Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

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Pilotman123
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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Pilotman123 »

Dave Cahill wrote:Schools rugby is going to be out-evolved by the professional game. Provincial academies will take in players after the junior cycle and will add second-level functionality to their current third level status taking the intake through the senior cycle. I'd estimate that over the next decade to 15 years this will happen.

Basing our system on the current private school system is time-limited anyway. Its a bit like taxi drivers in the 80s who took out mortgages to buy plates. Sooner or later that market was going to be de-regulated and a similar shift is down the line for the private schools. All it would take is one hung Dail with the balance of power being held by the shinners or PBP. It would be ironic if a former Michaels boy were to sound the death knell.

Also, should this and all the other schools related stuff not be in the domestic rugby section?
That will just simply never happen because most school boys would prefer to win the senior cup than get a place in the Leinster academy, The Senior Cup is so important and means everything to the school boys, it’s a professional set up in the schools game it’s just like Leinster so why would they change it? They are ready to go straight into the academy when school finishes, so why change the perfect system we have now?
Last edited by Pilotman123 on October 23rd, 2019, 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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neiliog93
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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by neiliog93 »

backrower8 wrote:
neiliog93 wrote:Ah now, less of this stuff about the 'Irish race'. I do agree in general that there are genetic differences between populations but Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish DNA is very, very similar (and that extends to people of European descent in Australia and New Zealand). French and Southern European people are generally of smaller and lighter build than Northern Europeans. The only players we are at a genetic disadvantage against are Pacific Islanders and possibly South Africans, but even then the latter are still Northern Europeans and the endemic steroid use from a young age is as responsible for their bulk as anything genetic.

The Barretts in New Zealand are as Irish as can be in appearance and lineage, and look at them fly.
You are right to point out that the Welsh & Scots are the same gene pool as us, population size too, but not about the rest of the teams you mention.

Before they ever had several players from outside their Original Caucasian population, England and France had bigger teams than us because they had 55million plus people to choose from. Nowadays they have more athletic ethnicities in their player pool AND, in France’s case, they source players Polynesia.

Australia and New Zealand both have wider and more athletic gene pools playing for them than we do.

I do think the genes matter but it as much as skills, strategy, culture and, most of all, the right mental approach.
Studies show genes across the Britain and Ireland (including non-Celtic England) are very similar (shocker). French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese people etc. are generally noticeably smaller framed than ourselves, although I do take your point on population size as an advantage for both England and France, and population variation as regards influx of West African/Caribbean and Pacific Islander genes for England and France. As regards any possible advantage for South Africa, I'm not convinced - the Dutch were the smallest people in Europe in the 19th century (the Irish were amongst the tallest) and the gradual improvement in diet and successful eradication of poverty in Holland has meant the Dutch are amongst the tallest now, but that's at best loosely based on genetics.

As regards getting the best out of the clubs, I would imagine it will require a big investment in 'coaching the coaches' in clubs across the province/country at all levels, with significant buy-in from the clubs themselves, as well as regular sessions across all age groups with a designated, fully paid Leinster Rugby regional coach. The regional centres of excellence are definitely a good start. Then we might see the next Conor Nash playing rugby instead of GAA/Aussie Rules...
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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by ormond lad »

Pilotman123 wrote:
Dave Cahill wrote:Schools rugby is going to be out-evolved by the professional game. Provincial academies will take in players after the junior cycle and will add second-level functionality to their current third level status taking the intake through the senior cycle. I'd estimate that over the next decade to 15 years this will happen.

Basing our system on the current private school system is time-limited anyway. Its a bit like taxi drivers in the 80s who took out mortgages to buy plates. Sooner or later that market was going to be de-regulated and a similar shift is down the line for the private schools. All it would take is one hung Dail with the balance of power being held by the shinners or PBP. It would be ironic if a former Michaels boy were to sound the death knell.

Also, should this and all the other schools related stuff not be in the domestic rugby section?
That will just simply never happen because most school boys would prefer to win the senior cup than get a place in the Leinster academy, The Senior Cup is so important and means everything to the school boys, it’s a professional set up in the schools game it’s just like Leinster so why would they change it? They are ready to go straight into the academy when school finishes, so why change the perfect system we have now?
that isnt really true and if it was then there should be changes to schools cup to dilute the role it plays and help develop players interests beyond a 4 game competition(ie less than 5 hours of rugby for most successful sides)
It's a professional environment to an extent and one that causes/helps cause hundreds of kids who put thousands of hours into the sport through their teens to quit very soon after they finish school/while in college.
The system isnt perfect at all tight now.

