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The HarpinOnRugby Podcast

The HarpinOnRugby Podcast

By JL Pagano
The Leinster & Ireland Rugby fansite in podcast form.
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S02E42 : “Leinster Soul-Searching Panel featuring Keego (@nkeegan), Joe Sheppard (@ThreeBODRugby) & Richard Mifsud (@RichMif)”
It hasn’t been a great week or two for Leinster rugby fans so I asked three of them to join me for a session of soul searching.  I did my best to find positives in my writeup but the lads did a good job of bringing me back to reality.  We also talked about the social media ban from the weekend with a bit of Lions chat thrown in as well for good measure. Our Harpin match writeup of La Rochelle v Leinster > Follow Keego on Twitter > Keego’s Couch Pundit site > Follow Big Joe Shep on Twitter > The Three BOD Rugby Network > Follow Richard Mifsud on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
May 5, 2021
S02E41 : “Lions Selector Panel 3.2 featuring Debbie Knight (@debsknig), Brandon Smith (@bisbrandon11) & David Arnott (@thepenGW)”
This week we had our final round of Lions selections with a three-strong panel and as well as naming their XVs we also looked at general attitudes towards the tour itself and of course we can never do enough giving out about the Rainbow Cup so the four of us managed to get that in as well.  Then after the chat I finally get to name the panel’s combined Matchday squad for the first test in Johannesburg on July 24. Our Harpin match writeup of Leinster v Munster > Follow Debbie Knight on Twitter > Follow Brandon Smith > Brandon’s YouTube channel is here > Follow David Arnott > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
April 28, 2021
S02E40 : “Lions Selector Panel 3.1 featuring Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell), Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian) & Mark Jackson (@hoomanbear)”
I’m going back to my Lions Selector Panel one last time before the squad is announced on May the 6th only for this round instead of going one on one I’ll be getting XVs from them three at a time.  We also talk about women’s rugby plus a tiny bit of Rainbow Cup as well, though I should point out that we chatted before the announcement was made that the South African teams weren't travelling. Harpin' article "The Irish Women's team - how can fans help?"  > Follow this week's panel on Twitter.. Michelle Tobin > Ian Frizzell > Mark Jackson > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
April 21, 2021
S02E39 : “Leinster Rugby Season Reset Panel featuring Keego (@nkeegan), Cian O’Muilleoir (@RugbyKino) & Mark Strange (@realmarkstrange)”
This week I wanted to turn the podcast focus back onto Leinster with the help of some the top Harpin contributors so we talked about the Exeter match, how the season had gone before that, what our chances are against La Rochelle and finally what the signing of Michael Alaalatoa will mean to the province. Our Harpin match writeup of Exeter Chiefs v Leinster > Neil “Keego” Keegan’s pod can be found here > Follow Keego on Twitter > Follow Cian O’Muilleoir > ...and also here > Mark Strange’s latest Harpin articles > Follow Mark on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
April 14, 2021
S02E38 : “The Anatomy of a Disciplinary Committee Hearing featuring Ben Cisneros (@rugbyandthelaw)”
This week  I wanted to learn more about the Disciplinary Committee hearing so I had a chat with the author of a great blog called Rugby And The Law and we walked through the process from start to finish. Our Harpin feature article this week which includes “mini-writeups” from 5 matches over the weekend > Ben Cisneros’ blog Rugby And the Law can be found here > Follow Ben on Twitter > Some examples of the disciplinary infographic as referenced in the pod, including one covering the recent Chris Ashton decision > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
April 6, 2021
S02E37 : “Two Leinster fans discuss what Munster should do" featuring Keego (@nkeegan) #LEIvRCT #HeinekenChampionsCup
What was billed as a Leinster v Toulon preview ended up being more of a Pro14 final review and discussion over what Munster need to get back to the top table.  And it's just as well, because the Toulon match never happened, though in our blissful ignorance we did chat shortly after the lineups were announced about what might have been. HarpinOnRugby Guinness Pro14 Final writeup > Follow Keego on twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
April 1, 2021
“Pro14 Final #LEIvMUN bonus episode : Opposition view featuring Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell)”
Moments after the teams were named for the 2021 Pro 14 Final I spoke to Michelle Tobin about how much this match means to her and her fellow Munster fans, what matchups seem to stand out and, of course, her prediction.  She also updates us on her group of Lions supporters and their plans following the announcement that the tour is going ahead as planned. Click here for my own match preview > Follow Michelle on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
March 26, 2021
S02E36 : “Lions Selector Panel 2.6 plus Ospreys & Wales chat featuring Brandon Smith (@bisbrandon11)”
This week my guest was Brandon Smith who hosts the Welsh Rugby Roundup show on the great ThreeBod Rugby Network, and he gave us his updated Lions XV to complete the second round of selections.  He also talked about what was something of a rollercoaster of a weekend for an Ospreys and Wales fan. Then be sure and stick around to the end of the pod where I was able to name a full Lions matchday 23 having combined the choices from our 6 panellists. Our Harpin match writeup for Ireland v England > Our Harpin match writeup for Leinster v Ospreys > Brandon Smith’s first Lions selection is here > Follow Brandon on Twitter > Check out Brandon’s rugby YouTube channel here > The Welsh Rugby Round Up show is part of the Three BOD Rugby Group > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
March 24, 2021
S02E35 : “Opposition view #IREvENG & Lions Selector Panel 2.5 featuring Debbie Knight (@debsknig)”
This week I invited another one of our Lions panellists Debbie Knight back to the pod to give us her latest selection and also of course to look ahead to the Six Nations finale at the weekend from an English point of view. Our Harpin match writeup for Scotland v Ireland > Our Harpin match writeup for Zebre v Leinster > Debbie Knight’s first Lions selection is here > Follow Debbie on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
March 17, 2021
S02E34 : “Opposition view #SCOvIRE & Lions Selector Panel 2.4 featuring Sandy Smith (@theburghwatch)”
This week we’re looking ahead to Sunday’s big Six Nations clash at Murrayfield so I welcomed Edinburgh & Scotland fan Sandy Smith back to the pod to give his thoughts on how Gregor Townsend will be preparing.  Sandy is also representing his country on our Lions selector panel and he gave us his updated XV. Our Harpin match writeup for Ulster v Leinster > Sandy Smith’s first Lions selection is here > Follow Sandy on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
March 10, 2021
S02E33 : “Lions Selector Panel 2.3 & Opposition view #ULSvLEI featuring Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian)”
This week we’re pressing on with our series of selections from our Lions panel, offering us his second round of choices is Ian Frizzell, who also brought his Ulster hat along to look ahead to Saturday evening's big interprovincial clash at the Kingspan. Our Harpin match writeup for Italy v Ireland... > ...and for Leinster v Glasgow > Ian Frizzell’s first Lions selection is here > Follow Ian on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
March 4, 2021
S02E32 : “Lions Selector Panel 2.2 & thoughts on Ireland squad featuring Mark Jackson (@hoomanbear)”
On this week’s pod I was joined by Mark Jackson who gave us his updated Lions selection, and naturally we couldn’t harp on that without bringing up how the Ireland squad is looking right now.  He offered some great takes from a coach’s perspective on Garry Ringrose being underused, Andrew Porter’s versatility and our range of back row options among other things. Our Harpin match writeup for Dragons v Leinster > Mark Jackson’s first Lions selection is here > Follow Mark on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
February 24, 2021
S02E31 : “Lions Selector Panel 2.1, Six Nations roundup & Pro14 preview featuring Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell)”
This week it’s time to begin the second round of our Lions Selector panel - over the next six weeks or so I’ll be going back to my panellists to find out if they’ve seen anything in the Six Nations to change their minds after their initial selection.  Once again first up is Michelle Tobin and we also talked about Ireland's last two matches as well as the return of the Pro14. Our Harpin match writeup for Ireland v France > Mark Strange’s first club profile featuring Clontarf  > Michelle Tobin’s first Lions selection is here > Follow Michelle on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
February 17, 2021
S02E30 : “Keeping an eye on club rugby featuring Mark Strange (@realmarkstrange)”
This week while we will talk about the Six Nations kickoff, my guest is a new contributor named Mark Strange who would like to turn the spotlight on the club game which as we all know is still on pause due to COVID.  Mark joined me to talk about a series of posts he’s going to be doing over the next few weeks to give different clubs around the country some much needed exposure. Our Harpin match writeup for Wales v Ireland titled "Gone Too Far" > Mark Strange’s writeup of Ulster A v Leinster A as mentioned in the pod > Follow Mark on Twitter > My (Wed Feb 10, 7pm) appearance on the Hall of Sportz Rugby Room pod here > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
