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Irish Rugby Must Look To GAA's Top Talent For A Brighter Future

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https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/international/irish-rugby-must-look-to-gaa-s-top-talent-for-a-brighter-future-1.4056933

In his post mortem on the failure of the Irish team in the Rugby World Cup, Gavin Cummiskey writes....

"...What is more apparent than ever before is if the IRFU ever hope to live with the All Blacks of this sport then they must rip a leaf out of the AFL book of recruitment and enhance the head-hunting of the GAA's underage talent.
Certainly more than the softly, softly, approach currently employed...."

"......The " freaks" (best talent) can be found inside this island's most fiercely protected strongholds, Kilkenny hurling and Kerry football, who periodically gift rugby delicious crumbs like Willie Duggan or Mick Galwey. Cork possesses thousands of gifted athletes who never get anywhere near the oval ball. The O'Alpin brothers from Fiji were just as athletic as Sevu Reece. Sean Og still works in the bank. Setanta settled in Sydney...."

"....If you want to find a line of Jack Goodhues or Barrett brothers then scout the Laois juvenile football scene. Roscommon has plenty more Jack Cartys.
Otherwise forget about living with any generation of All Blacks...."

"..... So, more talent is needed from untapped genetic pools. Hurlers. It won't be solved before 2023 but, clearly, if the GAA can cope with AFL cherry picking, they shouldn't be bothered by the IRFU ramping up their recruitment of teenagers."

Comments?

PoolSturgeon (Galway) - Posts: 1431 - 22/10/2019 02:12:02    2244889

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Let them feck off, plenty of posh bucks in D4 land to play that foreign sport, we need every GAA player to stick with our clubs and county. Ireland made a mess by peaking too early ie last year and then picking an average panel for the world cup I mean what eejet leaves a 6ft 6 player at home when we are weak in line outs, bad mistakes by management and the next manager/ coach won't be any better, he'll be telling his son who plays for tanland all the tactics his Irish team are using. On another point I had to laugh a few years ago when Connacht rugby hired Pat Lam and the media hysteria that at the time none of the 4 provinces had an Irish manager/ head coach, nothing was said though when Leinster Munster and Ulster had foreigners as managers/ head coach

riverboys (Mayo) - Posts: 1389 - 23/10/2019 22:27:17    2245350

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Well if it pays and some players are good enough for rugby who can blame a GAA player if that offer comes about

DuhallowRed (Cork) - Posts: 138 - 24/10/2019 11:37:03    2245417

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Replying To riverboys:  "Let them feck off, plenty of posh bucks in D4 land to play that foreign sport, we need every GAA player to stick with our clubs and county. Ireland made a mess by peaking too early ie last year and then picking an average panel for the world cup I mean what eejet leaves a 6ft 6 player at home when we are weak in line outs, bad mistakes by management and the next manager/ coach won't be any better, he'll be telling his son who plays for tanland all the tactics his Irish team are using. On another point I had to laugh a few years ago when Connacht rugby hired Pat Lam and the media hysteria that at the time none of the 4 provinces had an Irish manager/ head coach, nothing was said though when Leinster Munster and Ulster had foreigners as managers/ head coach"
Jaysus for a fella that describes rugby as a 'foreign sport' you seem to know a lot about it!

What is D4 land?? Oh I get it, it is us Pale dwelling Dubs only who play rugby...This old smear is so tired and lazy,

why would us Dubs want some of our best sportsmen playing rugby???

avonali (Dublin) - Posts: 1286 - 24/10/2019 12:53:56    2245435

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Replying To avonali:  "Jaysus for a fella that describes rugby as a 'foreign sport' you seem to know a lot about it!

What is D4 land?? Oh I get it, it is us Pale dwelling Dubs only who play rugby...This old smear is so tired and lazy,

why would us Dubs want some of our best sportsmen playing rugby???"
Dublin's 3 counties competing against each other will dominate Dublin's sporting landscape. It's the longterm sustainable solution and future of the game. Genuine comment. Genuine solution.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 6261 - 24/10/2019 13:14:59    2245444

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The Aussies will still win the race for signatures. One of our most talented young players, Conor Nash, Simonstown GFC was also involved with rugby but the NFL whisked him off down under. Conor formed an outstanding midfield partnership with Cian O'Rourke when they won the Senior championship a few years ago. Cian was carrying an injury and could not commit to the county training regime while young Nash went travelling.

