Paul O'Connell calls for World Rugby to stop players country swapping - Ruck

Paul O’Connell calls for World Rugby to stop players country swapping

Ireland legend Paul O’Connell has backed rule changes to make it more difficult for players to swap countries moving forward.

England boss Eddie Jones had branded Ireland the ‘United Nations’ after Andy Farrell’s starting XV contains five players from the Southern Hemisphere.

“Every country is doing it, that’s the problem, and you can’t blame Ireland for following.” said O’Connell.

“The guys that Ireland have tended to recruit are the big and strong guys that we struggle to produce naturally.

“I think for your national team though, you shouldn’t be going to the market and recruiting players so it’s good the rules will change from three to five years next year.”

The six countries that make up ‘United Nations’ Ireland squad

Here are the nine players from their squad who were born abroad.


  • Bundee Aki (New Zealand)
  • Jamison Gibson-Park (New Zealand)
  • James Lowe (New Zealand)


  • Kieran Marmion (England)
  • Billy Burns (England)


  • CJ Stander (South Africa)
  • Quinn Roux (South Africa)
  • Rob Herring (South Africa)


  • Finlay Bealham (Australia)


  • Ultan Dillane (France)

Foreign-Born Players at 2020 Autumn Nations Cup: Other Home Nations

SCOTLAND – 19/36

  1. Duhan van der Merwe (South Africa)
  2. Sean Maitland (New Zealand)
  3. James Lang (England)
  4. Sam Johnson (Australia)
  5. Chris Harris (England)
  6. Nick Grigg (New Zealand)
  7. Ali Price (England)
  8. Hamish Watson (England)
  9. Blade Thomson (New Zealand)
  10. Rob Harley (England)
  11. Nick Haining (Australia)
  12. Blair Cowan (New Zealand)
  13. Cornell du Preez (South Africa)
  14. Ben Toolis (Australia)
  15. Sam Skinner (England)
  16. WP Nel (South Africa)
  17. Oli Kebble (South Africa)
  18. Simon Berghan (New Zealand)
  19. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Spain)