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Ireland's Best Rugby Players Logged A Mental Amount Of Minutes This Season

Ireland's Best Rugby Players Logged A Mental Amount Of Minutes This Season
By James Carroll

The Lions test series in New Zealand has come to an end. It was the longest tour in Lions history, and thus, for the Irish players who exemplified themselves Down Under, it was the longest season ever. It was amazing to see Ireland's best players lay their body on the line against the best team in the world, but the Tour will inevitably take a massive toll on the Irish national team and the provinces.

What sort of an effect will this Lions tour have on our best players? We've totted up the total minutes that Ireland's best players have logged since the season began late last August. The results are staggering.  CJ Stander shattered the 2,000 minute mark, playing roughly an entire day and a half of rugby over the season.

Here's Ireland's leaders in terms of minutes logged this season. We hope the lads enjoy a long and deserved holiday.

CJ Stander

Four tries in eight games for Ireland, including three in one match, albeit that was against Italy in Rome. Stander tops the list in terms of minutes played. Although he is colossal ball carrier, playing so many minutes this season may not be good for his long term fitness.
Pro 12 minutes played: 663 (nine matches)
European Champions Cup, minutes played: 626 (eight matches)
November Internationals minutes played: 182 (three matches)
Six Nations minutes played 383: (five matches)
Lions minutes played: 385 (six matches)
Total minutes: 2,239 over 31 games played.

Conor Murray

Ireland's player of the year in 2017 and arguably the best scrum half in the world, played the second most amount of minutes throughout the season. He has scored a record four tries against the All Blacks (no other player in world rugby has scored more). It is imperative to have him on the field for as long as possible, provided he is given plenty of protection from his forwards and the referees.

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Pro 12 minutes played: 526 (eight matches)
European Champions Cup minutes played: 423 (six matches)
November Internationals minutes played: 240 (three matches)
Six Nations minutes played: 274 (four matches)
Lions minutes played: 363 (five matches)
Total minutes: 1,826 over 26 games.

Tadhg Furlong

Furlong is fast becoming Ireland's favourite rugby player (He even made an impression on the New Zealand media) with his silky handling skills and his outstanding battering ram ability with ball in hand. Third on the list, which may surprise some but, the Wexford man only completed a full 80 minutes once all season for province and country.

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Pro 12 minutes played: 482 (nine matches)
European Champions Cup minutes played: 418 (seven matches)
November Internationals minutes played: 196 (three matches)
Six Nations minutes played: 353 (five matches)
Lions minutes played: 338 (five matches)
Total minutes: 1,787 minutes over 29 games played.

Robbie Henshaw

Henshaw scored the famous try in Soldier Field in Chicago last year to seal Ireland a famous, first time victory over the All Blacks. Although he was injured for the start of the season, he still managed to rack up nearly 1,800 minutes in game time and played in 24 matches throughout the 11 month season.

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Pro 12 minutes played: 387 (five matches)
EEC minutes played: 629 (eight matches)
November Internationals minutes played: 91 (two matches)
Six Nations: minutes played: 368 (five matches)
Lions minutes played: 258 (four matches)
Total minutes: 1,733 minutes over 24 games played.

Jack McGrath

A key player for Ireland, many touted him to start the final test against the All Blacks after Mako Vunipola lost the run of himself in the second test, giving away four penalties. However, he had to be content with a place on the bench and came on in the last 20 minutes of all three tests. Played the least amount of minutes on the list but intriguingly he played the most amount of matches, playing 33 games.

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Pro 12 minutes played: 420 (10 matches)
Champions Cup minutes played: 421 (eight matches)
November Internationals minutes played: 180 (three matches)
Six Nations minutes played: 264 (five matches)
The Lions minutes played: 186 (seven matches)

Total minutes: 1,471 total minutes over 33 games played.

 

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