Drico back in training

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Flash Gordon
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Drico back in training

Post by Flash Gordon »

Brian O'Driscoll's return to training boosts Leinster and Ireland Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll has taken part in his first on-pitch training session with Leinster since having ankle surgery.

The 33-year-old centre missed the series of autumn internationals after picking up the injury playing for his province in the Pro12.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney is hoping the inspirational O'Driscoll will be fully fit in time for the Six Nations.

The Irish play their first match against Wales in Cardiff on 2 February.

Leinster also hope to have backs Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney back within the next few weeks.

Both also missed the autumn internationals, Kearney with a back injury while Fitzgerald has been out of action for much of this year with a neck problem.

O'Driscoll's return is welcome news for Kidney who had to do without Paul O'Connell, Rory Best, Stephen Ferris and Sean O'Brien for the November internationals.

However, winger Tommy Bowe is now a doubt for the Six Nations after suffering ligament damage playing for Ulster against Northampton on Saturday.
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by goreyguy »

Fitzgerald has been training a decent amount, but not heavily. Easing him back into it, which is only right you can't mess with serious neck injuries

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Flash Gordon »

You do wonder about Irish players generally at the moment. A lot of front line Irish players across the provinces are injured at the moment. Is it our style of play? The way we're conditioned? Or just bad luck?
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by ribs »

Flash Gordon wrote:You do wonder about Irish players generally at the moment. A lot of front line Irish players across the provinces are injured at the moment. Is it our style of play? The way we're conditioned? Or just bad luck?
I've been wondering about this for the last few months. After a load of injuries made a mess of a Leinster season, Cheika brought somebody on board to get the preseason and conditioning right - anybody know who it was?. The following season injuries were well down and this continued to last season (with most injuries occuring to those bought in). However, this year the injury profile has changed completely - somebody new? something else changed?
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by johng »

Last season I was thinking the same about Munster compared to us. This season we are just as bad.

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Donny B. »

I just think it's bad luck to be honest. We've been pretty lucky on the injury front in the last two seasons, but sooner or later it does run out.

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Flash Gordon »

Donny B. wrote:I just think it's bad luck to be honest. We've been pretty lucky on the injury front in the last two seasons, but sooner or later it does run out.
You reckon? Remember a few years back Eddie saying that Ireland players were relatively injury free due to the way they were conditioned and rested. I wonder if its size? Our lads looked like midgets at times next to clermont!
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Vamos los azules »

I don't think it's unique to Ireland. Wales were struggling very badly with injuries during the AIs and their players are mostly huge.
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Donny B. »

Flash Gordon wrote:
Donny B. wrote:I just think it's bad luck to be honest. We've been pretty lucky on the injury front in the last two seasons, but sooner or later it does run out.
You reckon? Remember a few years back Eddie saying that Ireland players were relatively injury free due to the way they were conditioned and rested. I wonder if its size? Our lads looked like midgets at times next to clermont!
And they looked the same size when we beat them in the semi-final last season. Because of the recent success, Leinster players have been playing at an extremely high level for the past four seasons. Throw in their Ireland commitments and that's a lot of rugby, even with being rested in the Pro12. Sooner or later it's going to catch up with you, but hopefully we'll have better luck in the second half of this season and have a relatively clear bill of health next season.

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Sauvignon Blank »

Flash Gordon wrote:
Donny B. wrote:I just think it's bad luck to be honest. We've been pretty lucky on the injury front in the last two seasons, but sooner or later it does run out.
You reckon? Remember a few years back Eddie saying that Ireland players were relatively injury free due to the way they were conditioned and rested. I wonder if its size? Our lads looked like midgets at times next to clermont!
I've long suspected it's size. Clermont players size struck me on saturday, not so much height but width as in they were quite thick-set/bulky as opposed to our team. They literally bludgeoned their way over us 99% of the time. Wales are quite similar in this respect.
The last time a team that size surprised me was when Racing Metro rolled into the RDS a few seasons back. Monsters they were.
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by johng »

Sauvignon Blank wrote: The last time a team that size surprised me was when Racing Metro rolled into the RDS a few seasons back. Monsters they were.
Did them feck all good though. Especially when Chabal got put on his ar$e big time by Isa (About 6" shorter and 3 stone lighter)

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by fourthirtythree »

Moment of the match. Also didn't do them any good when their scrum was retreating.

