Great to see top overseas stars join provinces
Published 10/04/2015 | 02:30
In modern-day rugby, a lot depends on what goes on off the field, and it's great to see the Irish provinces picking up big-name players ahead of their European counterparts.
Charles Piutau and Francis Saili are two big names in the Southern Hemisphere and I am sure they are fairly concerned down in New Zealand, especially in the Blues, where they have lost two of their best players.
Money is coming into it more and more now, and Munster through their commercial board seem to be making good strides. They are trying to compete with guys who are backing other provinces which is difficult.
There is money behind the provinces, and I think with Mils Muliaina going to Connacht last year it might have sparked a bit more interest in the Irish clubs again. It's not just England and France that can do it.
For the Pro12 it's great to have these guys signing now because it will help the whole prestige and profile of the competition.
Also on the field, you need a couple of players of that magnitude to make a difference in the Champions Cup and Munster certainly needed a player like Saili.