Belfast Telegraph

Coach Fogarty says Carbery and Byrne can leave if they want to

 

By Cian Tracey

As the out-half saga rumbles on, Leinster's stance remains the same - they want Joey Carbery and Ross Byrne to remain 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 - with Ulster desperate for an out-half.

Leinster, however, can feel aggrieved because it is not up to them to supplement every other club.

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.

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

The Leinster Academy stands alone as the best on the island 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.

"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, '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."

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.

"Joey came into our system as a 15-year-old and he's developed and gone on to play for the A's, 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. But I think right now he is still developing, and he's learning."

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.

"I was told Jordi was going to Ulster, I don't know the process," Fogarty added. "He wanted more game time. That's what he wanted, he wants to play for Ireland."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph