Sunday 23 October 2016

'We want Marty to play for Ireland' - Wasps chief says Premiership move will not harm international career

Nick Purewal

Published 26/01/2016 | 14:35

Marty Moore
Marty Moore

Marty Moore will not harm his Test career with Ireland by moving to Aviva Premiership club Wasps next term, according to Dai Young.

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Ireland's performance director David Nucifora has warned the country's top stars will be at a "disadvantage" for international selection if plying their trade abroad.

Ian Madigan will join Bordeaux this summer, however, with Keith Earls weighing up a move to Saracens and Simon Zebo also potentially en route to France.

Hailing the "coup" of Moore's summer move from Leinster, though, Wasps rugby director Young insisted the 24-year-old's Test chances will not be hampered.

"I don't see us having any issues with our relationship with Ireland," Young told Press Association Sport.

"We'll want Marty to play for his country.

"We've got Welsh internationals, Italians and next season we'll have an Irish international, and we want them all to play for their countries.

"If they're playing for their country it means they're probably playing well for us, and we'd support that 100 per cent.

"International rugby will only make him play well for Wasps.

"The experience of playing in different leagues and different scenarios, it can only improve players. So I don't see it as a massive issue, Marty being here next season rather than in Ireland.

"He must have felt he needed that new challenge, but from our point of view we're pleased to have him on board."

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Former Australia hooker Nucifora oversees the contract negotiations for the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), who could yet be caught in a player drain.

Nucifora has previously admitted "straight away the players that go leave themselves at a disadvantage" over the thorny issue of Ireland stars opting to move abroad.

Ireland have no desire for a ban on selecting overseas-based stars, but head coach Joe Schmidt was often frustrated by strained relationships with Racing Metro during Johnny Sexton's stint in France.

Should Munster duo Zebo and Earls both follow Madigan and Moore in moving abroad, the IRFU may well be forced to select from foreign shores in any case.

Former Wales prop Young is intent on making life at Wasps as seamless as possible for Moore, and is already relishing working with the 10-cap front-rower.

"To sign a young man who's only going to get better but who is already an international, that's a bit of a coup for us really," said Young.

"I do believe Jake Cooper-Woolley will go on to play for England, obviously (Lorenzo) Cittadini and (Phil) Swainston.

"We've got a good group of tightheads there, and I believe you need four quality tightheads if you really want to stake a claim in the Aviva Premiership and Europe."

Press Association

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