no room. In the SH we get a 20 week super rugby competition. There is no feasible way to reduce the NH club season without dismantling the current domestic and euro competition system and moving to a three tiered euro wide league for example with promotion and relegation. NH Fans would hate a "franchise"style system because if the history of their clubs and domestic leagues. And its very arbitrary to initially assign 16 clubs to the first division say, and all the rest to lower divisions.


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