Ronan O’Gara has admitted he’s not a fan of rugby’s three-year residency rule for international rugby representation, writes Tony Leen.
O’Gara, writing in the print edition of Friday’s Examiner Sport, believes that a player must be living for up to seven years in his adopted country before he will qualify to represent it.
He writes: “If a lad comes over to Ireland when he is 13 or 14 with his family, then he is qualified to play when he is 20. But if he comes over as a 20-year-old, if he’s good enough, he should go back and play for the country he is from.
The cause and effect of such a low threshold for eligibility is obvious – it is going to dilute the importance of representing your country.
Are we going to arrive at a point where you might have half a dozen New Zealanders, four or five South Africans and a couple of natives making up the Irish team, playing in the green jersey?”
He added that the likes of Jared Payne and CJ Stander are wholly committed to Ireland – they are not the problem, the rules are.
O’Gara also examines the different dynamics at play for Munster if Conor Murray or Duncan Williams starts at scrum-half in Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final against Saracens in Dublin.
You can read Ronan O’Gara’s column in the Irish Examiner.