Monday 22 January 2018

Let younger players spread their wings

Denis Buckley goes through his paces. Photo: Sportsfile
Denis Buckley goes through his paces. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny O'Connor

There's a lot of rumours of Irish players about to sign big contracts with teams abroad, and I can't understand why it's almost a taboo amongst the rugby community here, writes Johnny O'Connor.

Leinster is a perfect example where there's a contradiction going on at the moment. Marty Moore might be on his way out the door to Wasps, but what if he returns after a few years and is a much better tighthead for it?

The Leinster fans might question his decision to leave, but the reality is it's the player's decision. And surely they must be forgetting the three European Cup wins and the players that helped them get there.

Current coach Leo Cullen, and former star Shane Jennings both went to England and won trophies with Leicester Tigers, before returning home and bringing about a mini-revolution in the province.

The likes of Michael Cheika and Joe Schmidt obviously nudged them in the right direction too, but no one doubts the influence those players had.

At Connacht, we had Gavin Duffy; he was fantastic when he returned from Harlequins and it's time people were more open-minded about the scenario.

Irish Independent

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