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Who replaces Cian Healy?

  • 30-10-2020 9:07am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,024 bayern


    Cian Healy gets his 100th cap this weekend for Ireland and while not done, at 33 he is nearing the end of his long international career.

    Who do you think will replace him as 1st choice irish loosehead? and when?

    Options*:

    Munster
    Dave Kilcoyne(32)
    James Cronin(30)
    Jeremy Loughman(25)
    Liam O'Connor(25)
    James French(22)
    Josh Wycherley(21)

    Ulster
    Jack McGrath(31)
    Kyle McCall(28)
    Eric O'Sullivan(25)
    Callum Reid(21)

    Connacht
    Paddy McAllister(31)
    Denis Buckley(30)
    Matthew Burke(23)
    Jordan Duggan(22)

    Leinster
    Ed Byrne(27)
    Peter Dooley(26)
    Andrew Porter(24)
    Michael Milne(21)

    Other
    Conan O'Donnell(24)

    Who replaces Cian Healy? 45 votes

    Dave Kilcoyne
    68% 31 votes
    Jack McGrath
    11% 5 votes
    Denis Buckley
    0% 0 votes
    Ed Byrne
    6% 3 votes
    James Cronin
    4% 2 votes
    Eric O'Sullivan
    2% 1 vote
    Peter Dooley
    6% 3 votes
    Other
    0% 0 votes


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    Obviously Kilcoyne in the short term but he turns 32 in several weeks so will be little more than a stop gap.

    It's completely up for grabs. Ed Byrne has a great chance once he gets past Healy for Leinster as he'll develop further with the challenges that come from facing top club opposition regularly.

    Eric O'Sullivan is in a very strong position too given his age and exposure already.

    The academy lads like Milne and Wycherley are completely unknown quantities in senior rugby in reality so I don't think anyone can really comment on them with any authority.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,224 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    Healy broke through young and established himself as the starting Irish loosehead quite quickly. I don't think there is anyone on the radar that will replicate that kind of ascension but I'm not familiar enough with some of the emerging underage talent to say one way or another outside of those who have already played in the league.

    Depending on how quickly he could reacclimatise to the other side of the scrum there is an argument that our best post Healy prop options would be Porter at loose head and Furlong at tighthead. Ed Byrne right now is in the driving seat otherwise and whilst he is likely nipping at Healy's heels at the moment I don't think he has the same ceiling (albeit time in the driving seat as Buer suggests might remedy that somewhat).

    Loosehead and hooker are emerging as problem positions for Ireland but we've been here before and the provinces have done well at shoehorning talent to fill gaps.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,215 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    In form over the last 18 months, if kilcoyne wasn't injured he'd be starting tomorrow.

    However he is, and he's not. Healy is the next best current option, and Ed byrne is a very very close second behind him. I could see Byrne amassing 30-40 caps in the next few years until one the likes of EOS or milne or another young guy progresses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,470 ✭✭✭ Jump_In_Jack


    Eric O'Sullivan, Jeremy Loughman and Peter Dooley would be my guesses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,026 ✭✭✭✭ Squidgy Black


    Think it'll be Kilcoyne and Byrne for the next year or two until the likes of Eric O'Sullivan steps up or if one of the others like Dooley or Loughman overtakes one of the provincial starters or starts getting more game time. Wouldn't be surprised to see Buckley come back into the fold as well depending on injuries etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    Think it'll be Kilcoyne and Byrne for the next year or two until the likes of Eric O'Sullivan steps up or if one of the others like Dooley or Loughman overtakes one of the provincial starters or starts getting more game time. Wouldn't be surprised to see Buckley come back into the fold as well depending on injuries etc.

    Buckley has never been in the fold and at 30 years of age, I don't see him being brought in. He's probably one of the most unfortunate guys in Irish rugby in terms of national selection.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,215 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Think it'll be Kilcoyne and Byrne for the next year or two until the likes of Eric O'Sullivan steps up or if one of the others like Dooley or Loughman overtakes one of the provincial starters or starts getting more game time. Wouldn't be surprised to see Buckley come back into the fold as well depending on injuries etc.

    I would be highly surprised unless its biblical level injury crisis.