MillerX (Meath) - Posts: 692 - 24/10/2019 13:38:05    2245459

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galway has lost a lot of good hurlers and gaelic footballers to connacht rugby

gboy (Galway) - Posts: 16 - 24/10/2019 13:41:33    2245460

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Replying To riverboys:  "Let them feck off, plenty of posh bucks in D4 land to play that foreign sport, we need every GAA player to stick with our clubs and county. Ireland made a mess by peaking too early ie last year and then picking an average panel for the world cup I mean what eejet leaves a 6ft 6 player at home when we are weak in line outs, bad mistakes by management and the next manager/ coach won't be any better, he'll be telling his son who plays for tanland all the tactics his Irish team are using. On another point I had to laugh a few years ago when Connacht rugby hired Pat Lam and the media hysteria that at the time none of the 4 provinces had an Irish manager/ head coach, nothing was said though when Leinster Munster and Ulster had foreigners as managers/ head coach"
This is rubbish and you realise that more people play the sport who never attended a fee paying school than who did
How was squad for world cup average exactly?
You clearly dont have a clue about rugby as all second rows picked were at least 6'6
And do you have proof of us being weak in line outs?
Farrell telling his son everything. Paranoid much?

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 1336 - 24/10/2019 14:03:53    2245463

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If I had a teen son showing an interest in playing rugby I'd tell them keep well away. Concussions in that sport will be like American football in decades to come. It can't be enjoyable to play either.

Byebyecola (USA) - Posts: 9 - 24/10/2019 14:29:50    2245472

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Replying To Byebyecola:  "If I had a teen son showing an interest in playing rugby I'd tell them keep well away. Concussions in that sport will be like American football in decades to come. It can't be enjoyable to play either."
I totally agree with this. There is no way I'd want any of mine playing rugby. I reckon it's on a par with boxing or MMA in terms of a serious risk of head injury. Someday a high profile player is going to get very badly injured and it is only then that there will be a serious debate on how dangerous this game has become.

The sort of skills that were displayed by Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennet are now a thing of the past as the game has become much more about power, strength and conditioning. it's a different skill set now. Sure you'll see some lovely footwork and great aerial catching but individual displays of skill are rare now. It's seems success in many team sports is based on suppressing individual flair and sacrificing it for the sake of the collective.

avonali (Dublin) - Posts: 1286 - 24/10/2019 15:08:50    2245487

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Replying To legendzxix:  "Dublin's 3 counties competing against each other will dominate Dublin's sporting landscape. It's the longterm sustainable solution and future of the game. Genuine comment. Genuine solution."
Sorry legend. Dublin is one county. Check it out on a map if you don't believe me.

avonali (Dublin) - Posts: 1286 - 24/10/2019 15:14:23    2245492

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Replying To riverboys:  "Let them feck off, plenty of posh bucks in D4 land to play that foreign sport, we need every GAA player to stick with our clubs and county. Ireland made a mess by peaking too early ie last year and then picking an average panel for the world cup I mean what eejet leaves a 6ft 6 player at home when we are weak in line outs, bad mistakes by management and the next manager/ coach won't be any better, he'll be telling his son who plays for tanland all the tactics his Irish team are using. On another point I had to laugh a few years ago when Connacht rugby hired Pat Lam and the media hysteria that at the time none of the 4 provinces had an Irish manager/ head coach, nothing was said though when Leinster Munster and Ulster had foreigners as managers/ head coach"
What's with the hate and the stereotype of rugby people

DuhallowRed (Cork) - Posts: 138 - 24/10/2019 16:05:31    2245505

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Replying To avonali:  "I totally agree with this. There is no way I'd want any of mine playing rugby. I reckon it's on a par with boxing or MMA in terms of a serious risk of head injury. Someday a high profile player is going to get very badly injured and it is only then that there will be a serious debate on how dangerous this game has become.

