Player drain means future looks bleak
Published 29/01/2016 | 02:30
Between the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup there are just two Pro12 sides left in Europe, and it doesn't look good from the league's point of view, writes David Wallace.
I don't know if the standard in the Pro12 has changed, maybe there was a post-World Cup dip. But for the most part it's definitely as a result of the French and English sides getting stronger and the salary caps expanding.
It's only getting worse too, in a couple of years the budget in England will almost be double what's available in Ireland and then it becomes very difficult.
They will be attracting more players from the southern hemisphere, but they will be able to take a lot of players out of the Irish system, which is a worrying prospect.
These won't be players that are down the ranks either. Players who aren't first-team regulars at the moment, but are on the cusp, will leave for England and they are vital for the depth and future of the Irish game.
It was disappointing to see Marty Moore sign for Wasps during the week; it was only a matter of time that he was nailed-on first-choice tighthead at Leinster.