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So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Talk about the men in white, and everything Ulster!!

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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby UlsterNo9 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:29 pm

http://ulsterrugby.com/news/16872.php#.Wk1YmTdpFPY

Operations Update with Bryn Cunningham

Bryn Cunningham gives an insight into his role as Operations Director and shares his views on the ongoing enhancement of the playing roster at Ulster...
Can you give us an insight into what your role entails on a weekly basis?

It's a bit of a cliché, but no two weeks are the same. My diary is my lifeline with, internal meetings across various strands of the organisation, plus external meetings with the IRFU, agents and prospective players.

My core roles include: developing the succession plan of the squad, player retention and recruitment, negotiation of all playing and coaching contracts, Academy functionality and how it feeds into the senior squad. I also manage the overall budget of the professional game.

A big focus of my time at present is looking at the strategy of the organisation over the next 3-5-year period, which will hopefully commence formally within the next few months.

In terms of player movement, can you give us a quick update on where Ulster is at the moment and how do you hope to shape the squad going forward?

We are delighted to have recently re-signed Luke Marshall, Rob Herring and Kieran Treadwell on long-term deals. Having a core group of quality players with the right character committing long term gives stability to the Province and shows the desire these players have to achieve silverware with Ulster, something we all crave.

We don't have the finances of the English and French markets, we have restrictions in terms of who we can recruit in terms of non-Irish qualified players and we have a relatively small indigenous player pool. When you add all those things to the mix, retention of key players is paramount in building towards a squad required to take on the best in Europe and beat them.

I'm a bit of a traditionalist at heart and having been a 'one-club-man' myself for 13 years, I strongly believe that a sense of loyalty can still exist in the modern era. There are some intangibles, more important than short-term monetary gain, that I try to impress on certain players when, ultimately, they reflect on their careers down the line.

I'm also in constant communication with the IRFU and players' agents on national contracts, which are critical to our budget forecasting.

In terms of recruitment, we have already added Marty Moore and Jordi Murphy to our roster for next season, which will provide us with greater strength in our front-line squad.

Over the last couple of seasons, we've highlighted what we need coming through the Academy, in terms of position, type of player and character. We have some grizzly, uncompromising forwards coming through over the next 3-5 years, who could provide the backbone of our team and reinforce some of the traditions of what Ulster Rugby was built on decades ago. When you add in some of the talent in the backs and pace in the outside channels only entering our Academy now, I am very optimistic about the future.

Getting the right blend of leadership, hardness, competitiveness and talent will be key to rejuvenating Ulster, staying true to our roots but evolving at the pace required to win trophies.

How are the Academy players getting on? Are any future homebred Ulster stars likely to move into the full-time squad soon?

There is great integration between the Academy and senior squads, in which Kieran Campbell (Academy Manager) is integral. A big reason we hoped to get someone like Willie Anderson in there as Forwards Coach, was again to highlight the type of player we have lacked coming through for a number of years - physical and uncompromising.

Good examples of this are the likes of Adam McBurney, Matty Dalton and Aaron Hall whom, if they apply themselves professionally, will have very successful futures with Ulster Rugby, if not the national team. Other guys making big impressions already would be players such as Tom O'Toole and Greg Jones in the pack and importantly, at halfback, with Johnny Stewart and Michael Lowry. We expect big things from those listed above (and others hopefully) over the next few years!

What do you look for when recruiting overseas players like Charles Piutau and Marcell Coetzee?

There are a number of things and the criteria is never identical across positions. Taking Charles as an example, the aim was to find someone who had a rounded game, so he could play across a number of positions. This was key for two reasons. Firstly, we don't want to prevent young talent in the system not having a chance to break through and secondly, with injuries such a massive part of the game now, having the ability to shift players around is vital.

Critically, the player had to have a serious X-factor to their play, as those types of players are often the difference between winning and losing tight games.

The right character is also essential; that the player would fit into our culture and thrive, become a leader and have the ability to mentor younger players. In this instance, I believe we achieved everything we were after with Charles.

However, a player can still tick all the criteria you are after but be ravaged by injury and there is very little you can do about it. In Marcell Coetzee's case, the damage he does at ruck time and his explosive ball-carrying ability were key attributes we were after but his unfortunate injury before arriving with us and the further injuries he has sustained means we have only seen very small glimpses of the huge contribution he offers.

