+1LeRouxIsPHat wrote:I can't say I'm too excited about Andy Farrell taking over, his defensive system has been found out this year and we didn't seem to be able to adapt. In general the team looks stale and I think we need big changes, but personally I want to forget about building to the next World Cup to any great extent. I think you can prepare for the long term future in a pretty natural way over the four years and take the opportunity to rotate players or try players in different positions when the opportunity presents itself rather than because you need to stick to a plan for France in 2023 e.g. playing Murray and Sexton for so long in Cardiff in order to get them ready for a World Cup 7 months later didn't need to happen and should never happen again, or if you think Joey can make a difference at fullback then play him there instead of being welded to the idea of him being the backup ten for the World Cup.
I think there's quite a few players who are looking old right now and a lot of them should be in danger for the 6N. Best is obviously gone and we need a new hooker and captain. I'd start Scannell at hooker and have Ryan as the new skipper. I'd like to see someone like Kelleher get the last hooker spot even if he's not playing for Leinster and there's no intention of playing him in the 6N.
Healy isn't going to last forever and Kilcoyne has a real chance of overtaking him soon. I would move Porter back to loosehead during the summer and try and develop him as Healy's long term replacement. He's done really well at tighthead but I think our need is greater there and having himself and Furlong in the same team could be a game changer.
Second row is a big issue, I think we're a year or two away from having depth there.
We need more power and subtlety in the back row. Deegan and Doris are obvious candidates but they're both a fair bit off being top class international players. I think our need is great enough that we slot the likes of them in quite early though, even if it's a bench spot here or there.
There's far more scope to change in the backs. We'll have James Lowe in 12 months time. Larmour was probably good enough in Japan that he could be our fullback, but I like the idea of Stockdale moving there when Lowe arrives.
I think Johnny should bench from now on. Not sure how many seasons he has left but he's just not quick enough or durable enough to be our starting ten IMO. Ten is becoming an issue for me, I don't see anyone being anywhere near as good as Johnny now, but maybe we were too reliant on him anyway? It might be a good thing to use the rest of the side more.
I think it may be better to cut Johnny altogether, I can only see him being a disruptive force if still in the squad. I was surprised when he got his 2 year central-contract, now I think that is a problem.