Loosehead Prop going forward

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mildlyinterested
Shane Jennings
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Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

With only 3 senior LH Props in the senior squad and Cian Healy while still going strong entering his mid 30's, i've read some people saying that a NIQ signing at loosehead may be needed and warranted in the near future. Below is a breakdown of the options going forward:

Cian Healy(32) - 6'1, 117kg. Contract ends in 2021.
Ed Byrne(27) - 5'11, 111kg. Signed new contract in 2020.
Peter Dooley(26) - 6'0, 116kg. Signed new contract in 2020.
Michael Milne(21) - 5'11, 114kg. Academy Yr 3.

What level can Dooley reach? How long does Healy have left? Can Ed Byrne stay healthy? How much potential does Milne have?

Potential academy entrants:
Marcus Hanan(20/Clane RFC/Old Belvedere) - 6'0, 106kg
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Hugo O'Malley(19/Blackrock) - 6'1
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Jack Boyle(18/St. Michaels) - 6'0
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This of course discounts a potential move across from tighthead by Andrew Porter(24) or Tom Clarkson(20)
Last edited by mildlyinterested on June 30th, 2020, 10:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

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ronk
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

Or Michael Bent in a pinch.

I dont see the logic of a signing now. Byrne and Dooley will be hungry for game time and havent hit their ceiling yet.

Milne could do with gametime too. I think its just a position where we accept that we have less depth and we sign a joker if things go wrong.

Jonny tight lips
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by Jonny tight lips »

Yeah, this is the big one to worry about in my opinion. Cian has had his injuries over the year and there is a huge step down behind him in terms of quality and experience. I’ve been of the much maligned opinion that porter should be shunted across given the age of Cian and Furlong and the potential coming through at tighthead as of last month.

Byrne and Dooley have had their chances and haven’t looked like anything better than good Pro14 players and you would imagine Milne would of gotten a senior contract like Baird, Dunne and Baird if the coaches rated him highly. Boyle is supposed to be the next big thing so looking fireweed you seeing him get some game time for the As next year if a competition gets organised for them.

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ronk
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

Baird will probably play for the Irish team this season.

Dunne was getting capped the season before last and bar injury would have played this season, probably enough to get promoted. Also Connacht signed Dowling, if they offered him a contract then they would have been interested in Dunne too. So we mightn't have had a choice to keep Dunne in the academy.

mildlyinterested
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

Jonny tight lips wrote:Yeah, this is the big one to worry about in my opinion. Cian has had his injuries over the year and there is a huge step down behind him in terms of quality and experience. I’ve been of the much maligned opinion that porter should be shunted across given the age of Cian and Furlong and the potential coming through at tighthead as of last month.

Byrne and Dooley have had their chances and haven’t looked like anything better than good Pro14 players and you would imagine Milne would of gotten a senior contract like Baird, Dunne and Baird if the coaches rated him highly. Boyle is supposed to be the next big thing so looking fireweed you seeing him get some game time for the As next year if a competition gets organised for them.
Think Dooley has looked well capable of european level rugby this season, turns 26 at the start of august, could easily see him maturing into a top quality loosehead in the coming years similar to Jack Mc's progression.

How quickly Boyle progresses depends on his physical maturation, not sure he will be play A rugby in 2020 but could be off with that given his talent as a rugby player.

Jonny tight lips
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by Jonny tight lips »

There’s certainly a lot of love for Dooley but he’s been around a long time and at 26/27 Jack McGrath was a test lion. I don’t personally see Potential comparison but I hope I’m wrong. I don’t think it would be completely unreasonable for us to consider a NIQ, NIE next summer considering our whole squad will be IQ if Fardy leaves as expected. I don’t anticipate a more pressing need arising.

wixfjord
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by wixfjord »

Jonny tight lips wrote:There’s certainly a lot of love for Dooley but he’s been around a long time and at 26/27 Jack McGrath was a test lion. I don’t personally see Potential comparison but I hope I’m wrong. I don’t think it would be completely unreasonable for us to consider a NIQ, NIE next summer considering our whole squad will be IQ if Fardy leaves as expected. I don’t anticipate a more pressing need arising.
I think Jack *was* a level above Dooley, maybe not any more.

Don't think Dooley has the potential to be a test Lion.

However I do think he has the size and ability to be a good #2 for us at Euro level.

The issue is if Cian gets injured/slows down considerably, is Dooley/Byrne good enough to be or #1/#2?

Hopefully Cian has 2/3 years left in him and we'll have an academy replacement in Milne/Boyle or AN Other.

leinsterforever
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by leinsterforever »

I wouldn't have any misgivings about Dooley and Byrne as no. 1 and no. 2. I think they're both excellent players. Byrne's injury record would have to be a concern, though. It might just be a case of getting another squad player in there so there's sufficient depth - someone coming off the u20s if they'd be ready for a small amount of league action, or, alternatively, a Conor Maguire/Adam Coyle level player from the AIL.

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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

Healy is a freak, its not fair to set that level of expectation at any player who isnt a freak. Its like dismissing someone for being a step down from BOD. Everyone is gonna fail that test.

Byrne and Dooley are good players with the potential to be Kilcoyne good, or maybe a bit better.

Leinster did have a freak loosened. We moved him to tighthead and it worked out really well.

joooooe
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by joooooe »

ronk wrote:Healy is a freak, its not fair to set that level of expectation at any player who isnt a freak. Its like dismissing someone for being a step down from BOD. Everyone is gonna fail that test.

