Prepa­ra­tions a con­cern for three Ir­ish prov­inces

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - THE TITLE -

THE game of rugby ex­pands, and seeks to en­ter­tain like never be­fore, from next Fri­day.

We will wit­ness the dawn of a Pro14 tour­na­ment but as we show­case else­where in The Ti­tle this morn­ing, our prov­inces ap­pear un­fit to meet this his­toric date on the front foot.

The loss of Pat Lam in Con­nacht and the de­par­ture of Rassie Eras­mus back home to South Africa sooner rather than later – the Mun­ster coach men­tioned this week that he is will­ing to leave as soon as his em­ploy­ers give him the nod to go – have left two of our four teams on the Euro­pean stage at sixes and sevens.

Ul­ster’s Les Kiss does not have the look or the sparkle of a man who will lead them to the top of the Pro14 lad­der, and only Le­in­ster have the ap­pear­ance of a set­tled out­fit de­ter­mined to be­come the very best team in Europe once again. Ir­ish teams have never looked more un­pre­pared as they face into a whole new sea­son. But we must cross our fingers and hope only the best for them. Though mostly we fear for three of them. Eras­mus (be­low) is stick­ing around, even though his in­ten­tions as a pro­fes­sional coach to do his job to the best of his abil­ity while he is here, is no great help. We need to see him gone, and we need to see Mun­ster get­ting their coach­ing house in a work­ing or­der that lives up to the heady days of De­clan Kid­ney’s reign.

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