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Analysing Six Years of Irish Rugby Transfers

Analysing Six Years of Irish Rugby Transfers: Unveiling the Player Movement Landscape

In the dynamic realm of Irish rugby, the past six years have witnessed a significant influx of talent, with 33 players directly transferring between the four provinces. This transfer activity, spanning from the 2018/19 season to the current 2023/24 season, reveals intriguing patterns, prompting fans to question the state of the system.

Positional Overview:
The player exodus highlights a diverse array of positions, showcasing the versatility within the Irish rugby landscape.

Prop: 7
Hooker: 3
Lock: 2
Backrow: 5
Scrum Half: 5
Outhalf: 3
Centre: 3
Wing: 5

Capped Players:
Among the 33 transfers, only 7 players were capped before making their move. Notably, the journey didn’t conclude for all, as 3 players earned additional caps after their transfer. These capped players include:
– Robin Copeland (31, 4 years since cap: 1)
– Jason Jenkins (27, 4 years since cap: 1)
– Joey Carbery (23, capped after: 37)
– Jordi Murphy (27, capped after: 35)
– Jack McGrath (29, capped after: 56)
– Sam Arnold (24, 2 years since cap: 1)
– Adam Byrne (28, 5 years since cap: 1)

Retirements and International Shifts:
Concerningly, 14 players who made the province-to-province leap have either retired or chosen to continue their careers abroad. This exodus raises questions about the sustainability and appeal of the current system.

Province-wise Transfers:
The break down of the player moves between provinces is as follows

In Out
Munster 5 11
Connacht 19 1
Leinster 3 19
Ulster 6 2

Additionally, during this period, Ireland has introduced and debuted more IQ players from abroad (5) than from internal moves, including Haley, Beirne, Addison, Burns, and Hansen, soon to be joined by Jager, highlighting the effectiveness of the IQ system over internal transfers.

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