Rugby

Paul Kimmage Believes IRFU Response Is A "Resigning Matter"

Paul Kimmage Believes IRFU Response Is A "Resigning Matter"

From the weekend's successes of the Irish provinces in the Champions Cup, to the announcement of Joe Schmidt's first squad for the Six Nations, Munster's decision to recruit Gerbrandt Grobler is the dominating narrative in Irish rugby this week.

A South African second-row who has previously served a two year ban for doping offences, Grobler's position at Munster, despite being signed during the summer, has been the subject of huge debate regarding Irish rugby's stance on doping.

In an effort to quell some of the furore, the IRFU CEO Phillip Browne spoke to the media today regarding how the arrival of Grobler does or does not affect the attitude of the organisation toward doping.

It was a response that failed to clarify many of the concerns that were brought forward about the implications of Grobler's presence.

For Paul Kimmage, the IRFU has fudged their stated desire to operate with "a zero-tolerance policy to cheating."

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Speaking to Matt Cooper on Today FM's The Last Word, Kimmage believes that Browne finds himself in a position where resigning from his role as CEO of the IRFU may be the only solution:

If it is not a resigning matter then what does it say about their anti-doping policy?

How seriously am I to take to take their promotional ads? I'll give you an example of one, the famous Aldi one where the kid is reciting the great Paul O'Connell speech and he arrives at the dressing room and Paul takes the ball off him and says 'I'll take it from here, kid'.

The message there is clear. You send us your kids and we will take care of them. A key part of that is that we are not going to send them out against behemoths who are juiced to the gills. We are going to do our best to protect your kid in a clean sport and in a safe way and that is why we are asking you to send us your kids.

If you can't do that, and a fundamental part of that is an anti-doping policy, if you can't guarantee parents that you won't be sending out kids against juicers and people playing the game at a weight far heavier than they should be if they are clean, then I'm sorry, but that is a resigning matter for me.

Whereas this issue may have at one stage seemed like it may blow over after some initial bluster, Kimmage's assessment of events certainly suggests that Grobler's arrival may be a long-running issue for Irish rugby at large.

See Also: Breaking: Ireland Name Squad For First Two Rounds Of Six Nations

Arthur James O'Dea

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