Wednesday 19 June 2019

A player must want to leave, they will not be pushed out by us - Fogarty

Fogarty: We need the players. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Fogarty: We need the players. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

As the out-half saga rumbles on, Leinster's stance remains the same - they want Joey Carbery and Ross Byrne to stay at the province and neither will be leaving unless they want to.

For now at least, both players are happy where they are, but you can understand the IRFU's desire to spread the talent across all four provinces. Leinster, however, can feel aggrieved because it is not up to them to supplement every other club in the country.

Ross Byrne will start ahead of Joey Carbery against Munster
Ross Byrne will start ahead of Joey Carbery against Munster

As well as that, Leinster are on the precipice of dominating Europe again and they will only be able to maintain that kind of form by having a squad that not only has depth but has the strength to go with it.

Munster's defeat to Racing proved they are some way short of having such luxuries, and Leinster certainly don't want to go down the same road.

That said, the rate at which the province are producing exciting young talents means it is impossible to keep them all happy.

"The fact is we need these players here, we're not keeping them here," scrum coach John Fogarty said.

"Ultimately the players will make the decisions - what they want to do. There's no one who's going to be kept, held, or pushed. That just doesn't happen.

"We're not the type of province who like to hoard, we want to develop players, we want them to be successful for us and for Ireland."

The Leinster Academy stands alone as the best in the country at the moment, and it is up to the rest to play catch-up.

The playing numbers in the province help massively in that regard but the level of coaching players are being subjected to from as early as school is having a resoundingly positive impact on Leinster as a whole.

It is no coincidence that the conveyor belt of talent is showing no signs of slowing down, yet you can fully understand the hierarchy being protective over their prized assets.

"The reality is for Leo (Cullen) and Joe (Schmidt), they've a really good relationship," Fogarty maintained.

"They regularly meet and discuss what they need to discuss. Players are being managed, that's ongoing.

"To date we've used 53 players in all competitions. We use a lot of players, it's a simple fact. There's nothing worse than seeing a player not do well here. We don't want that.

"So, when Tadhg Beirne left, for instance, we all said, 'Jesus, this is not a bad route for him', because we hadn't game time for him.

"We'll look at the players we have; Are we using these players? Are they being successful? Are they getting game time? Are they developing?

"If that's happening here at Leinster... then great. As I said, ultimately the player is going to make the decision.

"The player will make the decision to do what they want, so ultimately, from our end, if we know that we're developing a player and there is game time for him, that's good."

Ulster's need for an out-half is obvious but it is understood that they have refocused their attention on signing a foreign 10.

What will complicate the situation further is if Munster decide that they too are in the market for a new out-half, which could well happen.

"Joey came into our system as a 15-year-old and he's developed and gone on to play for the As, our senior side, and he's gone on to play for Ireland, I don't think there's a problem with Joey's development," Fogarty insisted.

"He was playing for Ireland at 21. He's successful in his country's jersey. Is he developing? Absolutely.

"Is Joey a successful and talented player? Absolutely he is, and he will continue to be wherever he is. But I think right now he is still developing, and he's learning.

"This is what Leo, Joe and David (Nucifora) discuss regularly. Last week, next week and the week after. They want the best for everyone."

Such is his current form and the amount of game time that he is getting, Jordi Murphy's decision to join Ulster next season looks increasingly risky.

Yet, he is an example of someone who wanted to leave in order to play more often, with the view to ultimately furthering his Ireland career.

"I was told Jordi was going to Ulster, I don't know the process," Fogarty added.

"He wanted more game time. Ultimately that's what he wanted to do, as he wants to play for Ireland.

"I look at the players and don't think about any other club, I'm thinking about that player being successful and him developing.

"And as I said it's hard to watch a guy not move forward, and then you go, 'are we stopping him, is it something we're doing?'

"And that's why when Tadhg (Beirne) left it was a resounding, 'this kid is good enough and we haven't got game time for him because of this, that and the other.' He had to go and he's done brilliant."

As 'problems' go, producing too many quality young players is the kind of position that Leinster want to be in.

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