Joe Schmidt Hits Back At World Rugby Boss Following Kleyn/Toner Residency Comments

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Not relevant.

World Rugby vice president Agustín Pichot made headlines yesterday when he decided to come out with a bizarre Tweet regarding Ireland’s decision to select Jean Kleyn over Devin Toner in their World Cup squad.

Kleyn recently became eligible for Ireland through the residency rule after serving three years with Munster, with Pichot making it clear in the past he’s not a fan of the system.

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The former Argentina scrum-half played a huge role in extending the residency period from three years to five, but to have a man in his position comment on an individual case like this is truly bizarre, with many other nations taking advantage of the rule.

And Ireland boss Joe Schmidt is not impressed with Pichot’s comments.

“Gus Pichot has a lot of opinions not they are not relevant for us.” Schmidt said this afternoon

“Under the rules, we are entitled to pick guys who qualify. Considering he is involved in World Rugby, he could have a look at the rules as they were and not have so much to say.

“It’s tough enough to do this job, it’s tough enough to have the conversation I did with Dev.

“In my time with Ireland, the qualification involvement is probably six to seven per cent. The rest are homegrown guys.

“They are not only homegrown but domiciled here apart from two years we used Johnny Sexton from Paris.”

Schmidt added that he’s a “blow-in” himself while commending the work that other residency players like CJ Stander and Bundee Aki have done for their local communities.

“I’m not sure I’m the most qualified to comment because I’m a blow-in myself and I’ll be blowing out soon.” Schmidt added

“Gus Pichot has changed the rules, those rules will apply beyond this World Cup and they’ll apply as long as people feel that’s the right residency rule.

“But I would question, how much CJ Stander has committed to local environment and Bundee Aki to his local environment.