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4 months 2 weeks ago #66303

Reece named in All-Blacks extended squad...

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4 months 2 weeks ago #66305

Thank god our moral guardians saved us from having him taint our squad :whistle:
Fair play to the lad, knuckled down and got his reward after being treated very poorly by Connacht Rugby and and IRFU, hope he does well.

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4 months 1 week ago #66323

Interesting article here on rugby pass:
https://www.rugbypass.com/news/rugby-agent-says-players-facing-brutal-descisons
One point that jumped out at me:

And it’s becoming a buyers’ market, because supply of players exceeds demand.


If that's true I'd worry that there haven't been more signing from the Irish provinces.
I remember reading this was an issue for mid-level players in England, after Luther Burrell moved back to League, but hadn't thought it was such a widespread issue.
It could be that there's brinkmanship in waiting until after the world cup, but if there are good players available, and we're not signing any of them then it's either that we're not remotely attractive or we just don't have the fund.
Neither of which is encouraging.

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4 months 1 week ago #66324

I think you're missing the point here: nothing from this article affects Connacht in particular or Irish players in general. It doesn't matter if (often desperately mediocre) South Africans and Islanders are cheaper by the dozen as each province can only have a handful on their books at the same time.

Our playing budget has been increasing, but much of it is being used for re-signing players. When Pat Lam started at Connacht we had 6 international players, now we have 12. In addition we have a number of players - Buckley, Fainga'a, Blade, Farrell - who you could reasonably make a case for as being the best uncapped player in their position league- if not Europe-wide. Retention costs.

If you look at the likes of Pau or Montpellier in particular, signing expensive SH has-beens is not the way to go.

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4 months 1 week ago #66325

To add to the above. The IRFU would rather Connacht and the other provinces 50% of the time ( i was gonna say more than that but I wouldn't believe it), look at academy talent from elsewhere, people with an Irish Granny, players not getting gametime with their own province etc... First before looking abroad and even then the quality coming in has to be top top notch or really worth a punt as a project

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4 months 1 week ago #66326

I take the points above but 2 of our NIQs are Perch and Horwell.......one has almost no 15s experience and the other has struggled to make any impact at all.
I hope they both really push on and are star players for us next year but there is nothing in their pedigree to suggest that and according to that article mid level international players, who might not be world class but are of proven quality, are struggling to find clubs.

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4 months 1 week ago #66327

Again, you're not comparing like with like. Granted Porch is a punt & Horwill is either injury plagued or a dud, but against that Connacht have 5 NIE players next season, while the other provinces have only 3 each.

If you look at the 4 provinces, Leinster have only 5 "foreign" players (Bent and Gibson-Park are both IQ). But the other three teams have very similar makeups - Munster have 9 foreign-reared players (10 if you count Sam Arnold who was in the Ulster academy), Ulster have 10, and Connacht have 10 (12 if you count Marmion and Bealham).

Our foreign sourced players - Robertson-McCoy, McCartney, Roux, Maksymiw, Fainga'a, Butler, Horwitz, Aki, Godwin and Porch - are similar in standard to Ulster's and far better than Munsters (and, obviously, Leinster, as they have only a handful).

If there's one area we fall down in it's getting access to central contracts. Hopefully Aki renews on one next summer and we push on from there on that front.

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