5 Up 2012 – Year 4

hendy_paulie

– “Who wrote that book for you?” -“Who read it to you?!” Can Hendy translate athletic ability into a great career? He had the right example at the right time so he knows how it is done. Fulfilling that potential is the hard part.

We started the 5 Up Series nearly five years ago. We were interested to see how aspiring professional players developed and what factors affected their progress. Five players were chosen: one from each of the provinces and a second, from Leinster, who would have another season at underage level the following year. Continue reading

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5 Up 2012 – Year 3

Like many of his generation Conor Gilsenan headed to London for employment.

Like many of his generation Conor Gilsenan headed to London for employment.

We started the 5 Up Series three years ago. We were interested to see how aspiring professional players developed and what factors affected their progress. Five players were chosen: one from each of the provinces and a second, from Leinster, who would have another season at underage level the following year. Continue reading

5 Up 2012 – Year 2

JJ Hanrahan was begun to assume the mantle of Munster's number 10, compiling a success rate from the tee of nearly 90% in the process

JJ Hanrahan has begun to assume the mantle of Munster’s number 10, compiling a success rate from the tee of nearly 90% in the process.

We started the 5 Up Series two years ago. We were interested to see how aspiring professional players developed and what factors affected their progress. Five players were chosen: one from each of the provinces and a second, from Leinster, who would have another season at underage level the following year. Continue reading

5 Up 2012 – Year 1

The First of the Class of 2012 to graduate to full honours, Hendo is likely to be in the middle of Ireland's forwards for the next decade

The First of the Class of 2012 to graduate to full honours, Hendo is likely to be in the middle of Ireland’s forwards for the next decade

The idea for the 5 Up series was taken from the Seven Up TV show. We were interested to see how aspiring professional players developed and what factors affected their progress. Five players were chosen: one from each of the provinces and a second, from Leinster, who would have another season at underage level the following year. Continue reading

Match Reaction: South Africa U20s 19 – 23 Ireland U20s

The Irish U20s celebrate a cracking opening day win over hosts South Africa in the Junior World Championships. They led 13-3 at halftime and withheld a ferocious early second half onslaught to calmly see out the game. 

A win against a Bok U20 team on home soil is an enormous result – normally at this age-group, the physical advantage of the South Africans over their Irish counterparts is even more pronounced than at test level, but a hard-nosed Irish pack got down and dirty and showed outstanding toughness, effort and discipline to take the game away from the Boks. Continue reading

Signing Contracts And Joined-up Thinking

Ivan Dineen’s blistering performance when allowed off the bench against the Scarlets was an enjoyable feature of a mistake-ridden game and hugely encouraging for fans of the player. To describe Dineen as a peripheral figure over the last two seasons is to do injustice to those peripheral figures in the Munster squad … in truth, with just one start in his Munster career [and that coming a full eighteen months ago] he had more or less slipped off the radar entirely. Continue reading

5 Up 2012

Ireland’s recent U20 Six Nations campaign ended with a whimper against a grand standing, gesticulating English U20 team that got a derisive ticking off from none other than Dewi Morris, the Mole’s favourite Sky analyst. There has to be an U20 team each year so it’s difficult to know if any of these players will go onto greater things or how their careers will develop. We thought we’d focus on the five that caught our eye and follow them in the months to come. Continue reading