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Weak pound strengthens Ireland's hand

PRO 14    

Brexit's weak pound will play into Irish hands post-RWC

The recent fall in the value of the pound due to the ongoing Brexit saga means that Irish teams in the PRO14 will benefit compared to their Welsh and Scottish rivals when it comes to buying in new players after the World Cup. 

This is according to lawyer Tim O’Connor on Twitter, who said: “If sterling hits parity with the euro, it’s all bets off in the European rugby transfer market post-RWC.” 

With the Welsh regions already struggling financially to compete with the Irish provinces who are part of an IRFU that recently posted record revenues, a weak pound will only mean that it is harder to attract new players. 

One Euro on the currency market on Wednesday was the equivalent of 92 pence STG and with that gap potential further closing, the power that English, Welsh and Scottish clubs have in the recruitment market diminishes as foreign players will not be making as much in the currency as they once would have. 

Suddenly, Connacht, Leinster and Munster, who use the euro, will seem a lot more attractive to players that are seeking to move to Europe, particularly at the end of their careers. 

They will want to cash in as much as possible in their final playing years, and a weak pound will prevent that. This also gives slightly more power to the Italian sides in the PRO14. 

Outside of the PRO14, the French sides will also become even more attractive. The Top 14 is already saturated with foreign players due to the higher salary cap, and if a player moving to Europe had the choice between England and France, with the euro and pound being almost equal, France will be the most likely destination. 

Of course, others on Twitter have pointed out that there are other variables to contend with such as the coaching, location, infrastructure and the chances of silverware, but this does give slightly more power to the French and the euro-using Irish sides nonetheless. 

There is also a ruling in the Champions Cup which says a squad can only have two ‘non-European’ players (excluding those from South Africa and the Pacific Islands), which may stop clubs from lavishly buying in players from the southern hemisphere. 

Ultimately, this may not make too great a difference, but in the PRO14, a league that has been dominated by Irish sides over the past few years, their rivals will not want to give them any more power. 

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Brexit's weak pound will play into Irish hands post-RWC