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Stephen Ferris Stands By Position On John Cooney's Scotland Saga

Stephen Ferris Stands By Position On John Cooney's Scotland Saga
Michael Bolton
By Michael Bolton
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Stephen Ferris has stood firm on his position that he does not agree with the World Rugby Laws that could see John Cooney represent Scotland at the Six Nations.

Earlier in the week, Stephen Ferris received backlash for his comments on Cooney potentially representing Scotland.

Due to laws that were implemented by World Rugby, John Cooney can represent Scotland after the the 23rd of February, the date that will mark more than three years since his last appearance for Ireland.


Despite being one of the most in form scrum-half's in recent seasons, Cooney has been often overlooked when it comes to Ireland. Cooney is currently behind Jamison Gibson-Park, Craig Casey, and Conor Murray in the Ireland setup, and doesn't look like he will receive another International cap.

This week, Scotland manager Gregor Townsend revealed that Cooney could be considered for selection later once he is eligible.

Stephen Ferris Explains Stance On Cooney

At 32, it is likely John Cooney's last opportunity at a World Cup. However, Stephen Ferris doesn't believe this warrants a move to another country as he has represented Ireland.

Speaking to Balls on the Build-up in partnership with Ladbrokes, Stephen Ferris explained why he doesn't think Cooney should represent Ireland


It just feels weird, it just feels wrong. Doesn't matter if it's football, netball, hockey, golf, whatever team sport you are involved in. If you represent your country, and it's something you have dreamed about doing, even if you've only done it once why would you want to represent another country?

It's difficult for me, as I don't have a Scottish father, and I never grew up supporting Scotland in any way, and I know that's slightly different for John, but it just doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel right that Malakai Fekitoa can go and play for New Zealand, and then go and play for Tonga.

If you play for a country or represent a country, I feel very strongly that you shouldn't be able to jump ship."

During the dialogue of this debate, Ferris is reminding fans that Cooney won't have an easy task to get into this Scottish side, particularly with the quality they have at nine.

Scotland have good scrum-halfs. They have Ali Price, a British and Irish Lion, they've a couple of other guys that are playing really, really well. The Scottish fans that replied to me on twitter said 'no, he shouldn't be given the right, just because he's playing for Ulster and playing reasonably well.

He shouldn't be able to leapfrog guys who have put their heart and soul into Scottish rugby for the last two decades.

The IRFU got rid of Ruan Pienaar, to bring in John Cooney and Nathan Doak, to help progress born and bread Irish talent in the number nine position. Ruan went and signed for Montpellier after that, still playing really good rugby and had a lot to contribute, Ulster fans were up in arms.

If you are telling me that moving somebody like Ruan Pienaar away from Ulster, and bringing in John Cooney, why? To support Scottish rugby? That doesn't make sense."

SEE ALSO: Andy Farrell Backed By IRFU To Become Lions 2025 Manager 

Andy Farrell
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