The sort of skills that were displayed by Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennet are now a thing of the past as the game has become much more about power, strength and conditioning. it's a different skill set now. Sure you'll see some lovely footwork and great aerial catching but individual displays of skill are rare now. It's seems success in many team sports is based on suppressing individual flair and sacrificing it for the sake of the collective."
Completely inaccurate accusations and allegations about rugby now. Saying individual displays of skill are lacking or rare shows lack of awareness about what skilled play is and shows someone who doesnt watch rugby much.
Stats about head injuries at age grade level anyway dont match up and at least rugby is aware of risks unlike soccer, hurling and Gaelic which dont have near same level of awareness or protections in place.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 1336 - 24/10/2019 23:52:01    2245610

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Replying To DuhallowRed:  "What's with the hate and the stereotype of rugby people"
There is plenty of hate for GAA people too. Just watch RTE "primetime" on Galway GAA official who ran up a credit card bill. It is not good financial practice. Galway won the Senior hurling in 2017 though. So maybe justified- maybe not.
Anyway point I am making is RTE in D4 land is not shy at all about slagging GAA. (RTE is also in serious debt, but let us not mention that) LOL

galwayford (Galway) - Posts: 1892 - 25/10/2019 08:05:57    2245629

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Replying To KillingFields:  "Completely inaccurate accusations and allegations about rugby now. Saying individual displays of skill are lacking or rare shows lack of awareness about what skilled play is and shows someone who doesnt watch rugby much.
Stats about head injuries at age grade level anyway dont match up and at least rugby is aware of risks unlike soccer, hurling and Gaelic which dont have near same level of awareness or protections in place."
i'm a man who appreciates nearly all sports killingfields and rugby is definitely one i enjoy. i even occasionally go to a local junior rugby match in navan, however it is unquestionable that the game has become more about size and power in recent years that is evident in all levels. Ofcourse there are exceptions like De Klerk and Kolbe for South Africa and Aaron Smith for the All Blacks. Even at that the South African team is an example of a group of freakishly big men.
Rugby players as a whole are on average 2 stone heavier than 20 years ago.
There are no doubt great skills involved but a lot of teams have adopted the attritional battering ram style of rugby and as such are going for bigger heavier men.
The physicality and pace of the game has gone up , bigger,harder faster hits will definitely result in more head injuries unfortunately. (Although World Rugby are admirably one governing body that are proactive in trying to prevent this)

Meathmaverick (Meath) - Posts: 93 - 25/10/2019 09:42:36    2245645

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It seems that rugby supporters like their players can't be questioned or criticised about the game. This contrasts with the soccer team who got called out for their performance and individuals were criticised and publicly condemned for not being good enough-in contrast I don't think any one player on the rugby team was called out. The same with GAA players inthe championship they are questioned whether they are up to standard or not but the posh rugby boys get away with it-maybe that's why their that little bit soft when it comes to the really big games and invariably fold.

updwell (Limerick) - Posts: 401 - 25/10/2019 10:00:12    2245651

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Replying To galwayford:  "There is plenty of hate for GAA people too. Just watch RTE "primetime" on Galway GAA official who ran up a credit card bill. It is not good financial practice. Galway won the Senior hurling in 2017 though. So maybe justified- maybe not.
Anyway point I am making is RTE in D4 land is not shy at all about slagging GAA. (RTE is also in serious debt, but let us not mention that) LOL"
I know this is going off topic, but I have to respond to this. Someone from the county board using Galway GAA money for personal expenses may be justified because Galway won the All Ireland in 2017? I seriously hope you're taking the p1ss. Prime Time highlighting the terrible financial mismanagement by our county board has nothing to with "hate" for the GAA. Anyone who cares about Galway GAA should be glad this is being aired. Would you prefer it was swept under the carpet?

WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 813 - 25/10/2019 10:01:17    2245652

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Id be open minded on kids playing all sports, i played Rugby at a decent ameuter level as well as soccer, i preferred Gaelic Games, but wasn't as talented as i was at the other two. In that scenario i wouldnt blame any kid for pursuing the other sports. When i played all my GAA club team were really unhappy with me playing rugby and soccer and actively discouraged it, not getting picked etc or organizing training the same time as other sports. It turned my off playing for years before i went back to it when i was older and things had relaxed a bit. Id like to see the GAA be more open minded, funneling lads a particular way does the GAA no favour as it forces lads into making a decision. The vast majority will never get to a level where a career as a professional is on offer, so they will eventually decide which sport or sports they prefer many would choose GAA, there is even room for more then one, i suspect GAA in most cases especially rurally, as its by far the biggest sports in communities, where facilities are more developed then then Rugby or particularly soccer.

