Irish Legend Says Ireland’s Overseas Selection Policy Is ‘Unfair & Impractical’
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Tony Ward says Ireland’s overseas selection policy is ‘unfair and impractical.’
The former Ireland outhalf is referring to Ian Madigan and his international exile, which looks set to continue after agreeing to join English side Bristol next season.
Madigan has been frozen out of Irish selection since moving to France, with his switch to Bristol meaning he will continue to be overlooked to Joe Schmidt and the Irish management team.
“Forgive me but I can’t help wondering that if it were Conor Murray pitching his tent in the South West of another landmass, would the same barring order apply?
Maybe it would. Either way I think it is practically and ethically wrong.
If a player goes abroad to further his career – and no-one will convince me that Madigan went to France for the money – surely he should be encouraged to give it his best shot, fuelled by the incentive of still qualifying for that precious green shirt.
IRFU performance director David Nucifora and head coach Joe Schmidt have made it clear where they stand.
It should have been Johnny Sexton but it looks like Madigan will be the first really high-profile casualty in exile. It’s a heavy price to pay.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Ward? You can read his Irish Independent piece in full here