February 10, 2021
S02E29 : “Lions Selector Panel 1.6 & Opposition view of #WALvIRE featuring Brandon Smith (@bisbrandon11)”
This week we have our sixth and final Lions Selector in the form of Brandon Smith who also gives his thoughts on the Welsh squad ahead of the Six Nations.  After our chat I’ll read out a full Lions matchday 23 as determined by the overall panel, as well as my own suggestion for what can be done to fix the Lions Tour dilemma. Our Harpin match writeup for Scarlets v Leinster > Brandon’s the Welsh Rugby RoundUp Show can be found here > Follow Brandon Smith on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
February 3, 2021
S02E28 : “Leinster’s season so far & Ireland’s Six Nations squad featuring Ciaran Duffy (@PostToPostSport)”
This week we turn the spotlight back on Leinster & Ireland - my guest was Ciarán Duffy from Post to Post Sport and we talked about the match in Thomond Park last weekend, Leinster players who have stood out so far this season and also Andy Farrell’s squad which was announced on Monday. Our Harpin match writeup for Munster v Leinster > Ciarán’s writeup on Post To Post Sport blog > Follow Ciarán on Twitter > HarpinOnRugby on social media… TWITTER > FACEBOOK > INSTAGRAM >
January 27, 2021
S02E27 : “Lions Selector Panel 1.5 & The 1872 Cup featuring Sandy Smith (@theburghwatch)”
Edinburgh fan Sandy Smith joined me to talk about his Lions XV for the test series, last weekend's 1872 Cup match at Scotstoun and what Nic Groom might have been thinking before halftime. Leinster’s season so far & “Next Gen” matchday squad > Episode 1.1 of this season’s Lions selector panel featuring Michelle Tobin > Episode 1.2 featuring Mark Jackson > Episode 1.3 featuring Ian Frizzell > Episode 1.4 featuring Debbie Knight >
January 20, 2021
S02E26 : “Lions Selection Panel 1.4 feat. Debbie Knight (@debsknig)/Sexton Appreciation feat. Keego (@nkeegan)”
This week we introduce our fourth Lions Selector panellist and it’s Debbie Knight representing England and returning to the pod for a second time.  Then I had a quick chat with Keego about the varying opinion surrounding Johnny Sexton’s contributions for Leinster and Ireland. Our Harpin match writeup of Leinster v Ulster > Debbie Knight’s previous pod appearance > Debbie’s sports blog > Episode 1.1 of this season’s Lions selector panel featuring Michelle Tobin > Episode 1.2 featuring Mark Jackson > Episode 1.3 featuring Ian Frizzell >
January 13, 2021
S02E25 : “Lions Selector Panel 1.3 & #LEIvULS Opposition view featuring Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian)”
Ahead of Friday’s potential Conference A decider, I spoke to Ulster fan Ian Frizzell about how their side is looking these days; he has also agreed to join our Lions Selector panel and took his first stab at naming a starting XV. Our Harpin match writeup of Leinster v Connacht > Ian Frizzell’s original pod appearance where he outlines his role as a club COVID19 officer > Episode 1.1 of this season’s Lions selector panel featuring Michelle Tobin > Episode 1.2 featuring Mark Jackson >
January 7, 2021
S02E24 : “Lions Selector Panel 1.2 featuring Mark Jackson (@hoomanbear)”
As you’ll know there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the seasonal interpros, so it’s probably just as well that we’ve recently started our Lions Selector Panel which means we can use the pod to look ahead to rugby that we hopefully have to look forward to in the future.  This week I introduced my second panellist Mark Jackson; as well as his picks for the first test he also went through the leading candidates for Warren Gatland's assistant coaches on the tour, and we also discussed how the upcoming Rainbow Cup can be beneficial for all involved. Mark Jackson’s first ever post for Harpin as referenced in the pod > Episode 1.1 of this season’s Lions selector panel featuring Michelle Tobin >
December 30, 2020
S02E23 : “Lions 1.1 & Opp view #MUNvLEI feat Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell) + Wood v JVDF feat Keego (@nkeegan)”
A longer show than usual just before the Christmas - to start I’m bringing back my Lions Selector Panel where I ask a group of fans to pick their best starting XV for the First Test against the Springboks before returning to them a couple of times before the squad is announced to see if they have any changes.  First up we have Michelle Tobin who also will share with us an opposition view of her beloved Munster going into Saturday night’s visit of Leinster to Thomond Park.  Then I spoke to Keego about the incident from the RDS last weekend involving Tom Wood and Josh van der Flier. Harpin Leinster v Northampton match writeup >
December 23, 2020
S02E22 : “Opposition view : #LEIvNOR featuring Nathan Johns (@nathanrjohns)”
So Leinster kicked off a new European campaign last weekend with a controlled performance on the way to maximum points in Montpellier.  Next up in round 2 we welcome the Northampton Saints to the RDS and I was lucky enough to find a perfect guest in Nathan Johns for the latest in our series of “opposition view” pods.  We talked about the Premiership outfit’s season so far and the kind of team we’ll expect to see them put out on Saturday among other things. Montpellier v Leinster Harpin match writeup > ThreeBOD Rugby group >
December 16, 2020
S02E21 : “The Post Autumn Cup, Pre Champions Cup Pod featuring Keego (@nkeegan)”
So I took a bit of time off from the pod but I’m back now and there’s a lot to harp on.  Keego was on hand to discuss the Scotland match, the Autumn Nations Cup itself, the social media abuse directed at Andrew Brace (#DBAD) and Leinster’s upcoming trip to Montpellier. Keego’s “The Couch Pundit” > The Harpin writeup of Ireland v Scotland, titled “The Third Place Minutes” >
December 9, 2020
S02E20 : “Finding Your Level : England v Ireland speakup”
With two matches every weekend for me to harp on, I’m trying to trim the workload down where I can, so for this week’s pod I’m simply going to share an audio version of my writeup from last weekend’s match at Twickenham in case you missed it on the website.  I reckon I didn’t have to look too far for positives, but I’ll let you judge for yourself. Read the original text here > Also, our Leinster v Cardiff writeup is here >
November 25, 2020
S02E019 : “A Leinster 23 for Europe featuring @nkeegan, @ccbooms & @RichMif”
With a new European campaign on the horizon I’m switching the focus back to the boys in blue and for this pod I’ve assembled an elite panel of Harpin contributors to discuss a possible matchday squad for our pool matches, also looking at how we might approach the competition. Follow the lads on twitter Neil "Keego" Keegan @nkeegan, Conor Cronin @ccbooms & Richard Mifsud @RichMif Harpin Ireland v Wales writeup > Harpin Leinster v Edinburgh writeup >
November 19, 2020
S02E018 : “Opposition view for #LEIvEDI featuring Sandy Smith (@theburghwatch)”
In the latest from my series of “Opposition View” chats I spoke to Edinburgh fan Sandy Smith  who has both supported the club from the Scottish capital and written extensively on them over the years.  We covered their history, recent form and players to look out for when they come to Ballsbridge. Ospreys v Leinster writeup > Follow Sandy on Twitter >
November 12, 2020
S02E017 : “Opposition view for #OSPvLEI featuring Brandon Smith (@bisbrandon11)”
This weekend has Leinster travelling to the Liberty Stadium so for the latest in our “Opposition View” series I spoke to Ospreys fan Brandon Smith about their varying fortunes over the years, what key players we can look out for this weekend, and the task ahead for coach Toby Booth.  We also spoke about the full Welsh test team and what they’ll be looking for from the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup. Brandon Smith Podcast > The Welsh Rugby Roundup show > Harpin France v Ireland writeup > Harpin Glasgow v Leinster writeup >
November 5, 2020
S02E016 : “Opposition view for #GLAvLEI featuring David Arnott @thepenGW”
In the latest from our Opposition View series I asked one of Glasgow Warriors' biggest fans David Arnott to tell us about how their squad is looking this season.  Then as a bonus I’ve recorded an audio version of my Ireland v Italy match writeup which you can read here. To read our Leinster v Zebre writeup click here. And you can follow David Arnott on twitter here >
October 28, 2020
S02E015 : “Opposition view for #LEIvZEB and #IREvITA featuring Andrea Tronchin @RugbyIta”
This weekend sees both Leinster & Ireland in action, against Zebre and Italy respectively, so for the latest in our “Opposition view” series I was lucky enough to be able to talk to Italian rugby super fan Andrea Tronchin, who is curator of the Italy twitter account for RugbyUnited as well as those for both Benetton and Zebre.  I asked him how the game has grown in Italy since they joined the Six Nations, what upcoming players we should look out for from Zebre, and how the national team will be approaching Saturday’s big match at the Aviva Stadium.  He kept apologising for his English, though I thought he was fine, definitely a hell of a lot better than my Italian that’s for sure.  But just in case, in the programme notes you’ll find a link to a blog where I’ve paraphrased his answers - for my part I thought he gave some really good insight to what the game is like over there. Transcript is here > Munster v Benetton full match as mentioned by Andrea can be found here. Andrea is on twitter at these accounts > @RugbyIta @Rugbytreviso_ & @RugbyZebre Also at the Rugby Treviso Facebook page and group. The touch rugby programme he mentioned can be found here.
