Friday 6 December 2019

George Hook: 'We should go down to Argentina and see if anyone has an Irish granny'

Ireland's CJ Stander following his side's 16-16 draw
Ireland's CJ Stander following his side's 16-16 draw
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

George Hook has been very outspoken in the past about foreign players coming in and playing for Ireland but it seems he will put those feelings to one side when it comes to improving the scrum.

South African-born CJ Stander produced a masterclass performance on his Ireland debut yesterday to pick up the man-of-the-match award.

Speaking on's live Six Nations coverage yesterday, Tom McGurk put it to Hook that Ireland had found a "world class"  number six in Stander.

"I think we could solve our scrum problem in the morning," answered Hook.

"I guarantee you if you went to the main street in Buenos Aires, you would find a bunch of guys called O'Connor, and O'Connell, and Murphy.

"We should be going down to Argentina. Look at the difference the Argentinian coach did to Australia. Look at the difference he made to Australian scrummaging. We should be going down to Argentina and say 'Anyone fella here have a granny'?, or come back and get a 19-year-old Argentinian to live in Ireland for three years."

Hook previously suggested that Kiwi Jared Payne should not be picked for Ireland as he is a "second-rate foreigner".

"I'd like to know why Ireland has a problem of picking second rate foreign players," said Hook about Payne in his Irish Independent column recently.

"Ian Madigan has been appallingly treated.

"The point is, you have a national policy or you don't have a national policy. Madigan should be at inside centre and he should be playing number 12 week in week out."

He later said: "Jared Payne is not good enough to play at 13, it has nothing to do with nationality."

You can watch exclusive analysis from George Hook and his panel only on before, during and after every Ireland game in this year's Six Nations. And if you have a question, tweet @IndoSport and use the hashtag #AskGeorge

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