I was lucky enough to play Rugby with lads who went on to win caps and have professional careers, these lads were well identified before secondary school and were all ready put on a pathway of being accepted by schools with a Rugby tradition etc.

Then there are advantages to be gained too, someone like Brian Howard spent time in Leinster set up at underage and you can see how it has benefited him, with his footwork, kicking, breaking tackles, driving space etc.

We've lost a few very good Gaa players as well who have gone to represent Ireland as Rugby internationals, especially our Crokes way.

TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 3480 - 25/10/2019 11:17:57    2245671

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Replying To updwell:  "It seems that rugby supporters like their players can't be questioned or criticised about the game. This contrasts with the soccer team who got called out for their performance and individuals were criticised and publicly condemned for not being good enough-in contrast I don't think any one player on the rugby team was called out. The same with GAA players inthe championship they are questioned whether they are up to standard or not but the posh rugby boys get away with it-maybe that's why their that little bit soft when it comes to the really big games and invariably fold."
I do believe there is a double standard in the media when it comes to rugby coverage. Undoubtedly. For example, Martin Ó Neill was given ferocious criticism for his style with the soccer team, yet Joe Schmidt, is lauded and given a pat on the back.

It's the double standard that grates with most Irish people and that will ensure that we never become rugby country, despite what the D4 media want to believe.

Cavan_Shambles (Cavan) - Posts: 370 - 25/10/2019 11:29:47    2245675

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Replying To TheUsername:  "Id be open minded on kids playing all sports, i played Rugby at a decent ameuter level as well as soccer, i preferred Gaelic Games, but wasn't as talented as i was at the other two. In that scenario i wouldnt blame any kid for pursuing the other sports. When i played all my GAA club team were really unhappy with me playing rugby and soccer and actively discouraged it, not getting picked etc or organizing training the same time as other sports. It turned my off playing for years before i went back to it when i was older and things had relaxed a bit. Id like to see the GAA be more open minded, funneling lads a particular way does the GAA no favour as it forces lads into making a decision. The vast majority will never get to a level where a career as a professional is on offer, so they will eventually decide which sport or sports they prefer many would choose GAA, there is even room for more then one, i suspect GAA in most cases especially rurally, as its by far the biggest sports in communities, where facilities are more developed then then Rugby or particularly soccer.

I was lucky enough to play Rugby with lads who went on to win caps and have professional careers, these lads were well identified before secondary school and were all ready put on a pathway of being accepted by schools with a Rugby tradition etc.

Then there are advantages to be gained too, someone like Brian Howard spent time in Leinster set up at underage and you can see how it has benefited him, with his footwork, kicking, breaking tackles, driving space etc.

We've lost a few very good Gaa players as well who have gone to represent Ireland as Rugby internationals, especially our Crokes way."
I agree, I recently read David Epstein's book about generalists (i.e playing multiple sports and specialising at a later age) and it was really really interesting. The core comparison is Tiger Woods (early specialisation) vs. Roger Federer (played a multitude of sports and only started properly focussing in on tennis quite late). It's really interesting and obviously there are benefits to both styles, but I always like the idea of giving my kids as wide a skill base as possible. You can take things from nearly any sport and apply them to different situations in another sport.

More to the point, you never know what sport your child is going to love!

I would be worried in general about concussion and long term effects, not just in rugby. The recent study released linking soccer (specifically heading the ball) and dementia is very very worrying. In that regard I would think Gaelic football is relatively safe? You don't see massive massive hits like in rugby, it happens occasionally but very rare, and in general play you wouldn't see many head injuries? The one situation I think is dangerous is someone fielding the ball and landing badly and their head snaps back. But it is rare.

In saying that there's no doubt there should be high awareness and protocols for dealing with concussion on the pitch. Zero tolerance has to be the policy in my opinion, if there's a hint of concussion get them off the pitch.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 997 - 25/10/2019 12:12:38    2245682

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