Connacht 2019/20/21

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OTT
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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by OTT »

sunshiner1 wrote:
Niall Murray(Lock/Buccaneers)
I find only one lock to be troubling. They really need another one just to fill out the squad. Hopefully they find an overseas signing otherwise we could be plundered again.
Connacht now have 6 contracted senior locks on their books, I am not saying they are good enough but they have contracted them so we will have to see if Friend has signed/promoted/kept the right ones.

Their main 3 are Dillane (26), Roux (29) and Thornbury (26). Two recent Irish internationals and the third a guy who looks the business if he can keep himself fit for a sustained period of time.

Then the 3 with potential are Dowling (22), Gallagher (22) and Murray (20).

Unless they are going to move Dowling or Gallagher to flanker full time they should have enough.
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leinsterforever
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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by leinsterforever »

hugonaut wrote:
sunshiner1 wrote:
Niall Murray(Lock/Buccaneers)
I find only one lock to be troubling. They really need another one just to fill out the squad. Hopefully they find an overseas signing otherwise we could be plundered again.
Might be able to pick up Darren O'Shea, who has been released by Munster. He's 27 at this stage, going into what would typically be prime age for a lock. Excellent physical characteristics at 206cm [6'9"] and 117kg [18st 4lbs]. He's still a bit of a project, but the size is a massive deal.

He has had a disappointing four year spell at Munster, but to be frank I think that van Graan is a pretty poor selector and has an incredibly poor track record of promoting from within at Munster. Most Munster players don't progress under van Graan. Erasmus played O'Shea more times in 2016-17 than Dave Foley, John Madigan or Sean McCarthy [his contemporaries] in a season where they were stupidly heavy in the second row [they also had Donnacha Ryan, Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland on the books that season]. In fact, he had the most starts and most minutes of his Munster career in that season under Erasmus.

I think he can be a useful player. He needs games, like every second row.
Yeah, O'Shea to Connacht seems like a bit of a no-brainer if they have the funds - which isn't a given. Thornbury and Roux have been fairly injury-prone, Dowling is possibly more suited to blindside (where they might need him anyway) and Niall Murray appears to be very under-developed physically for top flight rugby. I think it'd be a good move for province and player.

Someone else they should be looking at in my opinion is Billy Dardis. He's spoken about still wanting to have a career in the full game and it appears playing 7s has allowed him to get his confidence back. With Leader departing there's a bit of an opening at 15. O'Halloran can't play every game. They could double or triple his 7s salary of 23,000 (18,000 basic plus 500 bonus for each of the 10 World Series legs played) and he'd still be on relatively little money.

It'd be interesting to see how Dardis would get on now back at Leinster, but not much space for a fullback here.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by blockhead »

When I saw the headline (Connacht promote 6 players to the senior squad) I thought to myself, "Way to go westies! Thats more like it. Get that academy smokin!"
The fine print however revealed that 4 of them are actually Leinster lads. So now I'm less excited by the Connacht academy.
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ronk
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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by ronk »

leinsterforever wrote:
Yeah, O'Shea to Connacht seems like a bit of a no-brainer if they have the funds - which isn't a given. Thornbury and Roux have been fairly injury-prone, Dowling is possibly more suited to blindside (where they might need him anyway) and Niall Murray appears to be very under-developed physically for top flight rugby. I think it'd be a good move for province and player.

Someone else they should be looking at in my opinion is Billy Dardis. He's spoken about still wanting to have a career in the full game and it appears playing 7s has allowed him to get his confidence back. With Leader departing there's a bit of an opening at 15. O'Halloran can't play every game. They could double or triple his 7s salary of 23,000 (18,000 basic plus 500 bonus for each of the 10 World Series legs played) and he'd still be on relatively little money.

It'd be interesting to see how Dardis would get on now back at Leinster, but not much space for a fullback here.
Connect just had a clear out of solid pros with limited potential in late 20s or with a few years in them anyway. Why take more of the same?

Budget is unusually tight this year so not a good time to be taking punts on guys.

sunshiner1
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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by sunshiner1 »

Haven't heard anything about O'Shea so don't think he is heading West which is fair enough. Another guy whose had potential for years without really delivering on it.

betty swallocks
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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by betty swallocks »

Word on the grapevine that Connacht are in talks with an as yet unnamed back from the Jaguares.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by sunshiner1 »

Year 1:

Donnacha Byrne (back row)
Ciaran Booth (back row)
Hubert Costello (back row)
Eoin de Buitléar (hooker)
Cathal Forde (out-half)
Darragh Murray (second row)
Cian Prendergast (lock/back row)
Charlie Ward (loosehead prop)
Connacht's Year 1 crop. Gotta say I'm happy there's some good prospects in there

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by scentofgunpowder »

sunshiner1 wrote:
Year 1:

Donnacha Byrne (back row)
Ciaran Booth (back row)
Hubert Costello (back row)
Eoin de Buitléar (hooker)
Cathal Forde (out-half)
Darragh Murray (second row)
Cian Prendergast (lock/back row)
Charlie Ward (loosehead prop)
Connacht's Year 1 crop. Gotta say I'm happy there's some good prospects in there
This year's u20s are a particularly strong crop. Most of the notable talents from that team are now signed to the academy, bar Diarmuid McCormack (who will hopefully still be involved with the sub academy) and Diarmuid Kilcommins (lost to hurling).

