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Sam Prendergast Contract Highlights Issues With Leinster's Insane Depth

Sam Prendergast Contract Highlights Issues With Leinster's Insane Depth
By Colman Stanley Updated
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Leo Cullen confirmed earlier today that Sam Prendergast and Lee Barron have signed senior contracts with the province, with both men impressing over the last year.

Prendergast has been one of the most talked up Ireland U20s players the country has ever produced, and for good reason given his superb run from the 2022 Summer Series to the recent World Championship.

His contract news highlights even further the enormous advantages Leinster possess in terms of population,  the schools system, coaching quality etc., that enables them to produce such a quantity of talent across the board.

Despite the retirement of Johnny Sexton, Leinster still have three international out-halves on the books in Ross Byrne, Harry Byrne, and Ciarán Frawley, as well as the talented academy prospect Charlie Tector.

Something has to give if all five are to get the game time they deserve, and improve at a rate that befits their age and talent.

Something Will Have To Give At Leinster

READ HERE: Player Of The Match Sam Prendergast Wins It For Leinster At The Death 


Of course Leinster, Leo Cullen, and the incoming Jacques Nienaber, will want to keep much talent as possible - some seem to forget that it is their job to ensure Leinster are as strong as possible - but it has gotten to the stage where there is a sense of hoarding in certain positions.

There are similar situations developing at hooker and back row, while we could see clogs at centre and second row in the near future.

In Leinster's defence, they are in a position to give important minutes to a wide range of players; a luxury that was displayed prominently when they fielded a second string side against Munster in their URC semi-final.


However, it has come to a point where Leinster do not gain much, if anything, from keeping so many in one position.

Connacht and Ulster are currently in desperate need for depth at out-half, while the northern province could also use a back rower or three.


READ HERE: Sam Prendergast And His Starring Role For The Ireland U20s This Summer 

Solutions To The Problem?

A loan system encouraged by the IRFU and David Nucifora would undoubtedly help proceedings, allowing Cullen to let players go without losing them permanently, while also giving players more minutes and more starts, before coming back to Leinster with a wealth of experience.

There is also an onus on players to be proactive in getting a move, particularly if a contract is still on offer at Leinster.

Could the IRFU look into subsidising some of these contracts, taking the burden off the other provinces, and enticing players to pack up and move away from their families and friends, and the team they grew up supporting?

Whatever the case, the IRFU must figure out ways to deal with the Leinster backlog if they want Irish players to reach their full potential, and to close the gap between Leinster and the other provinces.

If any of the 10s at Leinster were to move, it would not be Prendergast after today's contract news, and Ross Byrne is now first choice at the province.

Frawley's versatility makes him an ideal squad player, which leaves Harry Byrne or Tector as the preferable candidates to leave and strengthen a team out west or up north.

SEE ALSO: Simon Zebo Among Those To Mock 'Cringey' England Celebrations During Ireland Loss

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