Donal Lenihan Blasts Rugby’s Residency Rule

RBS 6 Nations Championship Round 1, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 7/2/2016 Ireland vs Wales Ireland's CJ Stander Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Former Ireland manager Donal Lenihan has blasted the rugby residency rule, calling it ‘crazy.’

Lenihan has called for World Rugby chiefs to review the rule, calling it ‘farcial.’ As it stands, a player can become eligible to represent their adopted country after three years of playing rugby there.


Ireland in recent years have become one of the main beneficiaries of the current rule, with the likes of CJ Stander, Jared Payne and Richardt Strauss on Joe Schmidt’s panel.

“I’m absolutely against it, I think the rule is farcical,” Lenihan told RTÉ 2fm’s Game On.

“I think there are so many players from the southern hemisphere adopting a badge of convenience at international level that it’s getting to embarrassing proportions.

“What’s happening, in practice, is that players from the southern hemisphere who aren’t making it within their Super 15 franchises are travelling to the northern hemisphere; they are being paid way more money than they would be within their domestic game.

“After three seasons they get the added bonus that they can play international rugby when it was deemed that they were never good enough to play for their own country in the first place.

“I think the three-year rule is far too narrow.”

Do you agree with Donal Lenihan? [RTE]

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