Eight young players to watch at URC this season · The42

A new season for Rugby United brings with it the usual mix of excitement and anticipation, and this year is likely to have a slightly different feel as the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France approaches than ever before.

The season structure has a fresh look, with no fixtures planned during the international windows, and the International Mineral Resources Union sent a team from emerging Ireland to South Africa later this month, stripping the counties of some of their most exciting young prospects for a number of weeks.

It’s nice to showcase your talents to the national coaches but for many young players, making a strong impression at the provincial level will be the main focus this season.

Here, we’ve highlighted eight players aged 23 or younger who will be sure to make their mark in the league this season – some already on the cusp of pushing for their starting positions, and others hoping to make headway. in the coming months.


1. David Hokshaw (23) half player

Hokshaw is highly rated at Leinster, but with so many options in the 10th minute ahead of him, his move west appears to be the right call for a young player eager to have more minutes under his belt. The ex-Belvedere man hails from a strong athletic family – Hokshaw once played a minor flier for Dublin, his mother played Kamoji Limerick, his sister Sarah Ireland represented hockey, his two brothers are both talented rugby players, older brother James Lynes. For Clontarf while Daniel was at Connacht Academy and was part of Ireland’s U20s this year.

One of the big problems for Connacht over the last number of seasons has been adding strength and depth to their squad, and this is where Hokshaw comes into the picture. Oftentimes, the county was overly dependent on the front lines and when they needed to dig a little deeper into their reserves, there was a noticeable drop. Hawkshaw will aim to push Connacht captain Jack Carty and provide reliable and consistent coverage at the 10 o’clock, but he faces competition from Conor Fitzgerald and Cathal Forde. A high-quality addition that can also cover 12, its versatility can come in handy in a demanding season.

2. Dylan Tierney Martin (23), a prostitute

Stabbed by injury last year, the Corinthians man is a locally grown talent Connacht who will be keen to make up for lost time. Prostitute was Ireland’s Under-20 top scorer in the 2019 Grand Slam season, and he hopes to keep that close-range threat part of his senior county-level arsenal.

Dylan Tierney Martin from Connacht.

Source: James Crombie / INPHO

Having previously played as a winger, Tierney-Martin can count on a solid interference among his strengths and used his time on the sidelines last season to work on his sport. This is his second season as part of Connacht’s first team, but after making just five appearances for the county last season, this will be the year he hopes to achieve.


1. Joe McCarthy (21) 2nd grade

One of last season’s standouts, McCarthy, 6 feet 6 inches and 119 kilograms, appears to have a great future in the game. McCarthy made his Leinster debut against Cardiff in January and added 10 more matches before the end of the season, to seal the bench win in the Champions Cup final against La Rochelle. McCarthy trained with Team Ireland during the Six Nations, and former Black Rock student Andy Farrell described him as “outstanding” during that camp.

The Ireland coach also highlighted McCarthy’s “big legs” as a strength, but the second rower has great skills to complement his strength. He appeared for Ireland in midweek matches against the Maori All Blacks and will be looking to impress the national coaches once again during Ireland’s fledgling tour to South Africa. We have a big season.

2. Jamie Osborne (20), center / defender

Osborne signed his first contract with Leinster at the end of last season after a number of promising offers in the blue shirt. After six entries into his first campaign (2020/21), the Naas man added 13 games last season, including 11.

Jimmy Osborne

Osborne could cover a number of positions across the backline.

Source: Ben Brady / INPHO

The versatile Osborne appeared in 12, 13 and 15 Leinster jerseys, but most of his caps came on the outside. He has higher fans in the IRFU series as well, with Farrell approaching him to train with Team Ireland as a development player during the 2021 international fall window. Osborne was also selected for Ireland’s upcoming Emerging Tour to South Africa, but with Leinster, his focus will be on moving from a promising young player to Participate in more matchday teams as the big days approach.


1. Alex Kindlin (21), back row

At just 21 years old, Kendellen has already shown that he is well capable of blending in alongside Munster’s more established back-stars. He excelled as Ireland’s captain at U20, and the leadership he demonstrated in class has taken him to the next level. If he’s not headed to the Emerging Ireland Tour, he’ll probably be spending a lot of minutes at the URC.

In just his second year at the Monster academy, Kindelin broke into the first team last season and, despite his young age, quickly earned the trust of the Monster coaching staff and made some big impacts against top-tier rivals – including an unforgettable display in a Champions Cup defeat in the quarter-finals. The Champions Cup final against Toulouse, which was just the start of his second Champions Cup. It’s easy to see why he cited PBC graduate Peter Omhoney as a role model. Young Cork already looks like he could be cut from the same cloth.

2. Tom Ahern (22), second grade

Another striker from Münster has a great future ahead of him. Only six senior players started with his name, but Ahern appears ready to launch again, as he showed flashes of his obvious potential over the past season, having been postponed the year before due to various injuries. At 6’9″ and 117kg, Ahern has the frame to add some extra physique to his Munster package, while he prides himself on a pace not normally associated with the number on his back.

Happy to get involved in offensive play as well, honing his maneuvering skills during his previous life as a full-back. It was a time for the Waterford man to play Gaelic football and toss hard as well. Another young player preparing to kick off Ireland’s Emerging Tour to South Africa, Farrell has been thinking for some time already, having trained with Ireland last season. It’s easy to see why Paul O’Connell and his cohorts were keen to get him into camp. Ahern owns all the raw materials to become a seriously influential second grader.

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1. Nathan Doak (20), Half Scrum

Unlike some of the players on this list, Doak has already had a lot of appearances, making 25 appearances for Ulster last season. However, at just 20 years old, there is a lot to come from the son of former Ulster player and coach, Neil, and it will be interesting to see how his game develops again over the course of the season. He rose to prominence with Ireland’s Under-20 team in 2021 and quickly settled into the ranks of the Ulster first team. His first major-team contract arrived last December, and Ulster has acknowledged his status as one of Ireland’s most promising young players with a four-year deal.

Nathan Duke clears the ball though Rory Arnold

Doak already seems totally at home on the Ulster team.

Source: Laszlo Geczo / INPHO

Not yet crowned at Test level, Duak missed the summer tour of New Zealand, but he will head to South Africa with the emerging Ireland side. Quiet under pressure, he presents a strong running threat and can also lend his services as a leader of the high-quality venue. It would be great to see how his battle for the nine jersey with John Kony develops this year. The gap is already narrowing.

2. Jake Flannery (23) Half-back/half-back

With Joey Carbery, Ben Healy and Jack Crowley all vying for time in the 10th jersey at Monster, Flannery decided to support himself and steer clear of the comforts of home for a new challenge in Ulster. The 23-year-old is clearly an ambitious young player hoping to make a quick mark in his new county.

He joined the Monster Academy in the summer of 2019, having shone for the Ireland U-20s in their Grand Slam winning campaign that year. With limited opportunities at Monster, Flannery put his head down with Shannon at AIL, where he continued to impress. Johan van Graan was said to have been interested in signing Flannery when he left Munster for Bath, with a number of French clubs also believed to have been interested in securing his services. He can play as center back or outside linebacker, and is seen as an exciting addition to Ulster’s competitive defense line that is brimming with young talent.

– Originally Posted on 06.30

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