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Tony Ward Says The IRFU Has Come A Long Way Since Its "KGB" Days

Tony Ward Says The IRFU Has Come A Long Way Since Its "KGB" Days
By Jeremy Fullam

Former Ireland, Munster and Lions outhalf Tony Ward was on Off The Ball this evening discussing his new book Twelve Feet Tall.

The Irish Independent writer was discussing everything from the highs and lows of his own careers to the current international side and provincial teams in Ireland.

One of the key battles Tony faced in his playing career was his battle with Ollie Campbell over the number 10 jersey for Ireland. Ward insisted that although he was disappointed to be dropped for Campbell, he was more disappointed by the fact that nobody ever gave him a clear reason for leaving him out.

I went out there on top of my game, in the best form of my life. I was actually playing well out there at the time, but I accept what happened because Ollie came in, played out of his skin and was the player of the tour and we won both tests.

But I think what really gets me is the way everything was handled out there. When I look back at it, at this stage of my life nobody ever came to me and explained to me why I was dropped. To this day, I don't know why. And it was a very different time in Irish rugby.

Ward was critical of the IRFU at the time, saying there was a severe lack of communication in the union and that had a big effect on him fulfilling his potential.

It was like the KGB. That's the way it was and that's what we accepted.

Ward then went on to say that he believes the Union is in a much more stable position nowadays. He also had his take on Ian Madigan's situation, saying that the IRFU should take charge and re distribute the talent equally amongst the provinces for the good of the international team.

Leinster supporters aren't going to be happy with me but I'd love, for example, to see Ian Madigan go to Munster to develop his game.

I just feel with Jonny Sexton back in Leinster and the young out-halves coming through, Ian's not going to get an awful lot of game-time. I think it would be good for Irish rugby.

Definitely an interesting idea from Ward but once again it all boils down to money, if Madigan is offered a huge contract from abroad he may not even think about a potential offer from Munster.

Read Also:Looks Like Leinster Will Have Some Competition For Robbie Henshaw's Signature

Read Also:Sean O'Brien Admits That Irish Provinces Can't Compete Financially With Megabucks Clubs

 

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