    I see Jordan duggan overtaking Buckley before he gets another sniff at a cap


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 94 ✭✭✭ D15er


    Think it will likely be AN Other. Kilcoyne is very good but too old to be a long-term solution. McGrath is the second-best LH we've ever had but looks to be done. The likes of Byrne, Dooley and Cronin are excellent provincial players but I don't see a test prop among them.

    Hopefully one of the younger guys can step up in the next year or two.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,397 ✭✭✭ DellyBelly


    I like Cronin. Think he could do the job there.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,925 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatFromHue


    No one can replace Healy, no one!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,038 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    Ed Byrne could well have a very similar career to Jack McGrath.

    Jack McGrath didn't make his International debut until he was 24. As far as highlight reels go, McGrath wouldn't have a lot of big moments. But he offered a lot and got himself 3 test lions caps and 50+ Irish caps is a serious return for a player who wouldn't be considered flashy or highly rated and wouldn't get into many peoples great XVs for Leinster or Ireland.

    Ed is a really effective player, great hands, mobility and work rate. He hasn't been tested by an world class tighthead in a game of note yet. But all evidence points to him being a top class scrummager thus far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,024 bayern


    Byrne's never going to be a difference maker physically.. so needs to use his skills to be a difference maker.. hope to see him push those on as he displayed a lot of very good skills when he was younger.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    DellyBelly wrote: »
    I like Cronin. Think he could do the job there.

    Again, age isn't his friend. He's 30 in a few weeks. That gives him a few strong years as a prop but he has a lot of work to do given he's not even in Irish training squads. He was winning turnovers for fun the other night but also missed a bad tackle.

    I'd honestly say Loughman has a better shot than Cronin long term.

    I think we're looking at a Healy/Kilcoyne/Byrne scenario for the next 18 months whilst we bed in one of the younger options.

    The biggest issue is that we have older first choice props in all the provinces. The younger guys need to be getting game time against Wasps, Exeter, Racing, Toulouse etc. to test and develop them. The only one I see realistically getting that in the short term is Eric O'Sullivan unless we consider Ed Byrne young at 27. In fairness, he could have another 7 years of good rugby ahead of him and has very few miles on the clock.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,775 ✭✭✭ shootermacg


    Buer wrote: »
    Again, age isn't his friend. He's 30 in a few weeks. That gives him a few strong years as a prop but he has a lot of work to do given he's not even in Irish training squads. He was winning turnovers for fun the other night but also missed a bad tackle.

    I'd honestly say Loughman has a better shot than Cronin long term.

    I think we're looking at a Healy/Kilcoyne/Byrne scenario for the next 18 months whilst we bed in one of the younger options.

    The biggest issue is that we have older first choice props in all the provinces. The younger guys need to be getting game time against Wasps, Exeter, Racing, Toulouse etc. to test and develop them. The only one I see realistically getting that in the short term is Eric O'Sullivan unless we consider Ed Byrne young at 27. In fairness, he could have another 7 years of good rugby ahead of him and has very few miles on the clock.

    Two years gives the younger guys 2 years to develop at club level. I'd have him over Healy currently. Yes he did miss a tackle, but he put in a hell of a performance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,024 bayern


    DonVito wrote: »
    In the short term after Healy hangs it up I would imagine his Leinster jersey will fall to Ed Byrne, who will in turn hold the starting Ireland jersey.

    Long term, I'd say there's two likely scenarios.
    1 - Andrew Porter switches back to LH. Pretty likely in my opinion. He's not shy to do what he thinks is best for his career. Negotiating himself a pro contract almost straight out of school. Switching to Tight Head to get more game-time. I could definitely see him switching back if he feels there's more bread to be made there.

    2 - A.N. Other. I don't feel super comfortable talking about young guys but I think Leinster have a couple of options that will/should emerge in the next 2-3 seasons. I'll leave it at that.

    Porter did two years in the sub-academy out of school... which is uncontracted.

    Of course once in the academy he moved to a senior contract quickly along with James Ryan.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,248 kingofthekong


    I reckon Porter will be switched back , that way you get him and Furlong on the pitch at the same time : everyone else is really just a stop gap until someone very talented emerges , which Milne or Whycherly could be , sadly Jack Boyle will take another few years before he’s even ready for the pro14 but he’s the next Uber talented loosehead


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭ realhorrorshow


    Ed Byrne could well have a very similar career to Jack McGrath.

