World Rugby Boss Bizarrely Quizzes Ireland’s Decision To Pick Jean Kleyn Over Devin Toner

Here we go again.

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt surprised us all this afternoon when he decided to name Jean Kleyn in his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad, with mainstay Devin Toner losing out.

Kleyn qualified for Ireland through residency, becoming eligible only last month before making his debut against Italy. And of course, the usual rhetoric has been immediately thrown out as Ireland select another “overseas mercenary” in their squad over a native in Devin Toner.

Former Ireland international Luke Fitzgerald has been very vocal about Schmidt’s decision to select Kleyn over his old pal Toner, as has, surprisingly, World Rugby vice president Agustín Pichot.

While it’s common knowledge he does not like the residency rule, with the former Pumas scrumhalf playing a huge role in getting it extended to five years from three, it’s truly bizarre that he has decided to comment on this individual case.A number of nations have taken advantage of the residency rule when naming their World Cup squads, with one Twitter user pointing out that Ireland only have three non-natives in their squad, which is likely the least amount in their pool, never mind the tournament.

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