October 22, 2020
S02E014 : “Piecing together an Ireland matchday squad with Michelle Tobin, Padraig Kelly & David Topping”
Ready to start thinking about an Ireland matchday squad that can win the 2020 Six Nations?  Here's as good a place as any to get you started.   Joining me for the discussion this week were Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell - Munster), Padraig Kelly (@the2ndrow - Connacht) and David Topping (@davethewingnut - Ulster) and we had a slightly different way of putting a squad together that you probably shouldn't try at home 😜 Michelle Tobin’s Lions 2017 diary > Padraig's 'The 2nd Row' > David's 'The Ulster Rugby Round Up Show' > Harpin Benetton v Leinster writeup >
October 14, 2020
S02E013 : “Thinking outside the box-kick : Big Joe Shep on JGP”
In this week’s Harpin writeup I talked about the Player Of The Match performance of Jamison Gibson-Park, so I thought I’d use this pod to expand on those thoughts and joining me is Big Joe Shep, who has a thing or two to say about scrum halves and box kicking but just about manages to put them aside for a decent chat on the Irish-qualified Kiwi and where he might fit down the line for both Leinster and Ireland. Harpin Leinster v Dragons writeup > Three Blokes a Ball & BOD >
October 7, 2020
S02E012 : “Farewell Ferg & Rob, Hello Pro 14. Or is it 12. Or is it 16?”
With a new season about to kickoff, I assembled a panel of fellow Leinster fans for our first ever pod of 4 to discuss the careers of recently retired Leinster stars as well as looking ahead to the futures of the boys in blue in particular and league in general. This week's guests... Conor Cronin (aka @ccbooms on Twitter) Richard Mifsud (@RichMif) Kevin O'Brien (@johnshine89) - check out Kev's recent Harpin post titled "Whether it's the Euro loss or the perfect Pro14, Leinster shouldn't over-react" Also, here's a little rant of mine from earlier in the week titled "Sarries seems to be the hardest topic"
October 1, 2020
S02E011 : “Leinster 2019/20 season analysis with Neil Keegan (@nkeegan)"
Well you won’t need me to remind you that last weekend didn’t exactly go to plan for Leinster fans, and joining me on the pod this week to find the positives is Neil ‘Keego’ Keegan who shared some thoughts from his own writeup which can be found over at  We also discuss whether or not Leinster’s season as a whole was defined by this result as well as a brief look ahead to the rest of the Champions Cup as well as the Six Nations. Our Leinster v Saracens writeup is here > Keego’s writeup here > Jeff & Keego’s pod on the US Presidential election is here >
September 23, 2020
S02E010 : “Leinster v Saracens opposition view featuring Debbie Knight (@debsknig)"
To start the build up to Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup quarterfinal, in the latest of our “Opposition View” series of chats I invited Saracens fan Debbie Knight onto the pod to talk about how she came to follow them, what the salary cap and Owen Farrell situations were like from her side, and also how their starting XV might look at the weekend. Debbie has her own sports writing blog here > and can be found on Twitter here > ICYMI check out our Guinness Pro14 final writeup here >
September 16, 2020
S02E09 : “Pro 14 Final opposition view featuring Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian)"
To start the build up to Saturday’s Guinness Pro 14 final, in the latest of our “Opposition View” series of chats I invited Ulster fan Ian Frizzell onto the pod to talk about the last meeting LEIvULS a couple of weeks ago, that amazing comeback in Edinburgh, and how he reckons they’ll line up at the Aviva this weekend. You'll find Ian on Twitter here > Our Leinster v Munster semifinal writeup is here >
September 9, 2020
S02E08 : “Leinster v Munster opposition view featuring Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell)"
For the third season in a row, Leinster meet our old friends from down the N7 in the Pro14 semifinal and although it will be in a deserted Aviva Stadium as opposed to a hopping RDS, it still promises to be a classic.  In the latest from our new series of “opposition view” chats I had Munster fan Michelle Tobin back on the pod to look at how she feels their chances are of getting the better of us this time around. 2021 Lions Tours can be booked from Rugby Travel Ireland here > Michelle Lions 2017 tour blogs > Our Ulster v Leinster writeup is here >
September 2, 2020
S02E07 : “Ulster v Leinster opposition view featuring Ian Frizzell (@rava_ian)"
I’ve said it before but I have no problem saying it is awesome to have the rugby back.  We've done plenty of harpin on Leinster’s narrow win over Munster last weekend - in case you missed our writeup you can find it here.  Now it’s time to turn our attention to the match against Ulster on Saturday evening, and providing us with an opposition view is long time Ulster fan Ian Frizell, or @rava_ian as he is known on the Twitter machine.  We discussed what went wrong against Connacht and also what players could feature at the Aviva next time around. Follow Ian Frizell on Twitter here >
August 26, 2020
S02E06 : “Leinster v Munster opposition view featuring Michelle Tobin”
So here we are, just days away from the return of interpro rugby.  Of course the uncertainty is still there, of course we’ll all be knocking on wood while clutching a rabbit's foot with fingers crossed between now and Saturday evening, but that can’t stop us from looking forward to the big kickoff and what I’d like to do with these pods for the next while is to chat to a fan of Leinster’s next opponents about how their team’s season is looking going into the weekend.  That means Munster are first up, and I think you can safely say that my guest Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell) is a fan!
August 19, 2020
S2E05 : “Leinster’s ideal post-lockdown 23” featuring Conor Cronin (@ccbooms)
With the return of Leinster Rugby finally within reach, I have finally plucked up the courage to defy superstition and start harping on them once more.  Already this week I wrote a post on the blog looking at our sequence of matches over the coming months and for this latest pod I invited long time Leinster fan and Harpin contributor Conor Cronin to pick his best matchday squad to put us in with a shout for more silverware.
