Scotland: Potential Jack Dempsey selection ‘not what rule is for’

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Former Scotland captain John Barclay has questioned whether Jack Dempsey should be selected for Gregor Townsend’s men.

Ex-Waratahs back-row Dempsey has been outstanding for Glasgow Warriors since joining the club in 2021.

The 28-year-old has already earned 14 caps for Australia but last played for the Wallabies in 2019 and will become eligible for Scotland in October.

Under World Rugby’s new laws, a player can switch nations following a stand down period of three years providing they were either born there or have some sort of ancestral tie to the country.

Given that Dempsey’s grandfather was from Glasgow, the number eight, who can also feature at flanker, will be available to Townsend later this year.

The law was primarily designed to help the tier two sides, particularly the Pacific Island nations who have seen players snapped up by the more powerful countries, but in this instance it could benefit Scotland.

A strange situation

“I’ve said before that I don’t think that’s what this rule is for,” Barclay told the Scotsman. “For me, it’s to help tier two nations bring players back who have left at a young age to contribute to a tier two nation in a rugby sense.

“I never saw this rule as a means of tier one nations going to other tier one nations. It’s a bit of a strange situation where you play for Australia for a number of years and then you can qualify to play for Scotland.

“As a player, he’s fantastic but I think Scotland have got a lot of good back-rowers so it is a big decision.

“If you look at the team, it is littered with guys who have qualified on residency, guys who have come over with grandparents who are Scottish.

“That’s the nature of the game now and we can’t bemoan Scotland’s lack of depth at times without then saying let’s look to use every avenue open to us.”

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The article Scotland: Potential Jack Dempsey selection ‘not what rule is for’ appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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