Moore refusing to give up hope of playing for Ireland again
Marty Moore understood the ramifications when he moved across the pond last year.
Joining an ambitious club like Wasps was appealing, and that’s not to mention the handsome salary that they can afford to pay, but it came at a cost.
Once heralded as Ireland’s next bright tighthead hope, Moore’s international career is on hold and given that he signed a three-year deal with Wasps, it is highly unlikely that he will force his way into the reckoning for the 2019 World Cup.
That is on the back of a foot injury ruling him out of the last World Cup two years ago which paved the way for Tadhg Furlong to earn a surprise call-up and the rest, as they say, is history.
A few eyebrows were raised when Moore was allowed to leave Leinster but when you consider the rapid rate of Furlong’s progress, no one could deny they made the correct call.
That is not to say that Leinster wouldn’t like to still have Moore on their books. After all, they invested heavily in the former Castleknock College student but he didn’t want to play second fiddle to Furlong.
Nevertheless, it remains a surprise that another Irish province didn’t do more to try and keep Moore in the country.
Since he left, the 26-year-old has fallen off Joe Schmidt’s radar and while the Kiwi knows what he is capable of, Moore is a long way down the pecking order based on the fact that he no longer plays in Ireland.
“Definitely moving forward, it’s an ambition to play for Ireland again and only time will tell how that pans out,” said Moore, who won the last of his 10 caps off the bench in the Six Nations win in Murrayfield in 2015.
“I think it’s always in the back of your mind. It’s something you always hope for as a player. Whether that’s more difficult with me playing my rugby here or not, I suppose it’s yet to be seen.
“I haven’t had a run of form, and been injury-free, for six to nine months. If I was in Ireland, or here, it doesn’t matter if that’s the case, you wont be selected for the green jersey.”
To a certain extent, Schmidt will continue to keep tabs on Irish players plying their trade abroad but by not playing with one of the Irish provinces, Moore has quietly slipped out of the picture.
Injuries hampered his first season with Wasps and he didn’t quite get the homecoming he was hoping for last April when the English side were beaten out the gate by Leinster in their Champions Cup quarter-final clash in Dublin.
Moore returns to action in Ireland tomorrow for the first time since that defeat when Ulster host Wasps in their European opener and he understands that these games matter more to him in his personal quest to remind everyone of his quality.
“It’s always a big deal to go back,” Moore admitted.
“Every week you want to do your best but it’s definitely an added emphasis. When you’re at home, you want a good showing, for your team but for yourself too.
“Ulster in the past, it’s a derby for me. That adds to it. It’s a European opener, but against Ulster, that makes it even bigger for me.”
Wasps have struggled this season and four defeats on the bounce have left them languishing in tenth place of the Premiership table.
However, the weekly physical demands of playing in England’s top flight is one of the main reasons Moore was attracted to Wasps.
“It’s definitely a different tournament,” he added.
“Week-in, week-out I do think there’s more emphasis here on the set-piece than in the PRO14.
“That’s one of the reasons I wanted to come here. It’s a massive challenge, I won’t lie.
“It doesn’t matter what side you’re playing, you can guarantee that they’ll be strong up front. As a tighthead especially, it’s a tough environment but it’s one I want to be in.”
Getting one over on the Ulster pack in Ravenhill tomorrow would help Moore’s cause nicely.