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Monday Jan 20, 2014

New Ireland prop Rodney Ah You smashes lock Alistair Hargreaves

New Ireland prop Rodney Ah You smashes lock Alistair Hargreaves
32
Comments

New Zealand born Connacht prop Rodney Ah You made one of the tackles on the weekend despite his side being thumped 64-6 by Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday. Kiwi Ah You was recently named in Ireland’s extended Six Nations squad.

Saracens were completely dominant against Connacht and as if to rub salt into the wounds, they even scored a try after this cracking tackle was made. It’s worth seeing though, and former boxer Ah You’s story is an interesting one.

Ah You made the move to Ireland after not quite cracking the Crusaders or Super Rugby setup back home, despite having played for New Zealand at both u19 and u20 level.

After arriving in Ireland things weren’t entirely plain sailing, but they’re now starting to take shape and after 62 Connacht appearances – with 52 coming off the bench – he has now extended his deal and could possibly play for his newly adopted country very soon.

“My initial reaction was pure shock,” he told the Irish Times after hearing about his selection.

“You know: it can’t be true. It can’t be true. But yeah, it has slowly been sinking in..”

In December he signed a contract extension that means he’ll be with Connacht until 2016. It’s a long way from Christchurch but for Rodney, wife Bella and their children, it’s now very much home.

In October he qualified to play for Ireland through residency, and this could be the year that sees him wearing the colours of the country he beat with the Baby Blacks at junior level in 2007.

“We made the big decision to move here from New Zealand over three years ago and we’ve never looked back. Galway is our home. It’s where our two boys were born and we love it here,” he said.

While it might be some time before he’s a regular fixture in the Ireland squad, with hard hitting tackles like this he’s sure to get the attention of the Ireland coach, fellow Kiwi Joe Schmidt.

32 Comments

  • benny
    9:09 AM 27/01/2014

    I would hardly say they "found" him - he'd already played U19 and U20 for NZ.

    Reply
  • tui
    5:47 AM 26/01/2014

    exactly and we're not moaning and saying send them home are we??

    Reply
  • drg
    10:49 PM 25/01/2014

    Perhaps he wasn't suggesting his team was on the moral high ground, but instead suggesting what he feels is right or wrong..

    Reply
  • 1:55 PM 23/01/2014

    Juan, Esteban Lozada was born in Belgium, Rolando Martin was born in the USA, 90% of Argentinian internationals benefit from European club rugby formation. Get off the high horse!

    Reply
  • 1:48 PM 23/01/2014

    The Mighty All Blacks were founded by Scots Irish and Englishmen, they probably have the highest number of foreign born representatives of any top tier rugby team if you look back through their history. Try a little humility there since you're not actually doing the hitting yourself!

    Reply
  • 1:36 PM 23/01/2014

    But they've also gained from the leinster acadamy with players such as Fionn Carr and the likes

    Reply
  • drg
    11:30 PM 22/01/2014

    ...said the moron that can't spell... See my comment below you ignorant halfwit! Oh and like I said, show me some facts regarding your comment: "Tuilagi had way below average skill sets as a teenager"

    Reply
  • browner
    6:57 PM 22/01/2014

    Of course he's improved most 13 yr olds do each year until they reach 21, and tuilagi would've done at any rugby club, in fact so would've my sister. Manu was on the wing as a kid, catch the ball and run like fuck & bash anyone that came your way , that's it, little else ...... Kinda what we see now except in a bigger version...... & if you can't see that DrG then it's you who is the fockwit morun, not me ........If you can't be civil, then don't bother replying - Twunt's like you bore me.

    Reply
  • 11:16 PM 21/01/2014

    At full speed it doesn't look that bad actually, but I do agree Browner, we need to take HIT out of our vocabulary. It's snuck in the last few decades and rugby culture is turning more towards "winning the collisions" and making the "big hit". Look to the NFL as an example, of what not to do, suicides, close a billion dollar concussion law suits, etc... I am not saying we need to sanitize the game and take the physicality out of it, I love a solid tackle as much as the next guy, but simply lowering your shoulder into a ball carrier and sending him crashing to the ground, promotes brawn and power over skill and technique. As for this selection issue, we live in a global environment. Gone are the days of tribal warfare between the celtic nations and the olde enemy and the gauls on the mainland (whose Capt was born in Africa) where the golden sons of the present represented their lineage in a game of genealogical chess. If someone decides to move to a new country, lives there for a period and then decides to represent them, fair play to them. However, not fair play to the IRFU to offer a cap to a player who's had over 80 percent of his caps coming off the bench!

    Reply
  • drg
    11:05 PM 21/01/2014

    Actually browner, ignore the other comment, I make no apologies. You are a fucking moron.. "neither of them are the product of schooling".... ...right because 7 year old Faletau was handed a Welsh rugby shirt when he stepped off the plane...

    Reply
  • drg
    11:03 PM 21/01/2014

    Would like to see the facts you have to back up your statement there... Anyway, are you suggesting that his skill set nowadays is a result of genes? If you are then I must apologise in advance for calling you a fucking moron... I don't normally stoop this low but you're taking the piss if you think a boy who came to the UK at 13(?)yrs old had the skill set he has now at the age of 22-23(?)...

    Reply
  • browner
    9:35 PM 21/01/2014

    Ps, ......It was a good 'HIT', but NOT a good Tackle, not even legal - don't confuse the two ............. Crash band thud zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz change the laws IRB, lets re-cultivate skill not brawn .

    Reply
  • browner
    9:32 PM 21/01/2014

    I'm waiting for Bill Gates RFC to be inducted into the IRB !!!!

