Next Connacht captain

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6 months 1 week ago - 6 months 1 week ago #60846 by Stakeknife84
Next Connacht captain was created by Stakeknife84
I haven't seen a thread here discussing and debating the merits of the candidates for next Connacht captain so I thought I'd start one. It's a tough task to take over from such an iconic figure as Mul but somebody has to do it.

I think it needs to be somebody who's a guaranteed starter and won't be away with Ireland so the obvious candidates would be McCartney and Masterson who've already captained the side this season. Personally I don't think Masterson is a guaranteed starter next season and McCartney has been poor this season (and also not a guaranteed starter.)

I like Butler (he was my pick for player of the season at the start) and I know Sean O'Brien has been mentioned although I think it might be too soon for him.

Here's a curveball: how about Copeland? He has plenty of experience and has captained Munster A in the past...
Last edit: 6 months 1 week ago by Stakeknife84.
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6 months 1 week ago #60848 by MulMan
Replied by MulMan on topic Next Connacht captain
Staying with the back row motif, and with the added bonus of being a Connacht man, but I think we could do worse than look at Eoin McKeon. He always gives a good performance, seems to be well liked and is good with media (which is only a small thing but still a plus beside his name). I'd say like you said, Butler could be a name in that hat, given his captaincy at the weekend. I hope that they go for one guy and not the 3 captains that Pat punted for in either his first or second season. Masterson seems to be the guy that's been lined up but he wouldn't be in my matchday squad for next season, with some combination of SOB, McKeon, Copeland and Butler being our optimal back row next year. If Andrew Browne was fit and starting he'd be somebody I'd have thought of as a leader but he may not even be with the senior squad next year so it won't be him. Cannon seems like a strong voice but again not guaranteed a starting slot. All the names seem to be coming from the fowards, potentially someone like Marmion or TOH could throw their names in there from the backs. But it's really tricky and there no obvious selection at the minute, which will make taking over from Mul even harder as many fans may be thinking someone else should have gotten the role.
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6 months 1 week ago #60849 by Betty Swallocks
Replied by Betty Swallocks on topic Next Connacht captain
Bundee I would say is the obvious choice. Disregard the thought that he'll be away occasionally on Irish duty. When that happens someone like Buckley or Copeland could deputise. Bundee is a de facto on field leader even now and this would be an obvious progression.

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6 months 1 week ago #60850 by salmson
Replied by salmson on topic Next Connacht captain

Betty Swallocks wrote: Bundee I would say is the obvious choice. Disregard the thought that he'll be away occasionally on Irish duty. When that happens someone like Buckley or Copeland could deputise. Bundee is a de facto on field leader even now and this would be an obvious progression.


The part-time captain thing works for Munster/O'Mahony, not so well for Ulster/Best. Nacewa does very well for Leinster from the backs though I'm generally not a fan of backs as captains, possibly because I have bad memories of Duffy repeatedly trotting 60 yards up the pitch to find that the ref and the other (forward) captain had finished tea and scones, put the world to rights, and weren't interested in hearing from Gav.

I'd go for a forward who's not Finlay ;-) and is a nailed on starter, which rules out one obvious successor in McCartney.

Dillane, Roux, SOB or Butler for me.

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6 months 1 week ago #60851 by Bazzo
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Betty Swallocks wrote: Bundee I would say is the obvious choice. Disregard the thought that he'll be away occasionally on Irish duty. When that happens someone like Buckley or Copeland could deputise. Bundee is a de facto on field leader even now and this would be an obvious progression.


Do we really want Bundee being the man communicating with the ref?? Brilliant leader for the team but no, I don't think so.

As things stand I'd say it will be Butler or Masterson. McCartney was the obvious choice up until this season.
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6 months 1 week ago #60852 by salmson
Replied by salmson on topic Next Connacht captain

Bazzo wrote: As things stand I'd say it will be Butler or Masterson. McCartney was the obvious choice up until this season.


Masterson didn't start against Gloucester (even with SOB ineligible), or for that matter in any of the 5 games since the (home) Zebre debacle, and he only started 2 of the 5 Interpros so far this season. Two years ago prior to his injury he looked nailed on as Mul's replacement as captain, but I can't see it now. Think you've hit the nail on the head with Butler.

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6 months 1 week ago #60863 by Betty Swallocks
Replied by Betty Swallocks on topic Next Connacht captain
I would've thought leading by example would be a prime need - hence Bundee. Butler is certainly a possibility, or perhaps Dillane.
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6 months 1 week ago #60865 by Decadence
Replied by Decadence on topic Next Connacht captain
I'd like to see Denis Buckley considered, a great servant to Connacht rugby, and probably the only guaranteed starter in that pack.

"Our march is quite slow y'know, when we get to where we want to get to, it's going to take time, but when we get there it's going to be fantastic." - Johnny O'Connor 2013
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6 months 1 week ago #60866 by sea_point
Replied by sea_point on topic Next Connacht captain
If a Captain is being named, it has to be someone who is going to be available for most of the season. They've got to be a week to week influence on the Squad.
And damne near an 80mins player as makes no odds. You can't really have somebody being replaced with 20mins to go, so that's front rows out generally...

For practical reasons selection has to exclude our Internationals, and I'd be happy enough with them just slotting back in a beefing up the match-day squad.
If I was looking at our Internationals, it'd be Marmion every day of the week. I'd leave Bundee to concentrate on doing what Bundee does..

