LeRouxIsPHat wrote:I'll be gutted if it turns out I was wrong about this being nonsense. I don't get the timing of it at all, can see how it made sense a while back but not now even though Healy is clear first choice at this stage. Maybe being dropped for Toulouse was the catalyst? Maybe this is why we were allowed to keep Fardy? I think Mick Dawson should be putting his foot down about players moving mid contract, that really shouldn't be allowed to happen unless someone has been completely ostracised or it's a loan deal.
Just a thought but maybe the malaise with Ireland is down to this whole situation of players leaving Leinster/the uncertainty around their futures? Last season we had the best coaching setup, the competition for places last season was intense, and it felt like everyone was 100% focused on performing and winning trophies. That's a powerful combination and despite being a billion points ahead in the league I don't think anyone is as happy with our performances this season. IMO it felt like our first and second choice teams were closer in terms of experience and quality last season, whereas now it feels like there's the first team and then the young lads. Don't get me wrong, those young players are performing unbelievably well, but COB or Dave Kearney/Daly aren't going to be getting in ahead of Henshaw and Rob, whereas Isa and Joey could well have done. So potentially a drop off in competition for places and some minds wandering elsewhere which then has the knock on effect of players not being raring to go for Ireland. Just a thought, but aside from the NZ game (Italy were so bad in Chicago that I don't think it counts) we've been poor all season.
I think you're onto something. Player movement has brought the provincial politics back in a strong way. It seems that there's a lot more openly talking about moving to improve rather than playing better to get ahead.
Leinster have carried elite loosehead since Heinke van see Merwe and it was Joe who used them alternating. McGrath and Healy have successfully shared duties for a long time. The problems now are fixable without a move, and moving may divert away from the real issue (injury related form). Form has dropped before a move decision for a few players lately, we shouldn't underestimate how disruptive it is.
McGrath is already on Schminutes, he could play more if he was allowed, he doesn't need to move to get opportunities.
The RWC is weighing on team selection but it does feel like the big names are getting the big matches rather than being spread around so we're seeing more automatic 1st team-2nd team than next man up. It's harder for Leo to mix and match when guys are more sensitive to changes and pecking order.