    Reply
  • reality
    7:44 PM 21/01/2014

    Fair enough; South Africa aren't angels either. I'm not too sure about the situation with Mtawarira and his likes. Since the countries are neighbours I thought there was a natural spillover and that it's normal to have a part Namibian/Zimbabwean part South African upbringing. But I don't know enough about their situations so I can't comment too much. Maybe South Africa are just as guilty as any other country. For Faletau, he was raised in Wales, so while he's (or wasn't) Welsh from an official point of view, in practice he is Welsh because that's where he grew up and became the person he is and where he learned to play rugby. He's the exceptional case that you can't argue too much against, but which should remain exceptional cases.

    Reply
  • lucius
    2:04 PM 21/01/2014

    Many of them got an italian passport

    Reply
  • connachtman
    12:19 PM 21/01/2014

    Whoever decided Michael bent was International status needed their head examined, he was not good enough to play even AIL in my books! Sent the wrong message to all domestic props ...

    Reply
  • sportsfan1
    11:32 AM 21/01/2014

    I think you can scrub Montgomery off that list. When he was born Namibia was South Africa and didn't become Namibia until he was about 16.

    Reply
  • jaysus
    11:12 AM 21/01/2014

    as long as hes not another michael bent. hadnt even landed on ireland yet and he was picked! jaysus

    Reply
  • drg
    10:36 AM 21/01/2014

    Yeh that's a possibility... Actually just wiki'd him, doesn't mention his mum, but says he was born in Tonga and is the son of a Tongan international, however the father and Toby moved to Wales when he was 7. So in effect he is sort of a product of Welsh schooling/rugby. In a way a bit like Manu Tuilagi for England. Those are the sorts of areas where I don't have a problem with "foreign" players playing for teams, because I suppose Wales is probably more of a home to TF than Tonga.

    Reply
  • totesmcgoates
    5:32 AM 21/01/2014

    Haha, he could have a Welsh mum is all I'm saying!

    Reply
  • drg
    2:57 AM 21/01/2014

    lol!!!

    Reply
  • drg
    2:50 AM 21/01/2014

    Totally agree with you Reality, however is that particularly right?... especially if you then play against Uzbekistakiwakitobakistan and they're playing their own nationals because they cannot afford to bring in other players? Ofcourse you cannot blame the players for taking the opportunity presented to them. But it's not really representing the greatness of your country if you're playing a bunch of mercenaries.

    Reply
  • drg
    2:43 AM 21/01/2014

    Strong Welsh name that "Toby Faletau from the valley's"

    Reply
  • totesmcgoates
    2:27 AM 21/01/2014

    Off the top of my head, I don't think Toby Faletau was not born in nor has any ancestral link to Wales. Could be wrong on that one though! He's lived there most of his life so it's a bit of a different situation. The point is that everyone seems to be doing it to some extent.

    Reply
  • matt
    11:25 PM 20/01/2014

    I think you need to scratch South Africa off that list. If I'm not mistaken 'beast' Mtawarira is from Zimbabwe and they rushed through his citizenship to let him play again. I think there have been several others over the years that were allowed to play if they were good enough.

    Reply
  • reality
    10:15 PM 20/01/2014

    s-connor, if Kazakhstan offered me a load of cash to play rugby for them I'd commit myself to play for them and forget about Ireland. It doesn't mean I'm Kazakh though or that I should be allowed to; it just means I'd want the opportunity to play international rugby and wouldn't want to turn down a financially lucrative offer.

    Reply
  • pyes
    10:13 PM 20/01/2014

    If Argentina had a domestic competition that paid good salaries then you see players coming in from other countries.

    Reply
  • reality
    10:12 PM 20/01/2014

    Hear hear! As an Irishman I'm actually ashamed when the IRFU go looking for anyone who hasn't been capped by New Zealand or South Africa and they offer them a big, fat cheque to come play rugby for a country they've probably never set foot in until now. There are exceptional cases like Tom Court - Australian-born but who has Irish ancestry and went from nothing to the player he is in Ireland, but Rodney Ah You has no link at all with Ireland except having a work contract there. And then Munster buy in CJ Stander and before he's even played they're talking about playing him for Ireland once 3 years have passed, and the same for Jared Payne; it's absolutely shameful! International rugby is becoming club rugby, because it's not Irishmen against Englishmen anymore, it's people being payed to play in Ireland vs people being payed to play in England. It's embarrassing to have to say that even though the country has such a long history of rugby and such recent success, we have to just buy in New Zealanders because actual Irish people are too crap to play for the national team. They really need to bring in a rule that you have to be a citizen of the country or have some strong family link, or something more reasonable than having been employed for more than 3 years in the country. Well done to Argentina, South Africa and Wales who seem to be the only top-tier teams not cheating the system in this way.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    9:39 PM 20/01/2014

    I would also think that once you have played for a national team, at any age group, you should only be eligible for that country. Seems wrong that he can play for the ABs at U20s but then Ireland at senior level.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    9:37 PM 20/01/2014

    I of course meant the ex-fly half, not the fly half for ex-Canterbury. Idiot.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    9:37 PM 20/01/2014

    Wait, his name is 'Ah You'? That's amazing! That's almost as good as the fly half for ex-Canterbury, Gert de Kock, whose first name is pronounced 'Hurt'.

    Reply
  • s_conner
    9:33 PM 20/01/2014

    Part of me thinks that anyone who wants to commit themselves to play for another country and qualifies correctly then good luck to them. And yet when done on residency grounds I cant help but feel like someone that's coming through the youth ranks has missed out. Great hit nevertheless.

    Reply


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