Excluding the Internationals, I'd give it to Andre Browne in a heartbeat if he could stay fit. Really you're looking at Butler and if he comes in with the right attitude Copeland.
Personally I wouldn't have back three as Captain (only long term one I can think of over the years was Bruce Reihana at Saints, so probably lots of good reasons for that)

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6 months 1 week ago #60868 by phatguerilla
Replied by phatguerilla on topic Next Connacht captain
Second the call for Buckley (as if its down to a vote lol), always gives 100%, smart player who has developed from personal problems trying to make it as a pro player into an admirable character in the team - should command respect amongst squad and certain level of admiration or inspiration for youngsters coming through. Very often plays 80 and generally 60-70. Bonus points for being allowed in the refs ear when scrums or rucks are going against us.
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6 months 1 week ago - 6 months 1 week ago #60869 by RogueXV
Replied by RogueXV on topic Next Connacht captain
Love Bundee as a player but not as captain. Too emotional at times, you'd want your captain to be levelheaded at all times when dealing with the refs. Second Salmson on ruling out TOH as fullback is just too far from the action. Was throwing around Buckley myself, but as S_P mentioned in this day and age how many front rowers see out the full 80. You'd want your leader out there for the final 15-20 minutes of most games. It's probably easier to discount players for one reason or another. ATM, I would consider Butler, Marmion or possibly one of the second row if they could prove durable enough from a health standpoint.

Edit: After Phatguerilla's pitch for Denis, had a quick look at his playing time in the league this year. He's averaged about 70 minutes per game going the full 80 in 5 of the 13 he was involved in.
Last edit: 6 months 1 week ago by RogueXV.
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6 months 1 week ago #60870 by RoadRunnerR1
Replied by RoadRunnerR1 on topic Next Connacht captain
Personally, apart from maybe Butler or Copeland, I can't really see anybody in our current squad as an ideal candidate for many of the stated reasons like not being a guaranteed starter, not an 80 min. player ect. But most of all the biggest fear I have is that when Mul hasn't been on the field this season, nobody else ever came close to putting their hand up as likely captain material. I'm sure that blame for the shambles that has been our season so far can be equally shared among players, coaches and the organisation generally. But the one thing above all that has shocked me is the lack of leadership, communication and genuine heart this season. Do we really believe players like Sexton, Best or O'Mahony to name but a few would ever have allowed the rubbish we've witnessed time and again this season to ever pass as acceptable. We need a guy in the mould of Alun Wyn Jones or Paul O'Connell if we are ever to progress and get back to where we were two years ago so my suspicion, borne more out of hope than expectation is that we haven't yet signed our captain for next season

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6 months 1 week ago #60871 by Mark Mostyn
Replied by Mark Mostyn on topic Next Connacht captain
Sean O’Brien is a funny one. Captained Galwegians from minis all the way up, captained Roscrea SCT, Ireland u18s and u20s. However I can’t remember him ever captaining the Eagles, which would have been the logical next step, and I can’t say I’ve seen obvious signs of leadership from him on the senior team from the sidelines.

Agree with the comments above, really think we lack leadership, which is the main reason I’ve been spouting about signing a Johann Muller type lock since forever.
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6 months 6 days ago #60873 by MulMan
Replied by MulMan on topic Next Connacht captain
In regards to Front rows not being suitable due to being usually only 60 min players, 3 of the 6 nations teams are led from the front row, and Scotland and Italy have had Ford and Ghiraldini in the past, so I see no obstacle there. But realistically we don't have any standout leaders at all, no obvious successor like POM to POC or Henderson to Best. We're losing something massive in losing Mul, in the past when you compared the 4 provincial captains you always knew we were on at least a par in that category. He was a leader that other teams respected, now you think there's no player that other teams will be thinking "oh ya, he's playing today, we're in for a tough one".

Whoever we go for it'll be a step down, which is a poor reflection on the team. All the top sides in the league have multiple big leader, Owens/Barclay/Davies/Halfpenny at Scarlets Gray/Wilson/Pyrgos/Harley at Glasgow Nel/Ford/Watson/McKenzie/Bennett at Edinburgh and we all know of the leaders in the teams through the other provinces. Given that the team doesn't appear to be primarily led by the coach in the same way as we had with Lam or Elwood makes an on field even more important. Personally I'm not overly keen on someone coming in and being made captain straight away, but if someone of the stature of Craig Clarke comes in then I could get behind it, hopefully it would go a little better than it did back then though.

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6 months 6 days ago #60874 by Stakeknife84
Replied by Stakeknife84 on topic Next Connacht captain
I think we can all agree that there is no stand out candidate in the current Connacht squad...which makes my initial suggestion of Copeland not as mad as it seems.

Maybe Keane has somebody up his sleeve. We haven't had any new forward signings (except for Copeland) so a Craig Clarke signing might be in the offing.

Whoever it is it's crucial that they don't allow the tripe that we saw in the last 15 mins against Ospreys to happen again.

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6 months 6 days ago #60875 by FACECUTTR
Replied by FACECUTTR on topic Next Connacht captain
I really don't think we have a current player who is a standout candidate for captain.
Maybe there's somebody on the way in who could but we really haven't a clue what's gonna happen there.
Our defence is a shambles most of the time and that's down to the guys on the pitch I think. When we have Mul and Butler together along with Bundee and Marmion we are a different team. We can defend and attack very well. That's the 4 leaders. 1 is going and 2 are internationals who we lose to the Irish setup and that leaves Butler.
He gets my vote.
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