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Lack of senior talent hampering the development of young Munster hopefuls

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

11:35 10 Jan 2020

Teammates at Munster for a number of successful years, Alan Quinlan is in agreement with Ronan O'Gara's assessment of the province's sorry lot this season. 

Reflecting on Munster's heavy defeat to Ulster last weekend, Alan Quinlan, speaking on Monday's OTB AM, detected a distinct lack of quality in the province's current crop of forwards.

"Some of them are not good enough," he said. "That is the harsh reality of it.

"Some of them are underperforming, some of them are out of form and it just takes one or two in any team to be a little bit off and it snowballs."

Writing in Friday's Irish Examiner, Ronan O'Gara reiterated Quinlan's sentiments regarding their old club's deficiencies.

"To be tonked in the manner they were at Ravenhill last week would boil the blood of a previous generation of players," he noted. "The reality, in my view, is that some people who don't know the club and the ethos put average players in positions of prominence and power."

Munster 15 May 2009; Munster's Ronan O'Gara, left, and Alan Quinlan after the game. Magners League, Munster v Neath Swansea Ospreys, Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Largely in agreement with his former teammate on Friday's OTB AM, Alan Quinlan believes that the current make-up of Munster's squad is ultimately impacting upon the province's ability to develop their younger, talented players.

"There are some very good young players coming through," insisted Quinlan. "Ben Healy is a really exciting player, Jake Flannery, Jack O'Sullivan, Gavin Coombes, Liam Coombes, Shane Daly - there is a lot of good young players.

"But I think they're probably not making that jump as the likes of [their Leinster equivalents], which is fine, but I'm hoping there is still a year or two there for them to do it."

On the question of why the province's young talent has not developed as hoped, Quinlan was drawn back to the environment into which they are entering.

"I think it is a little bit down to numbers," he said. "If you put four, five lads into a team with 10, 11 internationals at once, then they'll develop.

"The ideal scenario is putting three young fellas in with 12 top-class internationals. They are playing in the first-team then rather than having six or seven of them playing at once in a second-string side.

"[But] you have to deal with the reality here. There is a lack of those top-class internationals across the board."

You can watch Alan Quinlan's preview of the weekend's rugby here

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Alan Quinlan Irish Rugby Munster Ronan O'Gara

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