August 12, 2020
S2E04 : “Super Rugby AU & the future of Aussie rugby in general” featuring Brendon Shields of analytics site Rugbycology
My guest this week is Brendon Shields, who provides brilliant analytics for clubs at all levels of the game via his site Rugbycology.  A South African based in Queensland, Brendon talked to me about the post-COVID version of Super Rugby in Australia with a big top of the table clash coming this weekend,  and we also discussed the current state of the sport down there from media coverage and popularity to plans for its future. Brendon Shields can be found on twitter here > And his excellent rugby analytics site Rugbycology can be found here >
July 29, 2020
The Pod Of Three #16 : “Ch-ch-changes” featuring Bottomless Rugby, The Rugby Bricks Podcast & Blood And Mud Rugby
This time our theme is “Changes” or “Ch-ch-changes” if you’re old enough to appreciate a nod to David Bowie.  First up we welcome a new member from South Africa to our Pod Of Three Stable, as Bottomless Rugby discuss the implications of the South African franchises moving north into the European competitions.  Next we have Rugby Bricks talking to Otere Black, who is an outhalf for our adopted Super Rugby Aotearoa team the Blues, about the influence Dan Carter has brought to the squad since his arrival.  Finally the Blood & Mud Rugby boys are celebrating their 200th episode in their own, shall we say, colourful style, as they look at CVC’s investment into European Rugby and how it may or may not change the fortunes of the RFU. 1) Bottomless Rugby : "Main Event #21 - State of SA Origin" 2) The Rugby Bricks Podcast : "Otere Black - Learning from Dan Carter, Beauden Barrett and the resurgence of Blues Rugby" Also check them out on Instagram > 3) Blood & Mud Rugby : "Double Century Jamboree" All content was reproduced with permission
July 26, 2020
S2E03 : “Reverse interview by The Rugby Gods Podcast featuring HarpinOnRugby”
Over the course last week’s chat about Super Rugby Aotearoa with John Keenan of The Rugby Gods Podcast  we discussed some other things, so what I decided to do was hold over some of the extra content and use it for this week’s pod.  There are a few topics he went over like the different style of bonus point used in Super Rugby, how Jamison Gibson Park is perceived down in New Zealand and also the potential for the return of test rugby down there. But he also had some questions for me - apparently it’s an interview he likes to give to every rugby fan he encounters online, so what I told him I’d do is have a look at them and give my answers in a separate pod.  I've listed the actual questions below. Check out John Keenan’s The Rugby Gods Podcast here > Jeff Pagano Interview – Topics 1. The Pro14 v Super Rugby a) Similarities and differences b) Super Rugby from an Irish perspective c) The good, the bad (and the ugly) – what could / should be done? 2. The professional rugby world as Eastern and Western Hemispheres a) The South African (Argentinian) problem / opportunity - Time zones; a broadcaster's best friend - 7/8 Nations? 2024/25 South Africa (and Argentina?) in Europe? b) Asia-Pacific Rugby - Where does Japan fit in? c) Club level (replacing Super Rugby) - Australia (4/5), New Zealand (5/6), Fiji (1) 10/12 team Competition and The Japanese Top League d) National level (replacing The Rugby Championship) - Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Combined XV (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) and Japan 3 Irish Rugby a) The Pro14 franchises b) State of the national club level – its future c) The national team – thoughts 4 New Zealand Rugby a) In general b) Revenue / Contracts – partnerships (Japan / the USA) and 'sabbaticals' 5. 'The Spine' 2-8-9-10-15 a) Still relevant? b) Where do you see the game going? c) Influential positions and strategy
July 22, 2020
The Pod Of Three #15 featuring Rugby Wrap Up, Loose Head & Ulster Rugby Lad
We’ve no particular theme for this Pod of Three, we’re simply sharing 3 quality clips from 3 quality rugby pods.  First we go stateside where Rugby Wrap Up talks to the commissioner of Major League Rugby about their version of the salary cap, then Loose Head has Squidge on his show to talk about the pitfalls of using rugby clips to help with content creation, and finally Ulster Rugby Lad talks to Mark Blair who was a lock on their Heineken Cup winning team from 1999. 1) Rugby Wrap Up : Major League Rugby Chairman of the Board, Errik Anderson Grilled, Aussie Super Rugby, Snyman Snipes 2) The Loose Head Postcast : The One With Squidge 3) Ulster Rugby Lad Podcast : Mark Blair All content was reproduced with permission
July 19, 2020
S2E02 : “Super Rugby Aotearoa mid-comp review featuring John Keenan of The Rugby Gods Podcast”
To help me set the scene to follow Super Rugby Aotearoa for the next few weeks, I had a chat with John Keenan of The Rugby Gods Podcast who has followed New Zealand rugby closely for years and provides some good insight to all five franchises, how the first half of the competition has gone, and also what we can expect from the remaining matches. My Crusaders v Blues writeup is here > Check out John Keenan’s The Rugby Gods Podcast here >
July 14, 2020
The Pod Of Three #14 : “Rugby History” featuring Rugby Reloaded, The Dead Ball Area & Squidge Rugby
Today’s theme is “Rugby History”.  First up we have Rugby Reloaded which is new to our PodOfThree stable and regularly covers the history of both union and league - in this one Tony Collins looks at the origins of the rivalry between the All Blacks and the Springboks.  Then The Dead Ball Area talks to former Samoa international Apollo Perelini about his career and finally the almighty Squidge continues his game by game retrospective on the 2011 Rugby World Cup by chatting to USA international Blaine Scully. 1) Rugby Reloaded : “All Blacks v Springboks: the struggle for rugby union supremacy in the interwar years” 2) Rugby Reimagined : “Apollo Perelini” 3) Squidge Rugby : “RWC2011 Retrospective #11 : USA 13-6 Russia” All content was reproduced with permission
July 9, 2020
S2E01 : “#RetroRugby 11 - IREvNZL2018 featuring Ciarán Duffy (@PostToPostSport)”
On July 5, 2019 I launched this podcast by reading out my match writeup of Ireland’s win over New Zealand in November 2018.  Over the span of more than 50 episodes since, we had a disappointing World Cup campaign, 19 wins out of 19 for Leinster and a COVID-shortened season.  Now to celebrate the pod’s first anniversary as well as the start of Season 2, as part of our RetroRugby series I have chosen to feature that classic win once more and discussing it with me is Ciarán Duffy from Post To Post Sport. The original Harpin writeup of IREvNZL2018 is here > Links to all our #RetroRugby pods can be found here > Ciarán Duffy's PostToPost Sport can be found here > Twitter > Facebook > Mental Health campaign >
July 6, 2020
Ep 56 : “#RetroRugby 10 - TLSvLEI2006 featuring Cian O’Muilleoir (@RugbyKino)”
In the 10th instalment of our #RetroRugby series we look back at Toulouse v Leinster in the Heineken Cup quarterfinal of 2006.  Although it was to be a few years before the boys in blue saw European glory, this match was a crucial part of the evolution.  Discussing it with me is Cian O’Muilleoir of Laighin Pit and @RugbyKino fame. You'll find Cian on twitter here > and also here > And my new pod with Keego on the US Presidential election can be found here >
July 2, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #13 : “Kiwi influence” featuring Pick n Drive, Wind Yer Neck In & The 2nd Row
Today’s theme is “Kiwi influence”.  First up we have Pick & Drive Rugby from Australia talking about a round of matches from Super Rugby Aotearoa, then on Wind Yer Neck In, Niall Annett talks to Joe Schmidt about communicating with his squads, and finally the 2nd Row asks Jake Heenan about Connacht’s 2016 Championship winning season. 1. Pick & Drive Rugby : The Rise of The Blues! 2. Wind Yer Neck In : “Positive choices with Joe Schmidt” 3. The 2nd Row : “Jake Heenan” All content was reproduced with permission
June 29, 2020
Ep 55 : “The role of a COVID-19 Club Safety Officer” featuring Ian Frizzell @rava_ian
This week my guest is Ian Frizzell, who has recently been appointed to the role of COVID-19 Club Safety Officer at Ballymoney RFC.  I got him on to tell us a bit about himself and how he got into rugby, about the club, and of course what the position entails.  And as he’s also a massive Ulster Rugby fan I couldn’t let him go without sharing his thoughts on their chances once provincial rugby kicks back into gear. The IRFU guidelines on the COVID-19 Club Safety Officer can be found here > The Ballymoney RFC video introducing Ian Frizzell as their officer is here > Ian Frizzell can be found on twitter as @rava_ian and his business website is here >
June 26, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #12 : “Coping through COVID19” featuring The Sports Psychologist, The Best of Belfast & The Irish Fire Podcast
