Eoin O’Malley has had a very promising career cut short mid-stride. Serious injury is an ever-present threat in rugby, but it’s impossible to dwell on it and perform at your optimum. O’Malley’s early retirement means that not one of the Leinster players born in 1988 who represented Ireland at U20 level in 2008 – and there were ten of them – are currently contracted to the club.
The argument was made to The Mole recently that Clermont have missed their chance to win the Heineken Cup, with a number of their most prominent players having passed their prime. Continue reading →
Leinster announced a huge number of contract extensions together, neatly defusing inspection of new recruits (Denton and Bent) and camouflaging some other calls which might have got more attention in the media were they announced piecemeal.
In the wake of their Heineken Cup semi-final win in Bordeaux against Clermont Auvergne, Leinster have released a statement detailing a whole raft of contract renewals and a few new signings. Continue reading →
John Smit's savoir faire ruffled for the first and only time in his career
On what promises to be a fairly grisly evening weather-wise, much has been made of the fact that the Cardiff Blues team visiting the RDS tonight is denuded of eight Welsh internationals. Wales, you see, are playing the Australians in a coffer-filling exercise tomorrow. Fortunately for them, the base avarice of the WRU has been allowed skulk through the mists of sentimentality that have followed Shane Williams’ announcement of his retirement from international rugby. This match isn’t actually a testimonial to the former IRB International Player of the Year, as much as he deserves one, and as much as it is being portrayed as such by the Welsh media. No, this is just the WRU in full money-grabbing mode, flogging its players in a bid to capitalise on their reasonably successful RWC11 efforts. Continue reading →
Kev McLaughlin and Jean Bouilhou: they don't just look alike
Kev McLaughlin could be Leinster’s version of Toulouse’s Jean Bouilhou, a player for whom the Mole has a whole heap of time. Bouilhou got his first cap for France back in 2001 as a 22 year old down in New Zealand, then got a second two years later in 2003 on tour to Argentina before the World Cup … and that’s the sum of his international career. Continue reading →