Sunday 21 January 2018

Like it or loathe it -- Strauss will be in mix

RICHARDT STRAUSS' participation in Ireland training prior to the cancelled match with France garnered plenty of attention, with the South African due to qualify for Ireland this year after completing his three-year residency.

While Strauss' likely Ireland participation will stick in the craw of those who do not believe national identity can be acquired after a mere 36 months (not to mention the indigenous hookers whom he will leapfrog in the process), there is no doubt a player of his quality could strengthen Ireland.

As Ireland coach Declan Kidney points out, this practice is going on wholesale in rugby and coaches will always look at ways to maximise their returns.

"If you look at other countries, Australia, New Zealand are prime examples of lads having dual passports for different reasons. It is the way it works, so you would be foolish not to look at every option," said Kidney.

"If Richardt puts his name in the hat, we will deal with that as the time comes, but I am very happy with the hookers we have. Rory (Best) is going as well as he has ever gone, Sean (Cronin) has really come on and then there's Damien (Varley) and Mike Sherry, too, so I think we are well served."

Irish Independent

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