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3 months 3 weeks ago #66372

So good to see a full squad on the training pics. Even Godwin, who's not listed, appears.

So my own prediction on the picking order

(1-15)

Team 1

Denis Buckley (29)
Dave Heffernan (28)
Finlay Bealham (28)
Ultan Dillane (25)
Gavin Thornbury (25)
Sean O'Brien (24)
Colby Fainga'a (28)
Jarrad Butler (28)
Kieran Marmion (27)
Jack Carty (27)
John Porch (25)
Bundee Aki (28)
Tom Farrell (25)
Stephen Fitzgerald (23)
Tiernan O'Halloran (28)


Team 2

Paddy McAllister (30)
Shane Delahunt (25)
Dominic Robertson-McCoy (25)
Quinn Roux (28)
Joe Maksymiw (23)
Paul Boyle (22)
Eoghan Masterson (26)
Eoin McKeon (28)
Caolin Blade (25)
Kyle Godwin (27)
Matt Healy (30)
Peter Robb (25)
Tom Daly (26)
Niyi Adeolokun (28)
Darragh Leader (26)

Team 3

Matthew Burke (22)
Tom McCartney (33)/Jonny Murphy (27)
Rory Burke (25)/Conor Kenny (23)
Niall Murray (20)
Cillian Gallagher (22)
Robin Copeland (31)
Mikey Wilson (21)/Cian Huxford (20)/Joshua Dunne (19)
Sean Masterson (21)/Neal Moylett (21)
Stephen Kerins (23)/Angus Lloyd (26)
Conor Fitzgerald (22)
Colm de Buitlear (21)
Dave Horwitz (24)
Sean O'Brien -3.0- (21)
Peter Sullivan (21)/Hugh Lane (20)
Conor Hayes (20)/Mark Balaski (21)

Last edit: 3 months 3 weeks ago by connachta.
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3 months 3 weeks ago #66374

We're still short a bullocking, ball carrying back row or second row South Sea Islander. That's the biggest gap I see in the squad at the moment.
@ Connachta - Robin Copeland won't like to see you having him in the 3rd's!

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3 months 2 weeks ago #66378

Have agreed about your 1st part for ages

but we've quality in back-row and I can't see who can be downgraded for Copeland...

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3 months 2 weeks ago #66383

Peter Sullivan of Lansdowne, a 21 year old winger, has linked up with the squad on a trial basis.

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3 months 1 week ago #66395

42.ie ran a piece about him a while back, it had a potential Connacht target written all over it. Looks like a good prospect, well worth taking a chance on.

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2 months 2 weeks ago #66543

Looking through the squad list again I'm struck by how good the age profile is. Average age is just below 26 by my calculations.

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2 months 6 days ago #66581

So it seems Dean is up to the game

I watched Russian game again, and though critics about Horwitz seem harsh, it's true he doesn't look impressive in contact

I'd go with Godwin, I know this is not the favorite hypothesis

10) Godwin
12) Robb/Daly
13) Farrell
11) S.Fitzgerald
14) TOH (covering 15)
15) Leader

22) Horwitz (covering 10/12)
23) Healy

Last edit: 2 months 6 days ago by connachta.

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2 months 5 days ago #66582

Fitzgerald looks good but I'd like to see a bit more of him before ousting Healy who to be perfectly honest is one of our all time greats.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #66669

Friends just has told about 50 players involved during a season

I don't have much to change in my list-by-order made in July
To obtain EX-ACT-LY 50 players ready to slot in
(i.e ALL either already senior capped or Irish U20 international selected)

Team 1

Denis Buckley (29)
Dave Heffernan (28)
Finlay Bealham (28)
Ultan Dillane (25)
Gavin Thornbury (25)
Sean O'Brien (24)
Colby Fainga'a (28)
Jarrad Butler (28)
Kieran Marmion (27)
Jack Carty (27)
John Porch (25)
Bundee Aki (28)
Tom Farrell (25)
Stephen Fitzgerald (23)
Tiernan O'Halloran (28)


Team 2

Paddy McAllister (30)
Shane Delahunt (25)
Dominic Robertson-McCoy (25)
Quinn Roux (28)
Joe Maksymiw (23)
Paul Boyle (22)
Eoghan Masterson (26)
Eoin McKeon (28)
Caolin Blade (25)
Kyle Godwin (27)
Matt Healy (30)
Peter Robb (25)
Tom Daly (26)
Niyi Adeolokun (28)
Darragh Leader (26)

Team 3

Matthew Burke (22)
Tom McCartney (33)
Rory Burke (25)
Cormac Daly (21)
Cillian Gallagher (22)
Niall Murray (20)
Sean Masterson (21)
Robin Copeland (31)
Stephen Kerins (23)
Conor Fitzgerald (22)
Peter Sullivan (21)
Dave Horwitz (24)
Sean O'Brien -3.0- (21)
Conor Hayes (20)
Colm De Buitlear (21) (at the end of the season)

Reserves :

Jonny Murphy (27)
Dylan Tierney-Martin (20)
Conor Kenny (23)
Angus Lloyd (26)
Conor Dean (21)

Last edit: 1 month 3 weeks ago by connachta.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #66689

Edited the first post to include the academy squad.

