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Posts Tagged ‘ Contract ’

Leinster And Ulster Continue League Table Back And Forth

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It was a great weekend for comparisons in the Rabo this week as Ian Madigan and Paddy Jackson went head to head in the RDS having been battling each other in the Ireland squad for the Six Nations. But the player news does have to play second fiddle to the headline of the week of course, the news that Declan Kidney will not be continuing as Ireland coach.

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Aussie Interest In IRFU’s Kidney Transplant?

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Ok so first things first, Declan Kidney, axe wielder extraordinaire this season, hasn’t been “dropped” just yet. But the announcement from the IRFU that he would be brought in for a discussion on his future just ahead of his final tour for which he is contracted would suggest they at least have him at the edge of the plank. Whether they will push or not remains to be seen, remember these are the same suits who renewed both his and O’Sullivan’s contracts at times that it was clear both coaches had given all they could give to Ireland. Continue reading

Bon Voyage, Jonny

JSSo yes it was confirmed by the IRFU last week, Jonathan Sexton will not be playing his club rugby in Ireland for the next two seasons at least. Of course, where he will be playing it remains a mystery as Racing Metro are still maintaining they have not signed him but with French regulations stipulating that transfers and new signings cannot be announced until later in the season, don’t expect any confirmation for a while, though how it will remain a secret until April is a mystery in itself. Still the fact remains that Ireland is losing one of its most talented and influential club players and with that has come extremely mixed reactions. Continue reading

One Last Chance For Leinster And Munster

JSFor two Irish provinces there is nothing but pride and a solidifying of a home knock out to play for. For Munster and Leinster though, there is a real chance that with the required effort they could find themselves qualifying, against all odds. Munster arguably have the sweeter position, as the last team in action they will know exactly what is required of them. For Leinster, they can do no more than try as hard as they can to win and hopefully do so with a bonus point. What they will have is the Toulon/Montpellier result in mind, letting them know if they are fighting for one of two or just the one qualifying position.

Munster have a second advantage in that they will surely have the weaker of the two oppositions. Racing are out of the equation and now have a Top 14 to play for, all in all meaning that Munster are most likely to be facing a second string side with little or no interest in the competition. Then again in their first game of the competition they faced an extremely similar side, equally not bothered, but Munster could not do anything with them. Basically what I’m trying to say is that too much focus is sitting on Munster having the easy enemy, and nearly all focus has shifted from the fact that Munster have misfired constantly in this competition this season. Against Edinburgh it took them all eighty minutes to gain a fourth try at home, the return fixture last week was sloppy and infuriating. Really they have only come to life against Saracens this year.

That other lost team though, Leinster, are working in the opposite direction. Leinster have had a disastrous season by all accounts when put up against the last three or four. They do look like they would be slightly more primed and able to get out and grab four tries however, were it not for the rock solid brick opposition that is Exeter. Unlike the Munster game, the argument for the oppositions quality is far more valid in this game. Exeter have been hockeyed in this tournament twice by Clermont and will also feel they had Leinster for the taking in the first game and let it slip. They will field a much stronger team and by in large Leinster will find it hard to get the scores needed. The shining light for them is that they are a team with a greater try scoring ability than Munster. The other two games of Irish interest do not have rankings in the mix, though Ulster still have a home quarter to nail down. The news that Nick Williams is out through injury certainly won’t help there case but a Castres team that are out of contention you would think may arrive to the ground a little disinterested, much like Racing. For Connacht they have a chance to snag a fantastic three wins after last year’s sole victory. A great result for a team still lurking on the fringes, unfairly, and a fitting send off for Elwood from European competition.

Oh and there is of course the slight issue of that Sexton fella supposedly leaving for French pastures. Somehow I feel compelled to say worry not Irish rugby fans. As much as I think it would be a great personal move for him and probably his last chance to do so, the most recent reports from the Racing camp are that he has, as most do, merely been using the French as a bargaining tool with the IRFU and will most likely stay in Ireland. Everything should become clear after the Heineken Cup games this weekend when surely the IRFU will open the cheque book and nail him down for a 3 year contract. Hopefully….

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