Ireland assistant coach Richie Murphy has defended Ireland’s foreign-born players after the England head coach labelled the side as the “United Nations”.
Eddie Jones was in his usual mischievous form during the week and took aim at the five players in Ireland’s starting 15 who qualified due to residency rules.
🗣 “They’re always tough, hard, engrossing encounters.”
🗣 “It’s got all the ingredients for a great Test match.”
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— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 19, 2020
“I heard someone calling them the United Nations, so I had a little chuckle.
“Andy Farrell, Mike Catt and Simon Easterby are just selecting the team they are allowed under the regulations.
“I can understand how Irish people would be upset about Irish-born players missing out. But they are the laws and regulations of international rugby; they are just sticking by the regulations,” Jones said.
Ireland taking no heed of Eddie Jones
Murphy was speaking at a press conference yesterday and took little heed of the Australian’s comments.
“We have a group of players who are obviously all eligible to play for Ireland, we select that squad early on in relation to who we feel is in the best place to play for Ireland over the next number of weeks.
“To tell you the truth, we think of all our players as being Irish. They’ve been in the country, they’re members of their local communities and we just get on with it from there.
“When the guys come in and play for Ireland they’re in a situation where they’re more than happy to do that and they take on the challenge as if they were anyone else,” Murphy commented.
The assistant coach insisted that there were no hard feelings between anyone in the Irish camp, with each player well deserving of their place in the team.
“I can’t say how they actually feel but from a coaching point of view, from a group point of view, these guys come in, they fit into the group really well and they’re taking us forward.
“They’re adding to the environment, they’re questioning, they’re giving opinions and they’re working with the other guys.
“There’s no ‘us and them’, it’s Ireland as a team, as a squad, including the management,” Murphy explained.
Ireland take on Eddie Jones’ men on Saturday in Twickenham Stadium at 3pm and will hope to make up for their previous poor performances at the home of English rugby.