Jean Kleyn’s rekindled love for rugby; mood a lot more positive around Kenny’s Ireland

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Munster’s Jean Kleyn during training. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Munster’s Jean Kleyn during training. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

It’s two years now since Jean Kleyn’s selection in the Ireland squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Devin Toner left out in the process - a decision which caused some controversy at the time. Kleyn looked strained by the furore while in Japan and this morning he tells Gerry Thornley that it did have an effect on him, although he feels he is past that now and would love to play international rugby again. “I play the game because I enjoy the game and because my family love it and my friends love it, and y’know, that’s why I do it, and I’ve just been doing it because of those reasons. I discovered my enjoyment again and it’s been superb,” he said. Meanwhile, in his column this morning Johnny Watterson looks at the concept of a women’s Lions tour and writes that such an idea would need to reimagine the Lions and be bold, modern and embracing.

Moving to soccer and FAI president Gerry McEnaney says that there is now a sense of “positivity” around Stephen Kenny’s Ireland team after their back-to-back wins against Azerbaijan and Qatar. Before the most recent international window there had been plenty of questions about Kenny’s future and whether his contract would be renewed. While that question still remains to be answered at the end of the current campaign, the mood music is undoubtedly better for the former Dundalk manager. Moving to the Premier League and it’s understood that just three of the 20 Premier League clubs have accepted an invitation from police to help tackle online racism, news which has left chief constable Mark Roberts “disappointed”.

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