All in the Scrum

 

Compiled by GAVIN CUMMISKEY

Grounds for hope: GAA venues ideal for RWC 2023

CONSIDERING IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has confirmed the union are exploring the possibility of bidding for the 2023 World Cup, with tentative support from Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar, the next step would be stadiums.

There are plenty of them but which ones would be available? New Zealand used 12 venues for last year’s World Cup.

With that in mind, what are the Irish options? The Aviva, of course, and the RDS Showgrounds in Dublin. Thomond Park in Limerick. Musgrave Park in Cork would need a make-over and Ravenhill is another certainty.

After that it becomes a question of whether the GAA or the IRFU can pal up again, otherwise the Welsh or Scottish unions would be approached.

There are several 40,000-plus GAA grounds: Croke Park, Semple Stadium in Thurles, Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork, the picturesque Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney and the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, while Pearse Stadium (34,000) would be a better Galway option than the Sportsground.

Home: Is here for Nacewa

“As you know I got a family here now and my wife. When that ruling came out it does make you start thinking about your future. It definitely has an effect on you.

“I love Ireland. I want to finish my playing days here. I couldn’t see myself playing for another team at the moment. The girls are born here; they are more Irish than they are New

Zealand at the moment. It feels like home.”

– Isa Nacewa, in the Newstalk FM studio yesterday, speaks about the new IRFU directives with regards to foreign players.

Argentina looks forward to big dates: Ready or not

THE SOUTHERN Hemisphere rugby people are finally beginning to take interest in Los Pumas ahead of the Tri -Nations this summer.

“Argentina’s entry into the Rugby Championship is a bit like finally scoring a date with the girl of your dreams,” wrote Michael Burgess in the New Zealand Herald. “You are ecstatic, doing cartwheels at getting the opportunity, mixed with the stomach-churning reality that you now have to perform.”

There appears to be an acceptance in Argentina that they are not ready for their fast-approaching dream dates.

“This is bigger than any World Cup,” said Argentina coach Santiago Phelan. “I don’t know if it is too early or if we are ready; the fact is we have to be ready.”

“It is too early and we are going to suffer,” said Raul Perez, who coached the Argentinian development squad in the South African provincial competition. “But we can and will adapt. We are good at adapting – probably because of the way this country is. We have economic crises every 10 years but we always bounce back. Life goes on.”

Bruff: Set to honour Hayes

BRUFF RFC are paying tribute to their most famous son, John Hayes, before next Saturday’s Ireland v Italy match. With kick-off at 1.30pm, the Limerick club are hosting a breakfast event at Bewley’s hotel in Ballsbridge (10.30-11am) followed by a rare questions and answers session with The Bull himself.

There are not many places left so contact Mike O’Connor at mikegoc@live.co.uk if interested in buying a €30 ticket.