Our theme today is “Coping with COVID19” and our sources are all non-rugby-focused podcasts talking to those involved in the sport.  First there’s The Sports Psychologist with Maire Treasa Ni Cheallaigh who’s guest is Dr Hannah McCormack the campaign manager for Tackle Your Feelings, a wellbeing initiative from Rugby Players Ireland.  Then Ulster and Ireland back row Claire McLaughlin is interviewed on the Best of Belfast about being a medical professional through the COVID time and also how it has affected her rugby, and finally the Irish Fire Podcast gets Jamie Heaslip to name a couple of coaches from his playing career who have helped him get through. 1) The Sports Psychologist : “Tackling Your Feelings, Rugby Style” 2) Best of Belfast : “Claire McLaughlin - Junior Doctor & Rugby Player” 3) The Irish Fire Podcast : “Life After Rugby - The Jamie Heaslip Interview” All content was reproduced with permission
June 21, 2020
Ep 54 : Mike Ross talks about the 2011 Heineken Cup Final (The Leinster Laighin Episode 3)
This week’s pod has three hats.  It’s episode 54 of the HarpinOnRugby Podcast.  It is also episode 9 of our #RetroRugby series where we look back over big matches from years gone by.  But most importantly, this features highlights from Episode 3 of a new Facebook Live venture between Harpin On Rugby and Three Blokes A Ball And BOD.  Myself and Big Joe Shep were honoured to welcome the great Mike Ross to discuss the 2011 Heineken Cup Final, and he gave us some great insights as to what was happening out on the pitch for that incredible 80 minutes.  If you’d rather watch the full show yourself there’s a link in the programme notes. If you'd rather watch the full show it's here > The "Rewatch Party" of the 2011 Heineken Cup Final from earlier in the week is here > And you'll find all pods from our #RetroRugby series here > Produced in association with Big Joe Shep from Three Blokes, A Ball & BOD
June 18, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #11 : “Travelling” featuring The Rugby Player, Rugby Abroad & The Scottish Rugby Podcast
Our theme for today’s The Pod Of Three is travel, something we haven’t been able to do much in the past while.  First, The Rugby Player talks to Ireland Men’s Sevens star Harry McNulty about different places he has been around the globe, then Rugby Abroad gets Michael Walker-Fitton, an English lock currently plying his trade in Spain, to talk about a previous spell in the lower divisions of French rugby, and finally The Scottish Rugby blog discuss arguably the best known travelling team of all, the Lions, and a documentary about their 1997 tour of South Africa. 1) The Rugby Player : “Harry McNulty - Irish Men’s Sevens” 2) The Rugby Abroad Podcast : “Episode 5 - Michael Walker-Fitton” 3) The Scottish Rugby Blog Podcast - “1997 Lions Tour - Everest belongs to Telfer” All content was reproduced with permission
June 13, 2020
Ep 53 : “featuring Denis Hurley from”
For this pod I had a chat with Denis, not the former Munster winger, this is the curator of the excellent which proved to be a valuable resource in setting up the Ireland Jersey McJerseyface Cup.   We talked about how he set up the site andwhat drives opinion on jersey designs among other things. Here's his site > The post that had me singing "Hallelujah!" > Denis is on twitter > & Finally here's the homepage for the Ireland Jersey McJerseyface Cup >
June 11, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #10 : “The Driving Maul Show, Rugby Muscle & The Brandon Smith podcast”
We have three new shows to share with you this time around, well they’re new to this feature anyway.  First up there’s The Driving Maul Show which looks at some broader positive effects of the return to Super Rugby in New Zealand, then TJ from Rugby Muscle gives his take on the proposed changes to the Laws of the Game, and finally the Brandon Smith Podcast talks to a young Scottish referee about his first match holding the whistle. 1) The Driving Maul Show : “S1E02 Super Rugby Is Nearly Here!” 2) The Brandon Smith Podcast : “What Is It Like To Be A Rugby Referee?” 3) The Rugby Muscle Podcast : “Rugby without scrums? Discussing the new World Rugby law changes” All content was reproduced with permission.
June 9, 2020
Ep 52 : “#RetroRugby 8 - HCup SF 2018 LEIvSCA featuring Richard Mifsud”
For this pod we’re bringing back our #RetroRugby series, looking back at a great contest from years gone by and today long time Harpin commenter Richard Mifsud and I feature a Leinster triumph on the road to earning star number four.   If you’d like to rewatch the match yourself before listening to our thoughts just hit pause and click the YouTube link below, we promise to wait patiently. Link to YouTube > For links to all episodes in our RetroRugby series click here >
June 4, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #9 : “, Talking Rugby Union & Under The Sticks”
This is the 9th instalment of our new feature we call the Pod of Three, where we share clips from the best independent rugby podcasts. Each of our guest pods today is dealing with changes which have happened during, or in some cases because of, the coronavirus break.  First, The Advantage Over podcast from looks at the proposed law tweaks from World Rugby, then Talking Rugby Union tries to make sense of what happens to Saracens who are caught between the top two tiers of the English game, and finally on Under The Sticks, Adam Redmond the Head of Broadcast & Communications for the Guinness Pro 14 explains the league’s new deal with the private equity firm CVC. 1) Advantage Over : “Law variations option for post-COVID19 rugby” 2) Talking Rugby Union : “Ben Mercer and RugbyAndTheLaw talk business” 3) Under The Sticks : “Ian Keatley, CVC, Corona Cup, Six Nations Moving? Welsh Regional XV” All content was reproduced with permission The Pod Of Three on Soundcloud >
June 2, 2020
Ep 51 : “The Premiere of our new Facebook live show The Leinster Laighin”
For this, episode 51 of our main podcast, we are sharing with you some highlights the premiere of yet another new feature that aired this week - a Facebook live show called The Leinster Laighin which we’re doing in conjunction with Three Blokes & Ball and BOD.   You can click here to watch the full show itself, but for this pod we cover three parts of it - first, I talk to Big Joe Shep about my personal history with rugby and how I set up Harpin On Rugby, then in what will be a regular slot on club rugby, Gerald “The Oracle” Williamson talks about his local boys Navan RFC, and finally I go through Leinster’s amazing run in the 2019/2020 campaign.  I already went through it meticulously in the last episode of this pod, but I certainly wasn’t complaining about harping on it again!  For more from Three Blokes, click here
May 29, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #8 : “Introducing The Leinster Laighin via Three Blokes A Ball & BOD and its other spinoffs”
For this episode things are going to be a little bit different.  On Thursday, May 28 at 8:30pm I’ll be joining up with Big Joe Shep from the excellent Facebook Live offering Three Blokes A Ball & BOD for a new show called The Leinster Laighin where we’ll be looking to merge the Leinster-focused approach of HarpinOnRugby with Big Joe’s trademark global reach brand.  So for this pod I’m going to share some snippets from Joe’s productions in recent times - first he’s chatting to Gerard Williamson from Navan RFC about the All Ireland League and club rugby in general - Gerard will actually be joining us on our first show to talk about his club.  There there’s snippets from a couple of live events that I did for Joe; first you’ll hear a way over the top introduction he gave for me at the Sandymount Hotel ahead of the 2019 Heineken Cup Final, and then you’ll hear the moment I completely jinxed Ireland’s World Cup chances at the DTwo Bar & Night Club on Harcourt Street.  Finally there’s a clip from another Three Blokes spinoff, namely The Keego & Joe Show, where they chat to Penny Mitsi, a rugby coach, trainer, sporting ambassador & who is part of the development of rugby within Greece. All links from Three Blokes A Ball & BOD “EPCR European Cups Rd 1 & 2 Preview” “The Event Live from the Sandymount Hotel” “The Dugout Live from DTwo Bar & Nightclub” “The Keego & Big Joe Show” All content was reproduced with permission The Pod Of Three on Soundcloud >
May 25, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #7 : “What The Ruck, The Maul Over Podcast & Talking Rugby Union/Looseheadz”
For this episode we’re travelling back in time to the start of the COVID lockdown period.  What The Ruck remind us what it was like to preview actual rugby matches as they looked ahead England v Ireland in the Six Nations, The MaulOver Podcast try reminds us of the controversial incidents we love to harp on as they try to make sense of the whole Joe Marler/Alun Wyn Jones kerfuffle, and finally just as we were beginning to getting used to the no rugby, stay at home restrictions, Talking Rugby Union were helping to promote the important issue of mental health awareness by introducing a partnership with the Looseheadz Foundation. What The Ruck : “France were fine, England and Ireland’s planets align…” Maul Over Podcast : “Marler Gets The Sack” Talking Rugby Union : “Looseheadz x Talking Rugby Union Podcast - An introduction” Looseheadz Foundation > All content was reproduced with permission.
