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Re: Leinster v Saints
Posted by: Pot Hale
Date: 15/12/2019 14:32
Commiserations, Saints fans - and thanks to those who made it over.

Boyd has Saints now where Leinster were in 2013/14. the IRFU change in policy to stop contributing to foreign player salaries, and invest instead in the provincial academies is beginning to reap dividends, with Leinster out in front. There are now 80 players going through the academies each year - on a 3-year cycle, with the better ones getting game opportunities with the senior squad.

Whilst it's understandable that people see Leinster as Ireland XV in disguise, a closer look at the 25 players they used across the two matches shows they had:
Kelleher - 20 year old hooker, Tracy 2nd rank, Byrne 3rd rank - Cronin out injured
Healy, Furlong, Porter - bench and starts - test caps. E Byrne 3rd rank
Fardy, Toner and Ryan - seasoned test players
Ruddock and van der Flier - seasoned test players
Doris - young 3rd rank No 8 with Conan out injured.
Gibson Park uncapped, and McGrath capped
Sexton capped, and Byrne with 3 caps, Frawley - young 3rd rank with 17 club caps
Henshaw & Ringrose - seasoned test caps
Larmour, Lowe and D Kearney - youth and capped experience.

12 are regular current Ireland squad players allowing that J McGrath, Jo Ryan, Scannell, Herring, Kleyn, O'Mahony, Stander, Murray, Marmion, Carty, Farrell, Aki, Earls, Stockdale, Conway all play at other provinces, so Leinster is not quite the Ireland XV. But obviously, given the smaller number of teams then inevitably you get a greater concentration of capped players in the teams, with Leinster to the fore.

It's also noticeable about the proportion of Ireland Qualified Players in the provincial teams given the quota restrictions on foreign players in their squads. Munster, Leinster and Ulster have over 90% of their senior squads as Ireland Qualified Players. The Premiership average is 67%. I get the impression that Boyd wants to change that over the next 2-3 seasons and build/develop domestic talent.

It's worth it.

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