Mainly, it's soul destroying for the player. For the club, with player welfare being something we take very seriously, irrespective of the contractual obligation, all that our Medical and Strength & Conditioning team can do is make every effort to get them back to full fitness.

What are your main challenges in terms of recruitment?

It's a hugely competitive market out there for a start! When you consider that we can only recruit up to a maximum of 4 foreign players and 1 special project player, it immediately limits you.

Due to the small numbers, you often find that Southern Hemisphere players may go to a French or English club because these clubs average between 14 and 18 foreigners and the incoming player is likely to have friends or former teammates plying their trade there.

Players' partners will clearly have a big say in this, as the move is always more difficult for them as they don't have the day-to-day contact with people that the player does. Familiarity can be key for them.

Financially, while we are always very competitive, we can rarely rely on providing the best remuneration package, so we need to sell the Ulster brand in many other ways, which we believe are among the bets in Europe. Those are personal to us and as points of difference I would tend to keep private as much as possible.

A lot of quality overseas players also want to come to a club that has a realistic capability of winning silverware. Ideally, we need to be consistently in the knock-out stages of the PRO14, if not Europe too, if we want to continually attract some of the best talent out there.

Timing is often everything and no two players are on exactly the same time lines in terms of making decisions.

Strong relationships with agents is key to stay ahead of the curve. In our current group of five overseas players, they are represented by five different agents from four different companies, which shows the importance of having a strong global network.

Finally, how to do think the current squad compares to this time last year?

I believe it is undoubtedly stronger. I also believe that next year we will be stronger again. The depth is getting better, as we now have Development players and even Academy players capable of playing and competing at PRO14 level, something we didn't have two years ago.

Therefore, the foundations are getting better, meaning you become less reliant on your starting 15 staying injury-free week-in-week-out in order to compete against the best sides.

However, we are also realistic and know that if we are to compete on two fronts, we need to have better luck with injuries and availability to key personnel.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby twiglet » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:50 pm

If Logan doesn't resign how is it possible to get rid of him?
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby Rooster » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:11 am

twiglet wrote:If Logan doesn't resign how is it possible to get rid of him?
Board can sack him
“That made me feel very special and underlined to me that Ulster is more than a team, it is a community and a rugby family"
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby Tighty » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:15 am

I second the Jackman proposal and feel he is becoming a very good coach. However I dont think he will leave the Dragons for a while yet, due to the pending arrival of Moriarty, Hiibard and possibly George North. The Dragons also have unearthed some good young players.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby againstthehead » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:15 am

Wayne Smith and jonno
Climb up onto the top of your house and start screaming: 'stand up for the Ulstermen, stand.......'
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby Cockatrice » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:47 am

Looking at what Bryan does I wonder how close it is to what DHump was actually doing?

We could and should dump Logan as he is surplus to any requirement and bring in an Administration Manager with some banking, financial and or accountancy experience to manage the office.

If we had kept the DHump DoR role then we would at least save a salary somewhere in the equation.
Currently studying Stage 5 (level3) at IRFU
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby therealspratt » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:54 am

Jackman's a coach I would remain very cautious about given his reputation in Ireland due to Clontarf tenure, and how things winded up at Grenoble.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby justinr73 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:08 am

BaggyTrousers wrote:
scrum5 wrote:
justinr73 wrote:Edinburgh is dead nice though.

Is Mike Ford ruled out because he is a defence coach who played rugby league?

Mallinder has a pretty decent track record.

Both Northern English rather than Northern Irish but, hey, you can't have everything.


You have just become the stereotypical Englishman..... :D


Lionel, for that single post, I have to go a step further than Scrumptious and henceforth shall refer to you as Ron'n Jr. Have at thee sirrah.


Excellent. I've been loving the old boy's scrummaging analysis over the last couple of days.

I'm also loving the nominations for Lancaster given his barely believable selection howlers that ruined England's World Cup.

Could be a case of better the Devil you know chaps.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby BaggyTrousers » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:41 am

You won't see me suggesting any Lionels Ron'n Jr., I don't trust them to sit the right way round on a bog seat.
Support the team and coaching staff. Forget the rest,BUT NEVER MOVE ON.

