Sunday 8 December 2019

'Spare me that hypocrisy' - Paul Kimmage's message to IRFU over Gerbrandt Grobler signing

Gerbrandt Grobler and (inset) Paul Kimmage and IRFU chief Phillip Browne
Gerbrandt Grobler and (inset) Paul Kimmage and IRFU chief Phillip Browne
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Paul Kimmage has criticised what he views as "hypocrisy" from the IRFU over the signing of drug cheat Gerbrandt Grobler.

The Sunday Independent columnist is one of many commentators who have questioned the province's reasoning for signing a player who served a two-year ban for using drostanolone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid, in 2014.

Kimmage wrote about the topic on Sunday and, speaking on the Matt Cooper Show on Today FM on Monday, he highlighted a number of incidents where the IRFU proclaimed it has a "zero drugs policy" in place.

But the signing of Grobler not only rubbishes that stance, it also sends the wrong message to kids who aspire to play elite rugby, according to Kimmage.

"All I'm asking Phillip Browne and the rugby community to do is spare me that hypocrisy when they go along. Phillip Browne and the IRFU rubber-stamp a decision to bring a steroid cheat in from South Africa to play for Munster," said Kimmage.

"And the custodians of Munster Rugby. Garrett Fitzgerald is the CEO and I'd very much like to hear from him."

Read more here:

When asked by host Matt Cooper if Grobler should be able to play having "served his time", Kimmage responded: "Eddie O'Sullivan and Brian O'Driscoll were both of the opinion that the two-year ban for steroids is nonsense.

"Most players in the game would regard this two-year ban as a nonsense.

"We have a choice to make. We are not obliged..Munster rugby are not obliged to sign a drugs cheat. There are plenty of young kids coming through from their academies. There are plenty of young Irish kids playing rugby here, they could easily take one of those.

"They are not obliged to do this, so why did they do it?"

Fellow Sunday Independent columnists Neil Francis agreed.

"No I think it's bad business (to sign Grobler), sends out bad vibes. I agree with Paul.

"There are five or six decent second-rows floating around and I thought it was just a bad idea to sign him. 

"I was quite surprised because he went from Western Province to Racing and he performed well for Racing and then suddenly he is in Munster. Ryan going one way and Grobler going the other, I would loved to have been in the room to find out what was going on when that deal was done.

"But he is here now and they are going to play him and I don't agree with it."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

The Left Wing: The problem with the Champions Cup, the Stephen Larkham effect and trouble in Welsh rugby

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport