🚨Prominent English journalist takes aim at the amount of foreign players in the Irish team .. 😬

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Ireland are by far the best team in the Six Nations so far, and wouldn’t you know it, people aren’t happy with Ireland due to their one or two foreign players in their ranks.

Telegraph’s chief sports writer Oliver Brown was writing in his piece this week and had a pop and the New Zealand born players in the Irish team ..

‌Even the Irish, heralded as the gold standard in everything they touch, know what it means to exploit rugby’s nebulous definitions of nationhood. Bundee Aki, James Lowe and Jamison Gibson-Park are three players who have underpinned Ireland’s transformation into Grand Slam winners and, for a while, the world’s No 1-ranked side.

But all of them were integrated from New Zealand’s professional rugby system, targeted well into adulthood for moves to Ireland so that they could fulfil the residency rules. Lowe is about as Irish as McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, coming to the country when he was 25 and having played for the Maori All Blacks against the British and Irish Lions.

Here is a player who, on recognising in his mid-20s that he was never going to realise his All Black dreams, swapped Nelson for Dublin on the assurance that he would be wearing green three years later. The decision, while an emphatic success for his CV, casts an unflattering reflection on the romance of Test rugby.

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  1. I’m sorry,but do the same residency rules not apply to all countries?? Sounds like sour grapes to me!! 3 men do not make a team!

    1. As its the Telegraph. A publication not to be taken seriously.
      A paper that has discredited everything about Ireland in the past.
      Proof of its lack of balanced reporting. The ex PM Bojo Johnson was their celebrated Journalist before his lies and indiscretions caught up with Him.

    2. More than 3…almost half the team are mercenaries.
      Mack Hansen – Australian
      Finlay Bealham – Australian
      C J Stander – South African

  2. Lawrence Dallaglio could have either played for Ireland or Italy but opted instead to play for England. But we (Ireland) don’t mind. You were welcome to him!

  3. This is a piece of “sensational£ journalism, only being highlighted by the success of the Irish team. Yes, they are three Maoris who have taken the country and its people to their heart. When asked about his Irish experience Bundee Aki highlighted the love he felt towards him and his family. Like his two colleagues all three have been adopted by the nation. The comments are motivated more by envy than by analytical journalism.

  4. Ah doesn’t England have five foreign born players on their team! Two granted were raised in England but a few others were brought in the same way the have in Ireland and many other six nations teams!

  5. Oliver Brown is either a victim of early onset of dementia or an inept cretin of a journalist trying journalistic shithousery to make a name for himself. When England won the World Cup in 2003 Ireland a Kyran Bracken and South African Mike Catt were among their team. The captain Martin Johnson had played under 21 rugby for New Zealand despite being there for just 2 years. Leaving aside the present group on non English born players to wear the red rose Brown forgets to mention Matt Stevens(S.A) born and ex captain Dylan Hartley(N.Z). He also castigates James Lowe as being as “Irish as a McDonalds shamrock shake” because he represented the Maoiris against the British and Irish lions conveniently forgetting that England’s Riki Flutey (London Irish, Wasps, Brive, Wasps) done exactly the same thing before going on to tour New Zealand with the lions. As a chief sports writer I would at least expect Brown to get his facts right before spouting his pompous utterings.

    1. “As a chief sports writer I would at least expect Brown to get his facts right ” – bit of a tall ask that with all journalism theses days.

  6. You need to read the full article. Journalist was making a general point about national sides and how the residency rules had changed things substantially in recent years. All the home nations were mentioned and examples given, including England. Scotland came in for more focus because of its current high number of non-Scottish born internationals. I think it’s a legitimate debate – what is a national side? It was not a pop at the Irish specifically.

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