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1 month 34 minutes ago #66752

So O'Halloran had knee surgery, McAllister surgery or not, is out for a while. But at least "Try scorer Matt Healy was taken off with a back spasm, but is expected to be fully fit."

So
11 Healy
12 Robb
13 Godwin (covering 10)
14 Porsh
15 Fitzg
22 Farrell
23 Niyi

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3 weeks 5 days ago #66774

McAllister and O'Halloran both out till after Christmas apparently.
Hopefully enough cover for Tiernan, not sure about the front row.

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2 weeks 1 day ago #66835

Any word on a potential medical joker ( I forget the new term they're using)? We'fe definitely light on numbers in the front row.

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2 weeks 1 day ago #66838

Good news:

Connacht Rugby are delighted to announce that Tiernan O’Halloran, Sean O’Brien and Tom Farrell have all signed contract extensions with the province taking them up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

The three signings come as a further boost to Connacht as they face Leinster this weekend in the Sportsground and then return to Champions Cup action at home to Montpellier at home on Sunday week.

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2 weeks 6 hours ago #66842

Brilliant news- Jarrad commits for two more years.

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1 week 6 days ago #66853

Doubts linger over Aki and Marmion’s Connacht future

Connacht are facing an injury crisis and the long term possibility of life without Ireland internationals Kieran Marmion and Bundee Aki.

Sidelined secondrow duo Gavin Thornbury (elbow) and Quinn Roux (pec) will damage this season’s prospects in a Champions Cup Pool that includes Montpellier, Toulouse and Gloucester.

Saracens are looking to add Marmion to their squad next season but should that deal fall through a number of English Premiership clubs would sign up the 27-year-old scrumhalf.

“Kieran is very aware that we would like him to stay,” said Connacht coach Andy Friend at the Heineken EPCR launch in Cardiff .”The sort of performance that he puts out there week after week would attract many clubs. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there is four or five other clubs, whether it’s Saracens or whoever else want to talk to him good luck to them.”

Marmion struggled with Joe Schmidt’s decision to take Luke McGrath to the World Cup as the second scrumhalf.

“It’s not just as easy as turning off a tap and saying ‘that didn’t happen, put on the Connacht jersey and off I go again’. Certainly for Kieran it was a really big blow for him, a really big blow, because he missed out on the previous one [in 2015]. He worked really really hard, he got himself to where he believed he was in a good position and the selection didn’t fall his way.

Kieran Marmion has been linked with a switch from Connacht to Saracens. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Kieran Marmion has been linked with a switch from Connacht to Saracens. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
“He shared with us that he was frustrated,. He shared with us that he loves living in Galway. He shared that he has had many a fun night at the Sportsground playing for Connacht. So, from our point of view, hopefully that’s the thing that he holds on to the most when he makes the decision.”


Aki strongly considered a switch to Munster or abroad in 2016 but re-signed for Connacht only to express a sense of betrayal when former coach Pat Lam subsequently announced he was joining Bristol. He has since expressed remorse about a social media post.

“That would be nice too [to keep Aki],” said Friend. “We’re in talks about recruitment but for me it’s a lot about retention, making sure you are keeping the right people. We have got a really healthy group of players there. It’s really important we lock down the main ones who have got us to where we currently are and we view them of being a very important part of where we want to build to.”

Aki’s departure from Connacht would more than likely signal the end of his international career as Munster are in advanced talks with Springbok centre Damian de Allende while Leinster are well stocked in midfield players. The 29-year-old’s durability would command a six figure salary in France, England or Japan.

Both Aki and Jack Carty will line up against Leinster in Galway on Friday night but Friend admits the province are struggling to cope with injuries.

“We have picked up two big injuries in the last couple of weeks. One to Quinn Roux with his pec and one with Gavin Thornbury with his elbow. Both of those men had been playing great rugby. Prior to that we had Paddy McAllister with a knee injury. We have already used 35 players in our opening five games. I think there is a belief and a view that Connacht are just swimming through these first five games.

“We used 50 players last year.

“Gavin has just had surgery on that elbow so we are probably looking at into the new year for him coming back. Yeah, it’s a massive blow. Quinn we’re probably looking at hopefully two or three weeks.”

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