IRFU to stop provinces signing overseas front row players

IRFU to stop provinces signing overseas front row players

The four provinces in Ireland, Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster will only be allowed to field Irish-qualified front-row players from 2025.

Dividing his time between the U-20s in Cape Town and the senior men's side in Durban, incoming IRFU performance director David Humphreys spoke to the media regarding the shortage of front-rowers in Ireland.

 Humphreys playing for Ulster

After next year there will be no front-row forwards coming into the Irish system until we have got the strength in depth to support the provinces and Ireland in the medium to long term.

“The provinces need to find props there, to ensure that they are competitive, both now and as they need to replace some of the more senior players coming through.


“So, there’s every likelihood because of the challenge we have in the front-row positions that from next year onwards there won’t be front-row forwards coming into the provinces that won’t be Irish-qualified.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell with Andrew Porter

Head coach Andy Farrell is heavily reliant on Leinster's Andrew Porter, with 36-year-old Cian Healy and Tom O'Toole of Ulster, who has played mostly as a tight-head, the next in line.

Humphreys is putting the ball firmly in the court of the provinces to dig deeper for more talent.

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