The Roar
The Roar

Derm McCrum

Roar Guru

Joined December 2008







The truth shall set you free.



Looks like Schmidt will be able to use the NZ game to test out some of his newbies after all.

At this stage of the week, O’Brien, Murray, and Henshaw have all been confirmed as not able to play – all three guaranteed starters otherwise.

There’s still a question mark over Rob Kearney at 15, Kieran Marmion the second choice SH, along with Garry Ringrose who couldn’t play against Pumas, and now Bundee Aki who turned his ankle during the game. If one of them goes out, then Ulster’s Will Addison may get his second starting cap a lot sooner than he expected, after coming down from the stands in Landsdowne to pull on a jersey after Henshaw did his hammy in the warm-up.

Up front, things look a little rosier with the front row of Healy, Best and Furlong good to go. Behind them, Devin Toner is likely to partner with 22 year old, James Ryan, who could have won man-of-the-match against Argentina putting in the most tackles, and gaining hard yards.

With SOB out, Dan Leavy may get another shout after his superb bench performance last week, although Josh van der Flier or Jordi Murphy may have something to say about that. POM and Stander should continue as they are.

Sexton to lead the line.

Should be fun.

Digging for depth: Schmidt still mining in November

Hi Derek – no I haven’t seen it. It was on BT service which I don’t have access to.

Digging for depth: Schmidt still mining in November

Yep in Leinster. With family in Ulster.

Digging for depth: Schmidt still mining in November

Hey Mzilikazi – good to hear from you again. Glad you liked the update from the old sod, it’s been great fun watching this bunch over the last 12 months. Don’t know if you saw any of the Italy match in Chicago, but Larmour was in rare form as was Tadgh Beirne who got a couple of tries for himself.

Still lots to play and find out who’s going to stay the course and who’ll be found wanting. The next three tests should be great to watch.

Digging for depth: Schmidt still mining in November

Hi Geoff – thanks for that. Agree about Australia. If he’d got a couple more wins on his board he might have had a bit more license.

Schmidt isn’t there yet and the enforced absence of Murray is going shine a light on them more than before. Ditto the over reliance on Sexton. Other positions are looking better – they just need game time to bring up their pitch miles.

Digging for depth: Schmidt still mining in November

Hi Adsa – there’s a test against the NZ team in two weeks time but won’t tell much about depth really.

Ireland team to face Argentina has been announced.

J Larmour; K Earls, R Henshaw, B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton, K Marmion; C Healy, R Best (capt), T Furlong; I Henderson, J Ryan; P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, CJ Stander. Reps: S Cronin, J McGrath, A Porter, D Toner, D Leavy, L McGrath, J Carbery, A Conway.

Really looking forward to this one. Pumas have some fantastic attacking play.

Digging for depth: Schmidt still mining in November

New Zealand have capped 30 players since RWC 2015.
South Africa have capped 41
Ireland 36
Australia 34
England 27
Scotland 24

Ireland vs All Blacks to decide the best rugby team on the planet

“Ireland seem to think they can rule the world”!!

Projecting much??

Ireland vs All Blacks to decide the best rugby team on the planet

“The Aviva game decides which is the greatest rugby team on the planet.”

Eh no it won’t. Not even close.

Ireland vs All Blacks to decide the best rugby team on the planet

Excellent game and thoroughly deserved victory by Sourh Africa.

Congrats SA fans – hope you’re celebrating that one big time.

What the Bok? Saffas stun All Blacks in incredible boilover

The PRO12/14 is owned by Celtic Rugby DADC whose shareholders are IRFU, WRU and SRU. SARU have signed a participation agreement and paid a fee through their TV rights. Each team in the PRO12, including Italian teams received a share of that additional money and new sponsorship covered the travel/logistics costs. The agreement is due for review after three years including the performance of their teams in the comp which have to meet certain criteria including player quality, required use of test players, etc. SARU’s Cull and Draft plan is intended to reduce player wage bill and spread talent across their 8 professional teams. 4 of them in the PRO16 from 2020 and 4 in Super Rugby.

Why the grass is not always greener up north

Why not, Nic? It seems to be getting a good positive reaction from most fans with the production quality and the local Tv panels they’ve lined up.

Why the grass is not always greener up north

SARU intend to cull its current roster of squad players of 990 players by 50% approx and spread the remaining talent more evenly across its 8 nominated professional franchises which includes Griquas and Pumas now. It’s likely the latter two plus Cheetahs and Kings is who they want to have in the PRO16 from 2020/21 season onwards. The other 4 SR teams would continue in Super Rugby if new SANZAAR agreement is reached.

Why the grass is not always greener up north

Kirky – “Not sure about the other four Home Unions but I would imagine that they’d be much the same which is a shame because taking into consideration the numbers of rugby players available all over the UK as opposed to Australia and New Zealand in comparison, surely they should surely be able to use their own!“

There’s three rugby unions on the island of Great Britain: England – has 12 teams with 682 professional players including academy. Wales has 4 with 200. Scotland has 2 teams with 90 players. Those are the respective numbers in each union in the UK. Ireland (not in the UK) has 4 teams with 252 players in case you were including those.

You say Pat Lam is seen as a failed coach in NZ. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons he left. Why would Lam encourage Piutau to leave NZ? And if NZ fans regard taking a development Irish province from bottom-dwellers to winning the PRO12 as average, perhaps that’s another reason why he left. I don’t understand the need to denigrate these Kiwi coaches who choose to coach elsewhere. Nor disparage players who choose to move to another country.