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by sunshiner1 »

by scentofgunpowder

Diarmuid McCormack (who will hopefully still be involved with the sub academy)
What position does this guy play?

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by scentofgunpowder »

sunshiner1 wrote:
by scentofgunpowder

Diarmuid McCormack (who will hopefully still be involved with the sub academy)
What position does this guy play?
Back row.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by sunshiner1 »

Connacht are allegedly looking to sign two more players. No idea on the positions.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by Ruckedtobits »

sunshiner1 wrote:Connacht are allegedly looking to sign two more players. No idea on the positions.
Have a look at Demented Mole latest piece on Niall Murray and you'll get a very balanced, and detailed, analysis as why they need another journeyman 2nd row to get through the season ahead.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by scentofgunpowder »

Ruckedtobits wrote:
sunshiner1 wrote:Connacht are allegedly looking to sign two more players. No idea on the positions.
Have a look at Demented Mole latest piece on Niall Murray and you'll get a very balanced, and detailed, analysis as why they need another journeyman 2nd row to get through the season ahead.
I would personally prefer a no. 8 and another option in the back three, preferably a natural fullback. The Mole article was good but didn't mention Oisin Dowling, hopefully he will be able to pick up the slack if needed.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by Dave Cahill »

Connacht Rugby are delighted to announce the signings of Australian Sevens player Ben O’Donnell and Bay of Plenty number eight Abraham Papali’i.

The pair will link up with the squad before the start of the 2020/21 Guinness PRO14 season.

O’Donnell joins from the Australian Sevens programme, having played 95 matches for his country since he was handed his debut in 2017 under Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend. The 24-year-old went on to score 47 tries in that time and has been a key figure in their progression through the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series over the past three seasons.

O’Donnell was voted Australian Sevens Player of the year in 2018 and subsequently went on to be the first Australian player ever nominated for the World Sevens Player of the Year.

New Zealander Papali’i arrives from Bay of Plenty where he was a key member of the squad that won the Mitre 10 Cup Championship last year. The Auckland-born dual code player started his Rugby Union career with North Harbour before being recruited into the New Zealand Warriors (Rugby League) pathway. In 2015 Papali’i signed a two-year contract with the Sydney Roosters of the Australian National Rugby League (NRL).

Following his time with the Roosters, Papali’i joined Lézignan Sangliers in the premier French Rugby League competition before the 6’4” numbe eight returned to New Zealand and successfully restarted his Rugby Union career with Bay of Plenty.

Head Coach Andy Friend says today’s announcement is a significant boost ahead of the return to rugby.

“I am delighted to welcome Ben and Abraham to Connacht Rugby. I got to know Ben very well on the Australian Sevens scene. It did not surprise me that he went on to become such an important player for them and I am thrilled that he has chosen to join Connacht.

“Abraham is a powerful number 8 who has all the attributes to become a really valuable player for us while furthering our options in the back row. I know every Connacht supporter will be excited to see what he can offer.”

Friend expressed his excitement about the announcement and what the squad can achieve in the upcoming season.

“Today’s announcement comes on the back of discussions that started a number of months ago and we are delighted to eventually be able to share this exciting news with all of our supporters today.

“These signings bring our squad up to 43 players for next season. We have freshened up and added depth to our squad in a number of key areas, having signed a healthy blend of young exciting players who have come through our Academy system as well as bringing in some additional quality and experience from further afield.

“We are an ambitious group and I firmly believe we have all the tools we need to kick on to the next level and achieve success in what is going to be a really exciting season.”
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sunshiner1
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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by sunshiner1 »

Both shouldn't be on a huge amount of money. They are two gambles by Friend. Hopefully they work out but we will have to see. O'Donnell should be playing wing so will be interested to see who he sees at 15 to rotate with TOH.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by scentofgunpowder »

sunshiner1 wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 7:36 am
Both shouldn't be on a huge amount of money. They are two gambles by Friend. Hopefully they work out but we will have to see. O'Donnell should be playing wing so will be interested to see who he sees at 15 to rotate with TOH.
O'Donnell is out for the foreseeable with an ACL injury. Not a huge fan of any of the other options at fullback, Stephen Fitzgerald is probably the pick of the bunch but he also did his ACL back in January, not sure when he's due back. Maybe Oran McNulty will see gametime but I think I'd prefer him on the wing initially.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by sunshiner1 »

I suppose he has to use McNulty sometime and in a bunch of dead rubbers is the best scenario. We'll have to see.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by dropkick »

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _transfers

If you look at the Connacht ins and outs, on paper it might not seem like much difference in terms of talent but I think those signings will rejuvenate the squad.


They seem to have let go the 'do a job at pro14' level players mainly and brought in players who are not big names but they all have potential and that's the way to go imo. If a player has been around for a long time and reached his peak and is not going to push a team forward then you might as well give an opportunity to someone else.


Obviously Fainga'a, Godwin and McCartney are losses. McCartney wasn't the youngest and his departure will give Tierney-Martin more opportunities. So really imo Fainga'a and Godson are the only ones Connacht fans might feel disappointed to see going.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by betty swallocks »

Agreed Godwin and Fainga'a were the two departures which stung with all others being replaceable. Connacht should be delighted with some of the business done with the only obvious shortfalls now being a quality and experienced back up at 10 and a tight head lock to back up Roux.

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Re: Connacht 2019/20

Post by sunshiner1 »

Glad all you guys are so optimistic. TBH I'm not but I hope it works out for Connacht.

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