Tighthead Prop going forward

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mildlyinterested
Shane Jennings
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Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

With the departure of two academy TH Props to other provinces, but the re-signing of Andrew Porter, I thought i'd look at where tighthead stands as of June 2020:

Michael Bent(34) - 6'1, 120kg. Signed contract in 2020.
Tadhg Furlong(27) - 6'0, 123kg. Contract ends in 2021.
Andrew Porter(24) - 6'0, 125kg. Signed contract in 2020.
Vakh Abdaladze(24) - 6'2, 116kg. Signed contract in 2020.
Tom Clarkson(20) - 6'0, 113kg. Academy Yr 2.

Furlong/Porter will continue to compete to be 1st choice, Bent could be entering his final season as a leinster player, Vakh will hope to make up for lost time returning from a back injury which meant he missed out on game time last season. Clarkson will likely be called upon earlier than expected for the senior team, how fast he progresses will be interesting to watch after impressing a lot as an under-20.

Possible academy entrants:
Sam Illo(U20/Wesley/Old Wesley)
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Ben Griffin(U20/Castleknock/DUFC)
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Aaron Rowan(U20/Athy RFC-Blackrock)
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Three projects at U20 level who each have a lot to prove if they are going to make the academy proper. Rory McGuire(Blackrock) and George Hadden(Gorey RFC) are two notable younger tightheads who look like potential academy level prospects.
Last edited by mildlyinterested on June 29th, 2020, 1:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

OTT
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by OTT »

Bent is low mileage, he looks as good as ever to me. He has held our scrum up in 9 unbeaten starts this season. He is twice the player that we signed all those years ago. His age in isolation is a worry but the way he has performed I would think he has a few years left in the tank if that is the way he decided to go, maybe he will decide he wants to head home sooner.

I am always happy to see him in the 23 with one of the younger lads for tricky league games. If the two younger boys push on quickly then obviously that would be great.

*And thanks for throwing up these posts, always enjoyable reading.
Last edited by OTT on June 29th, 2020, 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ronk
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

It looks good enough that our risk is losing people. Losing McGrath on the other side really changed the situation at loosehead. We’ve lost 2 props out of the pipeline early and it looks ok so far. It’s a sign of faith in Vak and/or Clarkson because we could have offered more chances to Salanoa or Aungier by cutting Vak or Bent.

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ronk
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

Bent has been durable and hasn’t slowed down so far. He likely has years at his level.

Theleinsterlad
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by Theleinsterlad »

Bent has played his best rugby so far this season and even could be seen doing more stuff around the park as well. Thought last season this was his last year but am more than happy to see him here for one more year to give Vakh time to grow further into the position as 3rd choice

mildlyinterested
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

Vakh's back injury re-occurring isn't great news given lack of depth..

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neiliog93
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by neiliog93 »

Michael Bent has been and is an incredibly useful squad member. I would trust him to lock down a scrum for the last 20 minutes even against top European opposition, and hold his own in the loose. A brilliant option to have as a third choice.
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ronk
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

3rd choice and 3rd choice behind 2 automatic choice internationals are quite different things.

mildlyinterested
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

Might leinster look at bringing in a club TH prop given lack of depth?

down 3 TH props when compared to this time last year.

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LeinsterLeader
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by LeinsterLeader »

mildlyinterested wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 11:04 am
Might leinster look at bringing in a club TH prop given lack of depth?

down 3 TH props when compared to this time last year.
Well let's speculate Mildly ....... (what else have we got to do :D )

So who'd be the best men/man for the job Mildly? Anyone out there you thing has been missed by Leinster and could make an impact?

mildlyinterested
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

LeinsterLeader wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 11:44 am
mildlyinterested wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 11:04 am
Might leinster look at bringing in a club TH prop given lack of depth?

down 3 TH props when compared to this time last year.
Well let's speculate Mildly ....... (what else have we got to do :D )

So who'd be the best men/man for the job Mildly? Anyone out there you thing has been missed by Leinster and could make an impact?
no one comes to mind immediately.. JP Phelan at Tarf could be a possibility but there aren't many TH's knocking around that would stand out off the top of my head.

Adam Coyle another option, maybe.

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LeinsterLeader
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by LeinsterLeader »

mildlyinterested wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 11:51 am
LeinsterLeader wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 11:44 am
mildlyinterested wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 11:04 am
Might leinster look at bringing in a club TH prop given lack of depth?

down 3 TH props when compared to this time last year.
Well let's speculate Mildly ....... (what else have we got to do :D )

So who'd be the best men/man for the job Mildly? Anyone out there you thing has been missed by Leinster and could make an impact?
no one comes to mind immediately.. JP Phelan at Tarf could be a possibility but there aren't many TH's knocking around that would stand out off the top of my head.

