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Leinster Have Identified Three Potential New Scrumhalf Signings

Leinster Have Identified Three Potential New Scrumhalf Signings
By Conor O'Leary
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It's one of those badly kept secrets that Leinster are looking for a new scrumhalf. With both Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss closer to 40 than 30, and 22-year-old Luke McGrath the only other scrumhalf in the senior squad, it probably makes sense for the province to recruit another body.

There is only one other player in the academy too - former Ireland U20 captain Nick McCarth. McGrath was never given a chance under Matt O'Connor to challenge the older players - and while Leo Cullen appears to be giving the precocious youngster a fair run at the position - the Irish Times reports that Leinster have identified a three man shortlist to recruit for next season.

Gavin Cummiskey doesn't include who those names are - just that they are probably from New Zealand, and the aim is to naturalise the player through residency. Looking through the Super Rugby squads from New Zealand after the World Cup means that there aren't a huge amount of contenders. All but one of the scrumhalves available from the New Zealand provinces are 23 and under, with the other- Billy Guyton - is only 25. It's not hard to see which players Leinster should target. Here are four of the possibilities, ranked in order of priority:

1. Jamison Gibson-Park (23), 2. Mitchell Drummond (22), 3. Bryn Hall (23)

There's no real difference between Gibson-Park, Drummond, and Hall. All are talented and capable players with quick and snappy service - but none are likely to get a sniff at international rugby for New Zealand. Likely to thrive for Leinster if given the chance, but it's unclear whether they'd be banging on the doors for an Ireland cap when the time comes like CJ Stander - or good enough to be just a key player for the province like a Robbie Diack or Danie Poolman.

4. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (21)

I partly include Tahuriorangi for my own fun. There are a number of people in Ireland who detest the idea of non-Irish players playing for Ireland, and the idea of Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi lining out for the boys in green would almost be worth it just for that.

But the fact remains that the 21-year-old is a good player. More unproven and raw than Gibson-Park, Drummond, and Hall - but he was one of the better players for New Zealand in last year's U20 side. He has earned a Super Rugby contract off the back of a strong ITM Cup. It just seems like Tahuriorangi needs more time to prove himself in New Zealand before anyone comes calling.

[Irish Times]


See Also: The IRFU Are Trying To Start A Provincal Merry-Go-Round Starting With Madigan

See Also: 44 Injuries Suffered By Irish Provinces Highlight That Something Must Be Done

Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

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