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Pilotman123 »

ormond lad wrote:
Pilotman123 wrote:
Dave Cahill wrote:Schools rugby is going to be out-evolved by the professional game. Provincial academies will take in players after the junior cycle and will add second-level functionality to their current third level status taking the intake through the senior cycle. I'd estimate that over the next decade to 15 years this will happen.

Basing our system on the current private school system is time-limited anyway. Its a bit like taxi drivers in the 80s who took out mortgages to buy plates. Sooner or later that market was going to be de-regulated and a similar shift is down the line for the private schools. All it would take is one hung Dail with the balance of power being held by the shinners or PBP. It would be ironic if a former Michaels boy were to sound the death knell.

Also, should this and all the other schools related stuff not be in the domestic rugby section?
That will just simply never happen because most school boys would prefer to win the senior cup than get a place in the Leinster academy, The Senior Cup is so important and means everything to the school boys, it’s a professional set up in the schools game it’s just like Leinster so why would they change it? They are ready to go straight into the academy when school finishes, so why change the perfect system we have now?
that isnt really true and if it was then there should be changes to schools cup to dilute the role it plays and help develop players interests beyond a 4 game competition(ie less than 5 hours of rugby for most successful sides)
It's a professional environment to an extent and one that causes/helps cause hundreds of kids who put thousands of hours into the sport through their teens to quit very soon after they finish school/while in college.
The system isnt perfect at all tight now.
What do you think is wrong with the system now? Ireland u20s won the grand slam and Leinster A won back to back Celtic Cups, Players are ready for academy straight from school and some are even ready a few months after school
Tell me, what is wrong with the system we have now?
And the reason some players quit after school is due to them dedicating their lives to the game for 6 years (for cup rugby) and some players had enough and some continue on to play rugby after school

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Leon Yespmed »

The system may serve to produce elite athletes but it doesn't encourage teenagers to continue playing rugby after school. Kids may join a club to play Mini Rugby, then the clubs numbers are decimated when the kids go to play in the cup, for a few hours. Most of them don't go back. Plenty wrong with that system if you would like to see rugby played by more people for longer.

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by neiliog93 »

The system is good as it stands, especially regarding the schools game, but there is no doubt we (and other provinces) could do a better job in facilitating the maturation of promising club players into professional standard players. That's the issue. The very best still make it, but there are some who don't and others who choose GAA as teenagers, and investing more in rural rugby could help to influence more to choose rugby when they're at the age and standard where they have to focus more on one sport.
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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by dropkick »

neiliog93 wrote:
backrower8 wrote:Yes it is has always been too narrow and has become much narrower in the last 10 years. But it requires hard cash and culture to broaden it and the schools (particularly a handful) are the gift that keeps on giving. Catch22

Genetically we are who we are, although even that will change as the decades roll on, and with the 5-year rule we will rely on our gene pool even more.

If we are to be a consistent top 1-6 country it comes back to finding a playing style that suits the Irish race. That for me means skills, skills, skills - which indirectly works better the more 4G pitches we have - which correlates to money-money-money.

Finally, all of the above must also be backed up by a safe playing environment or the kids won’t be allowed play and/or will exit the game earlier and earlier than they already do.
Ah now, less of this stuff about the 'Irish race'. I do agree in general that there are genetic differences between populations but Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish DNA is very, very similar (and that extends to people of European descent in Australia and New Zealand). French and Southern European people are generally of smaller and lighter build than Northern Europeans. The only players we are at a genetic disadvantage against are Pacific Islanders and possibly South Africans, but even then the latter are still Northern Europeans and the endemic steroid use from a young age is as responsible for their bulk as anything genetic.

The Barretts in New Zealand are as Irish as can be in appearance and lineage, and look at them fly.