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Peg Leg »

Sauvignon Blank wrote:
Flash Gordon wrote:
Donny B. wrote:I just think it's bad luck to be honest. We've been pretty lucky on the injury front in the last two seasons, but sooner or later it does run out.
You reckon? Remember a few years back Eddie saying that Ireland players were relatively injury free due to the way they were conditioned and rested. I wonder if its size? Our lads looked like midgets at times next to clermont!
I've long suspected it's size. Clermont players size struck me on saturday, not so much height but width as in they were quite thick-set/bulky as opposed to our team. They literally bludgeoned their way over us 99% of the time. Wales are quite similar in this respect.
The last time a team that size surprised me was when Racing Metro rolled into the RDS a few seasons back. Monsters they were.
Carrying additional bulk around didn't do G Henson any favours.
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Donny B. »

Didn't do Darce much good either when he bulked up when he first moved to inside centre.

And for all the talk that size is everything most of the All Blacks aren't exactly monsters either.

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Offiah »

Donny B. wrote:Didn't do Darce much good either when he bulked up when he first moved to inside centre.

And for all the talk that size is everything most of the All Blacks aren't exactly monsters either.
True but key then is to put pace on the game and what did Clermont do last Sat? Kill the ball and our pace and momentum any time we got it (thanks Barnes).
Also didn't help that the lineout was under pressure and Barnes didn't like Ross on the hit and thus we had little possession in the red zone.
So result was an arm wrestle with a huge team and we lost.
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Donny B. »

Offiah wrote:
Donny B. wrote:Didn't do Darce much good either when he bulked up when he first moved to inside centre.

And for all the talk that size is everything most of the All Blacks aren't exactly monsters either.
True but key then is to put pace on the game and what did Clermont do last Sat? Kill the ball and our pace and momentum any time we got it (thanks Barnes).
Also didn't help that the lineout was under pressure and Barnes didn't like Ross on the hit and thus we had little possession in the red zone.
So result was an arm wrestle with a huge team and we lost.
Exactly, which is why it's pointless for us to get into arms wrestles. We've won two HC's on the back of pace and passing, that's what we need to get back to. But as you point out we didn't lose cause we were smaller, we lost because we simply didn't play well enough.

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Re: Drico back in training

Post by [Jackass] »

I've a feeling that the Six Nations will come a week too soon for Fitzgerald.
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by neiliog93 »

Size is an asset in rugby, no question about that. But if you're good enough to play at a higher tempo with higher skill levels and players with superior rugby brains, smaller teams can stuff the big brutish teams (the All Blacks being the perfect example). Move them around and when you get the chance, be clinical. You also get around small size at the scrum and line-out through a combo of technique and good coaching. I'd take a small, accurate team like the AB's or Leinster last year over a huge team like South Africa.
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Xanthippe »

[Jackass] wrote:I've a feeling that the Six Nations will come a week too soon for Fitzgerald.
I've a feeling the six nations will come a coach too soon for Fitzgerald - no matter how fit the lad is I have no expectation of him being selected!
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Re: Drico back in training

Post by Ruckedtobits »

Flash Gordon wrote:
You do wonder about Irish players generally at the moment. A lot of front line Irish players across the provinces are injured at the moment. Is it our style of play? The way we're conditioned? Or just bad luck?
The more likely answer is something to do with a bell curve and reversion to the mean (he wrote knowlingly without a Rat's ar*e about the exact derivation of that phrase). However, Leinster's injury stats for 2011 and 2010 were lower than they should have been - as estimated by the Club. Unless somebody has discovered the secret of eternal youth, injuries in a collision sport inevitably produce comparable rates of lost playing days. Through the process and exposure at International camps, Medical, Physio and Fitness guys at the top end all effectively cross-over with information, so nobody has an "inside track".

Another key stat is about rehab. This season, we appear to have accumulated additional / alternative injuries as guys were preparing to return e.g. SO'B & EO'M. Possibly move of Jason Cowman, as head of fitness, going to National team may have had an impact - comment overheard last weekend!

However, above all this information and opinions, it is very clear that few teams have many great players and when they are not available the impact is evident and the effect cumulative i.e. if performance is reduced by 2% by the loss of one "great" player, it is 4% (2x2) losing two "great" players, but 8% (2x2x2) losing three "great" players. Continue this on and you could find fairly compelling evidence of the impact earlier this year of missing four of them at the same time.

IMO, we have been incredibly lucky to have so many (great players) in recent seasons. At Club level BOD, RK, SO'B & LF have all proved their greatness at various times. Cian, Darce & Jamie also fit the definition. In our two games against Clermont this Season, we have missed three out of that seven on both occasions and SO'B has been below par. Our opponents have had less to cope with and we have had less to beat them with. Those are key elements in the progress of the season. For now, we must just hope that BOD, RK and LF return with their legs flying. If they do and SO'B gets back to the levels he played at last year, we could have an extraordinary five months ahead with who knows what pots on the table at the end of it

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