Live

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball

Rugby

"It seems to be putting the IRFU's position first, above the provinces" | Keith Wood

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

08:13 6 Jan 2020


The IRFU's player protection policy is "unnecessarily" harming provinces such as Munster who don't have the strength in depth, according to former international Keith Wood. 

Wood was speaking on Monday Night Rugby and highlighted the struggles of Munster this year in absence of their Irish internationals.

"I believe that we should be minding players – we absolutely should – but this is not a way to do it, to take 12 players out of a team over two weeks before a must-win game.

"That seems to be putting the IRFU's position first, over and above the provinces. They get away with it in Leinster because Leinster have a huge number of players. I don't know if they get away with it in Munster."

The former Munster hooker also noted the advantage provided to provinces who don't have their best players playing internationally, referencing Connacht's success four years ago.

"Connacht flew four years ago because they had nobody involved with Ireland. They did incredibly well while all the other provinces were struggling.

"Now, they had a few guys in [the Irish set up] this year and even a few guys put them under pressure. You pick up a couple of injuries and life becomes an awful lot harder."

While the World Cup year has no doubt exacerbated the issue, Wood still believes that the IRFU should face questions over how they have handled their policy and when is best to rest players.

"I think you have to look at these situations, and say, ok I don't think the IRFU have got it right this time. I really don't. I think they have put pressure on the provinces that is unnecessary.

"And I think if you actually take a financial view to it: will CVC like this in the coming years that you have a big game like Munster v Leinster and you're putting your second teams out for that? It's a commercial body looking for commercial returns. They are really big marquee games."

World Cup disappointment aside, Woods concluded that despite his unhappiness this year the IRFU's policy has been largely successful: "It's kept us at the top of the game for the last 15 or so years which is pretty fantastic stuff but not everything is perfect."

Everyone’s in the Team Of Us.

Vodafone. The Official Sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.


Read more about

IRFU Leinster Monday Night Rugby Munster Pro14

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

Up next

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster

Repeat: Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster

10:00 PM-11:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

11:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-09:30 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

09:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster - Season 2

Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster - Season 2

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on