    Jack McGrath didn't make his International debut until he was 24. As far as highlight reels go, McGrath wouldn't have a lot of big moments. But he offered a lot and got himself 3 test lions caps and 50+ Irish caps is a serious return for a player who wouldn't be considered flashy or highly rated and wouldn't get into many peoples great XVs for Leinster or Ireland.

    Ed is a really effective player, great hands, mobility and work rate. He hasn't been tested by an world class tighthead in a game of note yet. But all evidence points to him being a top class scrummager thus far.

    Jack McGrath started to decline quite young but he was definitely top 5 in the world for a few years (maybe around 2013-2015ish?).

    As to Healy's replacement, think Kilcoyne will wear the jersey for a spell but won't be first choice come the WC, given he will be 34 by then and trades largely on his explosiveness. Beyond him, I don't see anyone who looks like reaching Healy/McGrath's level. A year ago I wanted to see Tom Clarkson move to loosehead but since Leinster have lost Aungier and Salanoa that doesn't seem too likely to happen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭ realhorrorshow


    I reckon Porter will be switched back , that way you get him and Furlong on the pitch at the same time : everyone else is really just a stop gap until someone very talented emerges , which Milne or Whycherly could be , sadly Jack Boyle will take another few years before he’s even ready for the pro14 but he’s the next Uber talented loosehead

    I just don't see the logic in Porter, who has the prototypical size for tighthead, playing loosehead while the much slighter Tom Clarkson plays tighthead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,626 ✭✭✭ aloooof


    Jack McGrath started to decline quite young but he was definitely top 5 in the world for a few years (maybe around 2013-2015ish?).

    I think it was even more recently than that iirc. For the 2017 Lions, the bookies had both he and Mako Vunipola at 10/11 for the starting spot in the first Test.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,024 bayern


    I just don't see the logic in Porter, who has the prototypical size for tighthead, playing loosehead while the much slighter Tom Clarkson plays tighthead.

    yeah you'd wonder what sort of high level future Clarkson has as a tighthead..


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    I just don't see the logic in Porter, who has the prototypical size for tighthead, playing loosehead while the much slighter Tom Clarkson plays tighthead.

    Agreed. I'd be baffled if they invested years in getting Porter up to speed to be a test level tighthead only to turn around when he's 25 and move him back to loosehead. The obvious issue there then is that we're also losing an excellent tighthead which is going to be difficult to replace in itself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,024 bayern


    I reckon Porter will be switched back , that way you get him and Furlong on the pitch at the same time : everyone else is really just a stop gap until someone very talented emerges , which Milne or Whycherly could be , sadly Jack Boyle will take another few years before he’s even ready for the pro14 but he’s the next Uber talented loosehead

    big question on boyle is how fast he develops physically.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,232 ✭✭✭ Yeah_Right


    bayern wrote: »
    Cian Healy gets his 100th cap this weekend for Ireland and while not done, at 33 he is nearing the end of his long international career.

    Who do you think will replace him as 1st choice irish loosehead? and when?

    Options*:

    ...

    Other
    Conan O'Donnell(24)

    You are not poaching O'Donnell!! He's a kiwi now. Just like Ollie. :D

    Its interesting that no one selected McGrath in the poll. Multiple test caps including Lions, actually took the jersey from Healy for a while and looked like it was going to be his long term and now he has completely faded away. Its a shame. He was very good.

    I think quite a few guys are going to be used at loosehead for Ireland between now and the 2023 RWC. I just don't see anyone who is going to own it long term. Maybe there is some young guy who will burst on the scene but it is pretty rare for a prop to come in and be a dominant force in their early 20s. Healy was one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,769 ✭✭✭ KaneToad


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    In form over the last 18 months, if kilcoyne wasn't injured he'd be starting tomorrow.

    However he is, and he's not. Healy is the next best current option, and Ed byrne is a very very close second behind him. I could see Byrne amassing 30-40 caps in the next few years until one the likes of EOS or milne or another young guy progresses.

    Wouldn't have Kilcoyne ahead of Healy in any team.

    Am hoping for great things from Salanoa in the coming years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,038 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    KaneToad wrote: »
    Wouldn't have Kilcoyne ahead of Healy in any team.

    Am hoping for great things from Salanoa in the coming years.

    Salanoa is a tighthead though


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,066 ✭✭✭ Richie_Rich89


    I would say Porter or Dooley. Byrne is good but injury-prone and perhaps more suited to being a bench impact player.


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