FIRFU - FU'CK YOU ONE AND ALL, CAVING IN TO SPONSORS, SACKING THE INNOCENT FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, SHAMEFUL BASTA'RDS. YOU'VE LOST MY SUPPORT & I HOPE MORE ULSTERMEN & WOMEN
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby Liz Fraser » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:45 am

justinr73 wrote:
BaggyTrousers wrote:
scrum5 wrote:
justinr73 wrote:Edinburgh is dead nice though.

Is Mike Ford ruled out because he is a defence coach who played rugby league?

Mallinder has a pretty decent track record.

Both Northern English rather than Northern Irish but, hey, you can't have everything.


You have just become the stereotypical Englishman..... :D


Lionel, for that single post, I have to go a step further than Scrumptious and henceforth shall refer to you as Ron'n Jr. Have at thee sirrah.


Excellent. I've been loving the old boy's scrummaging analysis over the last couple of days.

I'm also loving the nominations for Lancaster given his barely believable selection howlers that ruined England's World Cup.

Could be a case of better the Devil you know chaps.

That is a great point Justin and I agree with you about Lancasters howlers which I called at the time.
With Burgess having been fast tracked into the England side I believed it had an unsettling effect to his side.
Whether it was his call or it was forced upon him I don't know but what I do almost certainly know is that Lancaster will have learned from that.
Also on the retirement of Darce and bod, Schmidt basically picked Payne and Henshaw as their replacements regardless of possible better options.
He understood that the partnership was more important than the individual.
Going into the world cup it seems inconceivable now that Lancaster started with a 10 12 13 axis that had never played together.
They started v Wales and unsurprisingly it went downhill from there as he was chasing his tail thereafter.

However Lancaster is a man of tremendous integrity.
The England team he inherited from Johnson were a rabble and he restored order.
Barring basically Itoje it was the same side that Jones took to a world record equaling number of winning games.
Lancaster clearly put in those foundations..

He took his departure with dignity and took England's world cup exit entirely on the chin.
Accountability- a foreign word in Ulster Rugby.

He didn't run and take a job offer in Australia as people anticipated but he took a job as number 2 at Leinster who were floundering at the time and took a punt on him.
It must have been a a lot of pride to swallow from one of the top jobs in rugby to a number 2 but demonstrated a complete lack of ego.

Instaneously Leinsters fortunes were transformed.
Their style of play changed as speed of ball from ruck improved, skills and heads up being encouraged.
Defensively again huge steps taken with line speed and cohesion the order of the day.

Young players are coming through on a conveyor belt, developed and empowered.
That is where Lancasters built his reputation and of all the things we need top of the list, that is it.

What separates a Lancaster type from say a Gatland or Kidney is that he evolves his thinking, always learning from experience and developing his own repertoire.
He doesn't have a formula and stick to it no matter.

So in answer to your point Justin would I have Lancaster?
In a fecken heartbeat.
He now even has the fact that he has experience of coaching and understanding the IRFU set up to add to his CV.
Even at worst case if he does what he did at England to build foundations out of rubble for someone else to build upon, that is exactly what we need right now.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby ColinM » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:55 am

Whilst off topic, I have oft thought that the Burgess selections were put upon Lancaster, by some higher echelons in the RFU to justify the money they'd spunked on him. Same with Farrell a number of years previous. Lancaster's reputation remains in tact as far as I'm concerned for the long term benefit he brought.

Anyway back on topic, I've been berated a few times on this board and elsewhere for suggesting that our S&C team have questions to answer about knee health in particular in the squad, I have been reliably informed that our methods are much more better than anyone elses and therefore I'm wrong. We have been struck by lightning striking in the same place about 10 times in a handful of seasons etc. Did I believe it? no. Do I have the knowledge of the topic to challenge it? nada.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby ColinM » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:58 am

Cockatrice wrote:Looking at what Bryan does I wonder how close it is to what DHump was actually doing?

We could and should dump Logan as he is surplus to any requirement and bring in an Administration Manager with some banking, financial and or accountancy experience to manage the office.

If we had kept the DHump DoR role then we would at least save a salary somewhere in the equation.