Why the grass is not always greener up north

A grand chance?

The Australian rugby system is the problem, not just Michael Cheika

Err, the Boks were beaten by the Pumas. Does this increase Australian chances of winning the remainder of their games or more likely that home spoils will be shared?

Brilliant Beauden Barrett bags All Blacks another Bledisloe Cup

Nice rant, Kirky!!

Brilliant Beauden Barrett bags All Blacks another Bledisloe Cup

This is the first article on The Roar in ten years that I hardly understood a single word of.

Must be my age.

Crackling and Spanks: Wallaby woes, missing Dockers and The Voice

Didn’t see the match unfortunately. Did Folau contest any of the kick-offs and how did he get on?

Wallabies should be ashamed of last night's Bledisloe drubbing

Correction – 10 foreign-born players capped since Nov 2015. Eng 1, SA 2, NZ 3, Fra/Aus/Can/Nig 1.

Fake news: 'Poaching' allegations the latest slight against the All Blacks

Some useful and insightful comments on this topic so far.

As someone else commented what is meant by the term poaching anyway?

And why does is it seem to be confined to test rugby players in this article? If I recall correctly some of Stephen Jones commentary on this issue, his comments have been directed at New Zealand rugby in their use of PI players at all levels, not just test rugby. I’m not saying whether he’s right or wrong in his assertion, and I certainly don’t think it’s confined to New Zealand.

There’s plenty of provocative and emotional language used regarding the transfer of players from one country to another, particularly when they cross the equator northwards.

NZ test players are regularly “poached” or “stolen” by “cashed-up NH clubs” as well as uncapped players who automatically are dubbed “project players” “poached by the NH” – particularly if they move to Ireland or Scotland. Or alternatively, they’ve gone for their pension or are past-it anyway.

The comprehensive database, cited by this article’s author – put together by Hautahi Kingi – – makes for interesting reading, particularly the patterns and trends over time with use of foreign-born players by different countries.

The strong links between New Zealand and the PI nations and the resulting inflows and outflows of people/players between the two is unsurprising and is somewhat mirrored in Europe, particularly between the clubs, leagues and countries in Ireland and Great Britain. For example, in the five years between 1995-1999, Ireland capped 19 foreign-born players, 11 of them from England, 5 from NZ, and 1 each from Can, Aus, SA. When Irish rugby went professional in 2000 with Irish players paid and based in Ireland, it took until Nov 2015 before another 19 foreign-born players were capped – 7 from England, SA 3, NZ 4, and 1 from USA, Canada, Israel, Spain, Australia.

There have been another 8 foreign-born players capped since Nov 2015 – SA 2, NZ 2, Fra, Aus, Can, Nig 1.

Players will continue to move and emigrate between countries – particularly those with the budgets to attract them and who offer a chance to earn money for themselves and their families. And who offer a chance to play competitive senior rugby where opportunities are reduced or non-existent in their own country.

Fake news: 'Poaching' allegations the latest slight against the All Blacks

I think the main reason that it’s talked about so much is because NZ rugby fans talk about it so much and that encourages others to talk about it again and then NZ media and fans get raging and spit fireballs thus encouraging others to keep talking about it fueling more NZ outrage and fireballs and so on and on.

Frankly, I couldn’t give two hoots where NZ gets its players from. Whoever they are, they play good rugby – that’s it.

Fake news: 'Poaching' allegations the latest slight against the All Blacks

The French academies are regularly mentioned – just depends on where you live and what eye patch you’re wearing.

What colour is your patch?

“But the Independent tried to throw some shade onto it with the connotation that the Crusaders lured him away without his consent.” Is this your opinion or is it factual? Whose consent are you talking about? O’Gara’s? How do you lure someone away without their consent?

The background to the move has been well documented. Maybe read up on that. Carter asked ROG if he’d be interested. Angus Gardiner followed up the pursuit.

“Why was O’Gara poached and Schmidt appointed? What’s the distinction?”

O’Gara was in a contract at Racing 92. When he was offered the position by Crusaders, Racing agreed to let him leave his contract early. He moved from a privately owned French club in France to a union-owned provincial team in New Zealand.

Schmidt was Coach at Leinster and applied for national coach post with IRFU against McKensie and Kiss. Same country, same employer.

In addition, you may not have noticed that your first headline about O’Gara is taken from an Irish newspaper called Irish Independent who based their story on another rival paper The Irish Examiner for whom O’Gara writes as a columnist. Your second comparison headline about Schmidt is from an English newspaper called The Independent. Different papers. Different countries. Different headline writers.

Interestingly, the UK Independent ran an article earlier this year headlined: “New Zealand fear players as young as 15 are being poached by clubs in France, England and Japan, says Steve Tew”

The New Zealand Herald also ran a story this year headlined: “Are the All Blacks the acceptable face of player poaching?”

Lots of different media with different facts and opinions.

Fake news: 'Poaching' allegations the latest slight against the All Blacks

Nic – who was Hooper competing against in test 1 & 2?

What worked well against a reduced Ireland team in the first test of an end of year series may not be so effective going up against a hungry New Zealand in a first Bledisloe test.

Why Michael Hooper is the Six Million Dollar Man

You are Steve Hansen and I claim my $10.

Don’t say another word, Nic.


Why Michael Hooper is the Six Million Dollar Man