Bernard Jackman Has A Valid Reason As To Why Ireland Can’t Pick Overseas Players
It’s all we’ve got.
Former Connacht, Ireland and Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman has defended Ireland’s decision to not pick overseas players.
Jackman, who is now head coach at Welsh side the Dragons, believes it’s all Ireland have to offer as they will never be able to compete with the money on offer in France and England.
His side have recently benefitted from Wales’s new selection policy, with a number of players joining the Dragons to fulfil their international ambitions, including Lion Ross Moriarty and Jackman says it’s the only way.
“I know the agents and the players will look to play on the fact that Simon has left and try and create that uncertainty, but I do think Irish players tend to stay,” he told RTÉ 2fm’s Game On.
“They’ll always stay for less money, or more often than not they’ll stay for less money, particularly given the fact that Joe (Schmidt) won’t pick anyone who does leave.
“I think he’s right. It keeps the Irish game internationally strong. It keeps the provincial game very strong. It’s the only way we can compete.
“If we don’t have the lure of international rugby a lot more players will be playing in the Aviva Premiership or the Top 14.
“Our kids and rugby fans in Ireland will only be able to see the best players in international games.
“The beauty of the Irish game at the moment is if you want to go and watch Johnny Sexton or Peter O’Mahony you can go and watch them playing for their province. That’s a really strong aspect of the Irish game.
“We’re never going to be able to compete with the money on offer.”
What do you think? Does he have a point?