Adam Coyle another option, maybe.
Yeah good TH's a rarer then hens teeth alright. I wonder if there wasn't anyone would the IRFU permit an NIQ signing (finances permitting)? Maybe someone coming to the end of this career who could fill the hole but not block any pathway long term. Probably not!

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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

No I imagine not.

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ronk
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by ronk »

Furlong and Porter need game time before the internationals start, so they’re available for the end of the season.

Once they go into camp we will see how we are. Maybe we try with Bent and Clarkson while Aungier and Salanoa ride pine. Funny how often that happens.

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cormac
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by cormac »

What's Jamie Hagan doing these days? :shock:
Look out Itchy, he's Irish

mildlyinterested
Shane Jennings
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

Pro D2 i think..

mildlyinterested
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

Seems like they are backing Clarkson hard to step up
The worry in all of this is that when Furlong and Porter head off to Ireland camp in late October for a run of six Tests in seven weeks that lasts into December, the experienced Bent could be left with a huge workload on his hands in the new 2020/21 Pro14 season.

Obviously, Leinster and Abdaladze hope they can find a solution for his back issue, but they’re also confident that 20-year-old tighthead Thomas Clarkson, who is now into Year 2 of the academy, can bridge the gap this autumn if, and likely when, pressed into senior action.

Clarkson has been a key man for the Ireland U20s over the last two seasons, helping them to a Grand Slam last year and then three wins from three in the 2020 campaign that was confirmed as cancelled yesterday.

So while it might be a challenge for Leinster, they’re excited about the potential Trinity man Clarkson – who is training with them in pre-season – has shown, according to assistant coach and scrum specialist Robin McBryde.

“Obviously we’re going to lose Andrew and Tadhg [in the autumn] but then it’s going to be an interesting mix,” said McBryde. “You’ve got the experience of Michael Bent and then you’ve got the young prospect of Thomas Clarkson, who has pretty much played every single minute of each Ireland U20 match over the last couple of seasons.

“His integration into the group has been fantastic really and we were just commenting earlier as coaches, looking back on the footage of today’s training, how well he has fitted in and adapted to the different demands, the step-up into this environment.

“He’s a really exciting player, so there’s a couple of ways we could play with that. You could start with experience and bring on some youth. Or you can start with the youngster, let him make a couple of mistakes maybe, and then bring the experienced head off the bench and finish the game off.

“It’s an interesting combination but between the four of them, it’s a great mix to have.”
https://www.the42.ie/clarkson-leinster- ... 8-Aug2020/

FLIP
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by FLIP »

ronk wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 1:59 pm
Furlong and Porter need game time before the internationals start, so they’re available for the end of the season.

Once they go into camp we will see how we are. Maybe we try with Bent and Clarkson while Aungier and Salanoa ride pine. Funny how often that happens.
Will Aungier be riding pine at Connacht? Not using poached signings except as bench warmers and tackle bag holders is more of a turnip thing.
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mildlyinterested
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by mildlyinterested »

FLIP wrote:
August 7th, 2020, 8:45 am
ronk wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 1:59 pm
Furlong and Porter need game time before the internationals start, so they’re available for the end of the season.

Once they go into camp we will see how we are. Maybe we try with Bent and Clarkson while Aungier and Salanoa ride pine. Funny how often that happens.
Will Aungier be riding pine at Connacht? Not using poached signings except as bench warmers and tackle bag holders is more of a turnip thing.
He won't be starting anyway..

leinsterforever
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Re: Tighthead Prop going forward

Post by leinsterforever »

ronk wrote:
August 6th, 2020, 1:59 pm
Furlong and Porter need game time before the internationals start, so they’re available for the end of the season.

Once they go into camp we will see how we are. Maybe we try with Bent and Clarkson while Aungier and Salanoa ride pine. Funny how often that happens.
Clarkson will probably be in the matchday squad for every game where the internationals are unavailable. While Abdaladze's out anyway.

Aungier could see reasonable gametime as third choice behind Bealham and Robertson-McCoy. Will he get more minutes than Clarkson?

Salanoa will probably struggle to get significant gametime being fourth choice behind Ryan, Archer and Knox and with Munster not very likely to have much in the way of international call-ups.

Interesting how things work out.

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