SOMEWHERE BETWEEN GHANA & USA – So, the talk of the week has centered around Steven Shingler. If you are asking who the *frogging tile he is, let me tell you.
Steven Shingler is the newest ball in the proverbial game of table tennis that is IRB Nationality Eligibility. In layman’s terms, it’s who can play for what country. This time, the row is between Scotland and Wales. Oh, boy…
The issue is that with no A-side (which the rest of us call a B-side), Wales wants to claim up-and-coming talent. So, Wales designated its U-20 team as its A-side. Simple, right? Not sho fasht, Moneypenney… This causes trouble because players like Shingler, who is currently – and ironically – with the London Irish, are way too young to tie themselves down to one country. You may think it is about patriotism, nationalism and pride – and often it is. However, ask yourself what you would do if could not represent the country you identify with – where you were born and raised – but that you could make your mom’s country’s squad. And your mom’s country (yes, she has her own country), wants you to do so. This is the case when it comes to young Mr. Shingler. Would you turn down the opportunity to play on the international level with Mum’s Men?
This is where the Scots come into the equation. They are adding Shingler to their Six Nations team, where he could get a chance to start. But the Welsh claim that Steven is their player after he played for Wales in the second-string Six Nations last season. Caught in the middle of this ping pong match are the IRB and Stringler.
Furthermore, after losing a similar lawsuit last year with the IRB because some rocks-for-brains eejit forgot to file papers with the IRB correctly, the Welsh are serious. They lost 2 kids to Ireland a few years before. (Was it the Guinness or the Smithwicks?)
Personally, I empathize with young Scott. You wanna play for you first choice but that cupboard is overflowing. And with the fickle nature of Welsh sport, can you blame Shingler for shifting to Scotland? I have a feeling the WRU will come out looking poorly when all is said and done.
Granted, no one knows how far this kid can go – but that’s not the issue. The issue is that a country’s U-20 is their B-side. A large amount of these players never make it big but the ones that do, usually grab headlines. Considering the precedent set by Connacht, I am somewhat ambiguous to its existence.
The IRB have to step in and make the call. If you don’t have an A-side then you should lose the right to retain. Yes, I know Wales just lost Ben Morgan to England but it is not England’s fault Wales has no frogging A-side. Wales should just deal with this scenario and move on like most countries do.
Either way, time to watch rugby on my CPU. I will be watching their rucking-over methods.
*Frogging Tile explanation in video.