How Irish teams present themselves at the start of the new season
United Rugby League 2022/2023 kicks off on Friday 16th September from Treviso, with Benetton and Glasgow Warriors match.
Sixteen teams in the run-up to the second championship title uniting the franchises of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and South Africa, which is currently held by the Stormers.
In introducing the new URC season, we start with the Irish Shield, one of the four groups the tournament is divided into and particularly useful in sealing the European Cup qualifiers.
Before franchises emerged in South Africa, the Irish dominated the league. Now, however, they are forced to question themselves about their own competitiveness and goals, between those looking for immediate compensation from last year’s joke and those trying to re-establish it.
Major purchases: Josh Murphy (Leinster), Adam Byrne (Leinster), Byron Ralston (Western Power), David Hokshaw (Leinster)
where were we: 11th place in URC 2021/2022
eyes on: Cian Prendergast – Behind Ireland’s third-line wonder quartet (Doris, van der Flier, Conan, O’Mahony) there is a big battle to put themselves as high as possible in Andy Farrell’s picks. Well in this competition isnot covered The 2000 class of Connacht, who, after traveling with the team to New Zealand and playing in the middle of the week against the Maori All Blacks, now wants to make the final attack on the green jersey.
Connacht’s exit from 2021/22 saw him slip away from qualifying for the playoffs despite taking 50% of the wins this season. The transfer market has deprived him of some important players, but the stars of the franchise have remained in the squad and some players have arrived from Leinster to try to find more space. Adam Byrne in particular could become a significant owner.
If the best XV from Connacht can legitimately aspire to compete with any opponent and become the most formidable within the walls of Galway Sportsground, a return to the Challenge Cup could allow Andy Friend, Coach Perhaps in the last year with the team, more calm in shifts. But pay attention to the first five weeks, and it’s immediately a hellish testing ground: Ulster, Stormers and Bulls away for the first three days, and Munster and Leinster at home.
Connacht will either fight to win one of the last qualifying spots, or get out of it a bit.
Major purchases: Jason Jenkins (Monster), Charlie Ngatai (Lion)
where were we: First in URC 2021/2022, knocked out in the semi-finals
eyes on: Jason Jenkins – The huge South African (202cm x 125kg) remained something of a mystery at Limerick, playing just 200 minutes for Monster last season. However, there must be something to show me, if you Dopplers They did not hesitate to take it home from the market to add another alternative to the second line division.
After controlling the regular class 2021/2022, Dublin Series mocked their home defeat to the Bulls in the URC semi-finals. The 2022/2023 season is a journey towards redemption.
Leinster is still the team to beat. No other franchise has the same amount of talent, the same depth, the same ability to continue to stay ahead of the competition while rotating players to make the best of it at the end of the season.
The technical staff added a new pawn: after Felipe Contibomi, Delphine Michael Checa’s farewell with Argentina, Leo Colin’s new assistant is the New Zealander Andrew Goodman, the former Leinster player between 2012 and 2014 and in 2021 coach of the Crusader team. Shawn O’Brien, legend of the franchise joins Communication skills coach.
The goal is the title. Any alternative, for Leinster, would be a failure.
Major purchases: Malakai Fiquetwa (wasps), Antoine Frisch (Bristol Bears)
where were we: 6th place in the 2021/2022 United Nations Football Championship, eliminated in the quarter-finals
eyes on: Craig Casey – Conor Murray is 33 years old, in addition to age, the mileage can still be felt. Casey is exactly 10 years younger, he’s a completely different player (as frenetic and daring as the other is sober and calculating) and he has a very important season ahead of him to establish himself as the number 9 in Monster for the next era.
It will be a partial re-establishment season for Monster. After the era of Johann van Graan, the team was tasked with taking care of the most famous oval ball ears, those of Graham Rowntree. The Englishman surrounded himself with a new crew: Mike Prendergast, who made fortunes for Racing 92, would take over the attack; Andy Kiriakou is the assistant striker, having worked at the Academy of Monster and Nottingham. Former club veteran Denis Lemmy will serve as defense coach.
After the departure of Damien de Allende, the arrival of Malakai Fekitoa renews him star power Essential for the team to be able to compete on the European front, as well as on the domestic front. The season will also serve as a testing ground for the generational change going on in Limerick, calling in Gavin Combes, John Hodnett, Mike Haley and Jeremy Logman to take the team on their shoulders.
If the Red Army’s ambition has always been to excel, other teams look better equipped this season, even at the URC. Pre-season friendlies, while insignificant, did not provide positive signals and said there was still a lot of work to be done to build the squad. Qualifying for the playoffs is within reach, but achieving a better result than last year will not be easy.
Major purchases: Jake Flannery (Monster), Jeffrey Tumaga Allen (Wasps), Michael MacDonald (Western Power)
where were we: 3rd place at URC 2021/2022, semi-finalist
eyes on: Jake Flannery – Ulster has 4 opening halves, but no one really has the irreplaceable scars. Even if Billy Burns is the number one choice, pay attention to the growth potential in this intriguing 1999 class, which may have been prematurely weighed by Munster, which in recent years has produced an inflated number of No. 10 predictions.
Dan MacFarland’s work is coming to an end: After 5 years in Belfast, the English coach wants to make his mark and 2023 could be the right year to bring the trophy to Northern Ireland. Last season could have been good, but the Storm faced the way at best. With a stronger team, thanks to the addition of a universal brace like Toomaga-Allen, the goal is to hit the target.
For long parts of the season, Ulster played great rugby, maximizing the talents of his players within an efficient system. However, the double commitment at the Champions League and at the top of the URC has paid its price as the months have gone by, and team depth remains one of the team’s potential weaknesses.
The first really significant test will be on September 30, when Leinster arrives in Belfast.
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