I agree with all that. One thing I'd add us the South Africans have a great farming stock to choose from. People from farming stock are usually bigger and stronger than the norm. Even though we have not tapped into ours our last 3 first choice tightheads, Furlong, Ross and Hayes were farmers. What are the odds!? They've better diets (meat and dairy vs the normal processed diet) and work when young so build up natural strength.


The South Africans of Dutch extraction were mostly farmers too. The Barretts are another good example.

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Pilotman123 »

neiliog93 wrote:The system is good as it stands, especially regarding the schools game, but there is no doubt we (and other provinces) could do a better job in facilitating the maturation of promising club players into professional standard players. That's the issue. The very best still make it, but there are some who don't and others who choose GAA as teenagers, and investing more in rural rugby could help to influence more to choose rugby when they're at the age and standard where they have to focus more on one sport.
Belvedere have a big problem with lots of talented players choosing GAA over rugby, even in the clubs game people choose GAA over rugby, it’s something that needs to change

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Pilotman123 »

dropkick wrote:
neiliog93 wrote:
backrower8 wrote:Yes it is has always been too narrow and has become much narrower in the last 10 years. But it requires hard cash and culture to broaden it and the schools (particularly a handful) are the gift that keeps on giving. Catch22

Genetically we are who we are, although even that will change as the decades roll on, and with the 5-year rule we will rely on our gene pool even more.

If we are to be a consistent top 1-6 country it comes back to finding a playing style that suits the Irish race. That for me means skills, skills, skills - which indirectly works better the more 4G pitches we have - which correlates to money-money-money.

Finally, all of the above must also be backed up by a safe playing environment or the kids won’t be allowed play and/or will exit the game earlier and earlier than they already do.
Ah now, less of this stuff about the 'Irish race'. I do agree in general that there are genetic differences between populations but Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish DNA is very, very similar (and that extends to people of European descent in Australia and New Zealand). French and Southern European people are generally of smaller and lighter build than Northern Europeans. The only players we are at a genetic disadvantage against are Pacific Islanders and possibly South Africans, but even then the latter are still Northern Europeans and the endemic steroid use from a young age is as responsible for their bulk as anything genetic.

The Barretts in New Zealand are as Irish as can be in appearance and lineage, and look at them fly.

I agree with all that. One thing I'd add us the South Africans have a great farming stock to choose from. People from farming stock are usually bigger and stronger than the norm. Even though we have not tapped into ours our last 3 first choice tightheads, Furlong, Ross and Hayes were farmers. What are the odds!? They've better diets (meat and dairy vs the normal processed diet) and work when young so build up natural strength.


The South Africans of Dutch extraction were mostly farmers too. The Barretts are another good example.
That’s so true, farmers are genitcally big and don’t even go gym but they’re still bigger than someone who goes gym all the time, culchie farmer rugby players are naturally bigger

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by neiliog93 »

Interesting, and possibly a case of epigenetics in the sense that challenging physical work at a young age in the form of farm work (in combination with a lot of good nutrition) could possibly activate 'strength genes', as well as laying down a very good foundation for later sporting activity and gym work. But definitely something that would need to be more researched.
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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Laighin Break »

neiliog93 wrote:As regards getting the best out of the clubs, I would imagine it will require a big investment in 'coaching the coaches' in clubs across the province/country at all levels, with significant buy-in from the clubs themselves, as well as regular sessions across all age groups with a designated, fully paid Leinster Rugby regional coach. The regional centres of excellence are definitely a good start. Then we might see the next Conor Nash playing rugby instead of GAA/Aussie Rules...
The Aussie Rules clubs offer AUD 100K starting salary to the young lads heading out to Oz. It would take a lot to compete with that!

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Twist »

neiliog93 wrote:
backrower8 wrote:Yes it is has always been too narrow and has become much narrower in the last 10 years. But it requires hard cash and culture to broaden it and the schools (particularly a handful) are the gift that keeps on giving. Catch22

Genetically we are who we are, although even that will change as the decades roll on, and with the 5-year rule we will rely on our gene pool even more.

If we are to be a consistent top 1-6 country it comes back to finding a playing style that suits the Irish race. That for me means skills, skills, skills - which indirectly works better the more 4G pitches we have - which correlates to money-money-money.