May 22, 2020
Ep 50 : “The Tale of Leinster’s 19 from 19”
To celebrate this our 50th episode, I’d like to take some time to go back over Leinster’s 2019/20 campaign and the unbeaten run, a body of work which overall is a testament to everyone involved at the province.  I go over the timeline from September to March, reading out a small passage from our HarpinOnRugby match writeup and throwing in a few thoughts along the way. Links to all our Leinster writeups from 2019/20 can be found here >
May 21, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #6 : “Wind Yer Neck In, Rugby Bricks & The Thistle Scottish Rugby Podcast”
This is the 6th episode in our new feature we call the Pod of Three, where we share clips from the best independent rugby podcasts. Today we include samples from former Ulster hooker Niall Annett’s pod Wind Yer Neck In where he talks to Keith Wood about the reasons behind his decision to move to Harlequins, then the Rugby Bricks has Stephen Larkham explaining how things are going at Munster, and finally the Thistle Scottish Rugby Podcast learns from prop Gordon Reid how he got the nickname “Game-changer Gordon”. Wind Yer Neck In : “A catch up with Keith Wood” The Rugby Bricks Podcast : “Stephen Larkham | World Rugby Hall of Famer & Using Competition To Become Your Best” Pod > Also on Instagram > Thistle Rugby Podcast : “Episode 27: Isolation with Gordon Reid” All content was reproduced with permission Full "The Pod Of Three" catalogue available on Soundcloud >
May 18, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #5 : "Under The Sticks, The Craggy Island Podcast & Squidge Rugby"
This is the 5th in our new series of mini pods which we call the Pod of Three, where we share clips from the best independent rugby podcasts. Today we include samples from the Pro14 Podcast Under The Sticks and they’re looking forward to the return of top flight rugby from New Zealand on the telly, then we go back a bit to mid April when the Craggy Island Podcast spoke to Connacht coach Andy Friend about how his players were training under COVID restrictions, and finally Squidge Rugby have been looking back at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and they’re talking about England against Argentina. Under The Sticks Rugby : “Ospreys Takeover, Aussie Crisis, Rugby Returning, Team Building & Michael Jordan” Craggy Island podcast : Andy Friend Interview Squidge Rugby : World Cup Retrospective
May 16, 2020
Ep 49 : Jerseys - the craft beer of rugby fandom (featuring Neil Keegan & Joe Sheppard)
For the next couple of weeks we’re turning our attention to the subject of rugby jerseys.  On our twitter account @HarpinOnRugby we’re running a light hearted competition called the Leinster Jersey McJerseyface Cup whereby followers get to vote for their favourite design. In this pod, first I’ll be chatting to Neil ‘Keego’ Keegan about the general topic of rugby jerseys, then Big Joe Sheppard, creator of Three Blokes A Ball & BOD, will give his own views as well as outlining what our upcoming Facebook Live shows are going to be about. The jersey Keego talks about is our pod picture. Details on the Leinster Jersey McJerseyface Cup here > The video with the pool stage draw is here > Check out Joe & Keego on Three Blokes A Ball & BOD here >
May 14, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #4 : “The Dead Ball Area, Rugby & The Rugby Gods”
This is the 4th in our new series of mini pods which we call the Pod of Three, where we share clips from the best independent rugby podcasts. Sometimes we’ll do these with a theme and sometimes not...this is the second kind.  First up we have the Dead Ball Area’s podcast Rugby Reimagined interviewing Tom Savage from the excellent Munster website Three Red Kings, then the blog answers a listener query about the advantage laws, and finally the Rugby Gods explore the plans for a return to senior competitive rugby in New Zealand. Rugby Reimagined : “Three Red Kings” Advantage Over podcast for rugby referees : “Episode 25 - Advantage” Rugby Gods podcast : “Ep035 Super Rugby Aotearoa, the NPC / Mitre 10 Cup. Possible Internationals?” All clips were reproduced with permission
May 12, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #3 : "Scottish Rugby Blog Podcast, Rugby Wrap Up & Blood And Mud Rugby"
Today’s edition has two themes - all three clips come from international sources,  and they’re all giving their take on Bill Beaumont’s victory in the recent World Rugby election. 1. Scottish Rugby Blog Podcast : “Episode 108 – Scavenger Hunt” 2. Rugby Wrap Up : “Agustín Pichot: What’s Next? USA Rugby Issues & World Rugby Change Needed” 3. Blood & Mud : “192: Beyond The Tryline”
May 9, 2020
Ep 48 : #RetroRugby 7 - ENGvFRA2015 (plus Ferg McF tribute) featuring Conor Cronin
For the seventh instalment of the series I was joined by Conor Cronin to talk about that crazy England v France match at Twickenham at the end of the 2015 Six Nations, though first we pay a quick tribute to the Leinster & Ireland career of Fergus McFadden. Match stream > Haskell incident referenced > Match stats > Harpin writeup (for IREvSCO the same day but ENGvFRA referenced) >
May 7, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #2 - PostToPost Sport, Ulster Rugby Lad Podcast & The Women's Rugby Pod
Today’s edition has a women’s rugby theme with first Post To Sport talking to Fiona Reidy of Munster & Ireland about the best memories from her career, then Ulster Rugby Lad asks Leinster & Ireland’s Jenny Murphy about the sacrifices involved at playing at the top level, and finally the Women’s Rugby Pod gets former England captain Catherine Spencer to name her all-time greatest Red Roses. 1. Post To Post Sport : “Provincial Jazz Ep 19” Pod > Post To Post blog > 2. Ulster Rugby Lad : “Episode 6 - Jenny Murphy” 3. Women’s Rugby Pod : “Catherine Spencer's All Time England 23”
May 5, 2020
THE POD OF THREE #1 - The Loose Head, The 2nd Row & Three Blokes A Ball And BOD
Featured podcasts : 1) The Loose Head : "Mike Prendergast" 2) The 2nd Row : "The Shane O'Leary Interview" 3) Three Blokes, A Ball & BOD : "British & Irish Lions Series Part 1" All content reproduced with permission.
