After several comments on our Facebook page, we have finally convinced him to write a post for us.
Please welcome Chris McDonnell making his Harpin debut
First and foremost I am a Leinster fan who deems Munster our greatest rivals but personally as much as I like beating them if we can't win league or ERC I secretly hope they do.
I shoot from the hip and I am not very PC.
I believe we have had a massive drop off in talent and skill set in our first team.
I believe that we went from Joe's passing and running at spaces game to this running at faces, win the collision rugby rather than beat the man.
Until we try to create and use space we will be a shell of the team we could be.
I blame Matt O’Connor out loud for a lot of this but do realise we lost the bod's, shaggy's, Leo and Shane Jennings all very close to each other along with the IRFU messing about with Sexton sending him to France, forcing Isa to retire and never replacing Hines or Brad Thorne. We've replaced no one. Best signing in ages is Henshaw but he's replacing both Madigan and Teo, I'm not sure if that's great business as we won't see too much of Henshaw because of the Ireland setup and his injury.
I was also opposed to Leo getting the job, I saw nothing in his year as forwards coach to suggest he was the man to lead the club. He let Quinn Roux go and signed Douglas who went from an international secondrow to a J3 player in a matter of months and back to a World Cup secondrow as soon as a he got away from Leo.
Equally I don't understand why Triggs and Nagle are at the club and believe they are going to block the paths of Molony, Kearney and James Ryan considering we have Dev and Mike in the squad.
We have a squad of international rugby players, a superb academy and a massive catchment area.
It's like buying a Rolls-Royce and letting your 16 year old nephew drive it because you've had a chat with him about cars plus he was very good at driving games on PlayStation. It doesn't make sense. The argument no one wanted the job doesn't wash, since Leo was appointed, Ulster, Munster and Glasgow have all had top class experienced coaches appointed.
Saying that, I do believe the Leo and Gerv have made all the right noises durning the summer their train of thought seems to be going in the right direction, so they get my full backing (until Christmas at least).
One last gripe…I was not a fan of the rotation system Leo used last season and thought we should have for at least half a game during preseason played with a team close to the one which will start the league next weekend.
I worry about losing Kurt he has been fantastic for us think we need a replacement fast. I wish him all the best back home and hope everything works out for him and his family.
Still it has to be said we are plenty good enough to win the league and I'd expect us to do so - 3 years without a league title is not acceptable.
We have the best pack by a mile in the league and even without our first 8 our second is the still the best pack in the league, Sexton on his day is the man but we do need someone to score tries; Dave, Ferg, Zane and Rob need to add 5 pointers regularly the past 2 seasons. Our attack is not good enough, these players are - so let's sort it out lads.
I am hoping that Noel Reid learns to defend as I believe he could be the key to moving the ball - he attacks the way a Leinster centre should do.
Young Mr Ringrose may get quicker ball without Big Ben as inside centre which could allow him to cross the line a little more himself and then there's Ferg as well.
We also have a bunch of very talented young players coming through (too many to mention) and I have very high hopes for them.
Ok so I know all this sounds very negative but I do genuinely believe we will get back on track this year. I think a league title and getting out of our group would be enough to keep me happy, I don't mind losing too much but only if we try play the right way.
Anyway here's to another great season of Leinster rugby
Chris McDonnell - 47 years old, 32 years of playing rugby union and 12 playing rugby league, I have started a rugby match in every position apart from 9. Find myself as a tighthead prop these days. Leinster fan first and foremost but will watch Munster if they’re on the telly.
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