Adrian Hadley has criticised Wayne Pivac’s decision to select Johnny McNicholl for Wales’ defeat of the Barbarians on Saturday, labelling the residency rule as ‘stupid’.


The former Sale player outlined his unhappiness with the situation, claiming that new head coach Pivac should have used the game to hand opportunities to home grown players.

The Scarlets player only became eligible to play for Wales in late October, having completed his three-year residency period. The 29-year-old was born in New Zealand and joined Scarlets from the Crusaders in 2016.

McNicholl marked the occasion with a try in Wales’ 43-33 win, but Hadley labelled the decision to select him ‘nonsense’, adding that he believes Pivac should not be selecting any players who qualify under residency.

“I’ve got nothing against the boy and as a player if you’re picked to play for a country then you’re never going to turn it down,” Hadley said, speaking on BBC Radio Wales.

“For me, it’s just nonsense. You can’t just spend three years in a country and suddenly decide you’re Welsh. If you’re not Welsh, you’re not Welsh, it’s as simple as that, and you shouldn’t be selected.


“The other thing is, and no offence against the kid, he is 29. Is he going to be around for the next World Cup?

“He will be 33 and on the bench you had Owen Lane who is 21 and then there is also Hallam Amos, who is 25, as is Ashton Hewitt, as is Steff Evans. All of these are young Welsh players who could well have been on the park if that stupid ruling wasn’t in force.”

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