Finally, all of the above must also be backed up by a safe playing environment or the kids won’t be allowed play and/or will exit the game earlier and earlier than they already do.
Ah now, less of this stuff about the 'Irish race'. I do agree in general that there are genetic differences between populations but Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish DNA is very, very similar (and that extends to people of European descent in Australia and New Zealand). French and Southern European people are generally of smaller and lighter build than Northern Europeans. The only players we are at a genetic disadvantage against are Pacific Islanders and possibly South Africans, but even then the latter are still Northern Europeans and the endemic steroid use from a young age is as responsible for their bulk as anything genetic.

The Barretts in New Zealand are as Irish as can be in appearance and lineage, and look at them fly.
We also tend to physically mature later, and last a little longer. Id rather have a player peak at 29 than 21, because he’ll have acquired rugby wisdom


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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Twist »

neiliog93 wrote:
blockhead wrote:While we're on the subject, we should try and get more of that recently arrived west African diaspora into rugby. They are a long way from private school education atm though. Naturally strong, athletic and fast, the fastest of all. Niyi Adeolokun could be a trailblazer.
Agreed - probably not as powerful as Polys but the best in pure speed. That kid Aidan Igiehon who's gone off to play college basketball in America (more than likely won't make the NBA or big money in one of the main European leagues) is a real specimen - 6'9"-6'10" and a lean and athletic 109kg at 19 years of age. In rugby terms could easily have matured into a fast, strong, mobile, 6'10" 120kg second row by 23 years of age. We can only dream...
Hey, Im still not over losing Conor Nash. He was like a young, non-fundamentalist Folau. 6’6”, springs for legs and a long, accurate kicking game


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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by neiliog93 »

Not absolutely impossible he might return some day, still very young.

The average AFL salary is c.$350k Aussie dollars, or €215,000. There are nine players earning $1 million Aussie dollars (€600,000) or more. I would imagine our established internationals all earn a decent bit over the former figure, and the best paid players in world rugby over the latter figure. But I guess the €40,000 starting salary over there comprehensively beats €8,000 for two or three years in the academy...
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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by backrower8 »

Neiliog93.

I did not say it is all about genetics. Read my last post where I referenced the various factors.

You seemed to go to great lengths to try and question that genetically we are at a disadvantage to some nations who, for various reasons, have access to greater numbers of bigger/more powerful men - like S. Africa, England, France, New Zealand & Australia. It might be easier for you to think of it in terms of both size and athleticism. These nations have the jump on us. It’s just a fact. No point questioning whether South Africa, England, etc are more powerful than us or not - they are and have been since we started playing them over 140 years ago.

As for your various ideas of beating the GAA all over the country in the fight for talent, it’s a noble aspiration and maybe rugby will continue to make modest incremental games over many more years, but it is not going to replace Route 1/the Golden Goose of those ‘damned private’ rugby playing schools. You may as well wait for Galway to take over as the barley basket of Ireland!

The best thing the IRFU could do as a first step is to try and broaden the number of schools beyond the handful nationally that are providing the vast bulk of new player for the academies year-in-year out. If you can’t believe me, I suggest that you ask Stuart Lancaster what he thinks of your plan to replace Rugby schools with clubs as bulk suppliers within the next 20 years.

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

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neiliog93 wrote:The system is good as it stands, especially regarding the schools game, but there is no doubt we (and other provinces) could do a better job in facilitating the maturation of promising club players into professional standard players. That's the issue. The very best still make it, but there are some who don't and others who choose GAA as teenagers, and investing more in rural rugby could help to influence more to choose rugby when they're at the age and standard where they have to focus more on one sport.
That's fair to a point but Leinster are doing a huge amount to improve club rugby. There are loads of coaching courses run throughout the province and clubs are actively pursued to send coaches to them. Nearly all kids who show a bit of potential are dragged into the regional development squads and then you identify who has it and who wants it the most.

The one area that IRFU could help is with facilities. The Newlands Cross money should be distributed to clubs specifically for facilities. I'd suggest that this is done on a matching funding basis to ensure that clubs don't just use it as a way of offsetting costs so that more money can find it's way into the pockets of club players.