May 2, 2020
Ep 47 : #RetroRugby 6 - AUSvIRE from #RWC2011 featuring Kristian Ross
For the sixth instalment of the series I was joined by Kristian Ross who was keen to talk about one of Ireland’s best outings at a Rugby World Cup, that against the Wallabies to kick off our campaign in 2011.  Trust me, this is the best chat on Irish rugby between a Yank and a Geordie you’ll hear today. Match stream (part 1 of 4 videos) >  Match stats > Harpin writeup >
April 29, 2020
Ep 46 : #RetroRugby 5 - #2ndNZLvBIL2017 featuring Michelle Tobin (@CorkSeashell)
For the fifth instalment of the #RetroRugby series I was joined by Michelle Tobin who did 12 great blogs for us back in 2017 outlining her experiences following the Lions around New Zealand.  Today our focus is on the second test but she also shares some stories from the trip as a whole and it was a great rugby chat all round. Match stream (highlights) > Michelle’s Diary > Harpin writeup >
April 23, 2020
Ep 45 : #RetroRugby 4 - #RSAvJPN2015 featuring Ciarán Duffy (@PostToPostSport)
For the fourth instalment of the series I was joined by Ciarán Duffy from PostToPost Sport to feature one of the greatest World Cup matches of all time, South Africa v Japan from 2015.  We discuss the amazing timeline from the match and also the way the fixtures from the pool stages made it all but impossible for the Brave Blossoms to build on their famous victory.    Match stream > Harpin writeup > Ciarán Duffy's PostToPost site > ...and the mental health charity link >
April 17, 2020
Ep 44 : #RetroRugby 3 - HCupFinal2009 featuring Neil ‘Keego’ Keegan (@nkeegan)
For the third instalment of the series I was joined by Neil 'Keego' Keegan of to discuss the 2009 Heineken Cup final between Leinster and Leicester Tigers - we were banging on for over an hour but truth be told, not only could we have gone longer on this match, we referenced at least half a dozen other games from the same season which could easily get the #RetroRugby treatment. Running order : (1) Setup part 1 (2) Setup part 2 (3) First half hour (4) 30-50m (5) Last half hour Links to watch the match itself > (1st half) & (2nd half) Harpin match writeup from 2009 > (Apologies if the link spoils the final score but hey, it's been like 11 years! 🤪)
April 10, 2020
Ep 43 : "#RetroRugby 2 : WALvIRE2009 featuring Conor Cronin (@ccbooms)"
For the second installment of our #RetroRugby series I was joined by Conor Cronin to discuss Ireland’s unforgettable win over Wales in Cardiff back in 2009 - normally I go for pods of about half an hour but we had so much to harp on from this match I let it go even further... RUNNING ORDER Intro 1  What was rugby like at the time? 2 The first half hour 3 From the first score to "TOMMY BOOOOWE!!!" 4  From the fightback to the drop goals 5 From Paddy to Stephen to Geordan to....YES!!!! Some links associated with this pod... IREvENG2009 stream >  WALvIRE2009 stream > WALvIRE2009 Harpin match writeup > Feel free to leave your thoughts in any or all of our usual online places. JLP
March 25, 2020
Ep 42 : "#RetroRugby 1 : France v Ireland 2018 featuring @RugbyKino"
To help fill the COVID19 void, I have enlisted some contributors to a project I call #RetroRugby where we look back over great contests from years gone by.  The idea is not just to go over the match in question but also to see how the rugby world stood at the time.  First on the list was France v Ireland from the 2018 Six Nations and rewatching it with me was @RugbyKino. Some links from our HarpinOnRugby coverage from the weekend of the match... Front Five headlines > Match preview > Online comments at full time > Match writeup >
March 18, 2020
Ep 41 : “I Like The Cut Of Leinster’s Gib” featuring Richard Mifsud (@RichMif)
This week I spoke to Richard Mifsud a Leinster fan who hails from Gibraltar and has been a long time commenter on the Harpin on Rugby Facebook page.  We had a great chat covering Leinster’s unbeaten start, the influence of Scott Fardy and the overall culture of rugby at the province, as well as a quick look at Andy Farrell’s first few matches at the helm for Ireland.
March 4, 2020
Ep 40 : “Leinster v Glasgow preview” featuring Joe “Three Blokes A Ball & Bod” Sheppard and Conor Cronin
On Friday morning I went to Energia Park in Donnybrook to watch the Irish Men’s and Under 20s teams being put through their paces in an Open Training session.  I met up with long time Harpin contributor Joe Sheppard, now of Three Blokes A Ball & BOD fame, as well as Conor Cronin.  Afterwards I took the opportunity to head for a coffee at Insomnia Donnybrook where we had a quick chat about the effect of the Italy postponement on Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, as well as looking ahead to Glasgow’s visit to the RDS. PS : Full disclosure...for some reason I kept saying "Three Balls..."  instead of "Three Blokes...", thus literally making a balls of it, so I "fixed" it in the editing process; the transitions aren't exactly subtle but it sounds much better than with the gaffes!!! 😜 Also, please forgive the hustle and bustle in the background at the coffee shop!!!
February 28, 2020
Ep 39 : “Keego on...Twickers & Tweets” featuring @nkeegan from
For today’s pod I had a quick chat with Neil Keego Keegan from - it was less than 24hrs after what happened at Twickenham but we managed to put the disappointment aside for a while to harp on thinks like areas where Ireland didn’t perform as well one of our favourite topics, that of the immense over-reaction from certain quarters online. Check our our own match writeup here >
February 26, 2020
Ep 38 : “Pro 14 mid-season round up” featuring Conor Cronin (@ccbooms)
This week my Back and Forward chat is with Leinster fan and frequent Harpin contributor Conor Cronin, also known as @ccbooms on Twitter.  With the Pro14 regular season having just passed the halfway stage we went through the league team by team to see how their campaigns are going so far.  Conor also gives some thoughts on Leinster’s wet windswept win over the Cheetahs last Saturday, as well as looking ahead to Round 3 of the Six Nations.
February 19, 2020
Ep. 37 : “Measuring rugby efficiency” featuring Brendon Shields of
This week my Back and Forward chat is with Brendon Shields from   We talked about the valuable data and analytics he provides in real time for coaches, mostly at schools level, as well as crunching some interesting numbers from the first two rounds of the Six Nations.  Then since Brendon happens to be a fan of both Leinster and the Cheetahs, we also discussed the match this weekend at the RDS, as well as his overall thoughts on the South African experiment in the Pro 14. Check out Brendon's work here > Also on Twitter >
February 12, 2020
Ep 36 : "Ireland v Scotland speakup"
An audio version of the HarpinOnRugby match writeup for Ireland's 19-12 win over Scotland last weekend. Written form can be found here >
February 5, 2020
Ep 35 : "Taking one on the chin" featuring Keego from
This week I chatted to Keego about a few issues arising from Andy Farrell’s first match in charge of Ireland, including the Murray/Cooney debate and Johnny Sexton’s supposed play-acting. Check out his review of Ireland v Scotland here > You can catch our own writeup here > And you can leave your thoughts on the Irish team to face Wales here >
February 4, 2020
Ep 34 : "Ireland v Scotland preview"
With no Leinster or Ireland match last weekend I set out to interview fans from all four provinces ahead of the Six Nations.    I have elected to round off the mini-series by presenting my match preview of Ireland’s opening match of the 2020 Six Nations in podcast form, offering my own take on the questions I asked my previous guests. 1) How do you think Andy Farrell will approach the Six Nations? 2) What do you make of Johnny Sexton as captain? 3) What is your ideal starting XV to play Scotland? I also offer some thoughts on the Scots as well predicting the match result.
January 31, 2020
Ep 33 : “Give form the reward” featuring Gayl Kennedy of WTView: Observations of a Munster Rugby Supporter
With no Leinster matches the week before the Six Nations I decided to use the extra time to get opinions from fans of all four Irish provinces on a few key questions : 1) What way will Andy Farrell approach his new job 2) What do you make of Johnny Sexton as captain and 3) What team would you pick for the opening game against Scotland? Looking back in our podcast feed you’ll see I have already had chats with fans of Leinster and Connacht in the form of Conor Cronin and Padriag Kelly respectively, now it’s Munster’s turn and I spoke to the author of the excellent WestTerraceView.
January 29, 2020
Ep 32 : "Ireland needs genuine depth-building" featuring Padraig Kelly aka @the2ndrow
With no Leinster matches the week before the Six Nations I decided to use the extra time to get opinions from fans of all four Irish provinces on a few key questions : 1) What way will Andy Farrell approach his new job 2) What do you make of Johnny Sexton as captain and 3) What team would you pick for the opening game against Scotland? After talking to the blue-goggled Conor Cronin on the last pod,  I will also be getting input from provinces north and south, but this latest offering features the operator of The 2nd Row, run by Connacht fan Padraig Kelly.   (note - recording was done ahead of official team announcement) LINKS TO FOLLOW THE 2ND ROW :
January 28, 2020
Ep 31 : "Andy Farrell's silver bullet" featuring Conor Cronin aka @ccbooms
In today’s pod I’m joined by Conor Cronin to have a look ahead to the upcoming Six Nations to try and see what way our new head coach Andy Farrell might be approaching it.  We discuss his objectives, what new players he can bring in, and how Johnny Sexton will do as captain among other things...
January 22, 2020
Ep 30 : "A Leinster fan's take on the #Salarycens saga"
As promised in my Benetton v Leinster writeup, here's a bonus pod featuring a Harpin Point in which I hope my two cents on the Saracens saga don't bring them too much further over the cap. For all our latest content check out
January 21, 2020
Ep 29 : Benetton v Leinster speakup
An audio version of our latest match writeup, namely Leinster's 18-0 win over Benetton in the Heineken Champions' Cup. Original article can be found here >
January 21, 2020
Ep 28 : "Permutation Overload" featuring Cian "@RugbyKino" O'Muilleoir
In today’s pod I’m joined by @RugbyKino and we walk our way through Round 6 of the Heineken Champions Cup to pick out the key matches and work out how we think the final eight will shape up.  During the course of our chat I’ll mention a chart he sent to me outlining all the different permutations possible at the weekend (and I mean ALL) so if you’d like me to send you a copy give me a shout at and I’ll be more than happy to send it on.