Byrne and Dooley are good players with the potential to be Kilcoyne good, or maybe a bit better.

Leinster did have a freak loosened. We moved him to tighthead and it worked out really well.
I think sometimes we forget how fortunate we have been (and continue to be) by having Cian Healy. He won a senior cup at 17 and made his debut at 19 in 2007 and was first choice in the victorious HC campaign when he was 21. Even then he looked physically mature (though perhaps not mentally, if you look at his yellow in the semi at Croke Park). Try to imagine a 21 year old prop with that responsibility now. Fast forward 11 years and, despite the guts of 2 seasons injured, he is set to be a test centurion later this year and perhaps become Leinster's most capped player ever at some point too

You can't set the bar at that level for younger players as they'll almost certainly disappoint. Peter Dooley is maturing into a very fine player, well capable of holding his own against any TH if he is in a good pack. Ed Byrne would be first choice at many of our league rivals so as a 3rd choice for Leinster that will do fine. What we could do with is a bolter from the academy like we have seen with Kelleher at hooker, Porter at TH or Larmour at FB to put pressure on the established order.
Last edited by joooooe on June 28th, 2020, 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ronk
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

Healy also had the advantage of not having test Lions in front of him during his development. He was outstanding but he didn’t have the same fight as Dooley or Byrne.

Byrne was highly touted coming out of school but more as a ball player than a muscle man and he also had a severe enough injury that most players would end their career if they just start off.

alanair
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by alanair »

ronk wrote:Healy is a freak, its not fair to set that level of expectation at any player who isnt a freak. Its like dismissing someone for being a step down from BOD. Everyone is gonna fail that test.

Byrne and Dooley are good players with the potential to be Kilcoyne good, or maybe a bit better.

Leinster did have a freak loosened. We moved him to tighthead and it worked out really well.
I don’t quite get the ‘Kilcoyne good’ reference - He’s good around the field ok ( given space) but he’s a really bad ( and always illegal) scrummager

wixfjord
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by wixfjord »

alanair wrote:
ronk wrote:Healy is a freak, its not fair to set that level of expectation at any player who isnt a freak. Its like dismissing someone for being a step down from BOD. Everyone is gonna fail that test.

Byrne and Dooley are good players with the potential to be Kilcoyne good, or maybe a bit better.

Leinster did have a freak loosened. We moved him to tighthead and it worked out really well.
I don’t quite get the ‘Kilcoyne good’ reference - He’s good around the field ok ( given space) but he’s a really bad ( and always illegal) scrummager
Don't think that's the case any more. He has hugely improved in this area. In fact he was building a good case to be ahead of Healy during the 6N.

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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by Morf »

ronk wrote:Healy also had the advantage of not having test Lions in front of him during his development. He was outstanding but he didn’t have the same fight as Dooley or Byrne.

Byrne was highly touted coming out of school but more as a ball player than a muscle man and he also had a severe enough injury that most players would end their career if they just start off.
It wasn't one severe injury rather two in a row. One was knee ligaments - not totally sure of the other but similar time out from it.

Lost pretty much two seasons because of them.

FLIP
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by FLIP »

wixfjord wrote:
alanair wrote:I don’t quite get the ‘Kilcoyne good’ reference - He’s good around the field ok ( given space) but he’s a really bad ( and always illegal) scrummager
Don't think that's the case any more. He has hugely improved in this area. In fact he was building a good case to be ahead of Healy during the 6N.
I know you love to have a "fair" opinion of Munster players but he's not improving at all at the scrum. All it will take is one switched on ref and he'll be giving away scrum penalties on demand. I've yet to see him scrum straight in a situation where he's physically pressured.
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by Morf »

FLIP wrote:
wixfjord wrote:
alanair wrote:I don’t quite get the ‘Kilcoyne good’ reference - He’s good around the field ok ( given space) but he’s a really bad ( and always illegal) scrummager
Don't think that's the case any more. He has hugely improved in this area. In fact he was building a good case to be ahead of Healy during the 6N.
I know you love to have a "fair" opinion of Munster players but he's not improving at all at the scrum. All it will take is one switched on ref and he'll be giving away scrum penalties on demand. I've yet to see him scrum straight in a situation where he's physically pressured.
See: if only refs could see McCaw coming in from the side/off his feet/etc

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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by FLIP »

Morf wrote:
See: if only refs could see McCaw coming in from the side/off his feet/etc
Not straight in the scrum is far easier to see than in from the side, and once you've seen it once there's only one place you need to check each time.
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wixfjord
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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by wixfjord »

FLIP wrote:
I know you love to have a "fair" opinion of Munster players .

What does that mean? :lol:

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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by wixfjord »

If you look at Munster's scrum or indeed compare his and Healy's scrummaging in this year's 6N there isn't much evidence for what you're saying above.

Now I think Healy is still a better player (and a better scrummager overall), but the gap has definitely narrowed.

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Re: Loosehead Prop going forward

Post by FLIP »

wixfjord wrote:If you look at Munster's scrum or indeed compare his and Healy's scrummaging in this year's 6N there isn't much evidence for what you're saying above.

Now I think Healy is still a better player (and a better scrummager overall), but the gap has definitely narrowed.
If you can't tell angles of scrummaging you need to get some glasses
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