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by Twist »

The schools game is serving Leinster and Ireland well. I don't want to see it hobbled in the name of egalitarianism at all. It's just noticeable that those two schools in particular are churning out a disproportionate number of players at the moment, even relative to Clongowes, Belvedere etc. If the base becomes too narrow then it's vulnerable to a having a few bad years. Also it stands to reason that we're missing out on talent elsewhere.

Outside the schools game, it's very difficult for anyone to compete with that level of excellence. When your gym, your team and your coaches are all in the same place as your school you can maintain almost a professional lifestyle - gymwork/cardio before school, skills and teamwork after. The sheer logistics of putting in the same hours are much more difficult for a club player. That's without even taking into account the impact of professional coaches.

How could a club ever facilitate the same number of contact hours for their U16s as a Junior Cup team gets?

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by backrower8 »

Twist wrote:The schools game is serving Leinster and Ireland well. I don't want to see it hobbled in the name of egalitarianism at all. It's just noticeable that those two schools in particular are churning out a disproportionate number of players at the moment, even relative to Clongowes, Belvedere etc. If the base becomes too narrow then it's vulnerable to a having a few bad years. Also it stands to reason that we're missing out on talent elsewhere.

Outside the schools game, it's very difficult for anyone to compete with that level of excellence. When your gym, your team and your coaches are all in the same place as your school you can maintain almost a professional lifestyle - gymwork/cardio before school, skills and teamwork after. The sheer logistics of putting in the same hours are much more difficult for a club player. That's without even taking into account the impact of professional coaches.

How could a club ever facilitate the same number of contact hours for their U16s as a Junior Cup team gets?
:happy clapper: Spot on

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by the spoofer »

Twist wrote:The schools game is serving Leinster and Ireland well. I don't want to see it hobbled in the name of egalitarianism at all. It's just noticeable that those two schools in particular are churning out a disproportionate number of players at the moment, even relative to Clongowes, Belvedere etc. If the base becomes too narrow then it's vulnerable to a having a few bad years. Also it stands to reason that we're missing out on talent elsewhere.

Outside the schools game, it's very difficult for anyone to compete with that level of excellence. When your gym, your team and your coaches are all in the same place as your school you can maintain almost a professional lifestyle - gymwork/cardio before school, skills and teamwork after. The sheer logistics of putting in the same hours are much more difficult for a club player. That's without even taking into account the impact of professional coaches.

How could a club ever facilitate the same number of contact hours for their U16s as a Junior Cup team gets?
They can't but the streaming means that at least they are getting professional coaching in regional centres. You can see it at 17's, the lads who are in the development squads are physically more developed than those that aren't. Little steps.

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Re: Overreliance on St Michael's and Blackrock(?)

Post by neiliog93 »

backrower8 wrote:Neiliog93.

I did not say it is all about genetics. Read my last post where I referenced the various factors.

You seemed to go to great lengths to try and question that genetically we are at a disadvantage to some nations who, for various reasons, have access to greater numbers of bigger/more powerful men - like S. Africa, England, France, New Zealand & Australia. It might be easier for you to think of it in terms of both size and athleticism. These nations have the jump on us. It’s just a fact. No point questioning whether South Africa, England, etc are more powerful than us or not - they are and have been since we started playing them over 140 years ago.

As for your various ideas of beating the GAA all over the country in the fight for talent, it’s a noble aspiration and maybe rugby will continue to make modest incremental games over many more years, but it is not going to replace Route 1/the Golden Goose of those ‘damned private’ rugby playing schools. You may as well wait for Galway to take over as the barley basket of Ireland!

The best thing the IRFU could do as a first step is to try and broaden the number of schools beyond the handful nationally that are providing the vast bulk of new player for the academies year-in-year out. If you can’t believe me, I suggest that you ask Stuart Lancaster what he thinks of your plan to replace Rugby schools with clubs as bulk suppliers within the next 20 years.
There is point in questioning it if someone is making unfounded claims based on genetics. If you had purely mentioned population size and playing numbers (and therefore the increased likelihood of having physical freaks) then that would be different.

I am also perfectly aware that the clubs are unlikely to ever 'replace' the private schools (having attended one myself, shock horror), my point was that we could still get more out of the clubs. I don't know how you inferred that I had some sort of plan for clubs to 'replace' the schools as bulk supplier to Leinster Rugby - the word 'complement' would be more appropriate.
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