The news yesterday that Ian Madigan is set to move to the Top 14 in search of game time gave Irish rugby a sobering reminder that a potential mass exodus is not completely unrealistic. While it is generally accepted that Irish based players are given preferential treatment as far as selection on the national side is concerned, this may be a positive move for the fly-half’s career.
However, it must be noted that this is not a pioneering move. Jonathan Sexton’s spell at Racing Metro is of course the standout example, but there are many Irish players plying their trade throughout the French league.
Amongst them is 6 foot 5 inches Chris Farrell. Farrell moved over to Bernard Jackman’s Grenoble before the start of last season, and has been steadily improving ever since.
The former Ulster centre is thought to be a long way off an international call-up, but if he keeps on scoring tries like these, Joe Schmidt and Co. may be forced to take note.
Although the Irish provinces remain the primary pool from which the international players are picked, it would be positive to see the IRFU cast their nets out a bit further, and take note of the likes of Farrell.
It was a quality try, and here’s hoping that the 22 year-old can continue to produce in the Top 14.