This. Col Logan has inserted that many layers its actually him that is now surplus, in fact him and Kiss. Sack Logan and Kiss, let Bryn have an enhanced job title and let Jonno choose a defence coach.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby justinr73 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:18 am

Liz Fraser wrote:
justinr73 wrote:
BaggyTrousers wrote:
scrum5 wrote:
justinr73 wrote:Edinburgh is dead nice though.

Is Mike Ford ruled out because he is a defence coach who played rugby league?

Mallinder has a pretty decent track record.

Both Northern English rather than Northern Irish but, hey, you can't have everything.


You have just become the stereotypical Englishman..... :D


Lionel, for that single post, I have to go a step further than Scrumptious and henceforth shall refer to you as Ron'n Jr. Have at thee sirrah.


Excellent. I've been loving the old boy's scrummaging analysis over the last couple of days.

I'm also loving the nominations for Lancaster given his barely believable selection howlers that ruined England's World Cup.

Could be a case of better the Devil you know chaps.

That is a great point Justin and I agree with you about Lancasters howlers which I called at the time.
With Burgess having been fast tracked into the England side I believed it had an unsettling effect to his side.
Whether it was his call or it was forced upon him I don't know but what I do almost certainly know is that Lancaster will have learned from that.
Also on the retirement of Darce and bod, Schmidt basically picked Payne and Henshaw as their replacements regardless of possible better options.
He understood that the partnership was more important than the individual.
Going into the world cup it seems inconceivable now that Lancaster started with a 10 12 13 axis that had never played together.
They started v Wales and unsurprisingly it went downhill from there as he was chasing his tail thereafter.

However Lancaster is a man of tremendous integrity.
The England team he inherited from Johnson were a rabble and he restored order.
Barring basically Itoje it was the same side that Jones took to a world record equaling number of winning games.
Lancaster clearly put in those foundations..

He took his departure with dignity and took England's world cup exit entirely on the chin.
Accountability- a foreign word in Ulster Rugby.

He didn't run and take a job offer in Australia as people anticipated but he took a job as number 2 at Leinster who were floundering at the time and took a punt on him.
It must have been a a lot of pride to swallow from one of the top jobs in rugby to a number 2 but demonstrated a complete lack of ego.

Instaneously Leinsters fortunes were transformed.
Their style of play changed as speed of ball from ruck improved, skills and heads up being encouraged.
Defensively again huge steps taken with line speed and cohesion the order of the day.

Young players are coming through on a conveyor belt, developed and empowered.
That is where Lancasters built his reputation and of all the things we need top of the list, that is it.

What separates a Lancaster type from say a Gatland or Kidney is that he evolves his thinking, always learning from experience and developing his own repertoire.
He doesn't have a formula and stick to it no matter.

So in answer to your point Justin would I have Lancaster?
In a fecken heartbeat.
He now even has the fact that he has experience of coaching and understanding the IRFU set up to add to his CV.
Even at worst case if he does what he did at England to build foundations out of rubble for someone else to build upon, that is exactly what we need right now.


Lancaster is certainly a good egg Liz and is surname is a broad clue to the fine neck of the woods that he hails from.

But are we looking for a Head Coach or someone to run the Academy?

My understanding is that he's had one successful season in actual charge of a team (when he took Leeds up only to then win 2 out of 22 the next year).

He doesn't appear to be at all comfortable in the spotlight and the fact that he was happy to slot in behind Plug says it all for me.
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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby shamalicious » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:19 am

Cockatrice wrote:Looking at what Bryan does I wonder how close it is to what DHump was actually doing?

We could and should dump Logan as he is surplus to any requirement and bring in an Administration Manager with some banking, financial and or accountancy experience to manage the office.

If we had kept the DHump DoR role then we would at least save a salary somewhere in the equation.
Pretty much what I said.

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Re: So say the 'noise' gets too loud .... and he goes ....

Postby Dave » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:39 am

I don't think anyone was suggesting Lancaster as top dog. He has been an elite level coach in the england setup for years. He didn't have a clue about selecting at international level. You need a proven winner at club level before you get an international gig. Anyway Lancaster is doing a very good job at Leinster he would hardly wish to demote himself and head north.

A bit like EOS, probably a good coach but never a head coach. I think getting an experienced coach would be good for us as back up to Jonno with LK out of the picture. FOLK is a prime example of a guy just handed a role he has no experience with and just floundering.
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