Ronan O’Gara Reckons Ireland’s Overseas Policy Could Come Back To Bite Them
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Former Ireland and Munster star Ronan O’Gara reckons Ireland’s overseas selection policy could come back to bite them, and that it may have to change over the next five years or so.
O’Gara reckons it’s only a matter of time before Ireland are forced to pick players that are overseas. He says the landscape is constantly changing, and something may have to give.
“It’s a very changing landscape,” he said.
“You need your best players playing for Ireland and it’s going to come to a stage where there will be in the next five years guys playing for Ireland who aren’t playing for the provinces.
O’Gara also hinted that the IRFU may have a battle on their hands to retain Tadhg Furlong, with the tighthead now regarded as arguably the best tighthead in world rugby. But he does believe that the IRFU pay a lot better than the media has been making out recently.
“We won’t have a massive test this summer, but maybe we might with Tadhg Furlong.
“It’s important for the public to know too that the IRFU pay well. I firmly believe that – and I know what I’m talking about from the French and Irish markets.”
“If they weren’t I think everyone would be playing in France. That’s the reality.”
In terms of Ireland’s overseas policy coming back to bite them, he reckons Irish players are an attractive prospect under the current selection policy, as the French teams know they will get better value for money.
The Top 14 is known to be hugely attritional and signing a player that doesn’t play international rugby is of huge value.
“There is huge value in that,” he added
“Because there is a game every week and there is no travel. It’s hugely attractive to Top 14 coaches. I think it took everyone by shock in France that Irish players will go because they don’t think they will.”