05 February, 2011

Irish rugby players:putting love of Ireland before money:

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Johnathan Sexton: loves his country
Brisbane June 26, 2010. Ireland versus Australia. The warm--up. Jonathan Sexton looks up at the thousands of young Irish cheering in the stands. He wonders if there's anyone left at home.
There were some who doubted Sexton's loyalty to club and country. There were more who doubted that he had received a big offer from France. Soundings from so-called well-placed sources implied that such a huge French salary might well be a figroll of someone's imagination.
The offer was genuine. Here's the truth: Sexton has given up hundreds of thousands by staying at home.
Jonathan sees himself as one of the lucky ones who had a choice. Stay or go. And he had to think it through. His pals are heading for Australia, and everywhere. Some want to go, more don't. Some will come home in a couple of years, more won't. One thousand a week are leaving.
This young lad wanted to stay. He's a home bird.
There was another reason. Jonathan is still the same small boy who pretended he was playing for Ireland in the back garden. That's all he ever wanted. If he left it might have adversely affected his Ireland career. And God forgive him, he's loyal to Leinster too.
The southern hemisphere players leave for foreign climes in the year after the World Cup when their careers are ever so slightly on the wane and the four-year gap between tournaments ends at a time past their sell-by date.
It's different here.
The time to leave is when you are a young lad. The reasons are all to do with tax. Charlie McCreevy introduced a tax break entitling professional sports people to a substantial rebate if they finish up their careers in this country. But the part nobody saw coming was the temptation for young players to leave in the middle of their careers and then return home for the last few seasons of their playing life.
Sexton, Heaslip, O'Brien and others have committed for two years. They may leave then and hopefully the financial sacrifice will have been rewarded with trophies.
Brian O'Driscoll: sad to see a lot of Irish talent leave
Brian O'Driscoll spoke to Vincent Hogan of his sadness at the haemorrhage of the brightest we ever reared. He said he and his men were the lucky ones. I'm not privy to the theme for this season but I would suggest it could be Ireland are playing for our lost generation who have been shipped out to foreign shores, almost secretly. We need someone to fight their fight.
O'Driscoll and his squad have the moral authority others can never claim due to their complicity in the exodus.
For this Irish team put love of country before love of money.
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3 comments:

  1. I like this post James. Not big into sports but rugby...that is a sport I can watch. Good to see players staying loyal to Ireland!

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  2. Thanks for the positive feedback Janet. (I have already emailed Bebedores).

    While it is indeed "Good to see players staying loyal to Ireland!", it is however, NOT good to see certain journalists/teachers NOT staying loyal to Ireland....pointing my finger at someone who calls Korea "home" by the way.

    Whilst I appreciate the positive feedback, I'm looking for someone to disagree with me on something. Nothing beats a good debate/row on an online thread. Well a few things do beat "a good debate/row on an online thread," but I'm going to keep them quiet.

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