Johnny Sexton Has His Say On Ireland’s Foreign Selection Policy

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Former Ireland and Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald was the latest person to come out and blast the residency rule yesterday.

The former Leinster and Ireland utility back launched a scathing attack asking the question, “Are we not good enough to fill the spots? I don’t know if there’s a big enough gap between Irish guys and those guys to really justify it?” Fitzgerald goes on to say it is just plain “wrong”.

Former Ireland manager Donal Lenihan claims some, who reckon they won’t get a call-up to their native country, use the rule as a “badge of convenience.”

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Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton however, has been asked what he thinks of the current policy- and it doesn’t seem to bother the Leinster man.

“I’ve played with three guys that weren’t born here,” Sexton told RTÉ Sport. 

“They’ve given as much to the Irish jersey as I have or whoever you want to pick.

“Maybe I’d be saying something different if Tyler Bleyendaal starts playing out-half for Ireland in a couple of years.

“Maybe I’ll be a bit more bitter then, but I know the rules.

“The [Irish-born] players know the rules and they know they have to be better than these other guys that might only be here for three years, which can only be a good thing for the Irish team.

“If the right guys are here for three years and they want to play for Ireland and they want to give as much to the guys as I just mentioned, and it’s going to raise the standard of rugby, well, they are the rules at the moment.”

There you have it from a player very much involved in the current Irish set-up. Do you agree with Sexton?

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