Saturday 18 November 2017

Imports lift the standard

John Greene

John Greene

Watching Ulster demolish Leicester at Ravenhill on Friday night and reading Isa Nacewa's comments in today's paper, you have to wonder if the IRFU's new restrictions on foreign players have gone too far.

There is nothing wrong with the Union looking to do everything it can to promote home-grown talent on the basis that the provinces are feeders for the national team. But the move announced just before Christmas to allow just one non-Irish qualified player per position in the country looks excessive.

Rugby is on a high in this country and that has as much to do with the success of the four provinces as anything else. And the success of the provinces is based in part on the success of their imports. Friday night provided clear and tangible evidence of the real worth of good signings who then positively influence the development of Irish-qualified players.

The IRFU should revisit this decision.

jgreene@independent.ie

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