Dan Tuohy explains ‘rotten to the core’ comments
Former Ireland international retired from rugby last week
Dan Tuohy: “If I was playing in the Championship and had anything going on outside rugby I’d follow that up because it is just not viable anymore.”
Former Ulster and Ireland lock Dan Tuohy, who retired from professional rugby last week, has explained why he believes the sport is “rotten from the core.”
Tuohy stated that £3 million in cuts by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to the English second tier Championship coupled with financial doping by Saracens prompted his tweeted essay.
“Cutting teams’ budgets in February, when teams are trying to recruit, and you’ve got England players being paid 25 grand a game, and the RFU with their ginormous prawn sandwich brigade, that really does show a massive lack of human compassion,” said Tuohy. “It just sums up the position rugby is in.
“I think half the current England squad played in the Championship at some stage. I think it is about ring fencing the Premiership when Saracens come back after their sabbatical year in the Championship.”
Tuohy feels the “30 professional teams” in France will not sufficiently cater for Championship players that could be made redundant by the RFU plan to almost halve payments to each club to £288,000 per year.
“If players are only making 15 grand a year they will have to get a part time job but if they want to come over to France they will struggle,” said Tuohy, who was made club captain of Pro D2 club RC Vannes this season before a sustaining nerve damage in his hand, a career ending injury that brought his number of surgeries to nine. “The amount of foreign players over here is getting smaller and smaller.
“If I was playing in the Championship and had anything going on outside rugby I’d follow that up because it is just not viable anymore.”
The Bristol born lock, with a Tipperary grandfather, played 136 times for Ulster until 2016, also winning 11 caps for Ireland.
“The large majority of players I have spoken to feel hard done by,” Tuohy added. “The ‘rotten to the core’ statement is a broad statement; the Championship really triggered it for me but also this season with Saracens. I take a pretty dim view of people saying ‘Oh, Nigel Wray was a great bloke that wanted to help people’ . . . but they knew they were cheating.
“I was at Exeter Chiefs [2008-09]when they were in the Championship. They have come into the Premiership and, so far that we know they have done it by the book. They would have won three maybe four Premierships if it wasn’t for Saracens.”