January 16, 2020
Ep 27 : "Leinster v Lyon speakup"
Our match writeup of Leinster's 42-14 win over Lyon in audio form. The original article can be found here >
January 14, 2020
Ep 26 : "The RDS Walk of Shame" featuring Neil "Keego" Keegan of
On this week's pod I chat to Keego (@nkeegan) from about the recurring phenomenon of fans leaving the RDS ten minutes or more before the fulltime whistle.  Also we have our Leinster v Connacht match writeup in audio form.
January 8, 2020
Ep 25 : "Two Leinster fans chat about the season so far", featuring Conor Cronin.
"Nothing is won until May." "There's always room for improvement."  Clichés like that are undoubtedly true, but what's the harm in enjoying 11 wins out of 11?   I was joined on this week's pod by a new contributor, Leinster season ticket holder and long time Harpin commenter Conor Cronin to go over the season so far. 
December 18, 2019
Ep 24 : "A review of the Nucifora review" featuring Neil 'Keego' Keegan of
Keego and myself chat about the report into Ireland's RWC2019 campaign, including David Nucifora's presentation, and the substance of the report itself.
December 11, 2019
Ep 23 : Northampton v Leinster speakup
After a brief hiatus, our podcast returns with an audio version of our latest writeup, which we call a "speakup".   Original post here >
December 10, 2019
ep 22 : "Pro 14 Round 2 review" featuring Cian O'Mulleoir of @RugbyKino
In this week’s pod...I enjoyed focusing on Round 1 of the Pro14 last week so much that I’ll do similar for Round 2 this time around.   But instead of 80-word reviews or Harpin Points, I’ve done an audio version of my Leinster v Ospreys writeup and then our Back & Forward chat is with Cian “@RugbyKino” O’Mulleoir and we’ll go through all of last week’s Pro 14 matches as well as looking ahead to Round 3.
October 9, 2019
Ep 21 : "IRELAND v RUSSIA speakup" (an audio version of our writeup from Ireland's latest RWC2019 fixture, titled 'Conditional Support'))
The original post can be found here >
October 8, 2019
Ep 20 : "Pro 14 kickoff special" (featuring Kristian Ross of @IrishRugbySupp)
In this week's pod we have an audio version of our Benetton v Leinster writeup, some 80-word reviews of the Irish provinces, plus a chat with Ulster fan Kristian Ross of @IrishRugbySupp who will look over Round 1 of the Pro 14.
October 2, 2019
Ep 19 : "JAPAN v IRELAND speakup" (an audio version of our Monday match writeup)
The article originally appeared on the website Monday, September 30 and can be found here >
October 1, 2019
Ep 18 : "Will RWC2019 win over new fans?" featuring Keego from
On this week's pod I look at the haka, then I offer a brief look at the Rugby World Cup so far, and finally I chat to Neil Keegan from about whether or not the tournament in Japan is likely to win over new fans to the sport.
September 25, 2019
Ep 17 : "ALL SYSTEMS GO" : an audio version of our match writeup featuring Ireland's 27-3 RWC victory over Scotland
The original article can be found here >
September 24, 2019
Ep 16 : Some final thoughts ahead of #RWC2019 featuring Keego & Big Joe Shep
There was a bit of a SNAFU in episode 12 (all explained in intro) so hopefully this pod sorts it. Plus there's an audio version of my long piece from last Monday.
September 19, 2019
Ep 15 : "Do we know weather or not this will be a good World Cup?"
In this week’s pod I’ll start with a Harpin Point about some poorly timed negative press ahead of the World Cup, then instead of a full Back & Forward chat interview the contributors you have heard from so far all give brief thoughts on Ireland’s World Cup chances. Then I’ll give my own quick previews of Pools B, C and D before I round things off by turning my attention to Leinster A’s Celtic Cup campaign.
September 18, 2019
Ep 14 : "The Legend of the Laighin Pit" (featuring Cian O'Mulleoir aka @Rugby Kino)
On this week's pod I have a moan about turnaround times, there are reviews of the final warmup of all of Ireland's Pool A opponents, plus a chat with my fellow panellist from the DTwo Bar last Friday, Cian O'Mulleoir.
September 11, 2019
Ep 13 : "Ireland v Wales speakup" (an audio version of our weekly match writeup)
The article is titled "WARMED UP" and can be found here >
September 10, 2019
Ep 12 : "See you at The Dugout Live at DTwo Bar, Fri Sep 6" (featuring Big Joe Shep of Three Blokes, A Ball & BOD)
On this week's pod we welcome frequent Harpin contributor Big Joe Shep who tells us all about his weekly online video rugby chat show called Three Blokes, A Ball & BOD, as well as the upcoming live event called The Dugout which will be at DTwo Bar & Nightclub on Harcourt St Dublin on Friday, September 6.  We also chat about the general reactions to the Irish squad.  Then I do a couple of 80-word reviews, a Harpin Point about a niggly bugbear of mine, and finally there's a quote from World Rugby number 2 Agustin Pichot...or is it more of a paraphrase?  You decide. 😜
September 4, 2019
Ep 11 : "Wales v Ireland speakup" (an audio version of our weekly match writeup)
The article is titled "In Plane Sight" and can be found here >
September 3, 2019
Ep 10 : "Tweets & Tweaks after Twickers" featuring Keego from
On this week's pod we welcome regular Harpin contributor Neil 'Keego' Keegan from and we discuss what went wrong for Ireland at Twickenham as well as how wrong some people were with their reactions.  I also review Leinster's win in Canada plus there's a Harpin Point about whether or not Joe Schmidt should look beyond Irish shores to fill his squad.
August 28, 2019
Ep 9 : "England v Ireland speakup" (an audio version of our weekly match writeup)
Full article can be found here >
August 27, 2019
Ep 8 : "Harpy 11th birthday" (featuring Ciar\u00E1n Duffy of @PostToPostSport)
On this week's pod we talk to our most prolific Harpin contributor about both Leinster and Ireland’s chances over the coming months plus the possibility of expanding the amount of teams at the Rugby World Cup.  Then I do some 80-word reviews on last weekend’s test matches and a controversial try from one of them provides me with my topic for this week’s Harpin Point.   Gwan, subscribe and have a listen, you know you wanna!  JLP
August 21, 2019
Ep 7 : Reviews, Ringfencing & Rankings featuring Kristian Ross
Some new features this week including "Back & Forward" where I chat to fellow egg-chasing nuts; our first guest is Ulster fan and long time Harpin contributor Kristain Ross.
August 14, 2019
Ep 6 : Pacific threats, squad changes & law tweaking
On this week's pod I look at Irish RWC2019 opponents Japan and Samoa, the latest news from Carton House and suggested law changes among other things.
August 7, 2019
Ep 5 : Negativity, mucky pitches & stolen inches
This week we look at Round 2 of the Rugby Championship, Round 1 of the Pacific Nations Cup and how they reflect Ireland's RWC2019 hopes.
July 31, 2019
Ep 4 : "Box kicks, Bonus points & Super 7s"
Still feeling our way around the whole podcast producing task but bear with us, we'll get there. This week's show includes more Harpin Points on various rugby topics, news of an upcoming event or two, and even a little snippet of music. Enjoy. JLP
July 24, 2019
Ep 3 : "Fixtures, mucky jerseys & a decade of tweets"
More Harpin Points with the following headings 1. RESTORING ORDER 2. FIXTURES & FITTINGS 3. THE STATE OF NEW JERSEYS 4. THE STICKY WICKET OF NATIONALITY 5. #twitterversary.
July 17, 2019
Ep 2 : "HP 35 : from Yankee twangs to Axial loading"
The 35th instalment of our Harpin Points feature has become the 2nd instalment of our podcast...
July 10, 2019
Pilot episode : "Here's to newer, dizzier heights"
For our first pod we're taking you back to November 2018 and our excellent win over the All Blacks. 
July 5, 2019