Ireland have 'no intention' of changing selection policies

Ireland have 'no intention' of changing selection policies

IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora says they have no plans to change their selection policies if high-profile players depart the provincial setup next season.

Ireland do not select players who do not ply their trade for the likes of Connacht, Leinster, Munster or Ulster and despite the fact that contract negotiations between players and Provinces are currently on hold until after Christmas, Nucifora has confirmed that the policy will not change. 

The hold contract negotiations leaves several key international players available to negotiate with clubs abroad with the likes of Johnny Sexton, Cian Healy, Peter O'Mahony, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, CJ Stander and Keith Earls among those whose contracts are expiring in June next year.

Earlier in the year, Chief Executive Philip Browne said it is possible they could lose players to wealthier clubs abroad.

Nucifora says there is no outright policy set in stone, they will not be budging from their current selection preferences, even if they lose their biggest stars.

"No, we've got no intention of doing that at the moment," he said

"At the moment, the position we've been in is if players choose not to play their rugby in Ireland, it's unlikely we'd select them, it's not a hard and fast rule, there's no hard and fast rule about that, we've never had one.

"But our attitude towards it wouldn't change, we'd be selecting players who stay here and play for our provinces."


The IRFU Performance Director says they plan to be in a position to discuss terms with players and staff by the new year, but says he's confident there won't be any players let go due to financial reasons.

"I don't foresee that at all. What we needed to do was do a really thorough feasibility of where the business is going to be over the next 12, 18 months or two years, so we could responsibly take a position on offering long term contracts to the players.

"When we are contracting one, two or three years out, building up those types of liabilities, we have to be sure on our ability to meet those commitments.

"I suppose it's just about the business being responsible and making sure that we are when we do enter into negotiations, we know exactly where we are and anything we put on the table, we will be able to stand by with our players," he added.

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